Breaking the Wall

Murray Fun Days 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:

Russian champion tries Crocs, commits to racing a marathon in them

Nikolay Chavkin in the video below did 3x1000, first two in Adidas carbon-fiber models, the last one in Crocs. Surprised by the result (2:52, 2:52, 2:50) with the fastest interval done in Crocs, he committed to racing a marathon in Crocs if the video gets 42K likes and 195 comments (for 42 km 195 m, the marathon distance). Nikolay's current marathon PR is 2:14:00. The video was created by a Russian sporting goods store chain. Their moto is "more sports - brighter life", which we think is wonderful, and also deserves a Like. If you want to see a fast marathon in Crocs, go to the video and click the Like button. And make sure to share it with your friends.

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 0.00 Year: 2251.52
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Brown Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 2191.97
Brown Crocs 4 Lifetime Miles: 1116.83
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Night Sleep Time: 238.25Nap Time: 14.77Total Sleep Time: 253.02
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeff. The run at first was uneventful. Then we stopped for a VPB and got eaten by mosquitoes. Then we ran into Luz and she joined us. I noticed she was going about 8:05 pace while chatting, but I did not say anything at first waiting for a strategic location. Then about 300 meters away from the mile mark from where I started timing her I told her the pace and challenged her to break 8:00 for the mile. She easily met the challenge finishing the last 200 in 51 up a slight grade (6:48 pace) and hitting a 7:50 split for the mile. Afterwards she chose 8:40 pace and maintained it conversationally all the way to our house. She and Sarah continued on from there, while Jeff and I ran around the block. Jeff stopped at 13.25, I woke up Julia, then did two more laps, and then ran with her for the last 1.05 in 10:38. Total time for 15 miles was 2:01:10.

P.M. 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 12:57, then 0.5 more with Benjamin in 3:33. After the first easy 0.5 we played the leapfrog game. Ran 3 more with Jacob and Joseph in the stroller in 21:54, total time for 5 miles was 38:24.

Five Fingers - 585.74 miles. 

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

A.M. Jeff had to work late last night so only Josse showed up this morning. Ran 10.1 uneventfully in 1:25:13.

P.M. 7 in hot conditions in 55:39, 3 of it with Adam. Then 1 with Julia in 11:15, 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 13:16, and another 0.5 with Benjamin in 3:45, 17:01 for 2 miles.  Five Fingers crossed the 600 mile boundary, 100 miles over the salesman limit.

Five Fingers - 605.84 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 6.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.75
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A.M. Ran with Jeff and Adam. Adam was the lab rat today, wore the HRM. His HR at 8:00 pace was 160. Oddly high, but he is conversational at that pace, and his resting HR is fairly high as well - 52. However, still Jeff's resting HR is about the same, and his HR does not get that high when he is as conversational as Adam.

I did a post-VPB acceleration which gave me some tempo running. Then we did 2x400 with essentially full rest. First one was 81.9. Adam's HR made it to 175. On the second one we got 85.6, and Adam's HR maxed out at 177. This is odd again. Based on Adam's conversational inclinations 8:00 for him is no harder than 6:40 for me. At 6:40 my HR is around 130. When I run a hard quarter (67) I max out at around 160. So 23% increase. Adam could only manage a 10% increase and it was not like he did not try. After two quarters in spite of a low HR increase he felt very fatigued.

We decided to measure his max HR. While Adam stopped to stretch a guy ran by us that knew who I was but I did not recognize him. He greeted me in Russian and demonstrated a reasonable degree of fluency in the follow-up comment. Provo-Orem area is very unusual. Right off the bat I could think of 4 guys in the area fluent in Russian that can do no worse than finish within 1 minute behind me in a 5 K. Not that my 5 K abilities are that great, but only a small percentage of the population would make the 1 minute back or faster cut off. So to find at least 4 Russian speakers in a population of about 200,000 that meet the requirement is remarkable.

On the max HR test Adam was supposed to run 7:00 pace for a mile and then floor it in the next quarter. He only made it to the mile in 6:59. His HR maxed out at 180 and he was not able to continue. This is just plain odd and wrong. Why in the world can his HR not go above 180 when he gives it all, while he is very comfortable and conversational at 160? Some kind of chronic nervous system fatigue. And it also comes on so suddenly. You cannot write it off as the lack of aerobic fitness. Adam has been running consistently enough to where stuff like this should not kill him.

Nervous system fatigue is an intriguing subject. One could argue that you always slow down due to nervous system fatigue. The slow down always happens because the brain is unable to override the negative feedback from the body. We call it cardio fatigue when the heart so weak that it produces too much negative feedback. We call it muscular fatigue when the acidity of the muscles is the driver of the negative feedback. But what about if the negative feedback is coming from somewhere else, or the brain is oversensitive to it? How do you deal with it? One naive solution is speedwork. Desensitize it. It does solve the problem when we are dealing just with an oversensitive brain. But there is another aspect. What if the brain does not have the drive to sustain a level of activity for a long period of time? Not sure if there is a physiology term for it, but I would call it neural endurance. The ability to fire BAM-BAM-BAM signals for a long time. From what I've observed, anaerobic speed work will desensitize the brain in three weeks and then will not do it any more (you can puke to death in your workouts with no results after that) but it does nothing to improve the BAM-BAM-BAM ability. In fact, done too much too often it reduces the neural endurance because the brain/nervous system can take only so much agitation. Even brisk aerobic runs (20 - 40 seconds per mile slower than marathon pace) done daily produce too much agitation and cut my BAM-BAM-BAM ability.

I wonder if the BAM-BAM-BAM ability accounts for 90% of the Quality X. How about that for scientific terminology? When you can feel it but do not know what it is called, invent a term. That is how all the scientific terms were invented to begin with anyway, except they have more scientific sounding names because the papers had to be published.

Cool down with Adam, finished 13 with Jeff, ran a mile alone, and another with Julia in 10:05. Total of 15.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 17:01 with Jenny running the first 1.5 with us in 12:47. 3 more after that, total time 39:51 for 5 miles.

Five Fingers - 625.84 miles. 

Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.60Total Sleep Time: 8.10
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Race: Murray Fun Days 5 K (3.107 Miles) 00:16:42, Place overall: 6
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran Murray Fun Days 5 K in 16:42, 6th place.

My plan from the start was to go out hard and see what happens. The warm temperatures made it difficult. I have a weird body. I can run well dehydrated but my heat sensors are very sensitive. This makes me quite a bit better than competition average in a survival race (hot marathon) because I am still fine when others start having cramps, stomach problems, etc, but worse than competition average in a hot 5 K because the heat shuts me down and I cannot get going.

There was too much trouble at the start to name. Right now in a 5 K any decent high schooler is trouble for me.

Ran the first mile as hard as I could, but 5:14 was all I had in me. It was uphill and into a slight headwind, but still I hoped to see 5:08. But we were out in the sun and the air just felt too hot. By then I was with Brian Summers and a guy from Montana whose first name I have forgotten but his last name I Michels I believe. Seth and Teren in the lead, they hit the mile in 4:53, and Alexander Thomas about 10 seconds back ahead of us.

Lost contact with the Montana runner and Brian on the 180 turn. Tried to push to regain it, breathing is OK, legs do not respond. Tried to get going on the downhill coming back, not much success, but closed the gap on Brian. The Montana runner had dropped Brian by that time. Caught up to Brian by 2 miles. 10:36. Wow. Only 5:22 for all this work on a downhill. One mitigating circumstance was 180 in the middle. That and the heat. No problem, life goes on. Just keep racing.

Last mile has a small net gain, and is up and down. Starts with a slight up. Brian gapped me shortly after I had caught up. I gradually reeled him in, and was able to attach. Then there was a short steep down. I used that to pass Brian and hopefully discourage him. Did not work, he passed me back and started kicking. Then shortly before mile three another guy from Colorado, his first name was Mike, the last name was either Hutchinson or Huntington, went by me as if I was standing still. We hit the short uphill, it turned out to be less steep than I remembered it. Hit mile 3 in 16:12, 5:36. Not as bad as it could have been.

Turned out Brian miscalculated how far away he was from the finish and started his kick too early. Once his kick was over I was able to pass him back and finish 5 seconds ahead of him. I could hear trouble from behind so I was kicking as hard as I could. I thought it was Brian, but it turned out to be our blogger Kyle Moffet. He finished 1 second behind me.

Times - Teren 15:06, Seth 15:33, Alexander 16:00, Montana runner 16:14, Mike H from Colorado 16:36, me 16:42, Kyle 16:43, Brian 16:48.

Looks like that I was 4th in the circuit, in a 5 K for me that is a steal and a lucky day. It is rather interesting that the best quality 5 K I've run this year was Magna, which was a week after a marathon. I think the two week taper helped me - I ran less than 80 miles the week of the marathon, and after that only 90. Other 5 Ks were run off 120 miles a week. Also I wonder if 120 miles a week affects me more in the summer when it is hot. All this time outside while the heat sensors in the skin keep hearing "slow, slow, slow, it is hot". And then I race, and the same message is still deep under my skin.

Also I am probably feeling it in a 5 K more than in a longer race because you have to run faster.

Ran 7.5 afterwards. Some of it alone, ran 0.5 rabbiting the kids race, a little bit with Teren, and more with Seth.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:34 with Jenny joining us for the first 1.5 in 12:55. Julia ran 1.5 with Sarah. Then took Jenny to the Y. We hiked from the trail head to the bottom of the Y in 22:21. Looked at the view, took some pictures, identified landmarks, and then headed down. Ran parts while going down, about 0.5 or so. The time on the way down was 14:11. The distance measured 0.95 in both directions. The elevation gain is about 1000 feet, so about 20% grade on average. My best time on that stretch running is 11:38.

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

A.M. Ran the same workout as last week - Provo Riverwoods 10 miler twice, first up, then immediate 180 and down. Except this time I had Jeff with me. Seth was going to come, but he stayed up late the night before and called in the morning bailing out.

The goal was again to beat Josse's time of 1:07:02 on the way up, and James' time of 56:42 on the way down. In spite of having raced yesterday Jeff's presence made up for the fatigue and we were able to meet both goals. Not without some suffering on my part though.

We did a brisk warmup averaging probably around 6:50 for the first 5 miles. After that Jeff stretched and we started the tempo portion from around the Bridal Veil Falls area right after the Walking Zone warning sign. I wondered to myself if it was OK to run through it, but did it anyway. About 6:10-6:15 while the grade was 2% then when it flattened out to about 0.5-1% about 5:55 pace with Jeff's initiative. Once we got to the South Fork climb, Jeff threw more fuel into the fire and put me in pain. I had to ask him to back off several times. This was an odd feeling. My HR never went above 155. But I felt like I was racing a 5 K, almost. At the same time, when I asked him to back off I was not thinking so much "we've got another 12 miles of this still ahead", but more "if they told me the finish is at the top and I am done for the day, I do not think I could go any faster". The good news is that I had enough confidence in my endurance to have no fear of bonking at the end.

We did the control 3.23 stretch in 20:42. 6:21 average, 48 seconds faster than last week. I think is my PR for that stretch period, not just in the middle of a 20 miler. If not, it would be awfully close. 1:06:05 first 10 miles, beat Josse's time by 57 seconds. Unchicked myself and very satisfied. Now 10 miles going down.

We hard a hard time shifting gears and goofed through the downhill where we really could have made up some time. Probably from the fatigue of climbing. 17:57 on the control 3.23 stretch, 1 second slower than last week. No problem, though. With Jeff pulling me we'll be OK.

We ran strong through the flatter parts although I did have to ask Jeff to back off a few times and finished the second half of the run in 56:11, 9 seconds faster than last week, and 31 seconds ahead of James. 2:02:16 for 20 miles, 1:44 faster than last week. Actually it is more like 20.14. But who cares, the run is Double the Provo Riverwoods 10 miler however long it may be. With all the climbing and then dropping it is not a normal course anyway.

Went to a show by the Provo Tabernacle with the family afterwards. During a puppet show the performer asked the kids if they knew who had written the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin raised his hand and gave the correct answer - Thomas Jefferson. The performer said - "Wow, they teach well in school nowadays!" Little did he know that Benjamin had always been home schooled.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:10, 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 13:23, 2.5 alone in 18:43.

Five Fingers - 630.84 miles.

T4 Racer - 268.70 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.75
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Day of rest. Managed to play the Star Spangled Banner on the keyboard without mistakes with Sarah listening. Called Lybi, and being a bit more nervous with her listening over the phone made a couple of mistakes but recovered and was able to play it through. That is an improvement for me.

Also, a few days ago sang the Star Spangled Banner solo for Sarah and she gave me 5.5 out of 10. Off key only on a couple of notes. So, assuming  her rating system matches Daniel's, on a good day and a very familiar tune and stationary I can sing as well as Jeff running at 5:30 pace.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Decided it was time to cut back the mileage and add some intensity. This is going to be more experimental. The purposes are to test a) how it will affect the performance in shorter distances now that I've run 8 months of very solid base and b) how much of that speed will be retained once I go back to base mileage. My recent HRM data suggests that while I've received significant cardio gains from base building, I am running more and more into the 5 K speed limit. In other words, I cannot go any faster in the half because I am almost at my 5 K pace already. My hope is that the 5 K speed limit will budge more than it has in the past now that there is a huge aerobic base breathing down its neck.

Ran with Jeff and Daniel. Dropped Daniel off, finished the run with Jeff. Did one post VPB pick-up and we also tried to chase down a guy to recruit him for FRB, but he turned around early. Thus 0.6 of tempo running. Total of 13 miles in 1:41:50.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:52, 2 with Benjamin in 16:58 with Jenny running 1.5 in 13:11. One more without running kids in 7:28. Pushed Jacob in the single stroller the entire time. Played freeze tag in a park with Benjamin and two other kids. Lots of places to climb and hide at that park, so it was tough. Finally wore all of them down and froze them all. With reduced mileage felt energetic.

Five Fingers - 647.84 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Power workout for me today. Ran with Jeff, Josse, and Michelle. Matt found us on the trail and joined us. The workout was 6x1 mile with 400 recovery on an almost flat stretch on the Provo River Trail alternating directions. The power training aspect came from towing Josse in a harness. This was going to give her some overspeed training. Who needs an overspeed treadmill when you have a harness and somebody to pull you? And who needs a hill when you have a harness and somebody to pull?

I did not know what to expect, but a rough goal was to allow Josse to stay with Michelle. This proved to be too hard of goal for a couple of reasons - Michelle was stronger than I expected, and the pulling Josse in a harness was not as easy as I initially thought. I expected to work at about 1-2% grade uphill effort, but it ended up being more like 3% grade or 20-30 mph headwind.

Splits: 5.47.9 (on this one we managed to stay with the pack), 5:51.5, 5:50.9, 6:02.1, 5:46.6, 5:53.4. Peak HR was 164 on the first repetition, after that it was between 166 and 168. Michelle chicked me on all the repetitions except the first. It was an interesting experience. I am running with everybody, and all of a sudden I am working the same, even harder, and they are pulling away as if I were standing still, and there is nothing I can do to keep up. The harness handicap turned Michelle into a virtual Kara Goucher from my perspective. This was a good chance to learn humility.

Towards the end I started to get the grasp of the art of pulling. Which is probably the same as the art of running uphill or into a headwind. To be successful it is very important to fire up the leg muscles as quickly as possible the very moment your foot lands. A quick explosion of energy, once you get going start relaxing the muscles, they've done their work, you're going, they can rest. Easier said than done, it is like saying all you need to do to play a piece on the piano is hit the right keys at the right time.

Overall a good debut of the FRB Towing Service. Josse enjoyed the workout, felt good, but we'll have to see if she gets the delayed onset soreness. I estimate she had just run the equivalent of 6x1 mile down a 3% grade. This could be hard on the quads.

Total of 12 miles for the run.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:55, 2 with Benjamin in 16:58 with Jenny running the last 1.5 with us in 12:56. 1 more with no running kids in 7:51. Pushed Jacob in the stroller the whole run.

T4 Racer - 280.68 miles.

Five Fingers - 651.84 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.25Nap Time: 0.33Total Sleep Time: 7.58
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeff and Daniel. Daniel ran 3 miles then turned around. Jeff was with me the entire time. We talked about education, how much difference motivation makes in the ability to learn and how to motivate kids to learn. Just as we were talking we saw the Provo High team with their coach Phil Olsen who also teaches Spanish. So we joined them, and gave them a pep talk. 13.2 miles in 1:43:13, 7:49 pace, avg HR 115.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:55, 2 with Benjamin in 16:49 with Jenny joining us for 1.5 in 13:10. 1 mile alone in 6:59.  Pushed Jacob in the stroller for the first 2.5 of the run.

Five Fingers - 668.04 miles.

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

A.M. 6x400 with 200 recovery with Jeff on the trail on a mostly flat section alternating directions. The target was 72 seconds but it was rather approximate. I did not want it slower than 73, nor did I want to hurt like 67. I was OK running a 67 if I could do it relaxed, but I did not want to become preoccupied with running 67s once I happened to get into that zone on accident.

On the first one we were overcautious in the first 200 - Jeff was waiting for me to go and I was waiting for him, so the first one was way off pace. After that we settled into a brisker groove and were ahead of target on all others. Splits (max HR in parenthesis):

75.2 (153) - 70.5 (161) - 69.8(161) - 67.6(166) - 67.6(165) - 68.0(164).

We had a forced extra stationary(for me) minute of rest before the last one due to Jeff's VPB. Thus lower HR at the same pace in spite of doing it later in the workout.

The thought that entered my head while we were in the 67-68 zone - why can't you run a 10 K like this? It would be nice, 68 400s gives 28:20 in the 10 K. I left that I lacked the power in the legs to sustain it. The heart could handle it just fine, I think. I would only need to be able to sustain the HR of about 180 for 28 minutes. I could do that in 2000. Then by 2004 I apparently experienced some dramatic cardiovascular gains and since then was never able to get my HR above 175.

Ran a long cool down (total of 13.35 for the run). Luz joined us shortly after we were done with the speed portion. Since she commented earlier about how easily Jeff handled 6:00 I volunteered him to sing for Luz. He got 8 out of 10 from her on the Star Spangled Banner at about 9:00 pace. Then I did it as well. Luz gave me a score of 5, I am wondering if that was too generous. She also gave me a more objective evaluation - completely off key 3 times, and flat 10 times. Have not counted the total notes in the song, but it appears that this would make it about only 20-25% error rate. This is a great improvement for me even for stationary singing.

Ran a mile with Julia in 10:00.

T4 Racer -  294.03 miles

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:28 with Jenny running 1.5 in 12:17. 1 more alone in 7:49. Pushed Jacob in the stroller.

Five Fingers - 671.04 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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A.M. Total of 13.1 in 1:43:10. Started with Jeff, Matt joined us for a few miles. Did a VPB tempo for about 0.5 miles. Ran the last mile with Julia in 9:17.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:11 with Jenny running 1.5 in 13:03. Benjamin ran a 0.5 without Jenny in 3:08. It was out and back, and nasty rolling going under the bridge at 800 N on the trail twice. I was pushing Jacob in a stroller, so I figure this was about marathon pace effort for me. Then I ran 2 more in 15:25 pushing Jacob, most of it slow, but a biking couple passed me, and they were not going very fast. They were going slow enough to tempt me into picking up the pace, and I fell for the temptation. When the guy noticed that he was being followed by a runner with a stroller, he signaled the girl to pick up the pace, and they were gone. But not for long, they eased off and starting coming back. Then it was time for me to turn. I ended up running a quarter in 1:23 down about 0.5% grade.

Five Fingers - 688.04 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
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A.M. Ran with Jeff and Thatcher. Thatcher is 18. He set a PR for the longest distance ever run. I set a PR for the negative gap in age (17 years younger) with a running partner to go over half-marathon distance in one run. We ran 14.1 in 1:47:08, 7:35.8 avg. The weather was cool, so that kept my HR below 120 for most of the run. Then we had a 0.15 mis-start with Julia - she realized she need to go the the bathroom shortly after we left the house, so we went back. Ran 9:58 mile with her and Jeff. Then we ran 1.5 with Jeff, Jenny and Benjamin in 11:47, and Jeff continued with me and Benjamin for another quarter, and then Benjamin and I turned around. We finished Benjamin's 2 miles in 15:32.

Five Fingers - 705.29 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
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Day of rest. Set some serious recent sleep PRs.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 3.00Total Sleep Time: 12.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. DesNews practice run with Seth and Jeff. Got up at 4:30, picked up Jeff, met Seth at Hoggle Zoo. Drove up to the top of Big Mountain, the boundary of Utah and Morgan counties. Right on the Pioneer trek. Come come ye Saints, No toil, no labor fear, but with joy wend your way. Though hard to you this journey may appear, grace shall be as your day... And should we die before our journey's through, happy day, all is well. We then are free from toil and sorrow too, with the just we shall dwell...

In that spirit we started the run. The plan was to see how Seth's and my legs handle 5:00 pace down 8% grade. I was going to rabbit him running as hard as I could for as long as I could to keep him on pace, after I could not we were going to slow down to my marathon pace. Jeff drove down 3 miles to avoid the 8% down, and also to make it so he would not have to run the whole 16 miles.

Due to the differences in terrain mile splits were all over the place. I did have the Garmin for backup in case we missed the turn in the subdivision or a mile marker. But all the painted marks were visible and we were able to follow the course without problems. Splits are by the painted markers:

4:50, 4:51, 4:48, Jeff joined, 5:10. End of crazy downhill. I am hurting like it is time to sing the 4th verse of Come Come Ye Saints already, but still going. 5:24, 25:03 at 5 miles.

5:51. Now Little Mountain. Seth and Jeff are chatting, I am in pain. We are now definitely in my marathon pace territory, this is too slow for Seth. 6:36 mile and we are not done with the hill. Seth and Jeff are still chatting. I am thinking about those near death experience accounts when the nearly dead person is aware of what is going on in the room, even sees his own body, but cannot communicate. They are talking but I cannot add anything to the conversation. Done with the hill finally, now going down. Next mile in 6:07, then 5:19, and now I feel like I can talk more. Into the subdivision, up, then back down. Next mile in 5:52, 54:49 at 10 miles.

Seth at that point said he got the idea of course and the pace, and wanted to back down. We backed down to about 6:00 pace, but then he and Jeff backed down more, and I wanted to keep it faster than 6:00. So I took off.

5:58 (with some easing off), next two miles in 11:27, 1:12:49 at the half. Last three miles 5:35. 5:37, and 5:49 (with uphill). Total time 1:29:15 for 16 miles, 5:34.7 avg.

Jogged from mile marker 16 to the car and met Seth and Jeff. With that and the warm-up this added another mile.

Felt very energetic in the last 3 miles in spite of the aggressive start and the near death experience up the Little Mountain. Afterwards both Seth and I passed the hop test, no muscle soreness, at least yet.

T4 Racer - 311.03 miles. 

P.M. 1.25 with Benjamin, Jenny, and Julia in 12:46, dropped off Julia at the park, finished 1.5 with Jenny and Benjamin in 14:57. Then ran 3:08 half mile with Benjamin.

Five Fingers - 707.29 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 6.50Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeff and Josse. Did a VPB tempo of about 0.6 at marathon pace. Then we saw Matt and he said he was going to run a 5 mile tempo. So I decided to pace him 2.5 out and however long it took to get back to Jeff and Josse afterwards. We did 6:05, 6:02, then three more quarters in 1:32, 1:32, 180 turn, and 1:29. At that point Matt was 10 seconds behind the 6:00 guy. I admonished Matt to catch him. Do not know if he did, he has not yet posted his workout report. Total time for 10.6 was 1:18:37.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:51, then 2 with Benjamin in 16:46 with Jenny joining for 1.5 in 12:53.

Five Fingers - 720.89 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.25Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.25
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A.M. 10.1 with Jeff. Matt joined us for most of it. Total time was 1:19:50. Did 0.4 VPB tempo. 5:40 pace felt very easy, I was surprised it was 5:40, I did not think I was going sub-6:00.

Discussed various subjects from the art of fly swatting to DesNews pacing. We even discussed unsigned vs signed database fields and what happens when you insert a negative number into an unsigned field.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 15:57, Jenny joined for 1.5 in 11:37. 1 with Julia in 9:25. Pushed Jacob in a stroller. 

Five Fingers - 733.99 miles.

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

A.M. Easy run with Jeff. 10.1 in 1:17:55. Avg HR 115. Discussed nutrition, thus a lot of nutrition comments by me today.

P.M. 1.06 with Julia in 11:00, 2 with Benjamin in 16:25, Jenny joined for the first 1.75 in 14:38.

Five Fingers - 747.15 miles. 

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.67Total Sleep Time: 8.42
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A.M. Easy run with Jeff. 10.1 in 1:16:50. Avg. HR 116. Discussed running form.

Tape worm story. Julia asked a question about mosquitoes and Benjamin explained that mosquitoes carry malaria. Then Jenny had follow up questions about the symptoms of malaria, which Benjamin answered as well. That got his mind on a related subject and he started telling the girls about tape worms, and how there is a kind that causes sleeping sickness when the parasite enters the brain and shuts it down. I did not know about that until Benjamin told me, and was not quite sure if he got his facts right, but after some research I found this:

and realized that Benjamin knew what he was talking about. Maybe a bit off on terminology, he could not remember  the term Trypanosoma brucei, so he called it a tape worm.

So right after we went to bed Jenny comes into our bedroom crying. "I am afraid to go to sleep, because Benjamin told me about the tape worm, and I am afraid that I will not wake up." It took some time to convince her that it was very unlikely that she would get infected with an African parasite.

P.M. Jared was visiting with us. Ted wanted him to run 3 miles. So he, Benjamin, and Julia first ran 1 mile in 8:54. Then we dropped of Julia and picked up Jenny, and ran another 1.5 in 12:53. Jared was not feeling good and ran slower. Benjamin was not feeling good after the run and decided to forgo the remaining 0.5 with Jared. Jared jogged through the remaining 0.5, his total time for 3 miles was 28:26. 

Five Fingers - 760.25 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Race: Draper Days 5K (3.107 Miles) 00:16:28, Place overall: 8
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Draper Days 5 K, 16:28, 8th place. The course has been changed. It is now a loop course with some moderate hills. The grade for most of the course is about 0.5-1%, a short (about 0.1) stretch of 3-4% climb about 2.6 miles into the race, not a spot that is flat - you are either going up or down. Definitely slower than what it used to be.

On the positive side of things, the temperatures were ideal this morning. If felt perfect.

Warmed up with Carol Cabanillas and Carre Joyce. Steve Ashbaker ran by with the ladies he is coaching. He was not in the race, but stopped by for a visit. We chatted a bit. He predicted that I would run 16:26.

Lots of trouble at the start. My plan was to run with Alexander Thomas regardless of how fast he went for as long as I could, then hang for as long as I could with every runner that passed me after that. Seth, Teren, and Stephen Clark were a few seconds ahead, then Alexander, Dennis, and me. I made it to about 0.75. Nate Hornok caught me, I managed to make it to the mile with him. First mile in 5:02. I was pleased. It was a slight up.

Nobody passed me in the second mile. It started out with a downhill stretch, and then it was a slight up. 5:17, pretty much what I hoped to run it.

Right after mile 2 mark Kyle Moffet passed me, and I was able to hang with him to the middle of the uphill at 2.6. Caught a split at 4 K - 12:58. Did the math, realized Steve was going to be right. Pushed myself as hard as I could on the last mile. 15:54 at 3 miles, 5:35. Not spectacular but acceptable.

Kicked at the end, last .107 in 32 seconds. My watch said 16:26, but my official time was 16:28.

Other times: Teren 15:08, Seth 15:26, Stephen 15:33, Alexander 15:36, Nate 15:41, Dennis 16:10, Kyle 16:20, Neal Gassmann 16:34, Thatcher's friend 16:36.

Ran back, paced Alexander Berry for the last 0.15 or so. He finished in 20:37. Then cooled down with Bill Cobler. Then talked with Mark Olsen and he had his timing gate handy. So we did a few sprints measuring top end speed for 10 meters. My best time was 1.42. Bill got 1.38. Breanna got 1.50. Thatcher's friend from Ethiopia whose name starts with a G (I will learn how to say and spell it some day) ran 1.11.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:48, 2 with Benjamin in 16:38. Jenny joined us for 1.5 in 12:36. Her friend Brinley joined us for a little over a mile and the mile that she ran was 8:25.

T4 Racer - 319.73 miles

Five Fingers - 763.25 miles

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.83Total Sleep Time: 7.83
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Glorious day of rest. I told my body to relax and it did.

Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 10.50
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A.M. Started with Jeff and Daniel. Daniel turned around at 1.5. Then we met Luz and she ran a little bit more than 3 miles with us. Her 3 mile split was 24:21, mile splits - 7:57, 8:04, 8:21. This was not a planned tempo run for her. I noticed she was going around 8:00 and chatting, and I just did not say anything until she started slowing down when we hit the bridges and uphill with less than a mile to go. What boggles my mind is how in the world she manages to chat so much at a pace that she cannot sustain a mile later. She chats with as much ease at 8:00 pace as I do at 6:30.

Total time for 8 miles was 1:05:26, avg. HR 113.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:04, then 2 with Benjamin in 15:49, including 3:09 0.5. Pushed Jacob, and it had some hills, so counting this 0.5 as marathon pace. Jenny joined us for 1.5 in 12:40.  

Five Fingers - 774.25 miles.

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

A.M. 6 miles with Jeff in 47:55. Daniel and Matt joined us at different times.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 15:30. Jenny joined for 1.5 in 11:55. 1 with Julia in 9:08. Pushed Jacob while running with Benjamin and Jenny. 

Five Fingers - 780.25 miles.

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

A.M. 4 with Jeff in 31:59, then 1 with Julia in 10:03, and 2 with Benjamin in 16:41 with Jenny running 1.5 in 12:34. Pushed Jacob in a stroller. Jeff joined us for the entire run as well.

Five Fingers - 787.25 miles. 

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.75
Race: Deseret News Marathon (26.22 Miles) 02:34:43, Place overall: 8
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Executive summary - 2:34:43, 8th or 7th place (depending on what they do with the Colorado runner that missed the turn into the subdivision), 1st from Utah, $500. 6 Kenyans at the start, 6 Kenyans at the finish. Looks like Bob Wood said no travel expenses unless you finish. Good move for him. Tight left calf from the start of the race contributed to running slow, and is hurting like there is no tomorrow now, but on the positive side quads seem intact. Details to follow.

Stayed with Adam Wende the night before. Got up at 2:45, made the bus without an incident (unlike last year). Noticed a tightness in the left calf during the warm up. I've actually had this tightness the entire week, but figured it was one of those taper cramps. For some reason the muscle responds to reduced mileage with occasional cramping. So when I felt it I thought, no big deal, it will go away because it always has even when I felt it on race day.

But it did not before the start. I figured it would go away as the race progressed, and proceeded to execute the plan. The plan was to hit pretty much exact same splits I did in the 16 mile tempo 10 days earlier, and then see how I would fare after that. Last year I started slow, ran strong after 10, then by 20 the strength had left me, and I finished at about the same pace I did in 2006 when I started fast only it took me a minute longer to get to 20, so I ended up finishing a minute slower.

I ignored the competition, and took off. I figured they would eventually catch me, and when they did try to hang with them for as long as I could, and I figured I wanted to be at the top of the Little Mountain with the Kenyans because then it is downhill again and I'd be able to hang with them a little more. Seth told me he was not feeling that great, so he wanted to start a little slower. Steve Ashbaker was there as well, and acted as a threat from behind if I let my guard down.

Downhill, 8% grade. 4:50, 4:51. Perfect. The first mile felt good, I was going to guess 5:00-5:10 by the effort. So I was pleased to see 4:50. Then the calf started hurting more and I eased off on the third mile. 4:52 instead of planned 4:48. Now gradual flattening out. 5:18 (plan 5:10), 5:35 (plan 5:25), and 5:56 (plan 5:45). Reached 6 miles in 31:15 vs 30:54 in the tempo run. Calf pain has been getting progressively worse, but I took it as a positive - when it goes away I'll be able to run faster. On the positive side, the breathing kept getting lighter. So at least the fitness was OK.

Right around mile 5 a white guy whose exact name I still do not know who is rumored to be from Colorado went by me and I could not latch on.

After the first 6 miles we started a climb up the Little Mountain. Back in the days of the old DesNews course when we did not experience the Big Mountain I wondered why that mountain was called Little. It is a climb of 1.5 miles during which you gain about 300 feet of elevation. That sounded pretty big, but not when you look at the Big Mountain that drops 1500 feet or so in 3-4 miles.

6:38, plan was 6:30. Seth passed me. However, he was not moving as fast as I expected him. That could mean two things. He is either holding back, or is he is as sick as he thinks he is.

I think the climb gave my calf a break and stretched it a bit. Next mile in 6:03 (plan 6:00), and I felt strong. However, now a VPB is looming. Does not look like I can hold it. Had to pull off to the side of the road and do my patented (clean!) 5 second job. Still managed 5:32 mile (plan 5:20).

The Kenyans finally caught me, and I ran with them for a minute or so. Went into the subdivision. This allowed me to measure the gaps. Seth had a bit less than a minute on me. Steve and a stray Kenyan runner were about 30 seconds behind. Next mile 5:56 (plan 5:45). I was hoping that running with the Kenyans would give me a better time on that mile. Reached 10 miles in 55:22, vs 54:49 in the tempo run.

Next 2 miles were both 5:37. I had an approximate plan of 5:30-5:35 for them as I was not exactly sure about their quality. During the tempo run I eased off at that point to about 6:00 with Seth and Jeff. But this was within range. However, 5:46 on the next mile gave a cause for concern. What was strange is that I was not feeling bad, nothing was wrong except I felt I was running way too easy but could not go any faster. Probably what was happening is that the calf kept getting tighter and tighter, but because of the endorphines the pain was not getting any more acute, nevertheless the push off power kept getting reduced, so I was running slower and slower.

1:12:57 at the half vs 1:12:49 in the tempo run. Even with the ease-off between 10 and 12 I still could not catch my tempo run guy. Next two miles in 5:50 and 5:49. 1:24:01 at 15 miles vs 1:23:26 in the tempo run. The plan was 5:35 for both. At this point I realized I needed to ditch the plan and just hang in there hoping Steve won't pass me, and hoping for the best in general. Maybe the calf pain will go away and I'll be able to close strong.

Saw Seth in the distance. My first thought was that he failed to keep up with the Kenyans when they caught him, and from that point just decided to run for first Utahn, the slowest it takes. Which would mean he would run with me, then blow me away on the last mile. That's OK, at least I'll have somebody to run with. Or maybe not, maybe he is just plain out of commission with no guile involved.

The stray Kenyan runner caught up to me, and I followed him for about a mile. We ran the next mile in 5:48, which had the uphill by the Hogle Zoo. This gave me 1:29:48 at 16 miles vs 1:29:15 in the tempo. This gave me some hope. However, the next two miles showed the hope was vain. I felt decent but the pace kept getting slower. The next two miles which were a net downhill produced a split of 12:24, 6:12 average, and a 1:42:12 split at 18 miles. The grim reality of having to run slower than 6:00 for the rest of the race began to show its ugly face.

By this time I had caught up to Seth. We chatted. He told me he was struggling. I told him to run with me and finish the race no matter what. 1:54:41 at 20 miles. 12:29 for the next 2 downhill miles. At least it is not getting any uglier. Seth dropped back.

I felt very perky on the next uphill mile. So perky that I thought for sure it would be under 6:20. Good luck - 6:42. Last year 6:33. I guess the quads were perky, the fuel system was perky, but the dysfunctional calf spoiled the show. Next downhill mile in 6:07. Last year 5:45. So we are starting to see a pattern. I am losing in both direction, but more on the downhill.

Mile 23 brought some excitement into the drudgery. 6:14 with some uphill on 13th South. I see a Kenyan ahead of me, but do not feel like going out of my way to chase him down. What's the glory in passing a Kenyan that is in a hopeless out-of-money position? He is just doing a training run to finish. Now if passing him meant his money is now yours then it is a different story. Then you indeed are racing a Kenyan.

Mile 24 in 6:20. Two more to go, and all of a sudden it is warmer as the course turns from the shade South Temple into the sun on 300 East. The downhill ends as well. Mile 25 in 6:24.

Now the nasty last mile. It starts going uphill, it is still out in the sun, and it has a long stretch of straight road, you count the blocks. I guess the problem with the straight road is that when you are in pain you can maintain your focus better by setting small goals. Get to this landmark, then get to that landmark. Luckily I know how nasty it is, I also know exactly where you turn, and I know how blocks work in Salt Lake City. So that makes it easier.

2:33:15 at mile 26, 6:47 split. Very unspectacular, but with the calf problem could be a lot worse. And as usual, my local competition suffered more than I did at that point, so nobody passed me. Last 385 yards in 1:28, 6:42 pace for the "kick".

Steve Ashbaker was about 30 seconds behind me at 20 miles, about 1 minute behind me at 25, and then he had to stop for a couple of minutes to throw up. So he finished in 2:38. Seth barely held off Bill Cobler at the end finishing in 2:45.

The top Kenyans were very fast. The results have not yet been posted, but according to:,5143,700245616,00.html

Joseph Chirlee 2:18:16, Jynocel Baswell 2:19:31, Edward Korir 2:19:51, Jon Ndambuki 2:20:33. Ndambuki ended up out of money with the fastest time he's ever run on this course (2004 does not count, it was short).

P.M. The calf was very sore. Could not walk without a serious limp for a while. Iced it, Sarah massaged it, then Josse massaged and scraped it. After Josse's magic it felt a lot better. I could walk without a limp and could even jog a bit. Nevertheless I rode my bike for the kids run tonight just to be safe. Julia ran a mile in 9:37, then Benjamin ran 2 miles in 17:07 with Jenny running the first 1.5 in 12:59. Not counting biking miles because they were too slow.

T4 Racer - 346.45 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 5.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 5.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. The calf was runnable, but I decided to give it some rest and bike anyway. Rode my standard 10.1 course in 37:12, 3:41 per mile average, or 16.29 mph. Was pleased with that given that the trail has a lot of places where you have to slow down, and I had to get off the bike to make a 180 (did not stop the watch for that). On a straight flat stretch I was going about 3:20 per mile pace, or 18 mph. The bike does have issues. It is a 30lb old mountain bike that has not been maintained. The third (highest) front gear does not work. The second gear makes a funny noise, the chain is rubbing against something. The frame is too short and the seat does not go up very high. I did 17:52 going out, and came back in 19:10. Out is a slight downhill. HR maxed out at 149, and averaged 134. To get that HR running I would need to be going about 6:20 pace. So I figure if we say I worked at around 7:30 pace equivalent we can call this a match for 5 miles of running. Will run with the kids tonight and possibly some more if feeling good.

P.M.  1 mile with Julia in 11:25, 2 with Benjamin in 16:44. Jenny joined for 1.5 in 12:48. Calf felt good enough to run on without limping, but still painful. Wore my cushioned old running now mostly walking shoes. Nike something, do not remember what, too lazy to take them off to find out. I did run DesNews in them last year, though. I imagine they have about 3K miles. But for me it is a cushioned shoe.

Night Sleep Time: 8.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.75
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A.M. Woke up, the calf felt significantly better walking, but still quite a bit of pain. Nevertheless, good enough to run 10 miles on. Was originally planning on running in my old Nike shoes to get more cushioning, but then had a crazy thought - try Five Fingers. Somehow in spite of all logic against it the feedback from my body was that Five Fingers would be a better option. So I put them on.

Was able to run with only minor pain right from the start. As the run progressed, kept adjusting the form to minimize the calf strain. Eventually I figured out how to turn the calf slam into a calf stretch. Amazing! All you do is dorsi-flex the ankle (pull the foot towards yourself to make it look like you are duck) prior to landing, and it does not hurt. You are just getting a pleasant calf stretch from the impact. I kept speeding up from 9:30 pace at the start to 7:00 pace at the finish. My total time for 10.1 was 1:16:58. The calf felt the same when I was done.

Jogged another 0.1 to meet Sarah and jogged with her some more, but will not count is as running mileage since she was going around 15:00 pace. My rough standard for running mileage is sub-12:00 unless recovering after a hard interval.

The quads were only very slightly sore, but so were the gluts and the hamstrings, and I am not sure if it is from the marathon or yesterdays bike ride. So the calf problem perhaps was a blessing in disguise. It forced me to run slower, and not hammer the rest of the body so much. This is actually the first time I came out of DesNews with quads that I can run on the next day without wanting to scream. So I guess now I know the secret, or at least one way to do it. Run race pace for the first 2 miles, a little slower later on, get to the half in 1:13, then gradually taper off to 6:20-6:30 pace in the last 8 miles. I have always wondered if I could avoid soreness by running it slower, now I know.

Recalled a conversation after DesNews. I could barely walk afterwards. As I limped towards Matt's car, I wondered out loud: "How in the world did I manage to run 6:45 pace in the last mile on a calf that now would not even let me walk without a serious limp?!" One runner overhead it and answered: "By the grace of God!"

I contemplated the depth of the answer and agreed with his assessment. Of course, there is a physiological explanation. I was already running at mile 25, my HR was higher, there was more blood flow to the damaged area, the muscle was warm, the endorphines were helping me dull the pain, and being in a mental state of racing helped my brain disregard pain signals as well. But I wonder how often we provide those technical explanations that in essence say something to the effect "it worked because it worked", "the car was moving because its wheels were spinning while in contact with the ground", and in the process having filled our minds with enough non-essential detail and thus satisfied our curiosity, or at least having satiated our ability to receive knowledge, we fail to understand the more profound force behind the event. We acknowledge the creation and its mechanics, but fail to give credit to the Creator. Why? Because He does not reveal Himself unless we have faith. With faith, we gain the ability to see past the fact that the spinning wheels make the car move and are able to recognize that the car is moving because somebody is driving it, and that it will go where the driver wants it to be.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:48, 2 with Benjamin in 16:34, Jenny ran the first 1.5 in 12:43.

Five Fingers - 800.55 miles.

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

Day of rest.

Night Sleep Time: 10.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
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A.M. 10.1 with Jeff in 1:20:38. James, Matt, and Daniel ran with us at some points. Then 2 with Benjamin in 16:49. Jenny joined us for 1.5 in 12:40. Jared ran with us for the first 0.75, but then fell back. He finished 2 miles in 17:57.

Had a thought about modern day scientific understanding of running, the dark ages, and the printing press. Back in the dark ages only select few knew how to read and had access to books. The two were connected. If you do not get to read, there is little motivation to learn how to read. If you do not know how to read, books present little value to you. You can only learn by talking to those who know how to read and have access to books. You have no choice but accept their word, that is the best you can do. Vicious cycle of ignorance.

I think our understanding of running (and many other things as well) is still in that cycle to a great extent. The average runner has no way of measuring much - distance, time, heart rate, body weight and stride rate are about the only things that a middle class home budget runner is able to measure on a daily basis. Maybe blood glucose and cholesterol if you are willing to poke yourself every day. Lactate levels if you are willing to poke yourself and pay $900 for the device. You could measure pH of your body fluids, and electric properties of the body. There are a number of smart alec devices that think they know how much body fat is on you from the electric properties of your body. But I would not call this a body fat measurement. This an electric current measurement that is being used for an almost wild guess estimate. Maybe I missed a few more measurement opportunities, but the point is, there are lots of things we can measure in a lab compared to what we can measure at home.

Because lab equipment is so expensive, most people do not have access to it. Because they have no access to it, even those who can study how that equipment works have only a superficial knowledge of the meaning of those measurements. Even those who have access to it who we consider experts are still at the level of a dark age scholar compared to what it could be if those measurements were affordable enough to be done by the general public in their own homes. There is little motivation for the general public to learn what that equipment can do and how to read the results. Thus we have the same vicious cycle of ignorance. On a different level than in the middle ages, but still the same pattern.

The vicious cycle of ignorance was broken by the invention of the printing press. All of a sudden your average Joe had a reason to learn to read! It is starting to happen a bit in the way we understand how our body works, but there are obstacles. I believe we would see a lot more affordable scientific equipment if the public was more interested in practicing science than in watching a TV show about science. But a TV show about science is about as scientific as we get in our pursuit, for most people that is a pinnacle of their mind training for the day. If we could make it the very low point instead of the very high point, eliminating the mind-numbing, aptitude decreasing, and time wasting entertainment from the lower spectrum we might see more sub-2:10 marathoners among with many other positive developments from this change. If, only if. If mushrooms grew in a mouth, it would not be a mouth, it would be a garden!

P.M. 1.07 with Julia in 11:05.

Five Fingers - 812.65 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, Michelle, and Josse. Jeff paced Josse, while I paced Michelle through a 3x2 mile workout with 200 meter recoveries. We ran them on the trail alternating directions starting at the start of the 5 mile tempo. The times were 12:00.7, 12:01.4, and 11:51.2. Michelle wore the HRM while I wore the watch so I could see how hard she was working in terms of cardio. She was not working at all according to the HRM. Most of the time her HR hovered around 174-175. It would get there in the first 5 minutes of the interval and then just stay there or even drop a bit. But she struggled maintaining the pace. I challenged her to get her HR to 190 in the last mile of the last interval. She tried, was able to hit 177 briefly, then lost it back to 174. Then in the last quarter (1:22) she was able to bring it to 180, but she could not hold it there. Last mile was 5:53. I told Michelle she needed to remove stress out of her life and get more sleep.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:04, 2 with Benjamin in 14:58. Jenny joined for 1.5 in 11:30.

Five Fingers - 826.78 miles.

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

A.M. Ran with James, Jeff, and Matt at different times. Total of 10.27. James, Jeff, and I started together and warmed up for 1.38. Then I paced James through 6:00 pace until failure test. He made it to the mile in 5:56 with HR reaching 199. After that he suffered through another quarter in 1:36. His HR dropped to 197. I challenged him to bring it over 200, but he could not. He said the limit was not being able to get enough air. Looks like a cardio weakness, probably maturation related. Breanna had a similar problem about a year ago, and eventually grew out of it.

Then ran with Jeff the rest of the way after jogging back to him. Of all things the subject of our conversation drifted to microwave safety. I recalled a time when I was messing around with a microwave trying to crash its computer. So I was pressing lots of buttons randomly. Eventually the microwave responded with a message that said : Child. Jeff recalled a story about how he and his brother fried oats in a microwave. His younger brother (2 at the time) put in his oats into the microwave and tried to cook them. He was pressing all kinds of buttons randomly. Then Jeff (5 at the time) came and said, no this is not how you do it - Mom told us pres 1,3,0,Start. So he did that, except there was a number on it earlier from his brother's messing around. So the oats cooked for quite a while and caught on fire.

Ran into Matt and ran with him some as well.

A.M-2 Took VanGoGo to Computune to check out the anti-lock break light on problem and ran back with Benjamin and Jenny - 2.25 in 19:31.

P.M. 1 mile with Julia in 8:57. She earned the Saturday lunch out with Daddy prize. The standards are 9:00 for 1 mile for Julia, 1.5 in 12:00 for Jenny, and 0.5 in 3:10 for Benjamin. Benjamin has a shorter distance because he normally runs 1.5 with Jenny - I decided to make him do that to keep him from speeding on his daily runs.

It did take a trick to get Julia to do it, though. I pulled ahead shortly before the turnaround and said - Julia, if you are behind at the turnaround, we are going past it until you catch me. This got her to pick up the pace and hit the half mark in 4:35. After that it still took some work to convince her that she was capable of getting the standard with some reasonable effort, but it was not exceptionally hard.

Five Fingers - 837.05 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 8.25
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 10 with Jeff in 1:19:24. Benjamin rode his bike for 2 miles, then ran a warmup, then we did 6:00 pace until failure, which came at the quarter (1:29). Then he jogged 400, then tried 0.5 under 3:10, went through the quarter in 1:37, was losing it, and eased off to a jog. Still ran 0.5 in 3:30, and then we jogged back to his bike. Then we took him home, and ran 4 more miles. Ran 0.5 in 2:29 to feel the 5 K pace for the Minuteman 5 K this Saturday.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:48, 1.5 with Jenny in 13:15, and one more mile with no running kids in 6:40. Pushed Jacob the entire time. 

Five Fingers - 850.55 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Night Sleep Time: 238.25Nap Time: 14.77Total Sleep Time: 253.02
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