Breaking the Wall

USATF Cross-Country Open Race

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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 nine children: Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, William, Stephen, Matthew,  Mary, and Bella.  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: 62.33 Year: 3418.01
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 120.59
Brown Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1509.03
Brown Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 987.95
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
60.064.509.503.5577.61
Green Crocs 6 Miles: 74.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 8.00Saucony Type A Miles: 4.00
Night Sleep Time: 52.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 53.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. In Sunday school a scripture was shared that caught my attention (Doctrine and Covenants 56:16-18):

Wo unto you rich men, that will not give your substance to the poor, for your riches will canker your souls; and this shall be your lamentation in the day of visitation, and of judgment, and of indignation: The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and my soul is not saved!

Wo unto you poor men, whose hearts are not broken, whose spirits are not contrite, and whose bellies are not satisfied, and whose hands are not stayed from laying hold upon other men’s goods, whose eyes are full of greediness, and who will not labor with your own hands!

But blessed are the poor who are pure in heart, whose hearts are broken, and whose spirits are contrite, for they shall see the kingdom of God coming in power and great glory unto their deliverance; for the fatness of the earth shall be theirs.

Perhaps it is not very well known outside of the LDS church to what extent it is concerned with the matter of poverty. In a properly functioning ward, should a member - active or inactive, or maybe not even a member at all but someone known to the ward - lose his job it will be discussed in the next ward council meeting and you will see people trying to come up with ideas of how that person could find employment. If someone experiences some kind of emergency that has the potential to cause financial ruin, this will also be discussed as well and some kind of plan will be worked out to alleviate the burden to the extent possible.

One thing that perhaps makes our church stand out from many others is the way we address poverty. We will give to the poor to keep them afloat when needed, but we put a greater emphasis on lifting them out of poverty - education, help in job search, teaching how to present yourself, ideas for starting your own business, skills of self-reliance, learning to live within your means and save for a rainy day, productive use of time, etc.

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.001.001.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did total of 2 miles of tempo running.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.361.500.000.4412.30

A.M. Total of 12.7. Benjamin did another 800 meter time trial. We hoped to do it at the BYU track, but the inside lanes were blocked with barriers. So we went to Orem High instead. It rained earlier so the track was a little wet. However, to my surprise the BYU track was more wet than the Orem High. So perhaps it was good that we went to Orem High after all - even though normally the BYU track is faster - at least I have gotten faster times on it.

We pretty much repeated what we did last time - me starting 300 meters into it - except this time I gave myself a bit of a head start because last time I could accelerate quickly enough and it took me good 50 meters before I started doing my pacing job. However, this time I overshot the other way starting too early. This frustrated Benjamin and he yelled at me telling me he could not catch me. In spite of that mishap he made it to the 400 mark in around 63.7 or so.

I was concerned that this frustration with being behind might have ruined Benjamin's chances for a PR, but he demonstrated resilience. He mentally regrouped, caught up to me and started pushing the pace from behind. I did my best to stay ahead and provided him with a wind shield up to about 550 mark. Then I stepped aside, he passed me, but I tried to stay as much as I could on the side to provide partial wind block and competitive pressure. His 600 split was 1:37.9 or so. I am too paranoid to press buttons to get a split mid-run, but the Fast Running Friend solves the problem for me by displaying the tenths of a second in a font that is large enough to get an idea of what the the split was with that precision. Of course, the big question is the delay between the time you register that you are at the mark, and the time you register the running time, but I think this is accurate to about 0.3 or so.

The 700 split was around 1:54.9. I was able to stay with him up to 30 meters to go or about, and then fell back by a little - maybe 0.5 or so when he turned up the heat in the final surge. He finished in 2:11.4. This is the first overall all-time family record taken by Benjamin. My all-time 800 meter PR is 2:12.0. I suppose we can say that today we had a historic moment in our family - the 14-year-old son ran faster than the dad ever has in his life. 

Another signficant detail is that a year ago his 800 PR was 2:23. When I was 13 I was somewhere in that range - at the age of 12.9 I hit a 2:25 split indoors in a 1000 meter race. However, over the last year he made more improvement than I did in my entire life. I do have an explanation for that - see the X-rays at the links in my profile. I could manage my L-4 defect when stars aligned - I was very light and somehow developed a workaround that allowed me to be somewhat competitive. However, when I hit puberity, that workaround did not work anymore - I was just too heavy to pull it off.

Now our next goal is to get Benjamin to do 4x400 with 400 meter jog first in 64, then 63, 62, 61, and 60. Then we will have a graduation party - another 800 meter time trial. 

 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.70
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.500.001.500.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did 1.5 of tempo running.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.300.005.000.0012.30

A.M. Did a workout. Warmed up 5 miles up into the canyon, then ran back at a tempo pace in 28:45. Felt low on fuel - the weight at the end of the run confirmed it - 143.0 lb. Total of 12.3 miles. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

P.M. Benjamin upped his chess rating at our regular tournament to 1802 moving into Class A. Next class after that is Expert, then National Master, International Master, and Grandmaster.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.30
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.002.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Sarah did an 800 meter time trial in 3:33 at Orem High - splits of 51, 53, 57, and 52. I wanted her to do that so she would feel that she is not that far away from being able to attack her mile PR of 6:52 set 10 years and 6 kids ago. Joseph and Jacob assisted with pacing.

In anticipation of the cross-country meet tomorrow the mileages were shorter. Benjamin did 6, Jenny and Julia 2, Jacob 1.5, Joseph 2, William 1. William was a little feisty and ran 9:07 on the "big boy" course.

I did some tempo running. First 1.5 in 8:20 from the magic spot near the mouth of the canyon to the magic spot near the finish of the Provo River Half Marathon on the other side of the river. Jogged 0.5 in 3:45, and then ran 0.51 uphill in 2:46.

Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 3.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Race: USATF Cross-Country Open Race (3.107 Miles) 00:18:02, Place overall: 2, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.902.000.003.1117.01

A.M. Went to the USATF Junior Cross-Country Utah State Championship to watch the kids run and race 5 K myself. Then added some distance afterwards totaling 17 miles for the day.

Joseph, Jacob, and William raced first in the 2 K in the 8 and under division. Joseph got second place with 8:54 behind McKay Wells who ran 8:29. I assume McKay was adopted from Ethiopia - his appearance and stride at least looked Ethiopian. Jacob was 4th with 9:20. William did not have a good day - it was cold, and it put him in a bad mood, but he did finish the race in 13:35.

Julia got 9th place in the 3 K in the 11-12 division with 14:20, which is actually her cross-county 3 K PR. Benjamin was taught humility today racing a competition that outclassed him. He finished 3rd with 14:10 in the 4 K in the 13-14 age division. Brodey Hasty won with 13:40, Jody Benson Jr was second with 13:48. He stayed with them for about a mile, then Brodey put on a major surge that broke both Jody and Benjamin, but Benjamin suffered from it more and fell further back. Nevertheless he ran a very solid 4 K time for cross-country.  Grant finished 4th with 14:58, which gives us some indicator of the quality of the top three times. This year Benjamin has been beating Grant by 10 seconds or so.

Jenny struggled today finishing the 4 K in 20:56.

Then Chad and I raced the young men in the 5 K. They announced that the meet was open to adults, but it was rather informal - you just take the number without paying a fee, write your name on it and race. Chad and I were the only adults that did it. Not many young men were there - I think there were three. I ran with Chris Rushing and Dakota Cobler for most of the race sitting behind them and counting myself lucky that I could keep up. With a mile to go they surged and dropped me. I somehow recovered and caught back up. They dropped me again on the hill with about 1200 to go. I again recovered and caught up to them on the downhill. Then Chris made another surge and that dropped Dakota. I tried to stay with Chris, but he was gapping me a little at a time. He ended up 4 seconds ahead of me with 17:58. I came in second with 18:02. Dakota was somewhere around 18:15, I think - official time reported is 18:34, while Chris's is 17:45 - both are wrong, definitely Chris's. Chad finished in 19:15.

I was quite happy with both the time and how I ran the race. When I got dropped, I felt hopeless and wanted to give up, but I told myself to keep fighting and was rewarded by being able to regain contact. This is significant for me because I am very well aware that it is easier to maintain contact than to regain it and as a rule I fight to the very end before I drop back. So if I get dropped, I rarely recover. It takes me some deeper digging to be able to pull it off, and it felt good to be able to find it - after the race that is, not during :-)

After the race I ran 5 miles with Benjamin pushing Matthew in the stroller with Jacob (all of it) and Joseph (just a mile) on bikes. Then I ran 8 more with 2 miles down the canyon in the middle in 11:29. At the end of the run I weighed 141.3 lb - serious glycogen depletion, no wonder that 2 mile tempo was so difficult.

 

Saucony Type A Miles: 4.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 5.00Green Crocs 6 Miles: 13.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
60.064.509.503.5577.61
Green Crocs 6 Miles: 74.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 8.00Saucony Type A Miles: 4.00
Night Sleep Time: 52.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 53.50
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