Breaking the Wall

Spanish Fork Half Marathon

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Orem,UT,United States

Member Since:

Jan 27, 1986



Goal Type:

Olympic Trials Qualifier

Running Accomplishments:

Best marathon: 2:23:57 (2007, St. George). Won the Top of Utah Marathon twice (2003,2004). Won the USATF LDR circuit in Utah in 2006.

Draper Days 5 K 15:37 (2004)

Did not know this until June 2012, but it turned out that I've been running with spina bifida occulta in L-4 vertebra my entire life, which explains the odd looking form, struggles with the top end speed, and the poor running economy (cannot break 16:00 in 5 K without pushing the VO2 max past 75).  


Short-Term Running Goals:

Qualify for the US Olympic Trials. With the standard of 2:19 on courses with the elevation drop not exceeding 450 feet this is impossible unless I find an uncanny way to compensate for the L-4 defect with my muscles. But I believe in miracles.

Long-Term Running Goals:

2:08 in the marathon. Become a world-class marathoner. This is impossible unless I find a way to fill the hole in L-4 and make it act healthy either by growing the bone or by inserting something artificial that is as good as the bone without breaking anything important around it. Science does not know how to do that yet, so it will take a miracle. But I believe in miracles.


I was born in 1973. Grew up in Moscow, Russia. Started running in 1984 and so far have never missed more than 3 consecutive days. Joined the LDS Church in 1992, and came to Provo, Utah in 1993 to attend BYU. Served an LDS mission from 1994-96 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Got married soon after I got back. My wife Sarah and I are parents of eleven children: Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, William, Stephen, Matthew,  Mary,  Bella.  and Leigha. We home school our children.

I am a software engineer/computer programmer/hacker whatever you want to call it, and I am currently working for RedX. Aside from the Fast Running Blog, I have another project to create a device that is a good friend for a fast runner. I called it Fast Running Friend.

Favorite Quote:

...if we are to have faith like Enoch and Elijah we must believe what they believed, know what they knew, and live as they lived.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie


Favorite Blogs:

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Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 60.05 Year: 1638.67
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 640.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 450.37
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Brown Crocs 4 Lifetime Miles: 1334.06
Amoji 1 Lifetime Miles: 732.60
Amoji 2 Lifetime Miles: 436.69
Amoji 3 Lifetime Miles: 380.67
Lopsie Sports Sandals Lifetime Miles: 818.02
Lopsie Sports Sandals 2 Lifetime Miles: 637.27
Iprome Garden Clogs Lifetime Miles: 346.18
Beslip Garden Clogs Lifetime Miles: 488.26
Joybees 1 Lifetime Miles: 1035.60
Madctoc Clogs Lifetime Miles: 698.29
Blue Crocs Lifetime Miles: 1164.32
Kimisant Black Clogs Lifetime Miles: 720.62
Black Crocs 2023 Lifetime Miles: 1312.70
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Night Sleep Time: 53.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 54.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest. A miracle happened. I picked up a copy of the Ensign in the afternoon and started reading it. Normally my eyes start getting tired in half an hour of reading anything, I cannot read for more than half an hour straight. Given the way I was feeling around that time I was expecting my eyes  to tire out in 15 minutes. But I read for almost 2 hours and the eyes did not feel tired. I learned a lot. I figure there was something important for me there so the Lord made my eyes strong enough to read it.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Paced the kids at Onion Days in Payson. Next year I want to have our own Fast Running Blog races. I am tired of supporting raffle jogs. Consider this - with some very rare exceptions every race around here gives away a prize of greater value in a raffle than it does to the overall winner. What kind of message does this send? "We are all winners" -:) ? Why do we even race? Why even bother paying a timing company a thousand bucks to time the race, and then hold an award ceremony? Just bring everybody to the start, fire the gun, jog, everyone is a winner, then go straight to the raffle afterwards.

Yes, dealing with the reality that you are in a race you cannot win can be hard. At the start of the Minuteman 5 K it was announced that we would have an opportunity to win some cash. I knew that most of the crowd had a statistical zero chance of beating me, and yet I had a statistical zero chance of getting any cash. So much for the chance. There was no chance. Many runners approached me asking if I was going to win, or if I had won. They were rather shocked when I told them about the statistical zero, or, post-race, materialized zero. They could not comprehend the dreadful reality of that zero. Yet it is in those races if we choose to face our own inadequacy that we develop the strength to push ourselves and improve. Had I not chosen to face that dreadful zero earlier I would still be running 2:40 marathons.

So we went to the race. It was a 5 K. Benjamin ran by himself in 21:56, 20th place overall among men (out of 118 runners), chicked only 6 times (out of 134 runners), not bad for a kid. Splits were 6:45, 7:07, 7:22, 42. Won 1-9 division by over 6 minutes. Probably course record in his division, but they do not keep track of those. Beat everybody in 10-13 division as well. For some reason he was having a slow day. He ran 21:12 on a slower course 4 months ago. Two possibilities - his pants were too long and too moisture absorbing, and that slowed him down in the second half of the race when it started to rain. Or maybe he is just going through a growth spurt, and his cardio is lacking a bit. In any case, 21:56 is quite a respectable time for a 9 year old, so I am not going to worry about it.

I paced Jenny while pushing Jacob and Joseph. She was doing well in the first mile and a little after, acting feisty, having fun passing people. First mile in 7:26, a slight downhill. The second mile was a mild uphill, and we started to get some minor headwind as well. She slowed down to 7:54. She caught up to a few adult girls in the third mile and that got her going a bit faster. Her next mile was 7:49. She ran 52 seconds from 3 miles to the finish, which I think was a little long. I ran the course two more times later for the mileage. First time around I hit that stretch in 51 seconds going about 7:20 pace, and second time around 49 seconds going around 6:30 pace (based on the split from 2 to 3). Jenny finished in 24:01, new PR by 1:03. 14th place among women overall. Won her age division (1-9), but the win was dimmed by the fact that there were only two girls running. However, she beat everybody in the 10-13 division as well, and set a course record I imagine - at least I have not seen a faster time in that division in the past. Only 43 out of 118 mostly adult men avoided the fate of being chicked by 8 year old Jenny.

Julia paced Marion, sort of. That was a way of finding something productive to do for Julia during the race. I thought that if we gave Julia pacing responsibilities she would be able to mentally handle a 5 K better. They ran together, then Julia took off, then got tired and walked, then Marion caught up to her, then at the end after I had come back Marion picked it up, and Julia started to struggle and fell back a bit. Marion got 30:57. Julia ran 31:12, but she was not officially in the race.

Sarah being 32 weeks pregnant ran 34:37, and finished 91st out of 131 women. That is a huge late pregnancy PR for her. She inspired me to create a new concept - virtual pregnancy. You do not have to be a woman to be virtually pregnant. If you are under 50, are not actually pregnant, and cannot break 34:37 in a 5 K, you are virtually pregnant. What is special about Sarah is that she is not a super-athlete. Her all-time 5 K PR is 24:19. So a 34:37 5 K can reasonably be used as some basic health test. If you cannot break it, it is a condition (virtual pregnancy), and it is probably time to make some life style changes.

Ran some more mile afterwards to make the total of 12, including running the 5 K course twice. Second time around decided to beat Benjamin's time, picked up the pace a bit, and got 21:22. Had to run 6:30 pace at the end to do it. Noticed that the difference between 6:30 and 7:20 for me is mostly in the focus. 7:20 = light breathing while spacing out, 6:30 = same breathing as 7:20 but a lot more focus.

Finished at Marion's house.

A.M-2. Michelle had another 4 miles in her, so we plotted against Marion and convinced/tricked her into going with us on a bike for another 4 miles. Just as we got out the door it started raining very hard including hail. Hail always makes me think of a scripture in Helaman 5:12 in the Book of Mormon which basically says that the winds and the hailstorms of the devil have no power of those who build their foundation on Christ.

At the end of the run I remember Ted telling me about Bill Dillinger coaching him at Oregon and the surprise challenges at the end of a workout. So I figured Michelle could use one of those, and I challenged her to run hard to the end. Then Marion challenged me to beat her, and that gave me a chance to turn my legs over a bit.

Five Fingers - 1243.27 miles.

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

A.M. Ran with Jeff. 2.62 warm-up. Noticed during the warm-up that I was running faster than normal and not as sleepy. Jeff and I speculated if taking a day off work made a difference. I've had this happen before - neural fatigue, then do not work for an extra day, and all of a sudden feeling the power coming back. And the opposite too - lots of work that requires mental focus, then neural fatigue symptoms full blast.

Then 5 mile Vladmir Kuts tempo. Kuts won the Olympic gold in 5000 and 10000 in 1956. In the 10000 he wore out his main competitor Gordon Pirie with a sequence of hard quarter mile long surges. Thus I decided to name this workout in his honor.

The plan was to run 90 seconds for the recovery quarters, and as fast as I could in the fast quarters given the recovery constraints. This workout serves multiple purposes:

Work on race specific speed. Regular 400 meter repeats work on something else - they teach you to run 400 meters essentially fresh. Starting HR for me would be 100-120. In this workout, starting HR is 150-155, and even as high as 160 in the later intervals.

Teach better economy in the marathon pace range. Something happens when you start thinking of 6:00 pace as something you do in between intervals to recover. You run more relaxed, and try to savor every step, and every gasp of breath as if it were your last one.

Reboot the nervous system. We play a trick on it. We say, go fast for just a quarter, then it's break time. Somehow this works. All of a sudden it fires harder than it would have otherwise and does not quit. Yet in the end there is not much of a break. The brain just thinks there is going to be a break. And I think the constant jerking tends to wake it up as well.

I thought the recent struggles maintaining 5:00 pace for as little as a mile would make consistently averaging 80 a challenge. However, I ended up doing much better than expected.

Jeff was in charge of the recovery pace to keep it honest. That helped a lot. He also took charge on the fast quarters, which kept me honest as well.

Splits: 89, 75, 89, 75 (5:28), 91, 74, 91, 76 (5:32), 91, 74 (13:45 at the turnaround), 94, 76 (5:35), 89, 77, 90, 76 (5:32), 91, 78, 90, 75 (5:34) - 27:41.2 for 5 miles. This was the fastest time for this tempo since DesNews. On Saturday all I could do running much more evenly paced was 28:06.

HR - climbed to 163 at the end of most intervals, back down to 150 at the end of each recovery. On the last one Jeff was yelling at me with a very loud voice to give him five. I did all I could, and this drove HR up to 168.

Afterwards ran a cool down with Jeff to 10.5 total, then 1.5 with Jacob in the stroller, then 2 with Benjamin running and Julia in the stroller in 15:44. We were out of soy milk, so we ran to Albertsons.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 11:13, 1.5 with Jenny in 13:48 during Benjamin's soccer game at Wasatch elementary. Benjamin's team won 3-0. Jenny lost her bunny. Although she is fast enough to be an asset on your average high school cross country team, she is still only 8 and does get upset about her lost precious bunny. We have an idea of where it may have been left. When we came to look for it later Phil Olsen's son told us he had seen it, and showed us the approximate location, but it was not anywhere near. I looked for it this morning again, and I found just about everything of greater interest for someone to pick up except for Jenny's bunny. Jenny is very upset. There was a cross-country meet going on around that time as well. If you know anything about Jenny's bunny, send us a note.

T4 Racer - 501.93 miles.

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

A.M. Ran with Jeff and Josse. Paced Josse through 3x2 miles. She ran 13:08, 13:34, 13:30. On the last one she wore my HRM. Interesting HR patterns. She started the interval with HR of 125. It climbed to 165 in 0.5. Then around 1.25 she hit 172. In the last quarter she was able to be consistently over 180, and maxed out at 187. During the cool down her HR hovered in the 145-150 range. So, assuming the HRM was working right, we are looking at a cardio/aerobic power limitation. At least over that interval. It would be interesting to see what her HR does when she crashes around mile 7 of a half-marathon.

P.M. -1 Ran 1.03 with Benjamin, Jenny, and Julia to pick up our new van in 10:03. Julia fell back a bit and finished in 10:11. Fueling a CNG vehicle is a different experience. Definitely less convenient, and it takes longer - took about 5 minutes to pump 6.8 gallons, and we had to wait for two people ahead of us to finish since only one pump was working. However, cannot complain about the price. Filled up about half a tank for $5.83. This should be good enough for about 100 miles. And if you do run out of gas you have to be towed.

P.M -2: 1 with Benjamin in 8:48 with Jenny joining for the first 0.5 in 4:39. Then 4 miles on the trail to the Utah Lake in the dark in 29:45. I could only hear crickets and my footsteps as I watched the very late stage of the sunset. It was beautiful.

The reason I ran out 4 miles was that Joseph wanted to go for a ride in our new van. So Sarah drove to the Utah Lake to pick me up. Noticed how roomy the van was. All that room will come handy during relays. If only we can make sure we do not run out of gas, that is.

On the way home we observed an interesting scene. Two cows were being escorted along the road by a pickup truck and two police cars with their lights on. We were stuck behind the procession for a few minutes. Finally the cows made it home, and we were able to resume normal driving.

Five Fingers - 1258.52 miles.

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

A.M. Ran with Derek. The plan was to do 6x1 mile with 200 recovery in 5:20 each. Ran 2.38 warm-up. Did the first one alone in 5:22.0. Splits: 82, 80, 81, 79. HR maxed out at 159, avg. 145. Felt good at 5:25-5:30 pace, but felt like there was an impassable wall at 5:20 pace.

Ran the next one with Derek in 5:20.1. Splits: 82, 80, 79, 79. HR avg 152, max 161. Same feeling as in the first one.

On the third one (alone) - 5:22.4. Splits: 81, 81, 81, 79. HR - avg. 153, max 164. Same feeling.

At this point I realized it was time to stop the workout. It became apparent that the nervous system was already tired at the start of the workout and making it work only made it more tired. Unlike the muscle the nervous system does not overcompensate during recovery. Maybe it would if you could truly rest it, but I do not have that luxury. I have to work to pay the bills, running does not do it. And I have other responsibilities as well. So in essence I should approach this like I would training an injured muscle in the circumstances that required me to use that muscle extensively during the day. The training would need to be of therapeutic nature.

Ran some more with Derek to 8 miles, and then another 3 by myself.

T4 Racer - 513.93 miles

P.M. 1.5 with Benjamin in 13:26 (he was not feeling well), 1.5 with Jenny in 13:17, and 1 with Julia in 11:00. Pushed Jacob.

Five Fingers - 1262.52 miles

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

A.M. Ran with Tyler, Matt, and Nick McCombs. Total of 12 miles in 1:32:47. Picked up in the last half mile for a neural drive test. Ran 84,81 (2:45) flat terrain, HR got up to 152. Felt energized in the second quarter and felt like I could hold that pace forever. The breathing was deep and vigorous, but at the same time pleasant and sustainable.

Did an experiment with Nick and Tyler. Tyler weighs about 140-145 lb, so essentially my weight. Nick weighs 115-120 lb. I arm wrestled both, and lost within 5 seconds both times. Asked both about their arm training activity. Tyler does push-ups once a week, Nick does not do anything. To add more data to this - last spring I arm wrestled Jeff (125 lb, no consistent arm training either) and lost in about 20-30 seconds.

The results confirm my suspicion that there is something more going on than just untrained arms.

Some more food for thought. Around the age of 9 and up until 11 I was tied with another kid in a group of 20 boys in the tennis ball throw. This was not just a one time thing - we threw the tennis ball about once a month in our PE classes. What is interesting is that while I was a skinny kid, the other was not that skinny. And he found himself at the rear in all forms of fitness tests. The average kid of my build would out-throw me by 50%, while there was one in that group that out-threw me by 100%. That same kid was number one in all fitness tests including distance running and cross-country skiing.

So in short, the hypothesis is that Quality X correlates with the ability to produce a lot of coordinated quick force per muscle mass in any muscle in the body without having to train it. So you could predict somebody's distance running potential fairly accurately with the following tests: make sure they have enough slow-twitch fibers, then make sure they do not have any inherent cardiovascular weaknesses or defects, and then have them throw a tennis ball and prorate the throw distance for body weight. Crazy idea - yes. But I think one day it will be proven right.

Another twist on it. If you stipulate slow twitch fiber dominance among the competitors, and prorate the throw distance for body weight and arm size, my predictions is that guys like Wanjiru and Bekele would have a shot at winning the world competition in the tennis ball throw. You can run low 2:20s in the marathon off pure aerobic power with a below average neurological explosiveness, but to run under 2:06 you need to be explosive.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:48, 1.5 alone in 11:53, 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 13:16.

Five Fingers - 1278.52 miles

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Race: Spanish Fork Half Marathon (13.11 Miles) 01:13:55, Place overall: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Spanish Fork Half Marathon, 1:13:55, first place.

Originally was planning on running Peruvian Lodge, but it conflicted with a church meeting in the afternoon which I did not want to miss. I figured a half marathon would be a good for marathon preparation anyway. And we had a comp that would have gone to waste otherwise. Plus I had not yet won any races this year. So I guess I was like an injured tiger that cannot catch quick antelopes anymore and goes for easier meat.

Also, this half is a loop course, no downhill. I always wonder and estimate what my downhill performances are worth on a loop course. This would be a good chance to get a less disputable measurement. I say "less disputable" because race directors make no claim of course certification, and I do not have any knowledge of that course being certified. However, I saw some signs of a diligent effort to ensure correct length. All mile splits made perfect sense. I also noticed that mile 2 of the 5 K was at the exact same spot as mile 11 of the half, while the finish of the 5 K was marked a few meters before the finish of the half. This is how it is supposed to be - the distance from mile 2 of the 5 K to the finish is about 4 meters longer than the distance from mile 11 of the half to the finish. It was comforting to know that the race directors cared enough to pay attention to that detail, they were not rounding it off to 0.1 of a mile.

But regardless, past performances on this course have established a standard. So in some respects it did not matter if the course was exact. We had the following benchmark times:

Dennis Simonaitis 1:12:53 (2005), Mike Kirk 1:14:33 (2004), Chris Rogers 1:16:08 (2007), Chad Derum 1:17:42 (2007).

The race website reports also that Trevor Pettingill ran 1:08:31 in 2003. I also know that Matt Harmer ran 1:11 in the same race. This sounds suspicious. Although both were in good shape around that time, neither of them had a performance of comparable quality. Trevor ran 1:09:57 a couple of weeks earlier in the Great Salt Lake Half, which has a net drop of 100 feet and a couple of short hills in the last 2 miles. Trevor that year hit what my predictor said he would within 20 seconds in every other race with the exception of St. George - the predictor said he would have run 2:19:23 while his actual time was 2:20:35, and Alta Peruvian lodge which is so weird of a race that the predictor is off quite often. Matt had run the Great Salt Lake half in 1:13:38 (I think), and was on the upswing getting into better shape, but I still find it questionable that he would have been capable of a 1:11 on the 2007/2008 course. Sounds like a different course, or a wrong turn.

The site also reports that Rolando Sanjinez ran 1:14:15 in 2006. That one is particular suspicious. That same year he ran 1:13:29 in Hobblecreek. An equivalent performance on this course would have been around 1:19-1:20. He also never in his entire racing history reported by Athlinks.Com produced a performance anywhere near in quality to that time, not even in a 10 K. There is no way somebody could gain a 5 minute improvement in the half in two weeks after racing consistently for a month at the same level in a 10 K. At the same time, Tony Vakaafi ran 1:12:55 in Hobblecreek that year, and 1:17:58 in the Spanish Fork Half, which does make sense. That sounds like Rolando may have taken a wrong turn.

Dennis, Mike, Chris, and Chad appear to have legitimate times relative to each other and consistent with their performance levels that year. So I figured I'd use those times as a guide and dismiss the dubious ones.

Warmed up 2.5 some by myself, and some with Tom. With no surprise appearances at the start (aside from myself) I was racing three virtual runners (Dennis, Mike, and Chris) and one real - Chad was here to represent himself, and he was in better shape as well leaving me no room for the neural fatigue garbage. From Provo River Half and from the second leg of Wasatch Back I knew that when the neural fatigue hits me, Chad is faster. So it was important to avoid neural fatigue at least for the first half of the race. I had an expectation not to hit any based on how I felt and what I did the day before, but I was not 100% sure. Neurological Sasha Science is still very much in development and quite error prone.

Ron Greenwood asked me how fast I was going to run it. I said based on my analysis I should be around 1:14-1:15.

I came to the race with my home family in our natural gas 15 passenger van. With it being our recent purchase I am still quite excited about the idea of CNG. So when I smelled the fumes from the lead motorcycle I remarked that it should be converted to natural gas. We had a pack for the first 2 minutes or so, and then I started to pull away. However, while crossing a busy road about 0.5 or so into the race there was an incident. There was no police protection, and a bus was coming full speed. I waved to the bus hoping it would stop. The driver either did not notice me, or did not care and kept blasting full speed. So I had no choice except use the skills I learned in Moscow while crossing the Moscow Belt Route (a 4-lane highway) on a daily basis - run on the road in the direction opposite of the bus, and as soon as it passed me and I was behind it, dash across the road. This allowed Chad to catch up, but he did not stay with me.

Mile splits are based on the race mile markers. Knowing those would be reliable from the last year race reports I did not bring a GPS.

First mile split - 5:37. I think we climbed some, but it was subtle. I lost about 3-4 seconds on the bus. Chris had 5:52 last year. Not feeling overexerted, but neurologically just staying a little bit below the red line. I know something about that red line - you cross it, and the race is over. The challenge is to sense it since I could cross it without breathing very hard. But I think I am learning.

Mile 2 - 5:40. More uphill. Happy to still have 3 seconds on the 5:40 guy. Knowing what's up ahead I knew I would need every one of those seconds. Good news - ran uphill breathing energetically, but without perceived neural overexertion. That is a sign of the neurological health and bodes well for the rest of the race.

Mile 3 - 5:46. Still uphill. Not very steep. Still feeling good. Quick relaxed stride. Moving as fast as I can without crossing the red line.

Mile 4 - 5:43. Not bad considering the steep rhythm breaking bump in the middle. But the rest of it was flat, that helped. Hit the red line briefly on the bump, but did not go over. The bump did not bother me very much otherwise, recovered quickly. Another good sign. Only 6 seconds behind the 5:40 guy after the bump mile, and based on what I heard the next mile is faster, looking forward to it.

Mile 5 - 5:33. The reports were verified. This was a good mile. Had a slight barely noticeable downhill for a portion. I did not notice it until I had to come back, though. Shows how biased the human mind is in the area of recognizing blessings vs adversity. I wondered why I was able to move my legs so quick without much effort all of a sudden. A church hymn came into my mind during this mile. My favorite one - A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief. I find it interesting how a slow tune can help a fast pace. The tune might be slow, but the message is deep, and thus it brings the power. Happy to be 1 second ahead of the 5:40 guy.

Mile 6 - 5:47. Started with a slight down (I think), but then there was a steep bump, and maybe it was more than a bump. There goes my lead over the 5:40 guy, but he better watch out because I am feeling good, and we'll be dropping elevation on the way back.

Mile 7 - 5:54. Steeper climb. Slowest mile of the race, but I was expecting that from the race reports. Felt strong on the uphill. Hit the red line, but not for long enough to go over it. The 5:40 guy is laughing at me about his 20 seconds lead. I am shaking my fist at him in hopes of a quick revenge now that we are that highest point of the course.

Mile 8 - 5:28. Downhill, finally. But too abrupt which made it too short. Now done with the loop, running the course backwards, and seeing the crowd going in the opposite direction. Recognized a couple of people in the crowd - Kim Lee, and Josse's mom. I am sure there were more that I should have recognized as people were greeting me by name. My face recognition ability does not work very well at race pace. The 5:40 guy now has only 8 seconds, but still is hoping to hold me off. Better give him a name - I think his name is Mike Kirk, aka Virtual Mike.

Mile 9 - 5:40. No downhill, that is my excuse for not closing on Virtual Mike. He is laughing at me, looking back, and poking out his tongue. In the meantime Virtual Dennis is feeling pretty safe.

Mile 10 - 5:39. Seeing the uphill in front of me, realizing what helped me run 5:33 going the other way, and being tired of Virtual Mike's teasing I pressed a bit harder, but still a tad under the red line. Then we did the mile 4 bump backwards, and I floored it on the down-bump to steal a second from Virtual Mike on a slow mile that he hoped to gap me on.

Mile 11 - 5:36. Virtual Mike is concerned. His lead is down to 3 seconds, I am gaining momentum, there is downhill up ahead, and there will also be a kick. He is hoping for sudden neural fatigue which can happen, but we would need some uphill for that, and there is not much except for a little bump with about half a mile to go.

Mile 12 - 5:35. Virtual Mike has been passed, and I think now has lost all hope. Virtual Dennis is out of reach, but sub-1:14 is not. If I finish in 1:13:something, he will not laugh so hard at me looking down from his 1:12:53 podium. Saw the 5 K crowd going the other direction. They started exactly 1 hour after we did. So the ones that are faster than 6:00 mile could possibly be catching some half-marathoners, the ones that are in that range could possibly be racing them, and the ones that are much slower will be getting passed by half marathoners. Interesting situation. So the 1:18 guys could possibly have some fun racing Holly Hagerman. She ended up chicking the field with 18:51, and she is a master. How about that - the entire field got chicked by a master! First time I've heard of something like this in any race anywhere. To add injury to insult, a good portion of the field got virtually impregnated (for lack of a better term) and strollered as well by Jennifer Hughes who ran 24:50 while 29 weeks pregnant (I think) and pushing a stroller. Fast ladies live in Woodland Hills, Michelle has some good company.

Mile 13 - 5:28. Trying to dip under 1:14. Spent most of the mile making a promise to myself to floor it no matter where I was once my watch said 1:13:00. Tried to shift gears several times, but there was not much of a movement. Lived true to my promise at 1:13:02 but still felt like there was not much of a go in the legs. Saw 1:13:26 at 13 miles. Need only 34 seconds for the kick. Not hard assuming mile 13 is in the right place, but if it is a little off it may be a challenge. Assume it is off and on the wrong side, pedal down the floor, but the engine feels maxed out already. Close my eyes, try to not be distracted. Also this mental game of seeing the finish line closer suddenly once you open your eyes works wonders. They have a tape stretched out and everything, full show. Benjamin comes to help and starts racing me towards the tape. Several thoughts go through my head - his 100 meter PR from last spring is 17.7, he is fresh, and I do not want to get beat to the tape by my 9-year-old son! So I was able to find another gear and pull away from him a little bit.

The kick was 30 seconds by my watch (4:34 pace), which gave me 1:13:56, but my official time was 1:13:55. I am glad my stomach was empty and I did not take anything in during the race. After I finished I started making the throw up motions with my throat but nothing came out.

Could not wait for anything, had to get dressed and get going ASAP to take Benjamin to his soccer game, and then help Curt with the Provo Marathon. Benjamin's team won 5-1.

T4 Racer - 529.53 miles

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:18, 2 with Benjamin in 16:45 with Jenny running the first 1.5 in 12:44.

Five Fingers - 1281.52 miles

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Night Sleep Time: 53.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 54.75
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