Breaking the Wall

Orem International Thangsiving 4 Miler

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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:

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 206.85 Year: 1851.13
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: 790.51
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Big workout with Ted. Ran at 6:10 AM. Colder, 35 degrees. Wore a jacket over long-sleeved, and shorts. Lots of leaves on the ground. Warmed up the first 6.22 in 46:31, 7:28.71 avg. Still dark, but the sun was about to rise. Started the tempo at the trail gate by the Utah Lake. Traded leads every quarter. First mile in 5:39. Battled the dark, the cold, and the leaves on the ground, so I was not expecting much. Felt good. Next 0.5 in 2:47, almost no leaves. Ted dropped back after 1.5. Next mile was a slight up, and more leaves. Got 5:39, 14:05 at the turnaround.

Had a hard time kicking into gear after the turnaround. Too cold, too many leaves. On top of that, saw our "farmer" on a bike with "Bingo". There is a guy on the trail that is always there, he always rides a bike, looks like a farmer, and has a mutt-like dog with him. We asked him the dog's name once. It was Leah. But I call it Bingo anyway. Anyway the farmer and Bingo appeared out of nowhere, and did not have enough time to react to get out of the way. To make things worse, Bingo is interested in runners. So I had to swerve into a ditch to get around them. The mile split was 5:33, slight down on the last .

After the Bingo swerve, I gradually recovered and started kicking into gear. Next 0.5 in 2:45. Was not looking forward to the last mile, it was full of leaves, although not as bad as on Tuesday, and the sun had already come out which made it easier to run fast. Managed to finally kick into gear and hit the last mile in 5:20 with the splits of 2:42 and 2:38. Total time was 27:43 with the last 2.5 in 13:38, total avg of 5:32.6.

Waited for Ted at the end, then we cooled down for 3.88 in 28:44, 7:24.33 pace. Total time for 15.1 in 1:42:58, 6:49.14 avg.

Found an interesting study on garlic and testosterone. The reason I checked was that I noticed some positive signs of increased testosterone level - quicker recovery after hard workouts is the one I am willing to publicly mention. The only thing I did different that I can recollect is suck on a piece of garlic two-three times a day for 10 minutes or more as an attempt to reduce the chances of getting sick. Sure enough, turns out some Japanese scientists have researched the subject on rats.

P.M. Sarah's tempo run. Dropped Julia off at a neighbor's house. Ran a warmup of  1.5 with Benjamin on a bike, Jenny on foot, and Jacob and Joseph in the stroller. Afterwards, Benjamin and Jenny traded places. Missed the turnaround point as it was covered with leaves, and ended up running  extra .03, so  ran 2.03 in 16:11. Than converts to 15:56 for 2 miles. Sarah was doing fine until it got dark enough for the leaves to start to confuse her. Then put Benjamin on a bike, Jenny ran home with Sarah, and we went the Daddy pace, ran 1.5 in 11:07. Got Julia, we ran 1.05 in 11:20 in the dark.

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

A.M. The Uneventful Half-Marathon with Ted at 6:30 AM. Ran the first quarter at 8:40 pace, then fairly quickly progressed to slightly sub-7:00. Did 8 strides that were supposed to be 100 each, but a few ended up being a bit longer because we kept running past the mark. Went faster on the last 2, around 15.5 - 16.0. Around 11 miles finally caught the 7:00 guy. Practiced whole body relaxation during the run. With about 2 miles to go Ted started to push the pace, we got into 6:10-6:20 range. It felt hard for a quarter, then it felt easy, and I was wound up, so I started pushing it a bit myself. We ran the last mile in 5:58, first half at 6:04 pace, and second at 5:52. It felt easy enough to where I was not sure if I should call it easy or marathon pace. I decided finally to call it marathon pace - better err on the conservative side. Our total time was 1:30:13, 6:52.89 avg.

P.M. A mile with Benjamin in 8:44, then 1.05 with Julia in 11:19, 1.5 with Jenny in 14:56, and 1.5 by myself in 10:20. 

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

A.M. Ironically, or maybe symbolically, ended up doing my run pretty much exactly as the Trial's were progressing. As much fun as Paul, Sean, and Logan were having at the Trials, I just realized that I was perfectly happy to experience it vicariously by reading their blogs, and run my sea-level record eligible course race in Memphis later with more time for recovery and preparation, less expensive trip, and a realistic chance to recover the costs. The knowledge that although I did not make it, the blog was still well represented at the Trials gave me a sense of peace, satisfaction, and accomplished purpose.

Had a big day in front of me, so I figured since I was not going to get much recovery, should take it easy. Decided to do a mile easy/mile at marathon pace fartlek for 20 miles on my standard course from my house to Bridal Veil and back. Yes, I know calling a 20 mile fartlek with half of it at marathon pace easy may sound funny, but doing a fartlek like this is a lot easier than straight 10 with the last 5 brisk, and then the last 10 hard with no breaks in between.

Most of the run was done in the dark. The easy miles varied between 7:10 and 7:35. The fast miles were: 6:00 (rolling up, two tunnels), 5:48 (a quarter down, the rest slight up), 5:54 (slight up, slippery bridge, VPB stop, could not find anything else, so used fir tree needles for TP), 5:56 (now into the canyon, more uphill, headwind), 6:20 (even more uphill and stiff headwind), 5:38 (down, tail wind), 5:35 (down), 5:36 (less down), 5:45 (rolling down, six turns, two tunnels, icy bridge), 5:35 (rolling, slight down, one tunnel, five turns). Total time was 2:11:57, 6:35.85 avg.

Came home and jumped on the web to find out what happened at the Trials. Thanks to Adam, found the best coverage on the Fast Running Blog message forum. The results need to be pondered. Great performances marred by a tragedy. Was surprised to see the report of Ryan Shay's death. Have some thoughts on what happened that I will share on the forum later.

Then went to the State Youth Cross-Country meet. Benjamin lost his shoe during the race at around 1200 meters, but still finished in one shoe in 9th place, top scorer for Team Provo, with the time of 14:37.5. No surprises in his race, Eli won with 11:56, Alexander Berry second about 40 seconds behind. Ted's son James won the Midgets with 11:26 holding off second place by 3 seconds.

P.M. Ran 1.05 with Jenny and Julia in 11:14, then another 0.5 with Jenny in 4:29, then 3.55 by myself. Pushed Jacob in the stroller the entire run.

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

A.M. My good old friend and training partner Ben Crozier was in town. He joined me this morning. This helped quite a bit, as Ted was out of town, and my Uneventful Half-Marathon would have been very uneventful otherwise. Ben is still not married, so Sarah and I gave him a lot of teasing about it, as well as practical advice. Even my son Benjamin joined, and offered some of his.

Benjamin joined us for the first 2 miles. The first one was rather uneventful even for Benjamin - 8:08. On the second he decided to show class and gradually wound it up hitting a 7:24 split, total time 15:32.

Then we ran another 8 at a slightly faster pace. I gave Ben a long lecture on the importance of sleep, and taking it easy on easy runs. He argued with me that he needed to do more speed work, then he'd be faster. I just has a hard time believing that a former 15:45 5 K runner that is not currently overweight would have those issues, and suggested a test. We ran a bit at what he thought was his 5 K race pace. He ran about 0.1 at 5:20 pace, which was about what I expected to see. Then after some rest, and further into the run, I did another demonstration setting a 6:00 pace and asking him to hold it for as long as he could. He made it through 500 meters, which was also about what I expected to see. This showed that the reason he recently raced a half marathon at 6:43 pace was more in not being able to hold the pace, than in the lack of speed. The main reasons for such a failure are lack of aerobic conditioning, lack of sleep, and lack of proper carbo-replenishment. So he is going to work on all three.

Dropped Ben off 10 miles total into the run (1:13:22), then added another 3.11 with 8 strides in the middle, total time for the half was 1:34:58, 7:14.63 avg.

P.M. 1.5 with Jenny in 14:49, 1.05 with Julia in 10:36, then put Jacob in the stroller and ran 3.62 in 27:08.

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

A.M. The Big Workout. An interesting day. I would say a different day for a number of reasons. On the light side of the matter, Ben Crozier joined me again, as well as Karl Jarvis. Ben adds to the light side. If there were jobs for running comedians he would be one of the leaders in this profession. He provides constant live running entertainment. Benjamin ran the first two miles with us in 16:32, then we dropped him off and continued for another 4.12 hitting the 6.12 mark in 46:09. Then it was time for my 7.5 tempo run.

This was the more serious side. Not so much because of having to run hard, that is a given in the Big Workout. The thoughts of Ryan Shay, his life and his death were on my mind. I knew the 5.5 mile mark would be special. I feel connected to every runner. I feel particularly connected to a competitive marathoner. I feel even more connected to a runner that does not have the most talent but makes up for it with work. I feel particularly connected to a front runner that is not satisfied to sit in a slow moving pack in a tactical race. Additionally, I found out that Stephen Shay who runs now for BYU is Ryan Shay's brother. So even though I had never met Ryan, his death hit close to home. But at the same time I had a feeling of perfect peace. I know that this life is only a temporary period of probation. We have already proven our ability to make good choices when we can see God. Now is the time to develop our ability to make good choices while we cannot see God, thus developing our faith. It is through faith only that most people are able to know that there is life after death, and thus we mourn those who depart because we do not scientifically know where they went, yet we can know through faith. I felt I knew through faith, and it was good enough. My mind was at peace.

The tempo run started at a leisurely pace. 5:43 for the first mile. It started getting warmer, the sun was out, there were much fewer leaves on the ground. I picked it up a bit and hit the 2.5 mark in 14:11. Not bad for uphill. On the way back, all I wanted to do is stay with the 5:40 guy. But I ended up getting into good rhythm, and started seeing 1:22 quarters quite often pretty soon. Decided no reason to back off if I could sustain it with a reasonable degree of comfort. Ran the next 2.5 in 13:47. On the way back I maintained a steady effort after recovering from a 180 turn, holding 5:36 pace, then winding it up to 5:32, and then 5:30 on the last mile which has a slight uphill. This gave me 13:54 for the last 2.5, 27:41 for the last 5, and 41:52 for 7.5, avg. 5:34.93.

Overall had a very hard time distinguishing between threshold and marathon pace. Something has changed. Faster pace that should be threshold felt easier and sustainable, and I was able to sustain it for long enough, and accelerate from it well enough to put it under marathon pace category. So I am going to say 2 miles of the tempo were at threshold.

This is the fastest time I've ever run on this tempo. The previous fastest time was 42:02, most of it was done trading quarters with Jeff vs. running alone, the last two miles were intentionally threshold, there were no leaves on the ground, it was productively warmer, and I felt I had worked harder. So it appears I am starting to get into better than pre-St. George shape. Now it is a matter of not blowing it before St. Jude and caching out on the fitness.

Ran 1.38 home in 10:17, total of 1:38:19 for 15 miles, avg. 6:33.27.

P.M. Jenny and Julia wanted to run by themselves around the block. So we let them. They ran 1.05 in 10:25 first together, then Jenny added another 0.7 to get 17:00 for 1.75. Benjamin joined her for the last 0.7, but was too impatient and took off finishing the segment in 6:10. Later I ran 6 miles with Jenny following me on a bike and Jacob in the stroller in 42:59.

Starting to think of 120/week as standard training mileage rather than high mileage.

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

A.M. A really uneventful easy 10.1 at 5:10 AM alone this morning, most of it in the dark in 1:13:46, avg. 7:18.22. I suppose watching the sunrise was the most interesting event, that, and wondering if perhaps the rustling of the leaves was coming from the wind or from some wild animal in the bushes.

P.M. 1.5 with Jenny in 14:20, 1.05 with Julia in 10:57, 2 with Benjamin in 17:44, 3.6 first by myself, then found a couple of UVSC runners on the trail and joined them for about a mile - 27:13 for the stretch. 

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

A.M. The Big Workout. Alone at 6:40 AM. Wore shorts, long sleeved, a jacket, and gloves in the warm-up. Ran 6.22 in 42:45. Then figured the weather was warm enough to take off the gloves and the jacket for the tempo. More leaves on the ground than Tuesday, but not the highest I've seen.

Tempo run was 5 miles. Started at the Utah Lake trail gate as usual. First mile was leisurely - 5:37. Felt good, but not looking forward to picking it up. It was still quite cold. Gave myself a bit of a kick in the pants, and that kicked me into gear. Next mile in 5:34 with some uphill in it. Ahead of the 5:36 guy, that's good. Next half in 2:47, 13:58 at the turnaround.

Good recovery from the turnaround. First quarter in 1:23, then got into a good rhythm, no quarters slower than 1:21 all the way to the end. 16:42 at 3 miles (5:31), then 5:21, and 5:19. On the last mile hit the leaves in the first half and slowed down to 2:42, but then made up with a 2:37 closing half. 27:22.8 for the whole run, avg. 5:28.56, last half in 13:24, avg. 5:21.6, actual negative split of 34 seconds, profile-adjusted negative split of 27 seconds. I am starting to wonder if the difference between directions for the 2.5 stretch is 10 seconds rather than 7. I am fairly certain about 7 seconds for the first mile starting from Geneva road - I've done mile repeats on it and consistently hit splits that were 7 seconds faster going towards the lake than the other way. But I am starting to suspect that the remaining 1.5 stretch favors the direction towards the lake by a couple of seconds. It looks flat, but I know that one quarter of it favors the direction towards the lake by 0.5. I also noticed that I hit slightly faster splits with the same effort when going towards the lake regardless of which direction I go first.

I was happy to have run the last 4 miles in 21:45. Last year I raced the Thanksgiving 4 miler in 21:50. Around the same time, I did a similar tempo run with a positive split in 28:18, hitting the same 4 mile stretch in 22:33.

Ran 3.88 cool down in 26:34. Total time for 15.1 was 1:36:50, avg. 6:24.77.

P.M. Ran with the kids and some on my own. Total of 5.25. Kids times - Julia 1.05 in 11:38, Jenny 1.75 in 16:24, Benjamin 2.1 in 17:22.

Benjamin wrote a song "Twelve Days of Running With Ben" about our friend Ben Crozier. It should appear in his blog shortly. Well, it all started with Ben writing "Twelve Days of Running With Sasha" back in 1999 when we were running together in Provo. Ben noticed that I had a standard set of phrases that I used repeatedly during a run, so he expressed his observation in a song. As I said earlier, he provides great running entertainment. It goes like this, if I recall it right - Dallen might be able to fill in the gaps:

On the first day of running with Sasha Sasha said to me - Ben, you are running too slow.

Then it continues in the format of the "Twelve Days of Christmas". The other things I say are:

  • I need to water a tree.
  • Let's do an acceleration.
  • I'll pick you up at seven.
  • Five mile repeats.
  • Ben, why aren't you married? (He still is not, single women interested in a 30 year old guy in good condition, take notice).
  • No apostate running! (He used to go off on unmeasured courses, run for 1:10 at 8:00 pace thinking he was running 7:00, and call it 10 miles instead of 8.75. I called it apostate running)
  • Wooh! (A noise meaning the horses are neighing or I am ready for the run to be over, so let's pick it up)
  • Let's run a five mile tempo!
I am missing three days - have to ask Ben and Dallen to see if they still remember.

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

A.M. The Inaugural Uneventful Half-Marathon with participants other than me and Ted. Jamie and Michelle joined us. They even warmed up. Also Adam joined us for the first three miles. I think men retain their show-off in front of ladies instinct even after they've been married for a while. We hit our first quarter in 1:59 instead of the usual 2:10. Then the ladies started to push the pace, so we had to pick it up. First mile in 7:34, followed by 7:07. I did not expect we would be going that fast, but that was just fine. Then soon the pace settled into a steady 7:00 groove. I had to take a VPB stop around 2.5 while the pack continued. It took 32 seconds. At first, I thought I could quickly catch them cruising at 6:30 pace. Then I realized they were going 7:00, so I figured I would have to do it with the siren and the flashing lights. Sped up to 5:36 pace, and caught the pack soon enough to give them their 3 mile split.

After the catch-up move, 7:00 pace started feeling a lot slower, and I was going to swear the pack has slowed down, but they did not - 7:00 pace right on. And the ladies were still very conversational. It was very clear that they've gotten into much better shape since St. George. 36:03 at 5.05, and 44:06 at 6.22.

Then it was time for the strides. Ted and I did the strides, while the ladies kept us honest on our recoveries with a fire-breathing chicking threat from behind. Did 8x100 averaging around 17-18 seconds. The form is starting to feel good, I was enjoying the strides for the first time since I started doing them, and the pace did not feel as sprinty as it used to.

Then around 8.75 Michelle's BYU team killer instinct began to break through. She picked it up to 6:40. After about a mile, Jamie decided to back off. Unfortunately, the course directions I gave her were not adequate, and she ended up getting lost. We'll do better next time.

Michelle continued to push the pace maintaining a solid sub-7:00 up a 1% grade. Then once we turned around, she used the downhill to pick it up to 6:40. On the last mile she started chasing the imaginary 1:31 girl. After some thought I upgraded the girl to a guy, if you can say that, well a guy is harder to get than a girl, and brings more credit to the chaser, so I guess we can call than an upgrade. Then I decided the guy should have a name, so I called him Tom. She ran the last mile in 6:20 finishing the half in 1:30:52. This is her record-eligible course PR, which I imagine is worth about 1:27 on the TOU half course. Her last 10 K, according to Ted's calculations was 42:30, which is almost as fast as what she did in the Payson Onion Days 10 K. Clearly some serious progress in the last two months in spite of running a marathon in the middle.

P.M. 2 miles with Benjamin, Jenny, and Jared in 17:46. Pushed the double stroller. Joseph rode in it. He enjoys the ride, but not the process of being captured and strapped into the stroller. Jenny ran 1.5 in 13:29. Jared ran all the way. Benjamin picked it up with 60 meters to go, and finished in 17:41.

Then 1.05 with Julia in 10:57. Then 3 miles by myself in the dark in 22:26.

Tomorrow I am running 20 starting at my house (339 N 1120 W in Provo) at 6:00 AM. Ted will not be able to make it. Start easy, then brisk easy, then after the turnaround at 10, consciously hard. Call 801-788-4608 before 10 PM tonight if you want to join me for part of it, or all.

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

A.M. Standard 20 miler from my house to Bridal Veil and back. Ran the first half on the border line of true easy and brisk easy in 1:08:56. Once warmed up and out of the tunnel maze, was going 6:40 when the headwind was mild to none, 6:50-6:55 with moderately hard headwind, and on the last mile slowed down to 7:10 with the headwind becoming stronger and the uphill steeper.

On the way back kicked into gear right away, hit the first mile in 5:38, then 5:32, 5:35, 5:31, 5:36. This gave me 27:52 for the first 5 of the tempo portion - 310 feet steady elevation drop. Then I let the horses loose with the intention to negative split the 10 mile stretch. This would be tough - only 240 feet of net drop, and it is rolling with 2 miles of tunnel maze. Next two miles were 5:29, and 5:30. The 5:30 one had the uphill near the cross-country club, I hit that uphill quarter in 1:25. Another half in 2:45, and then I was stuck in the tunnel maze with the leaves on the ground to make things worse. I think the biggest problem, though, was the broken rhythm, and I realized how much I rely on rhythm when fatigued. Next half in 2:53, 5:38 for the mile. Another half in 2:52, and now one more tunnel to go. Was able to shift gears and get going again. Next half in 2:44, 5:36 mile. The last mile had a tunnel and leaves afterwards. So the tunnel broke my rhythm, and then the leaves made it hard to find it again, but I eventually did. Managed 5:33 on the last mile. 55:38 for the last 10 (avg. 5:33.8), 27:46 for the last 5 (negative split, avg. 5:33.2), 2:04:34 for 20, avg. 6:13.7.

Then we went to Sarah's 5 K race. It was a stake 5 K supposedly organized by Amanda's stake. At least it was on the program. But nobody, including the person in charge who was unknown, showed up except Sarah, Amanda, Amanda's husband Derek, Benjamin, and another guy in their ward who we actually happen to know - his name is Todd. Fortunately enough, we were right next to the Provo River Trail, and I know all the marks on it well enough to create on the spur of the moment an out and back 5 K course that would pass USATF certification. So that is what we did. Todd went ahead and walked it on his own. Derek, Amanda, Sarah, and Benjamin ran a race starting together, and timing themselves with Derek being the back-up timer as well. I watched the rest of the kids.

Derek won with 20:01. Benjamin was second in 24:03. He originally was supposed to pace Sarah and Amanda, but after the first mile decided the pace was too slow for him, and took off. He hit the turnaround in 11:30. On the way back he managed to take a wrong turn and run on the alternative part of the trail, which is supposedly 0.1 longer. On top of that, when he exited the detour, he made a turn in the wrong direction and ran until he met Amanda. She told him to turn around, which he did. In about 0.5 he managed to move away from her by almost a minute although she finished in 25:02 and was probably running around 8:10-8:20 pace on that stretch. Sarah had a cold, and started extra conservative, but then started feeling better and sped up to 8:10 pace finishing in 26:17 with the splits of 13:40 for the first half and 12:39 on the way back.

Did a little bit of random running - some with Derek for his warm up, then from their house to the church to get the van - total of about 0.6. 

P.M. Ted and James came to run with me. Pushed Jacob in the single stroller the entire time. Ran 1.05 with Julia in 10:43, while Jenny, Ted, and James ran ahead. Then added another 0.35 untimed. Jenny ran 1.55 in 12:48 with the last 0.5 in 3:48. Ted said her form was good, she looked like a miniature female elite runner, and she was not breathing very hard.

Then joined Ted and James for a portion of James' speed workout. He was doing 2x1 mile in the middle of 9.5 run. I just ran 2.5 out and back. This section included the first mile repeat. Ted gave me a funny look and a comment about running a sub-6:00 mile with a stroller after having done a hard 20 miler earlier this morning. However, a single stroller with a 16 month old child slows you down only by 15 seconds per mile, so no big deal. But it sure created some motivational element of James. Ted and I kept rubbing in the fact that if I could do my 24th mile for the day with a stroller at a given pace, James had no excuse. At one point Ted said - James, say hi to the baby. I got the clue, and made sure saying hi to the baby would not be too easy. I can only imagine what is going to happen when James has a kid of his own and pushes him in the stroller while running with Ted - Dad, say hi to the baby. Come on, this is your grandson, say hi to him!

We ran the mile in 5:50. It felt very good. Then I turned around and jogged back at a slightly sub-8:00 pace. My total time for the 5 miles was 36:51.

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

A.M. The Uneventful Half-Marathon with Ted in 1:31:55, 8x100 strides, picked it up on the last mile, ran it in 6:00. Felt strong.

P.M. 0.5 with Benjamin in 4:22, then 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny - pushed Jacob in the single stroller for that part. Benjamin took off at the end, his 2 mile time was 18:07, Jenny ran her 1.5 in 14:05. Then 1.05 with Julia in 10:53, and 3 by myself, no stroller, in 20:59. Some interesting stomach issues. Burps, lots of gas, could not run longer than 1.5 without a serious bathroom break. However, all solid, and felt strong while running. Sarah and Jenny got some stomach issues as well.

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

A.M. Ran the Big Workout at 5:00 AM with Ted. Adam joined us for the first 4 miles. Warm up 6.22 in 45:49. Decided since it was early, I had stomach issues the day before and might possibly be a bit dehydrated or carbo-depleted, it was dark, plus I was just feeling plain lazy to hammer out 7.5 all by myself - so I decided to take it easy and run with Ted at whatever pace he wanted as long as it was sub-6:00. This could potentially be a hard workout as Ted sometimes has really good days and gives me a run for my money.

We went through the first 2.5 in 14:50 trading quarters. Sped up a bit on the way back - 14:34. The pace felt odd - no man's land. Too fast too be easy and relaxing, too slow to make me focus. So I kind of mentally drifted and suspended myself. Then Ted had a very serious VPB stop, some serious stomach problems. I told him I wanted to catch the 44:00 guy. With the stomach issues, he was not sure he'd be able to. So once we got going, he overcorrected and really put the hammer down hitting a 1:24 quarter. I was taken by surprise, but was able to refocus and come to grips that we were now in a different pace zone. So we hit the mile in 5:38. Then it was Ted's turn to lead. He thought I was not letting him lead, I thought he was too tired to lead and would not pass me. So I hit a quarter in 1:23, eased off a bit on the next one to 1:24 hoping that Ted would be able to draft, but he was falling behind, and I was already in gear. So I just kept going. Ran the last slight uphill mile in 5:29, 13:54 for the last 2.5, 43:18 for 7.5. Ted finished in 43:38, leaving the 44:00 guy in the dust as well.

Cooled down the last 1.38 in 10:45, 1:39:52 for 15.1.

P.M. Started with 0.05 to get Julia from her friend's house, then 1.05 with her in 11:15, then 1.75 with Jenny in 16:17, then 2.1 with Benjamin in 17:27, and 1.05 by myself in 7:35. Pushed Jacob in the double stroller the entire time. Felt strong.

Quotes from our kids at different ages:

Benjamin at the age of 3 after another kid took a toy away from him in church: "Sam, you must not do this, you must repent!"

Jenny at the age of 3: "When I grow up, I want to be a Lamanite so I can kill sheep!"

Julia at the age of 5: "...and the most expensive kind of love is marriage!"

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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A.M. Easy 10.1 with Ted in 1:14:30. Started at slower than 9:00, sped up to 7:00 on the second half, eventually worked our way up to 6:20 pace at the end. Felt great, neighing horses.

P.M. Ate something bad, possibly fish, or maybe just too much. After lunch was sitting down in front of a computer and started feeling chills and a bit dizzy. Got up, walked around, tried again. Noticed the chills were there when trying to read the computer screen, but would go away otherwise. Went for a run with Julia to test the waters. We ran 1.05 in 11:12. Felt better. Then Ted came with James and Jared. Ran 1.5 with Ted, James, Jared, and Benjamin in 12:43, then another 0.5 after dropping Jenny and Jared off in 3:28, 16:11 for 2 miles. Then 3 miles with Ted and James in 22:30 with 6x200 around 40s. Then 3 miles with Ted in 21:51. Found a friend on the road - his name is Lorenzo. Felt progressively better throughout the run.


Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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A.M. Big Workout with Ted at 6:00 AM. Woke up, was still feeling a bit funny. So I was not sure if this would affect my running or not. Yesterday at slower speeds it did not, but a 5 mile tempo has a tendency to explore and reveal hidden problems.

Ted came wearing shorts and announced his car reported the temperature of 20 F. That was the last thing I wanted to hear because if it was true, I would have to wear pants in addition to gloves and jacket. So I went downstairs to my computer to check the temperature. It was 29.2 F at the airport. This was right on the edge of the shorts/pants threshold for me, but I was so happy that I could wear shorts.

The warm up was slow, took us 2.5 to catch the 8:00 guy, but I heard the horses neighing. Hit 6.22 in 47:24, and started the tempo. Ted took the first quarter, a bit too hard, at first I thought I was just not warmed up, but then I saw 40 for the first 200 and told him we were going 5:20. So he backed off. We went through the first mile in 5:31 showing about equal degree of pace initiative during our quarter stints. Then Ted's ankle started to give out, and he started to lose steam. He did a 1:25 quarter, I did not want them to be slower than 1:24, so I picked it up on my turn and overcorrected to 1:21. Then Ted took his in 1:25 (uphill), which was fine with me, and I did mine in 1:24 which is still a bit uphill and rolling. This gave us 5:35 for the next mile. Then Ted did 1:26, it was a bit slow, but I did not feel like correcting it too hard with Ted being obviously not 100% already, the pending 180 turn and the goal of running 5:20 pace average on the way back. So I did mine in 1:24 again, 13:56 at 2.5, avg. 5:34.4.

On the way back, I was able to kick into gear right away. The first quarter was 1:21, then a steady stream of 1:20s with one downhill one in 1:19 up to the 4 mile mark. 3rd mile was 5:31, 4th in 5:19. The first quarter of the last mile had some leaves. I also lost concentration going through the gates, and wondering if I should try to hit the stop button on my watch with the gloves on, or if I should just not worry about it and simply look when I cross the line. Then I started to get worried about the overall time being messed up. I caught myself quickly enough, but this slowed me down to a 1:21 quarter. I learned that when running 5:20s little things begin to matter - your mind must be void of vain worries or you lose the momentum.

Repented on the next quarter and ran it in 1:20 again. Picked it up with 0.5 to go, ran it in 2:35. Last mile in 5:16, last 2.5 in 13:16 (avg. 5:18.4), incidentally a PR for that stretch, total time 27:12, avg. 5:26.4, only 24 seconds slower than all-time PR which was done in 60 degrees, only 3 mile warm-up, trading quarters with Jeff, the intention to run fast all the way, and a mildly positive split. I suppose this means I am mostly over the mini-illness of yesterday, but sure did give me some serious concern at first.

Talked to the farmer with the dog while waiting for Ted. His named turned out to be Harold, and the dog's name is Eeah (or however you spell it). Told him he was our farmer with the dog, and the dog's name for us is really Bingo.

Cooled down the last 3.88 in 28:18, avg. 7:17.63, total time for 15.1 1:42:54, avg. 6:48.84.

P.M. The Lost Sheep Stu decided to call me today. I told him he was officially a Lost Sheep. He said he wanted to go for a run. We ran 4 miles in 31:53. He committed to changing his Lost Sheep status. Encourage him through the new Private Message feature if he does not re-appear on the blog tomorrow. Then ran 1.05 with Julia in 11:16, and 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 13:56. Benjamin drifted off at the end and finished in 13:51. Benjamin is tapering for Regions.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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A.M. The Uneventful Half Marathon. It was more eventful than normal today. Ted and I started together. Soon a friendly lost dog joined us. It ran with us 2 miles, then found a lady with two dogs, and decided that was a more interesting company. In the mean time, Adam appeared out of nowhere, and caught up to us. So now it was Ted, me, and Adam. Adam ran with us to about 9 miles. I did 8x100 strides. Ted skipped those with his knee bothering him. Total time for the run was 1:34:49.

P.M. 4 miles with Lost Sheep Stu in 32:46 pushing Jacob. Then 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 13:58. Benjamin surged ahead at the end and finished in 13:49. Then 0.7 by myself, no stroller in 4:58.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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A.M. Long run at 5:00 AM. Had to get it done early to make it to Benjamin's Regionals race. Ted joined me for the first 5 miles. His knee was still bothering him, so he went only 12. Decided to run 15 hard instead of 10 for a change. In all honesty I just wanted to have an excuse for running the tempo part slower. But it ended up being decent anyway.

First 5 in 35:15, 240 feet of rolling gain, mild occasional headwind. Then picked it up. Next 5 in 31:12, 310 feet of steady gain, steady mild headwind. Turned around. Next 5 in 28:50, 310 feet of steady drop, steady mild tailwind. The sun finally came up and I could see. Last 5 in 28:19, 240 feet of rolling drop, not sure about the wind, probably mild tail for the first 2 miles, then none. Held 5:40 along University, then slowed down to 5:48 in the tunnel maze. Gave myself a kick in the pants after DI bridge, got back into 5:40 rhythm, but just did not have the juice to go faster. Then on the last mile starting singing Bingo in my head, got excited, and kicked into 5:30 gear. Ran 5:30 on the last mile, felt like I could have held it for another mile or two in a pack. Total time 2:03:36, 6:10.8 avg, last 10 in 57:09, 5:42.9 avg, last 15 including the Provo Canyon climb in the dark in 1:28:21, 5:53.4 avg.

Benjamin ran 3 K 13:31.2 in the Regionals taking 25th in Bantams, 1st from Team Provo again. This is a new cross-country PR for the distance for him.

P.M. Got a nice nap. Then was short on time, so had to make it quick. Fairly quickly got into the rhythm, and found myself running sub-6:20 before I knew it. Decided I could still finish the run in time at a slower pace, but by then I was already rolling. So I slowed down to around 6:25. 5 miles in 32:29, avg. 6:29.8. Odd feeling at the end of the day. I feel like I had not trained at all. Jenny and Julia ran their usual distances with Sarah.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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A.M. The Uneventful Half. Record number of participants today. In addition to Ted, and myself, we had Michelle, Tom, and Jamie for the full distance. Additionally Daniel joined us for the first 1.5, then turned around and ran back home - recovering from his ankle injury.

Two VPB stops, caught up at around 5:30-5:35 pace both times, total of about 0.8. Did 8x100 strides as well. We stayed together as a pack most of the way, Jamie fell back 5 seconds on the last quarter. Total time for the lead pack was 1:34:25. I was probably a minute faster due to the post VPB stop accelerations, but I did not stop my watch. Interestingly enough, Jamie got a PR for the half marathon today.

Interesting dream this morning. I dreamed about running a 1500 in 3:49 and being disappointed because I did not make it to the Trials (3:42 standard). Then I said, wait a minute, I am a marathoner! If I can run 3:49 in the 1500 I should be stoked instead - this means I've got a 2:12 marathon in me! Not only will this get me to the Trials with standard A, this gives me a shot for the team. Then I woke up, and it was time to train to make it true.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 17:32, 1.05 with Julia in 10:27, 1.5 with Jenny pushing Jacob in the stroller in 14:06, and then 1.5 still with Jacob in the stroller, but otherwise alone in 10:43.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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A.M. Big Workout at 5:00 AM. Ted did not make it, I suppose due to his knee pain. Part of it was with Clyde and Adam for portions of it. Adam turned around at 3.88. Clyde joined me for the first 2 miles of the tempo - his legs were still sore. First 6.22 in 47:03. Noticed some wind, did not like it.

Then started the tempo. I was lazy. Clyde had his horses neighing at first. So I took the first quarter in 1:28, Clyde responded with 1:20 on his. Odd, felt fast but not 5:20 pace fast. Then I took mine in 1:27, Clyde responded with a 1:25, 5:40 mile. I did mine in 1:28, Clyde did his in 1:23. Around that time I started liking Clyde's quarters, but still lacked the initiative on mine. Then I took no splits for a while - it was dark, and I kept missing the marks. Clyde all of a sudden lost steam and bailed out at 2 - I guess his legs started to complain a lot. I continued on in my laziness. Hit a 5:53 mile (slight up) before the turnaround with the last quarter of 1:29. Talk about a lazy bum. 14:24 at the turnaround.

On the way back tried to wake up. Hit the next mile in 5:44. Then things started to come together a bit, next mile in 5:38. Starting to gain on the 5:40 finally, but there seems to be some odd wind out there, and it is still dark. I am still not feeling extra motivated. Just as I about settled into a nice 5:38 rhythm, there was a gust head wind that slowed me down to a 1:29 quarter. 14:16 for the second 2.5, 28:40 for 5 miles.

On the way back, the tail wind helped me get into a nice 5:36 rhythm after hitting the first quarter in 1:26 recovering from a 180 turn. Prior to hitting the headwind earlier I had hopes to catch the 5:40 guy, but now my goal was to just break 14:00 on the last 2.5. So I was just cruising along at 5:36 pace knowing that I could eat away the 2 second deficit on the last mile barring the headwind or something crazy like that. Next mile in 5:38. Then with 1.5 to go the sun started to rise, and I began to see some light. I may also have gotten a brief gust of tailwind as well. That gave me extra momentum and with about the same effort I hit a 1:22 quarter. From then on, I did all of the quarters in 1:22 up until the last, and with a little bit of concentration but not really kicking hit the last one in 1:20. So that gave me 8:10 for the last 1.5, 5:26 for the last mile (slight up), 13:48 for the last 2.5, and 42:28 for the entire 7.5 tempo, 2 seconds ahead of the 5:40 guy, and a PR for the 5:00 AM version of that run.

Ran the cool down (1.38) in 10:34, total time for 15.1 was 1:40:05, 6:37.68 avg.

Observed an interesting phenomenon that I've seen many times before. When I hit the headwind I had a certain negative feeling in the quads. That feeling comes usually when it is cold and I am trying to either run hard or not super hard but I am not yet warmed up, e.g I can get it going as slow as 7:00 pace in the first mile on a cold morning. I can also get it on a warmer day running hard uphill or into a headwind, and on a cold day that feeling is more pronounced when the quads are in high power mode (uphill, headwind). It can happen at slower than marathon pace effort heart rate, so it is not lactic acid build-up, that feeling is distinctly different from anaerobic running, but it is similar in that it seems to signal to the brain to back off. I can even get it by just walking up the stairs. I am thinking that feeling comes from the blood vessels being too constricted to handle the blood flow in required quantities.

So the question for those with exercise physiology background - when running uphill or into ahead wind, would the increased contraction of the muscle squeeze the blood vessels to restrict blood flow to some perceivable degree?

P.M.  2 miles with Benjamin and Lost Sheep Stu in 17:23. Pushed Joseph in the single stroller. Then put Joseph and Benjamin in the double stroller and ran 2 more miles with Lost Sheep Stu in 14:49. Then 1.05 with Jenny and Julia in 10:55, 0.5 more with Jenny in 4:39, and 0.7 by myself in 5:03, no stroller.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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A.M. Very easy run with Ted at 5:00 AM this morning. 10.1 in 1:16:58.

Took a look at how the Hanson guys are training at Athleticore. Examined Chad Johnson, Nick Arciniaga, and Brian Sell. They train pretty much like I do. Brian Sell does a bit more mileage - 150 -160. Their speed work is 20-30 seconds per mile faster altitude adjusted, but the workouts are very similar - hardly any VO2 Max work, mostly tempos and aerobic intervals. However, the recovery rate is much different. I hardly ever have a bad day or any pains anywhere. They complain about aches and pains half the time. I need to solve the problem of being 20-30 seconds per mile slower on every distance. This is a beast, but I am determined to get to the root of it.

The challenge of the beast is that this is not a well-researched subject. Nobody really cares to develop a science of making a 31 minute 10 K runner into a 29 minute one. They just say the 31 minute 10 K should be happy that he is not a 35 minute 10 K runner or worse. I do not like that. I do not like web pages that take more than a second to load, I've always been able to make them load faster than that when I tried hard enough. I think we can do better than "be happy you can run 31:00" if we try. I feel driven to understand what exactly makes the trained 31 minute 10 K runner that way, why is he stuck there?

P.M. Easy run with Lost Sheep Stu - 4 miles at a bit slower than 8:00. He is procrastinating getting out of the lost sheep category, give him a personal message in his blog.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Race: Orem International Thangsiving 4 Miler (4 Miles) 00:21:06, Place overall: 3
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A.M. Ran in the Orem Thanksgiving 4 Miler. 21:06.4, 3rd place.

It was cold - 24 degrees, and windy as well. The wind was coming out of the Provo Canyon and making its way to central Orem. So good friendly cross-wind the first quarter, mild unfriendly cross-wind the next quarter, then more unfriendly cross-wind the next 0.5, mild friendly cross-wind the next 0.5, very friendly cross-wind the next 0.5, mild unfriendly next 0.5, very unfriendly the next 0.5, mild friendly the next 0.5, very friendly the next quarter, and mild unfriendly on the last quarter. I discovered this in the warm-up, and adjusted my expectations accordingly. The plan was to start slower than normal, draft as much as possible on the unfriendly cross-winds, and move from pack to pack on the friendly ones. Unfortunately for the goal of running a fast time, or perhaps fortunately for the goal of winning a turkey (top 5 overall or 1st in the age division), there were not many packs around, and I spent all of the race except the first mile alone.

As usual, there was a pack of high schoolers going out way too fast. They probably would be able to hold that pace all the way if they trained right. We are sure wasting a lot of talents in high schools. I worked my way through the pack trying to use them as wind breakers. It worked to a certain extent. I would tuck in behind a guy and start breathing noisily to make him feel like if he picked it up he would drop me. Unfortunately, those guys did not last, but each one would always pull me up to the next close enough to where I could advance to the next drafting target with a mild surge. Passed Ed Eyestone - he is back into running, although not nearly as fast as he used to me. Worked my way up to Danny Moody. Danny pulled me up to Seth Wold, Stephen Clark, and another runner I did not recognize.

I happily sat behind them. Then they slowed down into the wind, and I was itching to go, but not bad enough to break the wind for them. First mile in 5:18. Then Seth and Stephen just took off. I tried to go with them, but they were way too fast. But this helped me lose Danny and the other guy, which was helpful for the turkey cause. Next mile in 5:08 with friendly cross winds. Felt good. Now unfriendly cross winds. Third mile in 5:20 according to the official mark, but I am pretty sure it was about 5 seconds off. I could tell I was slower than 5:20. Made the turn and started recovering from fighting unfriendly cross winds alone for a mile. Started kicking into gear. With a quarter to go heard Danny Moody coming up on me. That was trouble, he can run a quarter in low 50s. So I ran like an antelope chased by a cheetah - its only hope is to have enough gap to start with and run the cheetah out of juice. It worked, I managed to hold him off, he finished 5 seconds behind. Last mile officially in 5:20, but more likely around 5:13-5:15. Got my turkey.

Felt good after the finish, jogging felt comfortable right away, which is a sign that although I did not run very fast, and did not feel like I could have gone faster, it was very aerobic, probably the most aerobic I've ever been in a 4 mile race. When sub-5:20 on a windy day in 24 degrees feels aerobic, it is a good sign for the marathon.

Ran back to meet Sarah. She got a PR of 31:57, and finished 161st out 547 men and women.

Then it was time for kids races. First the diaper division - 0-2 100 meters. We had two in that race - Jacob, and Joseph. Jacob got a DNS - refused to start the race. That's OK, he is only 16 months old, we'll work on having a better attitude next year. Plus he got a turkey in the raffle. Joseph did great. No complaining, no crying, ran the whole way. 46.2. 3rd boy, Pachev family record for the diaper division! Good race, even though the competition was stronger - the winner ran 34 seconds. Very good attitude for his age and the conditions.

We did not have anybody in the 3-4 400 meter race. In the 800 meter race they had everybody run together, which included two age divisions - 5-6, and 7-8, both boys and girls. That took me by surprise as I hoped the races would be in separate heat so I could pace all of the remaining children individually. With Julia being the youngest, I decided to pace her, and let Benjamin and Jenny run on their own.

Benjamin did great - 3:00.6, new PR, won the boys 7-8 by 27 seconds. I told him to hang back but keep an eye on the leaders up until 300 meter mark, then pull up to them, and around 400  put on a decisive winning move. He did exactly what I told him. His move was absolutely devastating to the competition. When I saw him after the turnaround, he was hauling, and giving the rabbit a run for her money. He tells me he ended up dropping the rabbit. Turkey for Benjamin.

Jenny was racing Sophia Thompson who is 8, so this was going to be tough. Sophia beat her with 3:14. Jenny got 3:34, a new PR,  2nd in the age division, but chicked all the boys except Benjamin and the 2nd place finisher in the 7-8 division.

Julia  also had  a tough race being only 5, and a young 5 as well, and racing in the 5-6  division, with Rachael Blackburn in the race. She was having a decent race up until 200 to go. Then she kind of gave up. But she still managed a decent time of 4:24, and a second place in her age division after Rachael, who ran 3:59. Interestingly enough, last year it was Jenny who took the turkey away from Rachael using the advantage of being 1 year older. But this year it was the Blackburn's turn for the turkey in women 5-6.

Ran a cool down with Benjamin (1.1), then another mile with Ted and James, then Jenny lost her special bunny. When you see her race like a furious dragon it is easy to forget that she is only 7. The lost bunny was a reminder. We looked and looked, and could not find it. Then Benjamin, Jenny and I even ran along the race course (total of 0.8), and still no bunny. Then we came back and Sarah had found it in the van. Jenny's sorrow turned immediately into joy.

P.M. Got home around 5:30 PM from Salt Lake, went for an easy 5 on the trail alone. Absolutely not a soul in any form. Felt a bit weak in the first 3 miles, then felt strong, and chased down the 7:00 guy - 34:57 for the run.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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A.M. Easy 10 with Ted in 1:14:30, did 8x100 strides. James joined us for the first 6, we also caught up to Adam around 2.5 miles, and he ran with us most of the way.

P.M. Ran 2 miles with the kids over by Ted's house. First 1 mile with James, Benjamin, Jenny, Jared, and Julia in 9:40. Then dropped Julia off, another 0.5 in 4:34 (14:14 at 1.5), dropped Jared and Jenny off, challenged Benjamin to catch the 9:00 guy, he cranked it up, took the hills as if they were not there, ran the last 0.5 in 3:27, total time for 2 miles was 17:41. Noticed that Benjamin is starting to develop an Ethiopian knee-lift - you look at him an wonder how a guy so short could take strides so long.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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A.M. Decided to be a bum today, since I am tapering. It was cold, so I waited until 11:00 AM for it to warm up. It did not warm up much - 30 degrees, and some odd winds, but that was as good as it was going to get.

15.1 progression run. Did not have any goals, decided to play by ear and set them as I went. Start out easy, then brisk easy, then marathon pace once it felt right. First quarter was 1:49, then started going 6:40, then 6:20, by 2 miles I was up to 6:00. Hit 2 miles in 12:51. After some hesitation decided not to give the 6:00 guy any more ground. Passed Adam around 3.3, invited him to join, but 6:00 pace was faster than he wanted to go. Hit the 5.05 turnaround in 31:01, then 38:01 at 6.22.

Cruised along edging up on the 6:00 guy like a predator. Next 2.5 in 14:45, turned around came back in 14:43. Now that catching the 6:00 guy was pretty much a done deal, decided to set a new goal - break 44:00 for the standard 7.5 stretch, and catch the 1:30:00 guy for the 15.1. That would mean putting a 36 second gap on the 6:00 guy. For that one I had to get my horses moving, and they fussed. They were enjoying the 5:55 pace just fine. It took a good 0.7 of negotiation before I could convince them to go 5:45 pace. Hit the next 2.5 in 14:29, 43:57 for 7.5.

Still had 1.38 to go, it was a rough maze. Three tunnels, lots of 90 degree turns, net uphill of 40 feet. Lost concentration, lost ground to 6:00 guy in a few spots. With 0.625 to go saw I needed to run 3:29 to make it. Wow, I really have got to move my horses for that, so I did. 42 for the uphill 200, then 1:25 for the quarter with 2 turns, and trying to get around a slowly moving SUV to cross 500 N, OK, now it is really time to stop messing around or the 1:30:00 guy will slip away, last quarter in 1:22, got 1:30:00 on the dot. Talk about a lazy bum, waited for the last moment and would not even budge to be 1 second ahead. Average of 5:57.62. Last 13.1 in 1:17:09, avg. 5:53.36.

P.M. The difficulty of negotiating with the horses in contrast with the aerobically conversational ease of 6:00 pace suggested a nervous system failure. This did make sense, as we had a couple of rough nights with sick kids, then I raced faster than my normal tempos, but did not take naps in the last two days. So although I was not feeling sleepy I decided to lay down and let my body take a nap. At first not much was happening, but pretty soon I zonked out and ended up sleeping for 2.5 hours. Then ran with the kids. 2 miles with Benjamin in 17:29, then 1.05 with Jenny and Julia in 10:52, then another 0.5 with Jenny, total of 15:27 for 1.55.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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A.M. Taper week. There were a couple of posts on the blog earlier suggesting different types of tapering. In addition to my personal experiences I drew some ideas from the following. First, a quote from Tinman:

Your muscle fiber types also determines how long you must taper. People who are naturally endurance oriented and not speedy will need short tapering phases. I have observed that slow twitch runners tend to lose aerobic endurance quickly upon cessation of mileage and suffer greatly in races when they taper too soon and too much. At the other end of the continuum, runners who are speedy tend to retain aerobic endurance more easily, so they can afford to taper longer. Most runners are somewhere in between these two extremes. However, no matter what you do, remember, if you are not tired, sore, and beat up, you don,t need to taper much.

If he is right, I do have two things going for me to explain why I do better with a short taper. One, being naturally very much endurance oriented. My favorite distance at the age of 12 was a 10 K, I really like that you did not have to be 3000-anaerobic to race really well. I looked forward to 10 Ks and dreaded track races because they were so short. And two, I am definitely not tired, sore or beat up from my training. Quite the opposite - I can barely tell I've trained. And, looking at the effect and trying to discern the cause, I have suffered many times in the past from tapering too soon too much, and on the other hand have run PRs and near PRs completely untapered.

I also looked at the Hanson guys at Athleticore, and decided to follow more or less what Chad Johnson and Brian Sell did before the Trials. I generally loathe the idea of copying somebody's training just because they are faster - first, it may not be their training that makes them faster to begin with, their training could very well be sub-optimal, but they are still faster due to natural abilities, and also, even if it does make them faster, they may very well be different enough that the same thing will not work for you. But I did notice that they were training already almost exactly the same way I did, so I figured looking at their taper with a bit of a grain of salt would not be a bad idea.

The end result was to do pretty much what Ted suggested. This morning ran 10.1 easy with Ted in 1:13:48. Did 8x100 strides, first 5 in 18, the rest in 17.

P.M Run with the kids, total of 2.55. 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 14:28. Then 1.05 with Julia in 11:08. Benjamin was coming down with some sickness. I've got a little bit of respiratory irritation as well, but it has not yet been showing in reduced energy levels or running performance. I hope it stays that way. It is a miracle I have not gotten sick with 125 mile weeks and 5 potentially sick little kids around. Sucking on garlic like crazy, this is my only chance. Better off than before St. George so far, knock on wood although I am not superstitious, but I still have a flight ahead of me with plenty of chance to catch something this time of year. But it is just as bad for the competition, so the secret to getting money in a December marathon is showing up healthy at the starting line.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Jacob woke us up at 1:00 AM. Sarah nursed him three times. He was still not happy. I took him downstairs and worked for a while, he fell asleep. But I did not get good sleep last night at all. However, was able to nap for an hour in the late morning right before my run.

Just one run today. Started with 1.05 with Julia in 11:08. Then 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 13:15. Benjamin was getting anxious to chase down the 9:00 guy, so I let him, then made sure Jenny was OK, and caught up to Benjamin. Jenny finished in 13:47.

Then ran 8 easy miles on the Provo River Trail with 2x0.75 pick-ups. First pick-up was into unfriendly cross-winds, ran 3:57. On the second one, ran the same stretch backwards in 3:51.5 with what felt the exact same effort. Most of the cross winds were friendly this time. Total time was 50:55, 6:21.88 avg. The pace felt unusually easy. I did not try to force it at all. When I saw it was fast, I checked and double checked that I was not into the "impress the public" gear - when you think you are running easy, but you really are not. I was rather ru So I decided to just enjoy it while I could instead of artificially slowing it down.

Looks like the respiratory irritation is still well contained - it did not seem to affect the running performance at all. I would be very satisfied if I can keep it this way until Saturday.

For everybody who missed the news - I am tapering for the St. Jude Marathon in Memphis, TN this Saturday.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Easy run with Ted, 6 miles in 44:12.

P.M. 1.05 with Julia in 11:21, then 1.5 with Benjamin, Jenny, and Stu in 14:13, then 2.5 with Stu in 21:54. 

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

A.M. Easy 6 with Ted in 44:27.

Our 11th wedding anniversary today. The plan is to go up to Salt Lake, drop off the kids at Sarah's sister's house, then go on a date to the Jordan River Temple. Then a flight to Memphis, TN tomorrow. Sarah told our story in her blog entry for today. To add to that, the LDS missionary handbook says "When you are transferred to a new area, find your new companion without delay". I came to BYU in 1993, then went on a two year LDS mission. Usually somebody residing in Provo gets called to some far away place like Japan, Russia, or Latin America. I was called to serve in the Salt Lake City Mission, only 50 miles north. Missionaries get transferred every couple of months or so from one area to another. So when I was finished in 1996, and came to Provo, it felt like another transfer. Having prayed to know the will of the Lord first, I decided it was not good for man to be alone, and proceeded to find my new companion without delay. The good news was that this time the companion could be a woman, and I already knew which woman it was going to be. So I called Sarah's grandma, and eventually tracked her down.

We went for a walk by the Provo Temple. This was a good place to go for a walk. Latter-Day Saints get not only married but also sealed for time and eternity in our temples. Marriage to us is a matter of an eternal covenant. To us, just seeing a temple makes us think of marriage and invites a special spirit into our thoughts. So while we were there I felt a gentle nudge of the Spirit to lay out the matter straight and ask Sarah to marry me. I did not have a ring, nor did I have money to buy one, but I did not worry about it too much. The right woman would marry me without a ring, she'd be able to see past that, and if she cannot, she is not the right woman. Sarah said she had to think. Two weeks later she gave me a test - I had to change her niece's diaper. This was the first diaper I've ever changed, I was clumsy (still am), but I passed based on the sincerity of the effort. So she said yes, and we were married two months later.

P.M. Kids run. We are staying at the Sarah's sister's house for the night. Her kids wanted to run as well. To keep things simple, we just went to the Benion Jr. High track and ran around it. I ran 2 miles with Benjamin in 15:58. He kept speeding up gradually with every lap during the run. Was impressed with his last quarter in 1:41 even though this was a dirt track partially covered with snow.
Girls ran on their own and slacked off a bit on pace, but were disciplined in covering the distance with no direct supervision except for Julia stopping occasionally to pick up some snow. Julia ran a mile in 11:08, including those odd stops. Jenny ran 1.5 in 15:50.

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A.M. Flight to Memphis, TN. It was full of adventure. Security told me I could not bring soy milk and water on the flight, so I had to check it in. But I forgot to check in the honey, or rather did not realize it was banned as well. So my bag ran the alarms, and they confiscated my honey. I did not have the time to mess with trying to check it in as well.

A race volunteer by the name of David picked me and Wilson Chepkwani, a 2:14 Kenyan marathoner, 3rd this year at Hartford, at the airport. Simon Sawe was going to run, but bailed out at the last minute. Saw a list of 26 - 2 bailed out elites, both men and women. Joseph Sitinei who I raced at TOU is running as well.

P.M. Around 4.1 easy miles meandering in the downtown Memphis with MickeyB. Irritated throat is giving me concerns. I know I could race a good half with it, but marathon is a long way to go. Trying to hold off problems using my favorite Zmei Gorynovich (legendary Russian-fairly tale tri-headed fire-breathing serpent) method - lots of garlic.

P.M - 2. Legs felt a bit flabby, and I felt I would have a hard time falling asleep, so I decided to go for a brief shakeout. Ran around the hotel block 8 times. Course Tool showed it was 0.28, but being so short of a loop I think I ran into some small geo-coding error and mapped it out wrong. So I am going to call the distance 2.05, ran it in 13:14 with a pickup on the last 0.5 to a mild marathon pace. Felt better and more confident afterwards knowing that the systems were ready for a decent race even though perhaps not the very best.

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