Breaking the Wall

Week starting Dec 24, 2006

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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: 0.00 Year: 2339.68
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: 268.74
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
59.137.804.501.7073.13
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
5.707.000.000.0012.70

Ran with Ted in the Provo Canyon. Trail is almost compileted covered with snow and ice. First standard 3 mile tempo down in 17:14, probably a 16:15 effort. Then 2 miles up in 13:20, probably worth 12:20. Then 2 miles down starting at Nunns Park in 11:56. Came home and ran with the kids. Then we went to see Sarah's family in Salt Lake.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.500.300.000.0011.80

Ran with Ted in the morning on the Provo River trail. Usual 10.04. Took it nice and slow most of the way, although a bit faster on the second half - 1:13:24. Roads almost completely covered with snow and ice. Ran with the kids in the evening.

Got a key-chain camera for the Fast Running Mommy for Christmas. Hosed up her computer trying to get it to work in a way that is easy for her to use. The problem was that she needed udev/usbmount, which I never use myself because I do not mind mounting devices manually (this is Linux, BTW). But her system was so old that it required nearly a complete upgrade to get it to work. I just barely finished fixing up the mess.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.730.500.000.2011.43

First ran with Julia. Then ran with the kids to the bank and back. They ran part of the way, and rode in the stroller part. Then dropped them off (5.71 into the run) and ran alone the rest of the way. Was about 4 minutes behind the 8:00 guy. The stroller with Benjamin and Jenny is pretty heavy. You can go 7:00 pace on a good road with it, but as soon as it gets slick or starts going uphill, you are in trouble. They are close to 100 lb combined.

Afterwards, chased 8:00 mile guy. Did some short accelerations in the middle. Had to pick it up on the last 0.5 miles. Total time for 11.18 was 1:28:45.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.900.003.000.0011.90

Ran the usual 10.04 course. Added some tempo work in the middle for fun. There was a fairly dry 1.5 mile stretch with only a little bit of slush. So I ran it at a threshold effort in both directions. Got the same time on both occasions - 8:19. On the first one, HR eventually climbed up to 158. On the second one, it got up to 160 with a quarter to go. Then I saw I was off-schedule, and decided to correct it with a kick. Ran 1:19 on the last quarter, with the HR getting up to 165.

Both runs felt hard, like I could not go any faster. However, once I decided to kick on the last one, I felt it was sustainable for more than just a quarter.

Finally fixed the "You are a hacker" error that happened if you clicked on add/delete/edit entry after your session timed out. Also, we got some donations to the Fast Running Blog Fund. If you would like to be acknowledged on the donor's page, send me a message via the contact form. Being acknowledged as a donor is a good thing even if you do not want the recognition as it encourages others to donate.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.500.001.501.5012.50

Speedwork with Steve on the trail. Tried a new workout. The idea is to max out the HR for as long as possible. I realized that a VO2 Max workout does not work very well, at least for me. It take me 4 minutes of running to get my HR to the max regardless of how fast I run after a certain threshold is crossed. If I had been running at my 5 K race pace, I am too tired at that point to sustain the max heart rate any longer. So Ii figured if I run at about 5:30 pace for the first 4 minutes, my HR will be 160. Then pick up the pace to 5 K race pace, and it almost immediately climbs to 170, but I am not too tired to hold it for a while.

So with that philosophy, we did 2x1.5 with full rest starting out at a tempo pace, and then accelerating to a VO2 Max pace once HR climbed up to be withing a shooting range.

First one - splits by quarter - 1:22 - 1:21 - 1:20 - 1:14 - 1:17 - 1:19, total time 7:53. HR reached 170. 1:14 was too hard, and we paid for it. I felt lead in my legs.

On the second one, we decided to be more conservative and fullfil the purpose of the workout, which is to maximize aerobic output and hold it for as long as possible. We ran the second interval in the opposite direction. The trail looks flat, but the river flows towards the lake, so there must be a tiny bit of a grade. The first one would have been a bit net downhill, while the second a bit up. Splits - 1:23 - 1:21 - 1:21 - 1:21 - 1:17 - 1:16. Total time 7:59, caught the 5:20 guy. HR hit 173, and I did not feel as much lead in the legs.

With the warm up and cool down the total distance was 11 miles.

Ran with the kids in the evening.

Big difference having Steve around. Yesterday I could not get myself to go any faster than 8:19 on the exact same stretch, and putting in quite a bit of an effort.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.800.000.000.0012.80

Ran 10.04 in the morning. Started out at about 7:20 pace, then sped up to 7:10, but did not feel like going faster up until the turnaround. After that, decided to chase the 7:00 mile guy. Sped up to 6:35-6:40 pace. It felt hard, but HR was correct - 131-133. The hardness was mostly mental. I had a hard time getting my mind to engage when running alone.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon.

After talking with Dr. Jex about how the spine works I believe I have a better clue about my running economy and low sprint speed issues. I think the problem is in the disks of the lower back - they lack the resilience. This would explain low vertical lift when running (not bad thing in an of itself, but bad when even that little has to come with a strained effort), low vertical jump, overdeveloped quads, unusual difficulty in walking up the stairs for my level of fitness, relatively poor uphill performance, and the feeling of constantly running on cotton. When the spine is not resilient, the muscles have to pick up the slack to get you off the ground.

According to Dr. Jex, once the muscles learn to hold a curve in the spine, the disks have an opportunity to regain their resilience. The curve is already beginning to form. So we'll have to wait and see what happens.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
59.137.804.501.7073.13
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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