Breaking the Wall

December 03, 2020

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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: 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

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2014-04-12 07:35:26
Workout Totals
Distance Time Pace
20.175 2:31:06.30 7:29.38
Woke up from a dream. I was running a race, and was doing very well - made a surge, dropped the competition. All except for a little 10-year-old girl. No matter what I did I could not drop her. As we approached the finish I thought - oh, no, I've never run in a race where the field got chicked. At the end with a superhuman effort I was able to outlean her. I wonder if this was just a dream, or if this means we are having a girl. We will find out at the ultrasound on Monday. 20 miles total with Chad. Benjamin did 9, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3.25, Jacob 3, William 1. The highlight of the day was William running 8:00.0 in the mile on the little boy course (out and back). Joseph ran a PR in the 400 on the track - 80.8. Benjamin did 2x1000 in 2:58.2 and 3:06.0. Jacob attempted a mile PR but fell short by 5 seconds running 6:35. Details below.
Leg 1
Distance Time Pace Comment
4.08 31:44.70. 7:46.84  
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 4.080 31:44.70 7:46.84 With Chad.
Leg 2
Distance Time Pace Comment
1 9:03.20. 9:03.20 Warm-up to the track.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 1.000 9:03.20 9:03.20  
Leg 3
Distance Time Pace Comment
0.124 1:20.80. 10:51.61 Joseph's 400 time trial. Chad and I paced him. 200 splits are below. I was very pleased with how he held the pace in the second 200 given that he opened very close to his all out 200. This is a PR by about 2.5 from the fall of last year, and definitely the family record for the 9 and under - Benjamin was around 85 or so at that age.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 0.062 0:39.90 10:43.55  
2 0.062 0:40.90 10:59.68  
Leg 4
Distance Time Pace Comment
0.35 2:58.20. 8:29.14 This was another experiment to understand Benjamin's speed decline curve. I wanted him to run 1000 opening in 66 for the first 400 and then see what happens. I was expecting him to make it to the 600 in 1:40. But he could not today - see 200 splits below. It took me some time to figure out why after he ran the second 1000 pacing me and Chad.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 0.070 0:33.60 8:00.00  
2 0.070 0:34.70 8:15.71  
3 0.070 0:36.30 8:38.57  
4 0.070 0:36.80 8:45.71  
5 0.070 0:36.80 8:45.71  
Leg 5
Distance Time Pace Comment
1 6:35.00. 6:35.00 Jacob's mile time trial
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 0.248 1:34.30 6:20.24 He started out too fast in the first 200 at around 5:55 pace. Then eased off too much.
2 0.248 1:43.20 6:56.13 This is where the record was lost.
3 0.504 3:17.50 6:31.87 He had a decent second half, but the second lap already did it in.
Leg 6
Distance Time Pace Comment
0.621 3:06.60. 5:00.48 To better understand what was going on with Benjamin I had him run another 1000 at a slower pace. Since the new target pace was now within reach for me, I joined him, and so did Chad. Benjamin handled it fine and felt he could have gone further. I felt good in the first lap in 73, then we slowed down too much in the next 200 (39), then sped back up to target. At the end I had some semblance of a kick. Benjamin gapped me a little at the very end. Chad managed 3:10 which I thought was a very good result. After this run I understood what was going on with Benjamin. His slow-twitch fibers are quite solid while his fast twitch/fast-end midgrade fibers lack endurance and also take a long time to recover. So something as little as 2x600 on Tuesday knocked him out much more than I thought. Then the workout on Thursday consisting of 500 + 1000 + 400 gave him another punch. By Saturday (this workout) even though he felt fine, his faster grade fibers were knocked out. We'll need to experiment to see how long they take to recover.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 0.621 3:06.60 5:00.48  
Leg 7
Distance Time Pace Comment
1 8:26.30. 8:26.30 Run back home.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 1.000 8:26.30 8:26.30  
Leg 8
Distance Time Pace Comment
1 8:00.00. 8:00.00 William's mile time trial on the little boy course. The course is slower than the track, but William has been doing better on it for psychological reasons. When he is on the track it seems to him the run never ends. On a familiar out and back course he knows how far he is running. Benjamin and Chad helped me pace him. He opened in 2:02, followed by 2:05. This part was up a slight grade. Then he turned around and sped up with the quarters of 1:58 and 1:55. He actually ran a PR in the half mile (3:53). So far William is ahead of Jacob in the running progression which is quite remarkable. Jacob is naturally obedient and does what he is told. William has a temper and an attitude, and frequently talks back and complains as he is running. I can only imagine what he would do if he actually focused.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 1.000 8:00.00 8:00.00  
Leg 9
Distance Time Pace Comment
4 30:25.70. 7:36.43 With Chad and Benjamin.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 4.000 30:25.70 7:36.43  
Leg 10
Distance Time Pace Comment
3.5 27:43.60. 7:55.31 With Chad.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 3.500 27:43.60 7:55.31  
Leg 11
Distance Time Pace Comment
3.5 21:42.20. 6:12.06 Tempo run pacing Chad from a magic spot in the Provo Canyon to the house.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 3.500 21:42.20 6:12.06  

Green Crocs 7 Miles: 20.17
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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