10.25 miles on the treadmill averaging 8.3 mph. Alternated between 1.5 and 2%.
OK. Now I have to vent. Yesterday I was spending (wasting?) time browsing over some old threads in the discussion forum when I came across one in the Running section entitled "Elite Runner X Does Bad Thing Y...", started by Sasha. Sasha pointed out that virtually all the Olympic trials qualifiers in the Marathon over the past several years from the state of Utah have been LDS. He continued saying that since 30% of Utah's population is non-Mormon, that you would expect 30% of the Olympic trial runners to be non Mormon as well.
Sasha then went on to conclude that it must be the LDS practice of abstaining from alcohol and caffeine that accounted for their disproportionally high numbers among Utah's elite runners. I'm quoting from one of his posts... "so there is something in LDS culture that makes one a better runner".
Here is the real answer in two parts.
1. Almost all elite distance runners in this country start running early in their high school years. As a demographic, high school runners tend to come from affluent, educated, white, suburban families. Outside of Salt Lake City and Park City, the population that fits that demographic in Utah is way more than 70% LDS. Closer to 80 or 90 percent I'd say - going by the demographics at Alta High School where I coach. The non-LDS population of this state is disproportionally lower middle class and minority - groups not traditionally attracted to distance running.
2. We produce lots of national class high school runners here in Utah and many of them are not LDS. Based on my observations as a long time coach in this state, virtually all of the elite LDS runners end up going to college at BYU or somewhere else in Utah. They also tend to remain in the state after graduation. So, when they reach their distance running prime and are thinking about the Olympic trials, they are still Utahans. On the other hand, most of the top non-Mormon kids go to college out of state and they never return. Examples include Laura and Jackie Ziegle, Patrick Smyth, and Luke Puskedra.I believe the Ziegle's went to Colorado, Patrick ran at Notre Dame and is now training at Mammoth with Terrence Mahon. I'm sure if he were here in Utah he'd be dominating the Top of Utah Marathon! Luke just finished 3rd at the NCAA Cross Country championships running for Oregon.
I would agree with Sasha, at least partly, if Utah's non-LDS runners were pounding a twelve pack every night. But I'm fairly certain than most top runners, Mormon or not, have fairly healthy lifestyles.
So there, that's the answer. I feel better now.