Breaking the Wall

Top of Utah 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 eight children: Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, William, Stephen, and Matthew.  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: 225.62 Year: 2984.33
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 583.97
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Black Crocs Lifetime Miles: 559.38
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 32.56
Race: Top of Utah Marathon (26.219 Miles) 02:39:03, Place overall: 8, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Executive summary: 2:39:03, 8th overall, 1st master, $500, broke my own master's course record from last year. This was a miracle run - with Mary's birth I was not sure I was going to run at all, but on Tuesday Sarah and I talked about it and she said she was recovering well and could handle the household with the help of the kids, so I made the arrangements. I was not expecting much, just hoped to finish at all and maybe a little better than embarassing, but after a little tempo run on Tuesday with Benjamin I knew that at least the first half would give me more than that, and just hoped not to completely blow up in the second. I ended up doing 1:15:35/1:23:28, last 10 K in 41:01, more positive that usual, through the first half I felt good enough that if you had asked me what I was headed for with normal endurance I would have said 2:35, but I knew I would have to pay for my lack of 10 mile tempos at the end of 20 in the second half. At that point I just hoped to do a little better than my last year's time, but ended up doing more that a little better.

Details to follow...

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2014-09-20 05:28:25
Workout Totals: Distance26.870Time2:44:18.00Pace6:06.88
Now the full report for the race. I stayed with Steve Anderson. Set my alarm incorrectly, but fortunately woke up in time to make it to the bus.
Leg 1:Distance0.650Time5:14.80Pace8:04.31
Leg 2:Distance26.220Time2:39:03.20Pace6:03.97
The race. At the start saw a few familiar faces, and met a few new friends. One of them was Bryce Carr. I had actually met him before.
Split 1:Distance1.000Time5:37.30Pace5:37.30
Split 2:Distance1.000Time5:43.20Pace5:43.20
Split 3:Distance1.000Time5:37.30Pace5:37.30
Split 4:Distance1.000Time5:39.60Pace5:39.60
Split 5:Distance1.000Time5:52.40Pace5:52.40
Split 6:Distance1.000Time5:50.60Pace5:50.60
Split 7:Distance1.000Time5:52.70Pace5:52.70
Split 8:Distance1.000Time5:51.20Pace5:51.20
Split 9:Distance1.000Time5:41.90Pace5:41.90
Split 10:Distance1.000Time5:48.50Pace5:48.50
Split 11:Distance1.000Time5:58.10Pace5:58.10
Split 12:Distance1.000Time5:40.80Pace5:40.80
Split 13:Distance1.000Time5:46.90Pace5:46.90
Split 14:Distance1.000Time5:45.40Pace5:45.40
Split 15:Distance1.000Time5:49.80Pace5:49.80
Split 16:Distance1.000Time5:54.70Pace5:54.70
Split 17:Distance1.000Time6:04.60Pace6:04.60
Split 18:Distance1.000Time6:14.80Pace6:14.80
Split 19:Distance1.000Time6:34.80Pace6:34.80
Split 20:Distance1.000Time6:38.60Pace6:38.60
Split 21:Distance1.000Time6:18.20Pace6:18.20
Split 22:Distance1.000Time6:47.40Pace6:47.40
Split 23:Distance1.000Time6:46.30Pace6:46.30
Split 24:Distance1.000Time6:24.10Pace6:24.10
Split 25:Distance1.000Time6:52.00Pace6:52.00
Split 26:Distance1.050Time6:47.00Pace6:27.62
Split 27:Distance0.170Time1:05.00Pace6:22.35

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

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2014-09-19 07:16:17
Workout Totals: Distance6.000Time43:22.60Pace7:13.77
Total of 6. Did a mile pickup in 5:38.8. Kids ran their usual distances.
Leg 1:Distance3.000Time23:04.00Pace7:41.33
With Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance3.000Time20:18.60Pace6:46.20
Alone - did a pickup for a mile.
Split 1:Distance1.500Time10:48.00Pace7:12.00
Split 2:Distance1.000Time5:38.80Pace5:38.80
Split 3:Distance0.500Time3:51.80Pace7:43.60

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

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2014-09-18 07:55:30
Workout Totals: Distance7.000Time56:35.10Pace8:05.01
7 total. Kids ran their usual distances.
Leg 1:Distance3.000Time25:55.70Pace8:38.57
With Benjamin, Joseph, and Jacob.
Leg 2:Distance4.000Time30:39.40Pace7:39.85
With Benjamin.

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

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2014-09-17 07:08:30
Workout Totals: Distance10.000Time1:18:33.20Pace7:51.32
Total of 10 - mini-taper. Kids ran their usual distances.
Leg 1:Distance3.000Time26:14.40Pace8:44.80
With Benjamin, Jared, Joseph, and Jacob.
Leg 2:Distance6.000Time45:32.00Pace7:35.33
With Benjamin.
Leg 3:Distance1.000Time6:46.80Pace6:46.80

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

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2014-09-16 06:47:36
Workout Totals: Distance12.040Time1:34:02.80Pace7:48.67
Total of 12. Needed to answer the question if I should run the Top of Utah marathon. There were two issues - how Sarah is recovering, and what kind of race to expect. Decided to test the legs with a 2 mile tempo with Benjamin. The target was 5:50, but of course he pulled me through it at 5:29 average with a couple of surges that took us into 5:10 range. I handled them fine, so I figured physically I'll be good at least for the first half, and then we'll see.

Joseph, Jacob, William, Stephen, and Jenny ran in the Kiwani's Park "1K". In quotes because based on their times it was around 900 meters. Joseph got 3:15, Jacob 3:36, Jenny 3:50, William 4:05, Stephen 5:29. Joseph, Jacob, and William won their divisions, Jenny was 5th.
Leg 1:Distance2.040Time15:54.20Pace7:47.75
Leg 2:Distance3.000Time26:20.70Pace8:46.90
With Benjamin, and Jared.
Leg 3:Distance3.500Time27:54.30Pace7:58.37
With Benjamin.
Leg 4:Distance2.000Time10:58.70Pace5:29.35
Tempo run with Benjamin. The target was 5:50 pace, but he kept surging, I decided to not restrain him too much because I felt good and wanted to know how I would respond to them.
Leg 5:Distance1.000Time9:00.40Pace9:00.40
With Benjamin to the house.
Leg 6:Distance0.500Time3:54.50Pace7:49.00
A little bit more distance alone to finish the 12.

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

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2014-09-15 06:49:34
Workout Totals: Distance12.000Time1:32:16.30Pace7:41.36
Total of 12. Benjamin did 9, Joseph and Jacob 3, William 1, Stephen 0.5. Jenny 4, Julia 3 - I think.
Leg 1:Distance1.000Time7:49.30Pace7:49.30
With Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance3.000Time25:25.40Pace8:28.47
With Benjamin, Joseph, Jacob, and Jared.
Leg 3:Distance5.000Time39:21.80Pace7:52.36
With Benjamin.
Leg 4:Distance3.000Time19:39.80Pace6:33.27
Alone. Legs moved, good sign.

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

Day of rest - sort of. Took the kids to the Stake Conference. Benjamin and Jenny took turns staying with Sarah and Mary. Sarah cannot be left alone the first few days after a labor because of the tendency to bleed.

Took a long nap in the afternoon.


Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 2.50Total Sleep Time: 9.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 2.50Total Sleep Time: 9.50
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