Breaking the Wall

Earn Your Turkey 4 Miler

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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: 83.04 Year: 3760.81
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
64.750.005.005.2575.00
Green Crocs 4 Miles: 75.00
Night Sleep Time: 56.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 56.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. Had a hard time staying awake in the sacrament meeting for some reason for a third week in a row. Not sure why. It is not the speakers - the messages were good, and I tried hard to listen and understand. It is not the sleep, or should not be at least - I've been getting 8 hours of sleep. Maybe some weird residual fatigue that reminds me of its existence when I finally sit down and sit still for some time.

There was no drifting off in Sunday school, though, at least for me because I taught the class. Not much for the students either - I kept putting people on the spot by asking them surprise questions. Plus Sarah tells me my voice is very loud and tends to wake people up, especially babies. The lesson was on the life of Christ. I posed a question to ponder - how do you get people to start counting time from the time of your birth, and keep doing that for 2000 years? Even the Soviet Union did not dare change that after the communist revolution of 1917. They made many changes, adjusting the calendar and changing the spelling of Russian, but they could not change the name of Sunday, which in Russian literally means the day of the resurrection. I remember wondering as a child - if God is not real and there was no resurrection, why do we name a day after that? Later I learned that God is real, and resurrection of Christ did take place, and that you can go only so far in trying to remove the truth from the culture. 

 

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.500.000.000.0012.50

A.M. Usual 12 with the kids. William did 0.5,  Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, Benjamin 5.

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.250.000.001.2512.50

A.M. Total of 12.5, again most with the kids. William did 0.5, Julia 3 in 23:41 - I think that is her record, Joseph 2, Jenny 0.5 with William. Jenny got a fever, that's why she ran less. Not again! Not right before the Thanksgiving race! Benjamin ran 7. We did a workout 800 up the canyon in 2:45, the rest down - 600 in 1:47.8, 400 in 68.3, 200 in 32.3.

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Ran 0.5 with William and Jacob, 1 with Julia and Joseph. Jenny rested trying to mitigate the fallout from the fever. Bed rest pretty much for her. Benjamin ran 3. 

P.M. Now Benjamin got a fever. That changes our plans for the race. The plan was for him to go out with me to 2 miles, then see what happens. Now we will have to come with something different. Things could be bad - he might not even be able to break 25:00. But we are hoping for the best. He and Jenny are resting in bed, drinking EmergenC, and taking ibuprofen to knock the fever down. I gave both of them a blessing. I also knelt down and had an argument of sorts with the Lord. This is a different type of argument. You of course realize that He is charge, and that you cannot ask for things contrary to His will. But there is a reason the scriptures use the phrase "wrestle with the Lord". You can ask for things that appear not meant to happen, and if you do it with enough faith and give the Lord a good reason for them to happen, not just good for you but good for Him, He will make them happen. So in that hope I prayed tonight that my children would not see their training go in vain but see some fruit of their labors and be rewarded with a solid performance in spite of their fevers. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Race: Earn Your Turkey 4 Miler (4 Miles) 00:21:44, Place overall: 6
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.000.004.0012.00

A.M. Earn Your Turkey 4 Miler, 21:44.9, 6th place, got the turkey. Not just me - we got 8 turkeys total. My argument with the Lord last night appears to have had some merit. Everybody ran great, and Benjamin and Jenny won their races in spite their fevers.

First Benjamin and I raced in the 4 miler. I was very concerned for Benjamin. I knew from fairly recent personal experience how devastating fevers can be when it comes to fitness. I prayed for him last night, this morning when I got up, and several times during the race. Benjamin demonstrated a classic example of resilience against adversity. His fever and its consequences were not removed - he did not all of a sudden feel 100% healthy. But he felt healthy enough to race, and to run his guts out. He drafted behind Chad Robinson for 3.5 miles. Then he saw a kid that looked no older than 14 ahead of him. He said - that is my turkey, and he went for it. He was glad that he did because the kid did turn out to be 14. He finished in 23:08 - 14th place overall, and 1st in the 12-14 age division. Chad was not too far behind with 23:19 in 18th place. When Benjamin finished he said this was the hardest race that he's ever run. I can believe it. In 2009 I ran 23:05 myself after experiencing a fever 4 days prior.

Now on to my race. In the first half mile I maneuvered my way past the fast starters that lacked the fitness to maintain their starting pace and found a runner of perfect size and perfect pace. It was Bryce Peterson. I've run with him a few times in the past, but I did not recognize him at the time. He now lives in Arizona, but came over for a visit. Thanks to him I was able to run a decent time today, in fact this is my best since 2008. The official mile markers were off except for the first one. However, Bryce happened to have a beeping Garmin that appeared to function correctly as it beeped in places that I remember were the right ones, and the splits quite reasonably agreed with perceived effort and total time. So I will go off his beeps. The first mile was 5:18. I felt thankful when I saw the split. The pace felt hard, but sustainable for some time. At that time I knew that I was going to get a good result, and with it being the day of Thanksgiving I said a prayer of thanks. The next mile was 5:26, 10:44 for 2. I could tell that the pace had slowed down and became more manageable, yet I knew from how it felt that I did not have the strength to pass Bryce and push a faster pace. In fact, it was just perfect.

The third mile was 5:36, 16:20 for 3. Again I could tell that we slowed down some more. But again, I felt it was still too early to push. Maybe if somebody had passed us at this point I would have latched on, but I definitely did not have what it takes to break way. 

The last mile was perhaps the most exciting. With about 1000 to go I made an attempt to pass Bryce figuring if I had a chance of beating him it would be now. But he was strong and sped up. I tucked back behind him. We were closing on a runner in front of us as we tried to navigate a crowd of walkers and runners we were lapping. In this race somebody going 12:00 or slower does get lapped, and there was quite a crowd, more than I ever remember in the history of this race which I have run every year since 1997. Then with about 400 to go there was an interesting development. The runner in front of us saw a frozen turkey on the road and picked it up. This was part of the race - if you saw a turkey on the course you could pick it up and run with it. I wondered how well he could run in this state of fatigue and with a turkey in his hands. Turned out not very well at all. We passed him very quickly. Bryce started his kick, I tried to kick as well, but did not have the kicking gear. He ended up a couple of second ahead of me with 21:43 low.

The winning time was 20:44, I think it was Trevor Nielson. Jaydn Asay was second with 20:48 if I remember right. Then John Hedengren with 21:08 - he is back at BYU teaching chemical engineering and obviously getting back into some decent shape ( he was a 29:30 10 K runner in his prime). Then Derek Moody with 21:12.

I looked through my old blog entries and realized that this race has been won in the past by two Olympians. In 2006 it was Josh McAdams (19:19), and in 2009 Cam Levins 19:36. 

Chad and I ran and found Sarah and her training partner Shelly on the course shortly before they approached the 3 mile mark. They were moving faster than I was expecting. Sarah is eight months pregnant with our eighth child and she gave me permission to announce that loudly as she approached the finish line. Last time Sarah ran this race this pregnant she got 57:00. This was when she was pregnant with Joseph in 2004. In 2008 while pregnant with William she established a new standard of virtual pregnancy with 34:37 in a 5 K at Payson Onion days which equates to 11:08 pace. This was done at 7 months pregnant. Today she raised the bar. While 8 months pregnant with her 8th child she ran 4 miles in 42:03 averaging 10:30 per mile which will average out to 32:40 5 K. So, able bodied men who are reading - if you cannot do that, you may just as well be 8 months pregnant. Stop eating junk, relaxing in front of TV or video game console all day long and start training!  

Now with my race over, I could focus on helping the kids in their races. This year was the first time that we had a kid that was too old for the little kids races - Benjamin is now 13. This will be more and more of a pattern from now on. I told Benjamin he should go in the car and rest, but he wanted to participate in pacing his younger brothers and sisters, so I let him. I figured it would cost a few extra hours and degrees of the fever later on, but it was more important for him to share in the joy of achieving with his younger siblings. Thinking about this in retrospect helps me appreciate what a great son Sarah and I have in Benjamin.

First Stephen got 2nd place in the 100 m dash in the 0-2 age division with the time of 49 s on my watch as Jenny and I paced him. I will ignore the official times for the kids races as they were all off and report what I had on my watch from now on. We hoped for the first, but we knew that it would be difficult to convince him to race all out at such a tender age. So 49 seconds on race day is a decent result for him. This ended up being our only non-win in the kids races for the day.

Then William won the 400 meter race (ages 3-4) with 2:14. In addition to the turkey he is going to get a violin. Jacob has one, so he wanted one as well. I told him that if he either won the race or broke 2:00 he could get one. Julia and I ran with him.

 Joseph and Jacob won the 800 meter race in their age groups. I paced Joseph, while Benjamin paced Jacob. Joseph took the lead at the turnaround - his split was 93. Then I think he relaxed a little seeing that he's broken the competition and maybe did not quite run as scared as he should have been. But he won the 7-8 age division with 3:14 by 7 seconds over his competitor. A bit slow for him, but it is hard for little kids to run a good time in the fall.

Jacob had a problem with his pants falling down (in the bustle of getting all the kids ready on the morning of the race an uncertified/unapproved pair of pants managed to sneak past security), but still won with 3:40 by 44 seconds in the 5-6 age division. 

Then Jenny and Julia raced in the mile. I paced Julia while Benjamin paced Jenny. Julia moved into the first girl position after the first 200 meters or so and stayed there until Jenny passed her with about a quarter to go. Both of them ended up winning their age divisions with very good times. Jenny ran 6:45 which is only 3 seconds slower than her healthy track PR. Julia did get a PR of 6:49 by 6 seconds.

So with me winning the 35-39 age division, and all of the kids except Stephen winning theirs we earned 7 turkeys. Additionally we got a turkey + potatoes award for the largest immediate family participating in the race. We hoped also to get the most pregnant participant award, but they never announced it before we had to leave. 

Overall a good day for the family.

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

A.M. Total of 12. Benjamin and Jenny were still sick, but felt like they could run a mile, so they did. I had Joseph, Jacob, and Julia keep it low key as well, so we had a 1 mile family run altogether. Then I ran 0.5 with William, and the rest of the distance alone. Then we ate the turkey that William has earned with his win. Well, we cannot really tell who earned which turkey easily, but we attributed this one to William. It is good for the children to feel from a young age that they can and should contribute to the family dinner in a real way. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.000.005.000.0014.00

A.M. 14 miles total. Some with the kids. Benjamin and Jenny were sick, ran only 1 mile. Julia and Joseph did 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5. I did the last 5 miles of my run at tempo pace from a little after Nuns Park to the house in 28:37. Felt OK except maybe a little weak in the last mile, but not too bad - it was 5:57 uphill.

Green Crocs 4 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
64.750.005.005.2575.00
Green Crocs 4 Miles: 75.00
Night Sleep Time: 56.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 56.00
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