Breaking the Wall

December 04, 2020

Recent EntriesHomeJoin Fast Running Blog Community!PredictorHealthy RecipesSasha Pachev's RacesFind BlogsMileage BoardTop Ten Excuses for Missing a RunTop Ten Training MistakesDiscussion ForumRace Reports Send A Private MessageWeek ViewMonth ViewYear View
15% off for Fast Running Blog members at St. George Running Center!


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: 304.65 Year: 3606.17
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Neon Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 1657.61
Brown Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 806.96
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Timed the Slate Canyon 5 K/1 Mile. It went well. Only one glitch. The race-supplied barcodes did not scan on my scanner. But we were prepared. I had created a more flexible bib entry system. My hack running on Nokia 770 transformed the $99 scanner into a fancy scanning machine worth  that was capable of a combination of scanning and manual entry and could send the scan results to the timing system via WiFi. So we did it with manual bib entry as runners went through the chute.

Both the mile and the 5 K courses were very slow. A lot of hills.

Benjamin won the mile with 6:46. Jenny was the second girl with 8:07. She got beat by Jessica Resindez (7:23), but Jessica is 11 so Jenny won the 9 and under age division. Julia was the 6th girl with 8:44, and 4th in the 9 and under division. But she was not even 7 on race day. Jenny also ran most of the race barefoot because her new Crocs were too big, one of them came off, and then she ditched the other. That's OK, though, as she will grow into them.

What is interesting is that the field in the mile got chicked with the exception of Benjamin. Second boy was with Benjamin shortly before the turnaround, but ended up 54 seconds behind over the last half mile. From that we should probably conclude that soccer and tag will get you ready to run a decent 800, but to run the mile you need to run.

The kids race repeated itself in a way in the 5 K. The field got chicked again with the exception of the overall winner. Jeff ran 15:54, then Lindsey Dunkley 17:21, and Mary Ann 20:11. This was a PTA fundraiser so not a whole lot of money available for the prizes. To make do with what they had and make it fun they did the battle of genders. Women got a 3:00 bonus for the purpose of prize money calculation. So Lindsey ended up winning $75, Jeff got $50 and Mary Ann $25.

I think the battle of genders is a great way to provide a decent cash prize when the budget is low. Some may argue that 3:00 is too much, and it definitely is at a sub-15:00 (man) performance level, but is appropriate for the natural competition depth in the 16:00 and slower zone.

The course is a beast. My course tool gives Jeff 37 seconds, and Lindsey  40 seconds. The reason for the difference is that with the hills in effect extending the length of the course the faster runner will have more time to gap the slower one. So, converted to a flat course, their times become 15:17 and 16:41. Mary Ann's 20:11 becomes 47 seconds faster - 19:24, and Josse's 21:09 becomes 49 seconds faster - 20:20.

P.M. Could not only run in the afternoon. It was less than ideal. Hot, especially on the grass. The grass itself was warm, which did not give me a chance for an natural ice bath on the run. And I would not dare run anywhere else for fear of aggravating the foot. So I did my usual 26 laps around Grandview. 10.04 miles in 1:10:50, 7:03 average. Picked it up a bit in the last 0.5, but still slower than 6:00 pace (6:12). But the the heat and on grass this was  a solid effort. HR hovered around 145 at 7:00 pace, and climbed to 158 when I sped up to 6:12. Here is what's interesting. Normally if I get the HR up in that range and then stop, in two minutes it is down to 85 or so. But because it was hot two minutes later it was around 108. And four minutes later it was still over 100.

Another interesting point is that I was not breathing 145 bpm worth at that HR. I could have easily conversed. Normally at 145 I am huffing and puffing and speak in monosyllables.

P.M-2. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:15. Took Sarah on a date to the Canyon View Park where we sat by the Provo River under the bridge and looked at the stars as I soaked my feet in liew of an ice bath.

Bare Feet Miles: 10.04Water Clogs Miles: 0.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Your Comment.
  • Keep it family-safe. No vulgar or profane language. To discourage anonymous comments of cowardly nature, your IP address will be logged and posted next to your comment.
  • Do not respond to another person's comment out of context. If he made the original comment on another page/blog entry, go to that entry and respond there.
  • If all you want to do is contact the blogger and your comment is not connected with this entry and has no relevance to others, send a private message instead.
Only registered users with public blogs are allowed to post comments. Log in with your username and password or create an account and set up a blog.
Debt Reduction Calculator

Featured Announcements
Lone Faithfuls
(need a comment):