Breaking the Wall

Earn Your Turkey

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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: 88.07 Year: 2386.98
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: 1257.89
Race: Earn Your Turkey (3.95 Miles) 00:23:00, Place overall: 16, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2019-11-28 07:26:55
Workout Totals: Distance13.466Time1:38:46.80Pace7:20.13
Earn Your Turkey, "4" (really 3.95) miles, 23:00, 16th overall, 1st in 45-49, second master.

Conditions were less than ideal, but not terrible for those who ran under 25:00. After that it started getting worse, and by the time of the kids race, the course was covered with snow, and it was hard to gain traction.

Top finishers:

1 311 Christian
M 19:45.8 4:56 22 1 M Open
2 116 Nate
M 20:16.9 5:04 23 2 M Open
3 190 Benjamin
M 20:38.3 5:10 20 3 M Open
4 260 Dustin
M 21:27.3 5:22 37 4 M Open
5 83 Brian
M 21:39.6 5:25 20 5 M Open
6 86 Payton
M 22:13.3 5:33 22 1 M 19-24
7 122 Tayson
M 22:21.6 5:35 14 1 M 12-14
8 304 Creed
M 22:21.9 5:35 18 1 M 15-18
9 110 Thomas
M 22:27.6 5:37 21 2 M 19-24
10 77 Tyler
M 22:34.8 5:39 17 2 M 15-18
11 323 David
M 22:40.5 5:40 21 3 M 19-24
12 291 Trent
M 22:40.6 5:40 18 3 M 15-18
13 269 Skyler
M 22:42.5 5:41 16 4 M 15-18
14 294 Tyler
M 22:46.0 5:42 16 5 M 15-18
15 268 David
M 22:56.0 5:44 51 1 M 50-54
16 188 Alexander
M 23:00.9 5:45 46 1 M 45-49
17 259 Tawny
F 23:01.3 5:45 33 1 F Open
18 193 Joseph
M 23:25.8 5:51 14 2 M 12-14
19 194 Jacob
M 23:25.8 5:51 13 3 M 12-14
20 132 Christopher
M 23:27.4 5:52 19 4 M 19-24

Overall turkey count was 10 - Benjamin (overall 3rd), Dad, Jenny, William, Stephen, Matthew, Mary, Bella (division wins), Leigha (youngest participant), and the whole family for the largest family.

Individual race reports:

Dad: 23:00 Figured it would be good if I could run 23:00. Remembered that I had wheeled the course earlier, and wrote a program that calculated the splits by landmarks for any particular target. Used it to calculate the splits, and tried to follow them precisely. Ran all of the race with Tawny Bybee, ended up about half a second ahead of her at the finish. Joseph and Jacob ran with us for the first 1.5 or so, then dropped back, but ended up not too far behind. Almost caught David Taylor at the end, he was 4 seconds ahead with 22:56. I was happy with my effort and result. What is funny is that last year my watch time was 23:00, but my official time was 22:59. This year it was the other way around.

Mom: 35:36, 40th woman, 6th in 40-44. She was affected by poor traction in the last mile. Quite a bit better than last year, though, went it took her about that long to walk half the distance after a C-section.

Benjamin: 20:38, 3rd overall. His course PR is 20:14, I gave him splits for 20:00. But apparently he is still not recovered from the marathon. He had an OK first mile, and then started losing it. Still, he ran a respectable time, and held on to third in a competitive field.

Jenny - 26:15, 6th overall woman, 1st in 19-24. This is her course PR. Rather unexpected because she has had a rough year with her side, shin splints, and rough course load.

Julia - 30:52, 20th woman, 4th in 15-18. We need to work on the endurance.

Joseph - 23:25, 18th overall, 2nd in 12-14. Better performance than anything he did over the last couple of months. He got dropped, but then closed the gap and outleaned Jacob at the finish.

Jacob 23:25 - 19th overall, 3rd in 12-14. Decent performance. He said he felt cold.

Joseph, Jacob and Jenny got course PRs.

By the time the younger kids started racing, the road was very slippery, so the times were very slow.

William - "1 mile", which we know to be 0.97 based on our wheel measurement - 6:16, 1st in 11-12.

Stephen "1 mile", 6:39, 1st in 9-10 and second overall.

Matthew - 800, 3:30 first in 5-6 and overall, which included the 7-8 group.

Mary - 800, 4:09, 1st in 5-6, fastest she has ever run it, not sure if we should count this as a record or not. There was some confusion about whether holding the hand was allowed, as the conditions were slippery, so I held her hand for the first 600 meters. Then I was told we were not supposed to hold the hands, but once she let go of my hand she started running faster, which was quite remarkable given the conditions, and the fact that by then she had lost both of her shoes and was running in socks only. This performance was an indication that she has quite a bit more than what she is showing in the training runs, we need to figure out how to motivate her better.

Bella, 400, 2:50, 1st in 3-4. This was another confusing run. For some reason somebody said the turnaround was at the 100 meter mark (making the race 200 instead of 400). Everybody except Bella turned around at the wrong place, even though I told them that was the wrong place to turn around. So Bella ended up being the only participant that finished the full distance, and ended up with a prize.

Leigha - walked 100 meters in 1:55 earning the youngest participant award. Did not seem to mind the snow too much.
Cried some, but kept walking. We had a pre-race incident - she lost her shoe. Fortunately we had a crew that could run around and look quickly. Joseph ended up being the shoe hero and found it under a table inside the Mountain View High.

Leg 1:Distance1.350Time11:12.70Pace8:18.30
Warm-up with Benjamin, Joseph, and Jacob.
Leg 2:Distance5.402Time35:36.00Pace6:35.41
My race + going back to Sarah.
Split 1:Distance0.463Time2:40.90Pace5:47.52
Target 2:41.
Split 2:Distance0.492Time2:53.20Pace5:52.03
Target 2:52 (5:33).
Split 3:Distance0.485Time2:48.80Pace5:48.04
Target 2:49 (8:22).
Split 4:Distance0.499Time2:51.10Pace5:42.89
Target 2:55 (11:17).
Split 5:Distance0.484Time2:49.50Pace5:50.21
Target 2:49 (14:06).
Split 6:Distance0.492Time2:56.80Pace5:59.35
Target 2:51 (16:57)
Split 7:Distance0.485Time2:48.10Pace5:46.60
Target 2:50 (19:47).
Split 8:Distance0.552Time3:11.30Pace5:46.56
Target 3:13 (23:00).
Split 9:Distance1.450Time12:36.30Pace8:41.59
Leg 3:Distance0.248Time2:50.00Pace11:25.48
Bella's 400.
Leg 4:Distance0.496Time4:09.60Pace8:23.23
Mary's 800.
Leg 5:Distance0.970Time6:39.10Pace6:51.44
Stephen's "mile".
Leg 6:Distance5.000Time38:19.40Pace7:39.88
More distance with Benjamin in the afternoon.

Neon Crocs 1 Miles: 13.47
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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