Breaking the Wall

Monumental 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: 0.00 Year: 916.90
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1576.28
Neon Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1679.47
Race: Monumental Half-Marathon (13.109 Miles) 01:16:24, Place overall: 60, Place in age division: 3
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2016-11-05 05:09:36
Workout Totals: Distance14.709Time1:28:39.50Pace6:01.65
Monumental Half Marathon - 1:16:22 (chip time), 1:16:24 gun time, 60th overall, 3rd master ($50). Benjamin ran 1:09:34, 21st overall.

I started out strong (5:35 pace for the first 3), but kept losing leg power as I went eventually slowing down to 6:05. I was able to squeeze out 5:52 mile at the end, but that was all I had. In spite of finishing 3rd master I hit a dubious PR for the chick score - 7. This is an odd race - strong open women field but relatively weak men masters.

The overall winner (Pius Nyantika) ran 1:03:17. There were a lot of people between 1:07 and 1:10 range, and all the way down below. Even though I kept fading, I was never alone for too long - somebody would catch up and pull me at least for a little bit.

Benjamin had a good race. He opened with 5:24, it felt hard, but he did not panic. He shifted gears, and averaged sub-5:20. His official 10 K split was 33:08 (mine 35:20). At 10 K he was in 28th place - he upgraded his position to 21st. Even though I faded a lot in the second half, I ended up losing only one place going from 59th to 60th. A couple of runners faded worse than I did, and a few more DNF'ed.

Benjamin's split at 10 miles was 53:17, so his last a bit more than 5 K comes out to 16:17. I am very excited about that. Now I think the next thing we need to figure out is how to bring his 5 K under 15:00. His endurance could improve some, but if all he has got in a 5 K at sea level is 15:28, it would be tough to get anywhere near 1:05.

My legs felt like they lacked the strength to keep the pace that felt natural for the cardio. They kept getting weaker and weaker as the race went along. I think the problem is that I have not trained them at that level of muscular exertion. I had the turnover from the downhill tempo runs, but as I learned today, when you go to sea level you need more than turnover to succeed. So my plan is to do shorter repeats alternating up an down, and try to hit target half race pace for the average of the repeats. I think Benjamin could benefit from that as well.
Leg 1:Distance1.000Time7:31.90Pace7:31.90
Leg 2:Distance13.109Time1:16:23.70Pace5:49.66
Split 1:Distance1.000Time5:33.40Pace5:33.40
Split 2:Distance2.000Time11:13.40Pace5:36.70
Split 3:Distance1.000Time5:48.20Pace5:48.20
Split 4:Distance1.000Time5:46.10Pace5:46.10
Split 5:Distance1.000Time5:46.00Pace5:46.00
Split 6:Distance1.000Time5:47.40Pace5:47.40
Split 7:Distance1.000Time5:55.40Pace5:55.40
Split 8:Distance1.000Time5:58.60Pace5:58.60
Split 9:Distance1.000Time5:57.30Pace5:57.30
Split 10:Distance1.000Time6:01.10Pace6:01.10
Split 11:Distance1.000Time6:05.70Pace6:05.70
Split 12:Distance1.000Time5:52.50Pace5:52.50
Split 13:Distance0.109Time0:38.60Pace5:54.13
Leg 3:Distance0.600Time4:43.90Pace7:53.17

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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