Breaking the Wall

Rocket City Marathon

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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: 206.40 Year: 1159.37
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
Navy Crocs Lifetime Miles: 2133.34
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
38.9026.220.501.0066.62
Green Crocs 6 Miles: 40.00Green Crocs 7 Miles: 26.60
Night Sleep Time: 41.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 41.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Day of rest. Went to church. In the Elder's Quorum we talked about kids and Matthew was a good object lesson crawling around. Then did some snow removal, and in the evening Benjamin and I did our home teaching visit. There is an ad on I-15 that says: "Because your home teacher does not practice law..."  Well, we do not practice law, but we do know C++, and that is what we got to help with.

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. 12 total. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia and Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

A.M. Total of 10. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.000.000.001.008.00

A.M. Total of 8. Did a pickup for 1 mile with Benjamin from a magic spot at the mouth of the Provo Canyon to the bridge 1.5 miles away from the house in 5:33. The temperature was around 10F, and there was some snow on the road, so that pace was painful. To me it felt like 5:10, to Benjamin like 5:15-5:20. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia and Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 8.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.000.000.000.007.00

A.M. 7 total. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia and Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 7.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
2.500.000.500.003.00

A.M. 3 miles total. Started the day by missing the flight to Denver - Nashville. This left me with the option of making it to Nashville after 10 pm, which would make it impossible for me to pick up the packet. Checked alternatives - they were all in the price range of $500. I had just told Sarah that if she wanted to get a $1000 couch she needed to run 1200 meters in 5:15 to prove she really needed it. In light of that I was not going to spend half of her couch just to get to a marathon.

Considered not going to the race at all, but then saw the email from the race director, and decided to ask him if he would pick up my packet for me. He replied immediately in the affirmative, so I went ahead and for $100 rescheduled my Frontier flight. Then went to Sarah's parents' house and ran a little bit with the kids that were there - Benjamin, Jenny, and Julia. Benjamin and I did a pickup for 0.5 to get the legs moving.

P.M.  Headed to the race on a 2pm flight. Got into Nashville after 10 pm. Rented an Elantra. I remembered the car because its breaks were instrumental in helping me avoid trouble.  I was 10 miles into Alabama on I-65 going around 70-75 mph in the dark on a wet road when out of nowhere there popped a baby deer right in my lane. When things like this happen the time seems to freeze which helps me figure out what to do, and it did this time. I hit the breaks in time and they worked very well. I recall having enough time to think I should maybe swerve a bit to the shoulder but should wait for the deer to wisen up and get out of the road and swerve only if I really had to. I never needed to swerve - the deer left.

I felt there was some signficance to that deer experience that maybe I will understand later and offered a silent prayer of thanks to the Lord for helping me remain vigilant at this late hour and avoid the collision. 

 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 3.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(1)
Race: Rocket City Marathon (26.219 Miles) 02:44:59, Place overall: 11, Place in age division: 4
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.4026.220.000.0026.62

Rocket City Marathon - 2:44:59, 11th overall, 4th master.

This year I actually got to the start healthy, and the conditions were good. The weather conditions, that is. My fitness was not, as evidenced by the result. I learned experimentally what happens when you cut too many of your long runs to 18 miles and do not do long tempos at the end of them. What happens is you slow down more in the last 6 miles - quite a bit more.

I went through the first mile in 5:39, then made it to 5 in 28:54. Plopped a couple of a little slower than 6:00 miles, but then Justin Leech caught me and pulled me to 11. This made me run sub-6:00 again, and I made it to 10 miles in 59:03, and to the half in 1:18:16. Then I started to struggle with the wind, but was caught by a group of runners. I was able to respond and latch on to the tail end of their pack and sit there until 20. The split at 15 was 1:30:24, and at 20 2:01:17. I actually felt quite decent between 15 and 20 and thought I would easily hit 2:41, and maybe with a valiant effort break 2:40. However, my lack of long tempos really showed in the last 6 miles. Before too long I slowed down to 7:10-7:15 pace and felt weak. I drank a double doze of Gatorade, but that did not give me a magic boost - only kept me from deteriorating further. In the last half mile I gave it all I had to dip under 2:45, and was rewarded with being 1 second under. The performance was not good timewise and pacing wise, but I felt that it was a good fighting experience - also a good kick in the rear end to brave the weather and do what it takes to be fit running tempos in the cold and through the snow if you plan to race a marathon in December.

Green Crocs 7 Miles: 26.60
Night Sleep Time: 4.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 4.75
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
38.9026.220.501.0066.62
Green Crocs 6 Miles: 40.00Green Crocs 7 Miles: 26.60
Night Sleep Time: 41.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 41.75
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