Breaking the Wall

Utah Valley Half 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 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: Utah Valley Half Marathon (13.109 Miles) 01:18:02, Place overall: 11, Place in age division: 3
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2014-06-14 05:30:38
Workout Totals: Distance18.249Time2:03:29.70Pace6:46.03
Ran the Utah Valley Half Marathon. 1:18:02, 11th place, 3rd master, but officially given second because Ian Hunter made top 5. Got $100 check - very generous for such a slow performance.
There was some headwind, but not enough to justify 1:18. Felt out of juice. I suppose missed sleep hurts me more now that I am older. Benjamin ran a PR in spite of the wind finishing with 1:14:52 in 8th place.
Leg 1:Distance0.800Time7:09.90Pace8:57.37
Leg 2:Distance13.109Time1:18:02.60Pace5:57.20
The race.
Split 1:Distance1.000Time5:28.70Pace5:28.70
This mile was good. Turned out this was going to be the only good mile. Stayed with Benjamin and gave him some guidance.
Split 2:Distance1.000Time5:52.70Pace5:52.70
Headwind starts, lost steam. Benjamin pulled ahead and hit 11:07 for 2 miles (5:39).
Split 3:Distance1.000Time6:16.30Pace6:16.30
Uphill mile. Got passed by Jon Gauthier, could not even think of latching on, but was able to latch on to Craig Green. He did not like the idea of me following him and told me he was out of shape. I told him if I was not, I would not be running this pace either. But you have to take what the Lord gives us that day even if that is not what you like. Then He can give you more.
Split 4:Distance2.000Time12:16.80Pace6:08.40
Did not hit the split at 4, but saw the time was 23:47. With 2 downhill miles averaging slower than 6:00 I began had serious doubts about breaking 1:19, and the darkness of not breaking 1:20 began to rear its ugly face. In really things were not quite that bad - I did not appreciate the strength of the wind.
Split 5:Distance1.000Time5:52.10Pace5:52.10
I prayed to be able to run sub-6:00, and looks like the prayer was answered. Less headwind here. However, I lost contact with Graig and he began to gap me.
Split 6:Distance1.000Time5:48.80Pace5:48.80
I can run much better without the headwind.
Split 7:Distance1.000Time6:01.40Pace6:01.40
I think the headwind picked up some here again.
Split 8:Distance1.000Time6:01.80Pace6:01.80
Same old thing.
Split 9:Distance1.000Time6:01.80Pace6:01.80
At least I am consistent.
Split 10:Distance1.000Time5:54.70Pace5:54.70
Bryce Petersen caught up and I was able to latch on for about 1/3 of a mile. I could not hold it as he hit that mile with a climb in 5:39 (what was he doing starting out so slow anyway?), but this got me going. Or maybe just the head wind died down again.
Split 11:Distance1.000Time5:52.90Pace5:52.90
Decent mile relative to the rest of the race.
Split 12:Distance1.000Time5:59.40Pace5:59.40
For some reason this one was slow. I tried to push, and it felt faster than the one before - either misplaced mile markers or an illusion.
Split 13:Distance0.109Time0:35.20Pace5:22.94
I kicked as hard as I could to finish in a less embarrassing 1:17:5x but did not quite make it.
Leg 3:Distance0.800Time7:00.00Pace8:45.00
Leg 4:Distance0.500Time5:16.90Pace10:33.80
With Stephen.
Leg 5:Distance1.000Time8:29.10Pace8:29.10
With William, Joseph, Jacob, and Julia.
Leg 6:Distance2.040Time17:31.20Pace8:35.29
With Joseph, Jacob, and Julia.

Green Crocs 7 Miles: 18.25
Night Sleep Time: 5.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 5.50
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