Breaking the Wall

Week starting Jan 27, 2008

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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: 188.26 Year: 188.26
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: 1359.62
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Night Sleep Time: 16.26Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 17.26
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Good good sleep. Went to church. Got a nap in the afternoon.

In the evening, heard the news about President Hinckley's passing away. What a great life he lived! It is hard to comprehend. He has done a lot in 97 years, and he finished strong with the last 12 years serving as the President of the LDS Church, and being actively involved in the work. He sure practiced the doctrine of enduring to the end. 

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. The heat wave continues. It was 40 F this morning. A very pleasant temperature. Wore shorts and two long-sleeved shirts. Ran the first 10.1 with Ted. The trail was slippery. We fell behind the 8:00 guy by over 2 minutes in the first 3 miles. Then we got some light and dry ground, and we caught him with vengeance. What a drama! It was more entertaining than a movie. We would hit a dry spot and close 30 seconds on him. Then he gaps us on ice. Then we close again on a dry spot. Finally we are ahead of him, but the battle is not over - there is some ice up ahead. Finally, on the last 0.4 it was dry all the way, so we really showed him who's the boss and beat him by 1:03 finishing 10.1 in 1:19:45. All of this fun while spending no money and building aerobic fitness as opposed to sitting in front of a TV and just getting fat and lazy. Much good can be accomplished when you realize that joy comes from simple things.

Dropped Ted off, ran some more. About 1.7 miles later ran into Tyrel Jensen, a BYU middle distance runner, best mile in 4:05. Ran another couple of miles with him, then headed home. Ended up with about 15.8 in 2:00:39.

P.M. End of the heat wave. Got a nice snow storm, temperatures down to 25 F. Slick roads. 1 with Julia in 11:47, 2 with Benjamin in 17:42, 1.5 with Jenny in 14:27. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.12Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.12
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Ted at 5:00 AM. His knee was hurting, he went only 6 miles. The roads were pretty slow, although they did not look too bad. We ran 6 miles in 54:05, got beat by the 9:00 boltushka. Boltushka is a Russian word that means "talkative woman", but Sarah and I use in a variety of other ways. One of the meanings is "a recreational female runner that runs primarily for social reasons".

Thought I'd be able to go much faster after dropping off Ted, but no luck. Ended up with 2:16:53 for 16.1, 8:30.12 average! Got beat by the 8:30 quicker boltushka.

P.M. 2.1 with Benjamin in 16:58, Jenny joined us for the first 1.75 in 14:35. The funny thing is that Jenny's average pace (8:20) was faster than on my run earlier in the morning. Julia tried to run, made it about 0.1, but her knee was hurting. Cross-country skied, tried the Provo River Trail by Geneva Road, did not like it, tried the Provo Canyon, did not like it either, but got a total of 4 miles in. Ran the church and back later in the evening for the ESL class - it was unpleasantly cold.

Night Sleep Time: 0.12Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.12
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. The trail was covered with snow today. Ran with Jeff at 5:10 AM. We got beat by all kinds of boltushkas. 10.1 in 1:26:40, 8:34.85 average.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:12. The trail was quite clear. Provo City plowed it well. Tried to cross-country anyway, made it to almost a mile out, and then one of the poles got caught in the fence, and it broke the handle. Managed to make it back nevertheless, the broken handle was an annoyance but not as a big of a deal as I thought it would be. Total distance of about 1.7. Then ran with Jenny around the block, 1.75 in 15:43, added another 1.75 by myself in 12:55. A little later 1 mile with Julia in 11:19, plus some errands on foot.

Night Sleep Time: 6.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.75
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Had two interesting dreams. In the first one, Google managed to put together a very strong team that beat our team by 10 minutes in Del Sol. I woke up before finding out our finish time, then decided to go back to sleep to find out, but then as I woke up more realized that the next dream would not have that information. The next dream was very different indeed. I was running on the Provo River Trail and saw a tiger. Climbed on a tree, tried to call 911. The cellphone was not working. Finally got through, but the operator was not very helpful. Then some people came and said there was no tiger. Others said there was. I began to wonder who was right, and woke up. There was no tiger indeed.

Cold morning. Ran 5 miles with Sarah around the block in 52:34. Then decided to chase down the 8:00 guy for a challenge. I was 12:34 behind him, but I had 10.1 miles to close the gap. Would not be a challenge on a normal day, but with the snow and ice it was interesting. However, the cold temperature in combination with the abundance of asphalt patches made the task reasonably possible. I decided the 8:00 guy had a name - Ded Moroz, or Granpa Frost, the Russian version of Santa Claus. Half way through the last 10.1 of the run Ded Moroz started getting concerned, because I had closed half of the gap. However, it was getting warmer, and the roads were getting slicker, so he had that to his advantage, and was hoping he'd be able to hold me off. With a mile to go he saw me coming, and knew he was doomed unless he made me trip on ice. He tried, but I was smart enough to slow down under the bridges, and then quickly accelerate on the dry spots. Finished in 1:59:57, beat Ded Moroz by 51 seconds, 1:07:23 for the last 10.1, 6:40.3 avg, 7:56.62 avg for 15.1.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 17:34, first 1.5 Jenny was with us (13:28),  1 with Julia in 11:35, then 2 alone in 14:57. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.14Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.14
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Tomorrow is going to be a very busy, so I decided to do my long run today. Ran the first 10.1 with Jeff. At first, the roads were so slick that we were trailing boltushkas - 43:37 for the first 5.05. I had never run 20 miles at the average pace of slower than 8:00, and thought today would be the day. On the way back at first things did not look so good, and then we ran a mile in 7:46. I could not believe it, double checked my calculations, yes, indeed it was 7:46! Something happened to the snow and we got more traction. We were able to run 2 more miles under 7:30 and finished 10.1 in 1:22:53.

Dropped Jeff off, ran the second half alone . Now I was excited about catching Ded Moroz, the 8:00 guy. At first things looked great - closed 42 seconds in the first 2 miles, thought I'd get him easily. But then it started snowing, and the trail got very slick again. So for the next two miles I lost ground. I thought perhaps today Ded Moroz would win. But then I got out on a good stretch of road where the snow composition was just right and gave much better traction. I took advantage of the opportunity and ran a 6:12 mile. The rest of the way was decent - it kept snowing, and the snow started covering the ice well enough to be able to run 7:30-7:50 pace. I ended up with 2:39:46 for 20.2, 7:54.55 avg.

P.M. 1.5 with Jenny in 13:28, 2 miles with Benjamin in  17:12, and 1 with Julia in 11:15.

Night Sleep Time: 0.13Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.13
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

P.M. A very long day, but managed to squeeze in a 15.1 mile run. Warm day, around 35 F, ran in shorts. A lot of snow has melted. First 2 with Benjamin and Jeff in 15:35, Jeff went another 10.1 with me. We did a tempo pickup on a dry section for 1.05 in 5:50, 5:33 pace. Hit 12.1 mark in 1:28:30. Then went for 3 more to finish off 15.1. After about a quarter realized it was dry enough to run sub-6:00, so just went for it. Ran the last 2.75 in  16:07, 5:51.6 avg. Slipped on snow, but then made up on dry ground. Total time for 15.1 was 1:46:22, 7:02.65 avg. Jenny and Julia ran there regular distances with Sarah.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Night Sleep Time: 16.26Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 17.26
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