Breaking the Wall

Week starting Oct 16, 2011

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Location:

Orem,UT,United States

Member Since:

Jan 27, 1986

Gender:

Male

Goal Type:

Olympic Trials Qualifier

Running Accomplishments:

Best marathon: 2:23:57 (2007, St. George). Won the Top of Utah Marathon twice (2003,2004). Won the USATF LDR circuit in Utah in 2006.

Draper Days 5 K 15:37 (2004)

Did not know this until June 2012, but it turned out that I've been running with spina bifida occulta in L-4 vertebra my entire life, which explains the odd looking form, struggles with the top end speed, and the poor running economy (cannot break 16:00 in 5 K without pushing the VO2 max past 75).  

 

Short-Term Running Goals:

Qualify for the US Olympic Trials. With the standard of 2:19 on courses with the elevation drop not exceeding 450 feet this is impossible unless I find an uncanny way to compensate for the L-4 defect with my muscles. But I believe in miracles.

Long-Term Running Goals:

2:08 in the marathon. Become a world-class marathoner. This is impossible unless I find a way to fill the hole in L-4 and make it act healthy either by growing the bone or by inserting something artificial that is as good as the bone without breaking anything important around it. Science does not know how to do that yet, so it will take a miracle. But I believe in miracles.

Personal:

I was born in 1973. Grew up in Moscow, Russia. Started running in 1984 and so far have never missed more than 3 consecutive days. Joined the LDS Church in 1992, and came to Provo, Utah in 1993 to attend BYU. Served an LDS mission from 1994-96 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Got married soon after I got back. My wife Sarah and I are parents of eleven children: Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, William, Stephen, Matthew,  Mary,  Bella.  and Leigha. We home school our children.

I am a software engineer/computer programmer/hacker whatever you want to call it, and I am currently working for RedX. Aside from the Fast Running Blog, I have another project to create a device that is a good friend for a fast runner. I called it Fast Running Friend.

Favorite Quote:

...if we are to have faith like Enoch and Elijah we must believe what they believed, know what they knew, and live as they lived.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie

 

Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 25.33 Year: 3286.80
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1576.28
Neon Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 33.72
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
73.001.2512.252.7589.25
Green Crocs 2 Miles: 89.25
Night Sleep Time: 39.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 39.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. The lesson in Sunday school was on eternal marriage. Then I went to the deacons' class, where the lesson was on perfection through the Atonement of Christ. The Sacrament meeting was taken up by the Primary program. Four out of our seven children were up there. Benjamin was too old, while William and Steven too young.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.000.000.0014.00

A.M. 12 total. 5 with Benjamin, then some with the other kids and alone. Jenny did 2, Julia 2 as well. Joseph did 1, and Jacob 0.5.

P.M. 2 miles.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.250.000.001.0014.25

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 3.5 with me. Did hill sprints. They were a bit longer because I could not find my old marks. Did 10 of them, the fastest was 11.7. Then did a 0.5 pickup in 2:28.0. Felt a bit sluggish. Ran with the other kids - Jenny 2, Joseph and Jacob 0.5.

P.M. Benjamin and Joseph ran in a cross-country meet at Kiwani's park. It was 3 K. Benjamin won the Midgets again with 11:32, and it was good enough for 5th overall. He battled in the kick with a boy about 3 years or so older, and lost respectably - only a second. I was expecting him to lose that kick by more, but he has matured now and his kick is very solid. Joseph ran 16:07 taking third in the Pre-Bantam. He has crazy turnover - bam-bam-bam-bam-bam. I ran 2 miles later.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.25
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.000.000.001.0014.00

A.M. Total of 12. Did 5 with Benjamin. Jenny did 2. We paced Sarah through a 0.5 "shake the cobwebs" run in 3:27.4. She is making progress. Now sub-7:00 for 0.5. Her mile record is 6:52, and she is shaking her fist at it. After giving birth to seven children!

Benjamin felt energetic in the last quarter, so we ran it in 79.

Then I ran with the other kids. Julia did 2, Joseph 1.5, Jacob 0.5. Then I finished the run and did my own "shake the cobwebs" 0.75 in 3:48.1. Did not like how it felt. I wanted to hit 3:45 without feeling excessively anaerobic. I did not even hit the pace, and was feeling quite anaerobic already. You would think that if I can coast at 5:40 essentially forever I should be able to hit 5:00 for less than a mile without feeling too bad yet, but it does not happen. I suppose what I am observing is the proverbial resistance as you try to poke your head out of your currently aerobic zone and claim some new territory on the frontier. It is like stepping out of the safety of the trenches straight into the enemy fire. But new territory does not come unless you fight for it.

P.M. 2 miles.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.250.250.750.7514.00

A.M. Total of 12.Started with a warmup and a cobweb shakeout 0.75. It went better this time. I got 3:45.7 with almost perfectly even quarters. I also figured out a trick on how to survive under enemy fire with more comfort - exhale more vigorously. This allows you to be more aerobic. Perhaps another contributing factor was the weight at the start of the run. Yesterday it was 146.6, today it was 145.0. However, yesterday I waited until the end of the run to do the "shakeout", while today I did it first thing. So I was probably close to 145 when I started it yesterday as well, except this morning I was fresher, which could also be a factor. But at the same time, yesterday was warmer, which helped. So I would say the difference is most likely explained by having had some practice at the pace from the day before.

Then 5 with Benjamin. The Utah County pumped out the water from under the bridge, so now we had a good mile. I remembered that at around 3.5 mark into the run, and challenged Benjamin to break his PR of 5:43 in the middle of 5. He resisted, I told him to at least try 5:40 pace for the first 0.5, and if it did not feel good, ease off there. So he decided to be obedient and went for it. First quarter in 82, then 83. He was holding the pace just fine, but in his mind he figured he was done. Just like in this joke. In Doctrine and Covenants in multiple places it takes about the worth of one soul, and how great shall be your joy if you should labor all your days and bring just one soul into God's kingdom. So a missionary says to the mission president - I've baptized that one soul, can I go home? So Benjamin just slowed down to a jog. I did not and yelled at him to catch me. He hesitated for some time, but then decided to be like Nephi rather than Laman and Lemuel. I slowed down to the pace that was fast enough for Benjamin to get the record, but slow enough that he would be able to catch me within a reasonable time. That ended up being a 92 quarter. Benjamin caught up, ran the last quarter in 81, and we ended up with the mile in 5:38.6, which is his new record. As soon as he finished he told me he was glad he obeyed and got the record.

I ran with the other kids. Jacob and Julia did 0.5, Joseph 1. I added some more to make the total 12.

P.M. 2 miles

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.000.005.000.0018.00

A.M. 16 miles total. I knew that I would not be able to do a long run on Saturday, so I decided to do a medium long today instead with a tempo. I did the Fast Running Blog 5 mile course in the normal direction. The weight at the start of the run was 144.4, so I was likely low on glycogen. It did show in the run. I opened with 5:29, then 5:32, and then three goose eggs in a row - 5:44, 5:42, 5:42. Total time 28:09.8. Some of it was the 180 turn and a slight uphill on the way back. But the difference of 13:51 - 14:18 in the halves was more than the uphill and broken rhythm could explain. Still, I'll take the bonk/goose egg pace of 5:42, it beats 5:50 that I was seeing in the spring.

Came home, then ran 5 with Benjamin (Jenny did 2), and 2 with Julia. Joseph did 1, and Jacob did 1.5.

P.M. 2 miles.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 18.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.501.006.500.0015.00

A.M. Had only time for 12, and had to get up at 6:00 AM to do it. I suppose I could have gotten up earlier, but there is a fine balance between stress and recovery. At some point getting up earlier to run more miles becomes counterproductive, especially if you have a busy day ahead. The weight at the start of the run was 143.2, so even less glycogen apparently than the day before, and it did show. I wanted to get a better understanding of yesterday's 5:42 goose eggs, so I decided to do some moderate fast running in the middle of my run. I did not have a clear plan, just wanted to go at 5:30 pace until I started fading, maybe go some more to understand the pattern better, then jog some and try the same effort again to see what it would yield. 

So I did the first 2.5 of the yesterday's tempo in 13:59. The first mile was 5:32, then I slowed down to 5:39, but did not slow down more after that. After a bit over 2 miles of jogging I was back at the same spot and decided to run some distance of the second half of the tempo. From the start I noticed that I was feeling sluggish but at the same time the pace felt sustainable. It was marathon type "I am at mile 15, and I do not want to dump all of my fuel right there and then quite yet" feeling. Yet the pace was 5:37 for the first mile. Then I struggled in the next mile doing it in 5:46, but it had some uphill, and then was able to shift gears and run 2:45 for the last 0.5 which gave me 14:08 for the 2.5. So adjusting for the terrain difference between going out and going back, I essentially repeated my earlier 13:59 effort, but it felt different, more suitable for the marathon. In the first repetition I felt like I was running a bad half. In the second it felt more like a good marathon.

One thing that I did differently was an attempt to lighten the push while increasing the leg turnover. I do not know if the leg turnover was actually higher, but this was the cue I used. Regardless, I think what was happening is an increased recruitment of the true slow twitch fibers that are less glycogen-hungry as opposed to the intermediate 5K fibers that eat glycogen like there is no tomorrow. It is easier to run 5:40 pace by recruiting the 5 K monsters, as they are strong and this pace for them is a jog. Recruiting the marathon fibers to run 5:40 requires some practice.

On the way back saw that I needed to run the last 0.75 in 5:02 to break 6:40 average for 12. I moved my legs a bit, and ended up running it in 4:37, 6:10 pace. What was odd is that it felt like 6:40, maybe a bit under. I did not expect that at this point of depletion.

Benjamin did 5, Jenny 2, Julia 2, and Jacob 0.5.

P.M. Joseph ran 1.4 around the track at Runner's Corner. We went there to get Benjamin a pair of spikes. We ended up getting a non-spiked version of cross-country shoes for $20.

I ran 3 miles later with the last 1.5 in 8:44.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 15.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
73.001.2512.252.7589.25
Green Crocs 2 Miles: 89.25
Night Sleep Time: 39.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 39.00
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