Breaking the Wall

Heart of Holladay 5 K

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Orem,UT,United States

Member Since:

Jan 27, 1986



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.


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:

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Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 16.05 Year: 1637.99
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 640.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 450.37
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Brown Crocs 4 Lifetime Miles: 1334.06
Amoji 1 Lifetime Miles: 732.60
Amoji 2 Lifetime Miles: 436.69
Amoji 3 Lifetime Miles: 380.67
Lopsie Sports Sandals Lifetime Miles: 818.02
Lopsie Sports Sandals 2 Lifetime Miles: 637.27
Iprome Garden Clogs Lifetime Miles: 346.18
Beslip Garden Clogs Lifetime Miles: 488.26
Joybees 1 Lifetime Miles: 1035.60
Madctoc Clogs Lifetime Miles: 698.29
Blue Crocs Lifetime Miles: 1164.32
Kimisant Black Clogs Lifetime Miles: 14.04
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Night Sleep Time: 216.08Nap Time: 19.67Total Sleep Time: 235.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A day of rest. Went to church. Stayed awake. Having to teach in the Elders Quorum helped. This also helped me remember a mission experience. My companion and I sat on the stand during a sacrament meeting rather tired as I hoped that we would have a dynamic speaker that day. Falling asleep on the stand would be rather embarrassing. Then I remembered that I was the speaker. But still I managed to fall asleep during my companion's talk.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 10.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 15.1 in 1:57:32. Started with Jeff and Hyrum. Then Matt joined us briefly. Dropped Hyrum off at 4. He did have quite a pick up on the last quarter, it was 1:32 with the last 100 in 18. He made a resolution that he would not eat on a training day (Mon-Sat) until he ran. With as much as he likes to eat, this would hopefully get him to run more regularly.

After than ran with Jeff and he realized he needed to get his car back to his wife so she'd make it to work on time. So we picked up the pace. We figured we needed to run 6:40 for 4.5 miles. That sounded tedious. We were going 6:20, then 6:10 at first. Then I figured if we just hammer a mile and a half, we can relax at the end. So we gradually picked up to a little under 6:00. Saw the new blogger Luz on the trail. Then we picked it up even more, ran 0.5 in 2:51 followed by 2:45, 5:36 for the mile. It hurt more than it should have. Some of it could be the fatigue from the 10 K, but some is probably just because it is hard to run fast in Five Fingers because you cannot pound the ground as hard. But that is OK, good practice running fast without pounding the ground.

Dropped Jeff off at 10, he moved his car and rejoined me for another 2 miles at 11.5. Then I finished the run alone.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:36, 1.5 with Jenny in 13:21, 2 with Benjamin in 16:40, and 0.5 alone. 

Five Fingers - 229.73 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Daniel, Jeff, Michelle, and Josse. We warmed up and then did the tempo. Josse and Daniel just did a brisk mile, Daniel stayed with us, Josse fell back a bit. Jeff and I paced Michelle at 6:00 pace on the Provo River 5 Mile Tempo until she could not go anymore. She hoped to make it to 3, I had suspicions that she could go longer than that and told her we would try to make it to 5 miles. She laughed at me as if she had been 90 years old and had just been told she could have a child.

After 2.62 of warmup we started the tempo. Knowing the importance of proper pacing to maximize the distance that Michelle could hold the pace for I checked the splits nearly every 1/16th of a mile to make sure we were hitting them as close as possible. First mile was 5:58 followed by a 5:59. No "give me five" were necessary to keep Michelle on pace until we've done a 180 and had to get back to speed. 18:00 at 3 miles, 6:03 with a 180. She did the next quarter in 1:29, and after that mentally lost some steam because in her mind she was done. I tried to convince her to go longer but she was too stubborn, and we did not have $100 per quarter on pace in the FRB budget to keep her going. Not yet, at least. She stopped at 3.625 mark slowing down to 1:35 quarter followed by a 1/8 in 48.

Finished 13 with Jeff and Michelle, then added another 2.1.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:40, 1.5 with Jenny in 13:10, 2.5 by myself in 19:26. Pushed Jacob the entire run.

Five Fingers - 249.83 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.25Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff early in the morning in 1:19:32.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:51, 1.5 with Jenny in 13:13, 2 with Benjamin in 16:35, 5.5 alone in 40:59. 

Five Fingers - 269.92 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 6.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.75
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeff and Daniel. Did a 200 meter time trial on the BYU track in the middle of a 16 mile run. It was not the best day for a sprint time trial - the track was wet and there was an odd wind blowing on the curve. And we had been doing distance on top of everything with very little sprinting. But it was OK, since all three of us had to deal with the same issues, and I just wanted to know the differences in all out speed rather off distance training than a true all out speed potential. Did 4x100 for a warm-up, missed the first, second in 16.6, then 15.3 and 15.6. Then ran a 200 racing each other with a jogging start. Jeff got 27.1, I got 30.0, Daniel was right there with me. Decided to see if we'd be faster the second time around. Jeff did 28.0, me 30.4, Daniel 30.5. Then did a control 100 meters staying together on purpose to see the differences in self-timing. I got 17.6, Jeff got 17.3 even though we ran together.

T4 Racer -  124.78 miles

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:09, 1.5 with Jenny in 13:23, 2 with Benjamin in 17:45. 

Five Fingers -  274.42 miles

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.67Total Sleep Time: 8.42
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 15 miles. Total time 1:58:36. Started with Daniel and Jeff. Matt joined us. Did some VPB pickups, thus 1.3 miles of marathon pace. Dropped Jeff and Daniel at 10.1. Ran a lap around the block with Sarah. Her legs were hurting, so she cut her run short. Went for some more afterwards.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:59, 1.6 with Jenny to the church picnic in 14:13 pushing Jacob and Joseph, then back the scenic way 2.4 still pushing Jacob and Joseph total time for 4 miles was 33:31.

Five Fingers - 294.42 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.67Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.67
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Did a DesNews specific workout with Jeff. Since he is not running DesNews marathon and is more injury prone than me, we modified his workout a bit to eliminate Squaw Peak decent for him. So he warmed up two miles then met me at my house. We did a leisurely warm-up at around 7:30-7:40 pace to the base of the Squaw Peak road which turned out to be 8.3 miles. The we ran a tempo up Squaw Peak Stairway to Glory. According to the Course Tool, it gains 1694 feet over 4.25 miles, which turns out to be 7.6% grade on average. So basically paved Ragnar leg about 2000 feet lower. My GPS measured 4.29 on the way up and 4.35 on the way down. There were painted marks on the road and the GPS was measuring less than the painted marks on the way up at 4 miles. I imagine we did better tangents that whoever painted the marks. But who cares about the exact distance anyway on a grade that steep - the times and paces are meaningless unless you have a comparison context.

Jeff was having a fun time - had to ease off for me a couple of times to keep the gap smaller, his wife Kimia called him on the phone a couple of times and he talked to her without too much trouble. She was supposed to pick him up at the top and drive him down. So she just wanted to make sure she was going the right way. I was working pretty hard and still could not keep up with Jeff. We were beating the 7:30 guy up to 3 miles, and then the grade got steeper and the elevation increased as well. So we slowed down to 8:00 pace. The last quarter was miserable - the grade is the steepest there. I ran it in 2:16, Jeff already had a gap on me, and he increased it some but not much. My time was 32:37, which is a 20 second PR. Last time I ran it was 2006, and I did get my old PR of 32:57 then.

I rested for a couple of minutes at the top, then Kimia took Jeff down, and I ran another tempo in the opposite direction. The road was wet, and it did matter at faster speeds. Additionally I was not used to the grade of this steepness, had not had enough practice lately. Plus the fatigue of having run 12 miles already was starting to affect me. So 5:00 pace was about all I could do. Was not breathing very hard. Ran the decent in 21:44. In the past with more downhill practice and doing it earlier in the run I've been able to do it a good minute faster. When I did that in the past I was breathing like a mad man and my HR was around 163. On the ascent I could only get 160 until the steep section, and then it got into 162-163 area. Today I did not have an HRM with me, but based on how I felt I would guess by HR was around 163 on the ascent and 155 on the decent.

Met Jeff at the bottom, we jogged to the Provo River trail (about 0.1) and started another tempo. Ran 4 miles down about a 1% grade to Wills Pit Stop where Kimia picked us up. Our time was 23:19 with the last mile in 5:31. That last tempo was hard, my head was fuzzy and the legs did not want to respond, I felt very unmotivated to be sub-6:00 but pushed past the barrier out of a sense of duty. Jeff started turning up the heat on the last mile, and I did not think I had much juice in me, but I was able to zone out, ignore the fatigue and stay with him. The feeling is not a surprise as I was between miles 17 and 21 for the whole run. Good preparation for DesNews.

T4 Racer - 145.83 miles. 

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:50, 1.5 with Benjamin, Jenny, and Jared. Benjamin went ahead and ran 12:40, Jenny got 12:42, I stayed with Jared and we did 12:55. I pushed Jacob in the single stroller. Then ran another 0.5 with Jared in 4:28, Benjamin ran ahead and did 3:55, total of 16:35 for 2 miles for Benjamin.

Five Fingers - 297.42 miles.

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

Eventful Sunday. Sore quads from yesterday, but that was to be expected. In fact, the level of soreness exactly according to the plan. Still makes chasing kids difficult.

Jacob was being fussy in the sacrament meeting, so Sarah told me to take him out. He calmed down while I was carrying him, so I just sat down on a back row. I tried to pay attention to the talks, they were good, but I missed the second talk almost entirely due to a special spiritual experience with the code name of Lehi's dream. The problem is that I cannot sleep past 6 AM any more. But I do very well later in the morning :-)

Taught a class in Sunday school, and then Sarah reminded me that Benjamin had a talk in Primary, and we totally spaced it out, and he was not prepared. So I went to fix that. His talk went OK aside from the fact that he did not think so and hid behind a chair after he finished it. Some interesting behavior from a guy that can average 6:50 pace in a 5 K. He also can boast being spoon fed at breakfast the day after he broke the 8:00 mile (he was a month away from his 6th birthday then). I suppose we all progress at different rates in different areas.

Got a good nap in the afternoon.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Quads still sore. Worse than after any marathon except DesNews. Which was exactly the purpose of the workout on Saturday, so no complaints about that.

Ran 8 with Jeff and Daniel. Matt joined us en route for a portion. Then did 2.1 around the block with Jeff, and 5 more alone. Total time was 1:56:45. A little faster at the end than normal, last 5 miles in 36:33. I think I am getting used to Five Fingers, faster pace is not as painful on the feet as it used to be (which was the reason for running 8:00 pace on most of the runs in the last three weeks). I am excited about this. I figured running in the Five Fingers will either injure something or correct something. I was not sure which direction it was going for a while, as the right foot sometimes would hurt, but it never got worse, and I could not feel anything in racing flats, so I figured keep trying. I think the right foot is starting to straighten out.

Measured the sizes of various parts of the leg with Jeff. Measurements in inches. Lower shin, thinnest part - Jeff 7.5, me 8.375. Calf, the widest part, flexed - both 14.5 inches. Quad, widest part, flexed - me 21 inches, Jeff - 20 inches. Wrist - both 6.5 inches.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:58. Then pushed Jacob in the single stroller for the rest of the run. 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 12:59, then another 0.5 with Benjamin in 3:58, and 2 with no running kids in 15:43. 

Five Fingers - 312.52 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.33Total Sleep Time: 8.33
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Josse, and Matt. Total distance was 15.1 in 1:55:57. Did a VPB pickup - 0.5 in 2:41. It felt easier than it ever has in Five Fingers. I also noticed that the balls of my feet are developing pretty thick callouses. Some natural padding.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:48. 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 12:50, then 0.5 with Benjamin in 3:36, then pushed Jacob and Joseph in the double stroller for two miles - 15:43.

Five Fingers - 332.62 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.25Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 7.75
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeff and Matt. We did some sprints. 2x100 15.3, 15.2. Then 200 in 31.3, and 2x100 14.6, 15.3. Because we jogged so slowly in between, and because of how much we got into a conversation, our time at 10.1 was 1:24:08, I think we earned the title of boltuny, which would be the masculine plural of boltushka. Then I ran 5.05 alone in 34:47 with a 0.5 pickup in the middle at 5:20 pace. The magic mark 0.5 into the pickup was erased, but I hit the first quarter in 1:21, and was 2:20 with 1/16th to go. It felt very good. The reason I did this pickup was that for some reason 7:00 pace felt hard. I wanted to see if there was a real problem or if I was just being lazy. 5:20 felt nice and relaxed, I felt like I could hold it forever.

T4 Racer - 160.98 miles.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:56, 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 11:57, 0.5 more with Benjamin in 3:48, 2 alone in 13:43.

Five Fingers - 337.62 miles. 

Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeff and Tyler. Jeff was running easy because is running in Sound to Narrows and wants to be reasonably fresh. Tyler and I did a tempo run. The plan was to measure how long Tyler can handle 5:40 pace going up to 7.5 miles but no more. I wore Five Fingers, which made 5:40 pace a challenge for me as well.

We warmed up 3.88. The warmup was brisk. We put over a minute on the 8:00 guy. This is brisk by our new boltun standards. I think Tyler was the pace pushing element. If you leave Jeff and me alone, and we are talking, the pace can be easily slower than 8:00 until we realize we need to get home in time.

Went through the first 200 in 43, it felt brisk, and I said to myself - done with 1/60th of the run. Then after a quarter I said, done with 1/30th, and that felt better. First mile in 5:38, then 5:39. Felt hard. Lost concentration before the turnaround, and lost all of the lead on the 5:40 guy. 14:10 at 2.5. OK, done with 1/3, that sounds a lot better. Pushed the gas pedal to get back on pace, overdid it a bit, started hitting 1:23 quarters. Tyler seemed to be OK, so I figured we'd just keep the pace. 16:58 at 3 miles (5:41), 22:31 at 4 (5:33). Wow, almost done, and I am feeling stronger than I was earlier. I think the increasing proximity of the finish was progressively cheering me up. Noticed that if I tense the ankle and the glut I get a very good push off without making the feet hurt.

At 4.5 Tyler started feeling tired and said he only wanted to do 5. I said more. He said 6. I said 6.25. He said OK. We hit 5 in 28:13 (5:42), then did a 180 and were 33:57 at 6 (5:44), and finished 6.25 in 35:22, that would be 35:09 for the 10 K, which is a PR for Tyler. I set all kinds of Five Finger PRs as well - I think all distances 1 mile through 10 K.

Found Jeff on the trail afterwards, cooled down together. Dropped Tyler off 12.75 into the run, he threw up shortly after stopping, first time he threw up after a run. He is now a proud member of the elite Clyde/Logan vomit on the run club. Jeff and I ran loops around the block to add extra distance. I ended up with 15.2 for the run.

P.M - 1 with Julia in 9:52, 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 12:54, 2.5 alone in 18:39. 

Five Fingers - 357.47 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.25Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.25
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 15.02 in 1:50:56, first three with Tyler, the rest alone. Jeff is flying to Washington to see his family and to run Sound to Narrows 12 K.

P. M. 5 in 40:59, including first 1.32 to the library with Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, and Jared. Jared is not our kid, he is Ted's son, he is with us for a sleepover. Ran into Daniel and ran with him some as well.

Five Fingers - 377.49 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Race: Heart of Holladay 5 K (3.107 Miles) 00:16:38, Place overall: 9
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran Heart of Holladay 5 K in 16:38, 9th place. The race was very competitive as expected. The whole family came. It does not happen very often anymore due to the difficulty of bringing everybody at an early hour. But Benjamin and Jenny were racing, and Sarah wanted to go to a special discount grocery store (NPS) in Salt Lake, so we all came.

Warmed up 2 miles. The gun went off, and I really did not like being in a 5 K. I wanted it to be a 10 K. But you cannot place high in the circuit without running 5 Ks, and we were also doing a campaign for Kim to get into St. George, so I was there. Plus a little push and a kick in the pants a hard 5 K gives you is good once in a while. A fairly sizeable pack pulled away. I considered going with them, but then I saw that Nate Hornok and Matt Harmer were going out a little slower, and I fell for the temptation to run with them. The slow start was right for them but wrong for me. They would later be strong on the uphill if they started slow, but I would run it at the same pace regardless of how I started. I knew that, but I erred on the side of laziness anyway. First mile in 5:14 instead of a more appropriate 5:08 on a slight rolling uphill.

The second mile starts with a slight up, then goes down, and flattens out. Matt dropped back a bit, we passed James Moore (Fiddy), Nate pulled me up closer to Steve Ashbaker, John Coles, and Dave Spence. Josh Steffen was a bit ahead of them, then Dennis Simonaitis and Alexander Thomas together, and Teren Jameson ahead of everyone. I caught a 3 K split - 9:41. By that time Nate was starting to press the pace, and I was barely hanging on. The feeling was odd, though previously experienced and expected. I felt like if I eased off by as little as 5 seconds a mile I could race a 15 K or maybe even a half. But I could not find 5 seconds a mile within me to run one more mile 5 seconds faster. In theory you should be able to address that with speed work. In practice, what has happened in the past is that speed work does help me keep the gap between the half and the 5 K pace bigger, but mostly because the half is slower. I gain 10-15 seconds in a 5 K and lose a minute in the half compared to high mileage, and no speed work other than occasional tempos and races.

2 miles in 10:25 (5:11). That is encouraging. Not 10:25, but 5:11 after 5:14. Maybe the momentum would help be get up the hill at a good pace. Well, we hit the uphill. I did not feel too miserable. But I could not go any faster. Nate pulled away like there was no tomorrow. But that time I had passed Steve, but everybody else was still ahead. Matt Harmer went by, and I could not latch on him. I closed the gap on John Cole a bit. Once it flattened out I pulled up to him, he pressed harder and dropped me, I pulled up again, he pressed again and dropped me, I reeled him in, 3 miles in 16:04 (uphill mile in 5:39, unspectacular but not exceptionally horrible). I was about to pass him, and thought for a moment the deal was done and was planning a forward lean at the finish line, but then he found another gear and beat me by a second. My time on the watch was 16:36, officially 16:38. Others:

Teren 15:18, Dennis 15:44, Alexander 15:56, Nate 16:02 (his last 1.1 split was 5:38, same as Teren's), Josh 16:07, Dave 16:19, Matt 16:25, John 16:37, Steve 16:48, James 16:52.

Went back to pace Benjamin (9 years old). His back and muscles all over the body have been hurting lately (growth pains?) so I was not expecting much. He toughed it out and finished in 22:09, 2nd place in his age division (1-11) after Alexander Berry who got 21:23. Jenny goofed off today. I think she is still too little to run well without a pacer. When I found her, she was jogging along (without much effort) with a 6 year old girl at around 8:30 pace. I suppose Jenny was feeling overwhelmed by the adult crowd and decided to just run alongside a little kid. I told her to speed up, which she did, but not enough to drop her. They both started flying by the adult crowd. Jenny's 6 year old competitor was quite a speedy girl. At the end Jenny pulled ahead of her competitor, which gave her third place in her age division (1-11) and 26:19 for the time, which is quite a bit slower than what she was capable of. We'll try again in another race, this time I'll be there start to finish. Nevertheless, it is interesting to note that even with this level of effort Jenny (7 years old) would have gotten an age division award in a number of non-master adult age divisions.

On the positive side, our blogger Kim Lee who we put on the forms got into St. George. This is good not only for Kim but also for the blog. Will make it easier to convince race directors to advertise their races with us.

Passed out the FRB/St. George Running Center cards. Benjamin, Jenny, and especially Julia helped. Then ran a short cool down. Will run more tonight.

T4 Racer - 168.59 miles.

P.M. 1.1 with Julia in 11:14, then 11.5 with Daniel in 1:19:32. We kept it brisker than normal, but still within an acceptable range. The temperatures were in the 80s. The asphalt was warm and soft and I could feel it in Five Fingers. So sub-7:00 happened more naturally than it normally does when it is only 50-60 degrees and the asphalt is hard. Interestingly enough, I was not the only creature that liked warm asphalt today. We saw a short green snake warming itself on the trail and I jumped over it. Ran at 5:30 pm, had no food or drink since about 1:30 pm, but I was not feeling either hungry or thirsty, so I decided to see how well I will do in the heat off blood volume. Did OK, could not feel the heat very much.

Five Fingers - 390.19 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest.

Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 10.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeff. First 10.1 in 1:09:09. Then ran 0.35 with Sarah and the rest alone. Saw that I was behind the 7:00 guy by 25 seconds with 2 mile to go and decided to beat him with the minimal casualties. Ran a mile in 5:56 to make him give up, then jogged the rest of the way. 1:44:42 for 15 miles.

Did some more limb measurements with Jeff. Was about an inch longer than him in the thigh length as well as the shin length. In the earlier measurements my quad was an inch bigger in circumference in the widest part. We measured the narrowest part near the knee. I was 15.5 inches, he had only 13.5. I think we finally got to the reason why my quads look so big. They are actually rather normal width for the length of the thigh, but unusually wide in the lower thigh by the knee. My vastus medialis looks a lot bigger than Jeff's.

P.M. 1.2 with Julia to the park in 12:00 with Benjamin and Jenny following on their bikes. 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny running in 12:58. Then 2.35 in 17:41 with Benjamin and Jenny on their bikes in the last 1.2.  

Five Fingers - 410.24 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeff and Josse. Jeff and I did an interesting workout. The target was to go 73 seconds per quarter until I could not hold the pace, then once the failure became obvious finish at the closest quarter mark. The first quarter was right on target - 73. On the second one Jeff put a bit too much pepper on my plate - 70. No wonder it felt so hard - I began to think wow, my anaerobic capabilities are so bad that I can barely make it to 0.5 doing 73s? Hit the 0.625 mark (a bit over 1 K) in 3:00, that was good. Then 3:37 at 0.75 (74). Around that point I started falling apart. No heavy legs, just all of a sudden cannot go, and do not understand why. That was not good. Next quarter was 78, stopped at the mile in 4:55.

What was interesting about the experience is that the boundary between, well, I can do this for a while and no this is not sustainable for more than another quarter was very thin. Which is expected when you do purely aerobic training, and is actually good in the marathon because the moment you start running too fast it hurts enough to alert you to the problem. With some anaerobic training I could of course train myself to sustain 73s for longer. But that would do me no good in the marathon. I want to be more aerobic at that pace, and sufficiently aerobic at 5:00 pace to make it through the 5 mile tempo. How do we do that? Big mystery, exciting mystery.

Here is an idea - find out a way to shut down the anaerobic gear without shutting the nervous system down with it, and do some high volume speed work as fast as the aerobic gear will let you.

For the rest of the run we ran easy with Josse and had her do 2x100. She did the first in 16.4, and the second in 16.6. Dropped Josse off, went around the block twice while Jeff went to the bathroom, then ran another 4.25 with Jeff. Total of 15.05.

T4 Racer- 183.64 miles. 

P.M.1 with Julia in 9:55, 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 12:55, 2.5 alone in18:29.

Five Fingers - 415.29 miles

Night Sleep Time: 7.25Nap Time: 0.67Total Sleep Time: 7.92
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeff and Daniel. Daniel went 10.1, Jeff ran 14.1. I added another mile. Total of 1:55:55 for 15.1. 0.8 of marathon pace is due to VPB intervals.

Jeff has been officially appointed as the chorister and the lead singer in Van1 for the performance of Bingo on my legs. We practiced a bit today trying to figure out the appropriate beat frequency.

P.M. Errand jogging - 0.5 miles. 2.5 alone in 18:25, 1 with Julia in 10:49, 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 12:57.

Five Fingers - 435.39 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Started with Daniel. About 3.7 into the run we caught up to Luz and invited her to join us. Paced her through a mile in 8:02. Then she did not slow down much after that, so we just stayed with her for the whole 8. She ran with us all the way to my house, which gave Sarah a training partner to run as well afterwards. Total time for 8 was 1:06:18.

A bit later a mile with Julia in 8:46.

P.M. 2.5 alone in 18:07, 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 12:53.

Five Fingers - 447.39 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.25Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.25
Race: Wasatch Back Relay (180.5 Miles) 17:54:16, Place overall: 2
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 2.5 in 17:29 by myself, 1 with Julia in 9:46, 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 13:07.

Five Fingers - 452.39 miles.

P.M. Ran leg 5 in 47:59. Details to follow.

Now the details. BYU finally put together a real team. Good for us. Will hopefully teach us to be humble, and will hopefully help us get a better appreciation for Quality X and the importance of developing it if we want to run in the OTQ range.

Before the race James and Cody entered some data into Paul's spreadsheet. Whatever came out was called the original projection. I adjusted the flat places, made a few adjustments to the calculations and then went through it leg by leg and manually adjusted the predictions that I felt were still way off to more reasonable values. The new projections were called Sasha Science projections. Interestingly enough, the original projection said we would finish in 17:39:35, while Sasha Science said 17:39:38 - essentially the same end result, but lots of leg time variations. Both ended up quite a bit off, although for different reasons.

First leg. Jeff McClellan on the White Team, Mitch Zundell on the Blue Team, Kyle Perry on the BYU team, and Mike Vick from Runner's Corner. 90-95 degrees at the start. To add a little bit of drama - Jeff ran for BYU before his mission as a walk-on, then after his mission got cut. So he had something to prove. He hit his first mile in 5:05 (uphill), followed by 5:18, 5:27, 5:53 (uphill), 5:53 (uphill). He finished his leg in 28:28 which was 5.14 miles, 5:32 average. Not bad for uphill (0.2 grade, 132 feet of loss, 192 feet of gain) and 90 degrees. 26:32 for Kyle, 27:42 for Mike. His Sasha Science projection was 29:08. The original projection was 31:00. Mitch finished in 29:40, very good for being out of shape. Another reminder of the importance of Quality X.

Second leg. Hayden Hawks on our team against Nate Ogden (BYU) and Jared Kelly (Runner's Corner). Hayden struggled with the heat but still managed 39:44 for 6.73 miles, 5:54 average. Not bad for 90 degrees and 0.7% net uphill grade with 292 feet of gain and 192 feet of loss. His Sasha Science projection was 39:30, his original projection was 41:19. Jared ran very well and gapped Hayden by a couple of minutes. Probably about the same gap for Nate. So we were about 4 minutes behind BYU at this point.

Third leg. 5.65 miles. 0.3% uphill, 42 feet of loss, 275 feet of gain. Iain Hunter for BYU, a girl for Runner's Corner (UVU runner, I think), and Tyler for us. Tyler started out as expected, first two miles at 5:45 pace. Passed the Runner's Corner girl, after that we never saw Runner's Corner. Then a 5:57, and then something really odd happened. 6:24, and 6:45. This should not have happened even in 90 degrees and dehydrated. Maybe 6:10 and 6:20 at the very worst. I told him he needs to eat like a heart patient, lots of fiber, very minimal to no cholesterol. Something somewhere is wrong. Tyler toughed it out and finished in 34:42, 6:08 average. His Sasha Science projection was 33:30, his original projection was 34:43. After he was done he headed straight for the Honey Bucket. I got into one right next to him to address my own needs, and we had a lovely discussion of his leg. On the positive side, he made the first road kill, or in other words, passed a team that started earlier. I thought a fluke, somebody must have gotten a wrong start time, but then there was more road kill on the legs to follow.

Forth leg. 5.09 miles. 0.6% uphill. 315 feet gain, 152 feet loss. Walter Brown on our team against Aaron Robison (BYU). Walter got 31:27, 6:10 pace, Sasha Science projection was 31:37, original was 31:20. Splits: 5:21, 5:45, 6:00, 6:10, 6:22. Cody ran 31:48 last year. Who knows how far behind BYU.

Fifth leg was mine. Avon Pass. 7.41 miles. 2.9% uphill. 1210 feet gain, 54 feet loss. I enjoyed every one of those 54 feet. Ran against Jon Kotter. He showed me what Quality X was all about with a 43:44 against mine 47:59. Sasha Science projection 48:40, original 49:30. Splits - 5:56, 6:13, 6:35, 6:21, 6:33, 6:58, 7:22, next quarter in 1:37 (6:28 pace), last 405 feet in 0:27, 5:56 pace. The leg showed as 7.33 on the GPS. Possibly because of the GPS error, or possibly because I did my tangents very well. 6:33 pace if the GPS was right, 6:29 if the 7.41 distance was right. Paul ran 46:17 last year.

There were some interesting things on that leg. There was a farmer, had a dog, and BINGO was his name, and he was roaming along the road without a leash or an owner in sight. I was in racing mode, and it was a small dog, so I figured if it attacked me I'd give it some James MonaFlash treatment. Passed it without an incident.

More road kill than I expected. Interesting team vehicle - a pickup truck. Actually not a bad idea, makes sleeping easier.

Jeff McClellan demonstrated his singing ability while running at a pace that would make most people throw up. Talents are meant to be shared, and I've been making him practice, so cannot let that go to waste. He sang BINGO to me as he handed me a large bottle of Powerade and ran with me as I took a few sips so he could take it back.

Overall I felt strong, got into good rhythm, used the measly 54 feet of drop very well, the gear box worked when I had to shift.

Leg 6, Jeff Shadley on our team against Tyrell Jensen. 6.92 miles. 3.0 % grade net drop. 277 feet of gain, and 1396 feet of drop. We made a mistake on this leg assignment underestimating the pounding effect of that downhill. It is very nasty - dirt, lots of turns, and a three mile stretch of 8% downhill. More quad-trashing that we realized. Jeff damaged his quads on this leg, and it hurt him for the rest of the relay and threw him off his projections. He ran 39:04, 5:39 pace. Sasha Science projected 37:21, and the original projection was 37:09. Splits: 6:22 (uphill), 6:04 (uphill then start of smoking down), 4:46 (steep downhill on gravel), 4:46 (still steep ), 5:31 (leveling off), 6:01 (flat ), 0.93M-5:33

Error analysis: we should have put Clyde on leg 5, me on leg 6, and Jeff on leg 12.

Iain Hunter told me the gap now was 12:44. I thought it was a compliment to our team that they bothered to time the gap.

T4 Racer - 193.04 miles

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Race: Wasatch Back Relay (180.5 Miles) 17:54:16, Place overall: 2
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Wasatch Back continues. Leg 17 in 36:43, and Leg 29 in 20:18. Details to follow.

The end of the first shift of Van 1 was followed by a logistical mistake. Instead of getting our rear ends into Kimball's Expedition and hurrying over to the next exchange to sleep we lounged around, and then followed Van 1 of the Blue team to Subway. Mental note. Next time find somebody ideally in Huntsville, less ideally but still good in Eden or Liberty that would not mind having six stinky guys + the driver come and crash at his house. Sleep is critical to success on the second and third legs for everybody, but particularly to the neurologically limited runners, which in my estimate would be about half of our team.

We hurried over to the next exchange, dropped Jeff off in a hurry, dealt with a traffic jam. I am sure glad Jeff is as disciplined and detail oriented as he is, or we would have miffed that exchange. It was dark, lots of teams, you could not see one's face well enough to recognize it. I did not recognize Jon Allen from 5 feet away. He said, how is our team doing? My answer was, "which team?", with the implication of - why in the world do you expect me to know how your team is doing? I do not even know who you are.

Mental note for the future. On the van-to-van hand-off, the first runner in the next van must carry a watch with precise time (or at least now exactly how much off his watch is), and must make sure he is at the exchange at least 5 minutes prior to the time estimate given by the previous van in case a miracle happens or the previous leg turns out to be short. Cell phones sometimes do not work. However, the arrival time is fairly predictable, at least the earliest physically possible arrival time. After that deadline, no potty visits, strides, or anything. Stand there, listen with both ears for the team number, and stare like a hawk at the arriving runners. A volunteer could easily miss a Fast Passing Runner, especially in the dark.

Van 2 brought us the baton about 2 minutes behind schedule.

Leg 13. 8.47 miles. 3.2% net drop. 712 feet of gain, and 2128 feet of drop. First mile uphill, the rest steep rolling down. Jeff McClellan against Kyle Perry. Jeff's splits speak for themselves - 6:35, 4:54, 4:53, 5:06, 5:22, 5:05, 4:50, 4:53, and 4:50 pace for the rest of the leg. 44:05, 5:12 average. Sasha Science projected 44:59, the original projection was 45:20. Kyle Perry (BYU) ran 43:33. Sweet for Jeff, only 32 seconds behind the BYU super-runner. We were 16:54 behind after leg 13.

Leg 14. 3.00 miles. 85 feet of drop, 145 feet of gain. Hayden Hawks against Nate Ogden. Hayden ran 16:22, 5:27 pace, was projected to run 16:34 by Sasha Science, 17:40 originally. Hayden's form reminds me of Ryan Hall. Who knows, he might run 2:06 marathon when he grows up, I would not be surprised. Jared Kelly ran this leg in 16:00. No data on BYU times from this point.

Leg 15. 4.95 miles officially, measured 5.05 on the GPS. 208 feet of drop, 265 feet of gain. 0.2% climb. Tyler ran through a side-ache in 29:02. Sasha Science projected him at 28:45, original projection was 28:32. Average Garmin pace 5:45, if the leg was right, then 5:51.

Leg 16. Officially 3.05, measured 2.93 on Walter's Garmin. 31 feet of drop, 74 feet of gain, 0.3% grade. He ran it in 17:02, 5:48 pace. Sasha Science projection was 17:31 (5:44 pace), the original projection was 17:46 (5:49 pace). The projections assumed 3.05 miles. Splits: 5:40, 5:57, 5:48 pace for 0.93.

Leg 17. Officially 5.87, measured 6.03 on my Garmin. 103 feet of drop, 339 feet of climb. 0.8 % grade. Started at 12:33 AM. Felt sleepy and weak on this leg. Ran 36:43, 6:06 average pace. Was projected to run by Sasha Science in 34:18, 5:51 pace. The original projection said 34:23, 5:52 pace. Splits: 5:46, 6:06, 6:08, 5:56, 6:07, 6:31, and 5:55 pace to the finish. It is interesting to compare my splits with Chad's who ran the same leg: 6:09, 6:05, 6:03, 6:00, 6:07, 6:23. So in other words, in the first mile I was myself, from 2 to 5 I became Chad (in his current shape), and on the last mile I was transformed into a runner that is 8 seconds a mile slower than Chad. This was a clear case of neural fatigue. Next year we'll try Operation Huntsville Nap and see if that makes a difference (assuming I am in Van 1 again, which I should be because it would be a disaster to put me in Van 2). I was rather surprised that I was passing mostly fit looking young men running around 7:00-7:30 rather than mostly women running 10:00 pace as I was expecting. Every time I'd come up on one due to my past race experience (you never start behind somebody except a race like this) I would think, well as weak as I am feeling, he's going to try to hang with me. Maybe I'll draft a bit before passing him. But he never did try. Of course, he could not. If you did not even see him a mile earlier, there is no chance he'd be able to go with you. It is like passing somebody who's hit the wall in a marathon. He is a helpless lamb, there is nothing he can do. My mind was playing tricks on me in the middle of the night.

Leg 18. Officially 5.23 miles, measured 5.11 on Jeff's GPS. 201 feet of drop, 695 feet of climb. 1.8% grade climb. Jeff Shadley with his quads already trashed ran 34:40 averaging 6:47. His Sasha Science projection was 33:48 (for 5.23), 6:28 average. Original projection was 32:48, 6:16 average.

We messed up the exchange. It took about 30 seconds for Taylor to find Jeff. Again, a note for the future. We need military discipline in the vans, especially at night. Know the current time, know the earliest your hand off can arrive, and from that time on watch like a hawk without losing vigilance. The runner ideally should never be left alone at the exchange. 5 minutes from the earliest possible arrival the companion should come out and be there to remind the runner to stay vigilant.

Immediately after picking up Jeff we headed over to the North Summit High School in Coalville. Set a PR for the sleep. 70 minutes! This later proved very helpful on the third leg. Being humbled by the hand-off fiasco we were more disciplined. However, we did waste about 5 minutes on a small detail. I forgot the exact location where Tyler and Walter were sleeping, and it was impossible to tell among about 50 sleeping bodies in the dark who was who. So we did a man to man check waking up a few unhappy runners. Some volunteered that they were not either Walter or Tyler before we had a chance to kick them. Note for the future - make sure you know EXACTLY where everyone is sleeping and can find that place in the dark. For the team members - do not go away from the van without telling the van captain (and have an official van captain to begin with) where you are with enough detail that he could find you in less than 60 seconds in case of emergency.

Drove over to the Rockport Lake for Jeff to start his leg. There was a huge jam. We let Jeff out with about a mile to go so he could do his warm up.

Leg 25. 5.60 miles. 385 feet of gain, 155 feet of loss. 1.3% grade. Nasty leg. I ran it last year. Slower than it looks from the elevation profile. Jeff McClellan started his leg at 5:01 AM, about 3 minutes behind Carson Campbell from the Peak Endurance team that started at 4:00 PM, an hour before us. Too much gap for Jeff to make a road kill, but enough to set Hayden up for it. Jeff's splits - 5:34, 5:50, 6:01, 6:30, 6:29, next 0.5 in 2:47, last 509 feet at 5:18 pace. Total time 33:42. Average pace 6:01. The original projection was 33:51, Sasha Science projection was 33:49. Kyle Perry reported that he ran that leg at 5:56-5:57 average. So that puts Jeff at most only a little over 30 seconds behind. Jeff finished about a minute behind Carson. We again lost about 3 seconds on the exchange. This time we did it right for the most part - I was out there with Hayden and kept him alert. But then we both spaced out spaced out, Jeff apparently went by the radio announcer so fast he could not see his number, either that or Hayden and I both spaced out, the volunteers kept us out of the exchange area until the number had been announced, and by the time Jeff got in Hayden was still on the sidewalk. Again shows the importance of being vigilant.

Leg 26. 163 feet of gain, 127 feet of loss. 0.1% grade climb.

Leg 29. I started at 7:05 AM. Splits. 4:52, 4:36, 4:56, 5:30, last 379 feet at 5:40 pace. Average pace 4:59.

T4 Racer - 205.14 miles

P.M. Home to Costco relay with the kids. 1.06 with Julia in 10:48, 1.56 with Jenny in 13:51, and 2.75 with Benjamin in 22:55.

Five Fingers - 452.76 miles

Night Sleep Time: 1.17Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 3.17
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fourth leg of the Wasatch Back this morning in the form of a 7:00 AM Stake Semi-Annual Priesthood meeting.  They always have those at 7:00 AM in our stake. I forgot about the last two and missed them, so this time I was determined not to forget. The Lord blessed me - in spite of missing the sleep in the WBR I felt very energized. I even felt energized afterwards in the three hour block. Once I got home I got a good nap, though.

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 9.75
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A.M. I got my check from Ogden. $550. And along with that I found on my doorstep "a ball of curious workmanship" from Ogden as well. This is what I like to say when I find a gadget on my doorstep. Just like Lehi found Liahona near his tent one day. Except this one does not work according to your faith. It was Suunto t4 foot pod/HRM toy.

I ran 3 miles with Tyler, and then spent the rest of the run playing with the new toy. Good - HRM works well. The adjustable strap might even make it fit on Benjamin, Jenny, and even Julia. Bad - time display is tiny, hard to see. No display of stride frequency, only an estimate of the running speed. It always irks me when a gadget displays what it does not really know (distance) while fails to display what it does know (stride rate, ground contact time, foot acceleration vector). I knew that display of the ground contact time would be unrealistic to expect, much less the foot acceleration vector in any form, but I did hope that I could at least get the stride frequency. Without it, the foot pod is annoyingly useless even when calibrated. In hopes that it would be somewhat reliable, I went through the trouble of attaching it to my shoe (now I am having a hard time taking it off, too). Before calibration, it was showing a pace 30 seconds per mile slower that actual at around 8:00 pace. After calibration at 8:00 pace it got better at paces slower than 7:00 mile, almost satisfactory. However, at sub-6:00 pace it was showing a faster pace by about 5 seconds a mile.

I could put up with that if it was not for this quirk. I accelerated quickly in one stride, and then eased off in the next in the middle of jogging at 7:50-8:00 pace. It showed 5:05 for the accelerating stride, and 12:30 on the ease-off stride. I can guarantee you I did not go from 7:50 to 5:05 in one stride, or from 5:05 to 12:30 in the next. The manual did warm about it, though. But I do this all the time when I run.

Ran a mile in 5:25, got HR up to 164. Total of 15.1 for the run.

P.M. 1.33 with the Benjamin, Jenny, and Julia to the library in 13:03, back with Benjamin and Jenny, this gave us 25:37 for 2.65. Then another 2.5 in 18:46. Ran into Jacob Howell, and then shortly after a BYU runner Rich Nelson who ran leg 10. Found out from him the composition of their Van 2: Jason Dorais, Warren Davis, Chad Durham, Rich Nelson, Ryan Merriman, and Derek Taylor. According to him they had no pace projections like us, just ran.

Five Fingers - 465.45 miles.

T4 Racer - 212.69 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
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A.M. Michelle came for a speed workout. We did 4x1 mile on the trail. Original plan was 5:45 each with 200 meter recovery. Michelle rebelled. I suggested we extend the recovery to 400 first time she is slower than 5:45. She did 5:40.1, 200 recovery, Matt joined us for the remainder of the workout. 5:46.5, 400 recovery, 5:45.1, 400 recovery, 5:45.7. Matt pulled away on the last one, was probably around 5:42-5:43. HR peaked at 157 a couple of times, once when we hit two 85 quarters back to back on the third one, and the other time when Michelle kicked with a 39 200 on the last one. Otherwise it stayed under 153. When Michelle struggled (88-89 quarters), it was 148, what a cold insensitive heart! However, when I yelled at her to give me five, it would go up to 152. Next time we should give the watch to Michelle so she could see my HR and play the "make Sasha work" game. If anybody wants to play it, feel free to come. Also, towing subjects wanted for power training. I have a harness I want to use to do some power training without hills (more specific to flat running), but nobody to tow this week. Ideally I want somebody slower so there is no way we can run a certain pace when the partner is being towed by having him just run that pace. This is also good for the slower runner - overspeed training.

After we finished the cool down, ran around the block 16 times.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:03, 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 13:08, another 0.5 with Benjamin in  3:51, then 2 alone in 14:40.

Five Fingers - 485.42 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.25Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 9.25
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran alone. 15.07 in 1:52:20. This run took my Five Fingers over the 500 mile boundary. I think Steve Hooper will have to tell his sales rep that Five Fingers can go quite a bit over 500 miles.

Did some experiments trying different form alterations and observing their impact on HR at the same pace, or the pace at the same HR. Discovered one thing - we are took quick to conclude that changing the form has given us a performance boost. I would do something different, it would make me run faster, but HR would go up as well. So in other words, I wanted it to work bad enough that I subconsciously sped up and ignored the increased effort, which was easy to do when the pace is in the 7:00 - 7:30 range.

However, I did find something that appeared to be effective. No dramatic effect, but at least something. If I focused on a quick push and then a quick transition to relaxation as soon as the leg was off the ground, I was able to bring my HR down from 125 to 123 at the same pace (7:25 per mile). This was difficult to do properly, though. Not surprising, if it was easy I would have figured it out already. I kept doing one of the two - either relax too much and forget to power, in which case the HR stayed at 123 but the pace dropped to 7:35-7:40, or I would get excited, power hard, but then forget to relax. This would bring the pace up to under 7:10, but HR went up to 126-127.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:56, 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 13:07, 0.5 with Benjamin in 3:56, and 2.5 alone in 14:58. Managed to fit the HRM on Benjamin. His HR was around 160 at 9:00 pace, around 174 at  8:00 pace, and after about 0.1 of sub-8:00 pace followed by 100 meters in 23 (6:08 pace) it got up to 186. First time I've been able to observe his HR at different speeds. 

Five Fingers - 505.49 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Adam the first 5 miles. First we ran 0.5 to verify that he still had the same problem last time we checked. He did. We went through the first quarter in 1:28, and after that he was unable to hold 6:00, and ended up with 3:01.7. He was not breathing very hard at all, but could not go any faster. Bad nervous system problem. Whatever I've got, he has 10 times worse. Helps me put things into perspective. Then I did a little bit of experimental power training dragging him with a harness 3 times, each time for 10 seconds. After that he was concerned he might aggravate an old injury, so we stopped.

Dropped him off, ran around the block. Then ran with the kids. 1.05 with Julia in 10:24, 1.5 in 13:26 with Benjamin and Jenny, 0.5 with Benjamin in 4:22. Then a dog came. Benjamin identified it as a dalmatian. Wikipedia says that dalmatians have excellent endurance and are very energetic and playful. This one was so energetic and playful that after about a quarter of running (1:37) I did not have a choice except put its endurance to a test. At 5:40 pace its playfulness decreased enough to where it was trailing behind and was not trying to hit my legs with its nose. I was encouraged and picked up the pace even more. Unfortunately we were now on the trail next to the river, which provided a nice shade and cooler temperatures thus favoring the dog. I kept up the pressure and on the last mile the dog started to falter. I was encouraged again because I knew once we got away from the river it would be warmer and I would be able to drop it. My expectations were correct. I put about a 10 second gap on the dog in the last 0.4. It came in huffing and puffing after I finished. I was delighted over my success in asserting human dominion over a small part of the animal kingdom in the area of endurance. Total time for the last 2.5 was 14:10 including the first non-tempo quarter in 1:37. Last mile was 5:31. Average pace over the last 2.25 of my unplanned dog tempo run was 5:34.

Total of 15.1 for the run.

P.M. Ran 5 miles in 39:01 in the evening. HR readings were very low in spite of the 80-90 degree heat. In fact, the were even lower than what I would have expected them in cool weather. About 118 at 7:30 pace on average. Started out very slow, felt exceptionally sluggish in the heat, and HR for a while completely refused to go above 105, while the pace refused to go faster than 8:00. Felt more energetic after 2 miles. I think I am starting to understand why they say "oppressive heat". Looks like the brain starts employing defense mechanisms directly in response to the heat vs in response to reduced blood volume from sweating.

Also did a stair test with myself, Sarah, Benjamin, and Jenny.  The test consists of running up a stairway of 11 stairs as fast as you can landing on every stair. Results - Benjamin - 2.8, Jenny - 2.9, me -3.3 (self-timed), 3.6 (Benjamin-timed), Sarah - 3.8. I timed everybody when I was not running. The test is supposed to measure your ability to quickly contract and relax a muscle, which I believe is an important component in the Quality X. I wondered if the fact that Benjamin was closer to his natural stride length for the stair climb allowed him to contract/relax more efficiently. So we did a test skipping every other stair. The times were 2.3 for him and 3.1 for me, so no, I am just bad it at. The fact that I was not that much better in this ability than pregnant woman 25 weeks along gives some food for thought.

Five Fingers - 525.59 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Total of 15.07 including 1.05 with Julia in 10:07, and 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 13:22.

P.M. 5 alone in 35:50.

Five Fingers - 545.36 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Did the Provo Riverwoods 10 miler twice. First up, the immediate 180 and dash back down. Brisk warm up for the first 5 miles, then tempo the rest of the way. A fairly miserable workout as you climb 800 feet in the first half, but great preparation for Deseret News.

I had two goals - beat Josse's race time from two weeks ago (1:07:02) on the way up, then James Barnes' winning time (56:42) on the way back. After a bit of jogging at 7:30 pace I realized that if I had any chances of beating Josse I needed to get down to business. So I started going around 6:40-7:00 pace up the Provo Canyon. Occasional gusts of wind did not help, but I was able to keep respectable pace through them. HR quickly got up to 130-135 range and stayed there. Got through the first 5 miles, and shifted into the tempo gear. To my surprise I had a hard time getting HR above 145 no matter how hard I tried to push it. The pace was around 6:10-6:20 range until I went into the South Fork.

Did the 3.23 stretch up South Fork in 21:26, 6:38 average. Passed Michelle and Josse doing their pre-tempo warm-up. 1:07:40 at the turnaround. Chicked by 38 seconds, bummer!

On the way back tried to crank it up, but had a hard time kicking into gear. HR absolutely refused to go above 145. 3.23 in 17:56, 5:33 average. Not that great of this kind of drop (400 feet in a bit over 3 miles). Better watch out, or I might not only miss James, but get chicked by Michelle on the descent. Her split at that point was only 33 second slower.

Focused on running not slower than 5:40 figuring that if I can do that on flatter portions and James's average was 5:40 I should be OK. With only one caveat. The course is actually about 0.07 longer than 10 miles. Back when Curt certified it it went straight near Bridal Veil Falls. But since then he added a detour on the little bridge to avoid crossing the old highway.

Finally kicked into gear and started seeing 1:23 quarters. HR climbed to 149 but rebelled against the 150 range. Towards the end as it got warmed it got up to 152. Picked it up to 5:20 pace on the last quarter, HR finally progressed to 155 during that. Finished the second half in 56:20, 22 seconds ahead of James's time. Total time 2:04:00.

P.M. Benjamin ran in the state meet. I jogged a bit with him during his warm-up. He won Bantams 1500 in 6:04.20 beating his only competitor by 18 seconds. The effort earned him $4. I set up a bonus structure for him - $1 for every lap 1:35 or faster, $4 for breaking 6:00, $2 for breaking 6:10, $1 for breaking 6:18 which was what he ran last time. Time bonuses non-cumulative. His splits were 1:35, 1:39, 1:39, and 1:11 for the last 300. His last lap was 1:34. So $2 in lap bonuses, and $2 time bonus. Decent effort for 85 degree heat.

Afterwards we went on an adventure drive on the Squaw Peak road from Provo Canyon to Hobble Creek Canyon. Ran with the girls in the middle. Julia ran 1 mile downhill in 8:47. Jenny ran 1.5 in 13:23, first mile was downhill, last 0.5 uphill. That was quite an adventure drive, I think that is my PR for off-road driving both in terms of distance, the closeness to the edge of a cliff, and the bumpiness of the road. Prior PR was Avon pass which pales in comparison.

T4 Racer - 232.69 miles.

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

Caught up on sleep. Went to church. Took a nap. In the evening we went to the patriotic fireside at the Marriott Center. When we got there, there were no seats for all of us except at the very top. This actually made things nice for keeping the kids from getting too wild as there was a platform they could stretch themselves on.

As I sat there and looked at a row of American flags at the bottom a thought came to me. It has been a recurring thought in the last 15 years. It comes to me when I look above my day to day labor and am able to see a bigger perspective. America has been blessed in many ways more than any other nations. The reason God allows us to live in America is that he wants us to serve. The scriptures not only confirm it but also add a stern warning:

For behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off.

Ether 2:10 in the Book of Mormon. 

It is dangerous to lose the mindset of service anywhere, but it appears from the scriptures, and I feel it in my heart, that the dangers of doing so in America are much greater than anywhere else. Our country will be strong as long as we reach out to others and are not fazed by the sacrifices it may require.

Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 10.00
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A.M. Ran with Jeff and Daniel. Jeff was a lab rat today. He is such a nice rat, always agrees to participate in experiments and measurements. I put my HRM on him and watched his HR at different speeds. It was a lot of fun. At 8:00 pace he was roughly around 130. He wanted to see what happens when he held his breath. His HR did not go up at all, but he just could not keep running while holding his breath. Then I suggested that he should sing. With the Independence Day approaching he sang the first verse of the Star Spangled Banner at 8:00 pace. His HR maxed out at 144. Then he remembered that in his PE class he could get his HR from standing (around 75-80) to 160 in 50 meters of sprinting. I wondered if he really could. So at first he sprinted from 8:00 pace, but the problem was that he went so fast I could not keep up and he moved out of the HRM reception range. Noting that mistake I gave him the watch, and next time we tried from a resting start. We tried to wait for his HR to drop to 85, but there were too many mosquitoes. Daniel and I jogged around, while Jeff stood and sacrificed in the name of science. However, the mosquitoes kept him agitated enough that his HR would not drop below 100. So we decided that was as good as it was going to get and he busted out sprinting. After 15 seconds he was able to get his HR to 159.

Then we decided to measure his HR at 7:00 pace. It was around 150. Afterwards we tried at 5:50 pace. It got up to 172. We dropped Daniel off, and decided to try at 5:20 pace. Well, Jeff was too feisty to run 5:20 and started out at 5:00 pace. So we ran a mile in 4:58. Jeff's HR got up to 187. This was the fastest mile I've ever run wearing Five Fingers. I liked that mile a lot better than the one we did a couple of weeks ago in 4:55 because it did not have a 70 second quarter in the middle. The pacing was perfectly even. We estimate that Jeff's max HR is around 190-192.

Dropped Jeff off after 13 and ran 2 more. Total of 15 miles in 1:54:56.

P.M. Home to Costco relay. 1.06 with Julia in 11:13, 1.55 with Jenny in 13:43, and 2.77 with Benjamin in 22:04.

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
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Night Sleep Time: 216.08Nap Time: 19.67Total Sleep Time: 235.75
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