Breaking the Wall

Striders 10K

Previous WeekRecent EntriesHomeJoin Fast Running Blog Community!PredictorHealthy RecipesSasha Pachev's RacesFind BlogsMileage BoardTop Ten Excuses for Missing a RunTop Ten Training MistakesDiscussion ForumRace Reports Send A Private MessageMonth ViewYear View
Graph View
Next Week
15% off for Fast Running Blog members at St. George Running Center!


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: 266.81 Year: 266.81
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: 1438.17
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted. We had another guy named Ricardo from our church join us for a little bit. Ricardo is just starting to run, so he ran 1.5 out with us. 

Contemplated doing 5 mile tempo, but the throat was still sore. No cough or fever, but uncomfortable. Figured a hard run could very well do me in. Additionally, there was a lot of snow on the trail. So we ran easy.

Shortly after dropping off Ricardo, we saw a runner ahead of us going at a good pace. We went for a chase to find out who it was. Sped up to 6:00 pace for a short while. Turned out it was Katy Bowen, a BYU steeplechaser.  Ran with her a bit, then it was time for her to turn around.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Still doing core strength work - sit-ups and Curt's contraption.

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

The throat still scratchy. Decided to take it easy. Ted was also feeling tired. So we jogged and chatted for 10 miles. The roads have cleared up.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Did a 100 meter time trial for Benjamin on the trail. He ran 20.0, 20.2 up a slight grade, and then 19.6 down. I ran those with him. I told him he would be ready to run 2 miles a day when he break 7:00 on the mile, and 19.0 on 100.

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

Ran with Ted at 4:45 AM. Met him on the trail - he started from BYU. My throat got better, but still did not want to take chances with it. After some discussion we decided to do a mile at Ted's 10 K pace effort, followed by 4x400 a bit faster, but not too hard.

We ran the mile in 5:44. The quarters were 1:23, 1:21, 1:20, 1:18. Each of them felt easier. I felt my form was getting better as we went along.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. 

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

Ran with Ted at 5:30 AM. Standard sleep-in day. The throat finally felt almost 100% healthy, good enough to try something fast. Ran the standard tune up 1.5 miles in 7:54.9, quarter splits 1:19 - 1:19 - 1:20 - 1:18 - 1:19 - 1:19. HR peaked at 165 on the fourth quarter, then fluctuated between 162 and 165 for the remainder of the interval. 1:20 quarter was caused by the caution of trying not to hit the gate in the dark. This  gave me enough of a break from the pace to start feeling very good. Then I sped up to a 1:18 quarter, and that felt a bit too fast after a while. 1:19 quarters felt just right. Overall, I think the right 10 K pace for a flat course in 1:20 quarters.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. 

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

Slept in this morning, this time not on purpose. Ted woke  me up at 4:59 AM. It was snowing hard, but still fairly warm. Ran about 3 miles with him. Then he headed to BYU, and I continued on the trail. Did 2x100, one untimed, the other in 19.2. Then 2x400 76.0 - 75.5. Felt good.

Ran with the kids in the evening.

Exciting moment in the history of Fast Running Blog. I just barely gotten the course magic tool to the point of the first release. UI is still rather rudimentary, but at least on my Slate Canyon Loop, which I used for testing, it rocks. I tuned the algorithm until it correctly predicted every quarter split for an evenly paced hard run. If you want to give it a try, login to your account, then go to Course Tool. Add New Course, then you need a GPX file. You can make  one at

When I get around to it, I'll add a map similar to gmap-pedometer so you can it everything in one shot here. Also, add the ability to share courses with the public, display elevation profile graphically, add comments and notes to the course, and maybe a few other things. But now it is time to get ready for bed. Running the Strider's 10 K tomorrow.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Race: Striders 10K (6.21 Miles) 00:36:08, Place overall: 7, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Striders 10 K - 36:07.9, 7th place. Cold day - about 26F at the start. Tough course. It highlighted my weaknesses. I do not do well on a long hill, or immediately afterwards. I have tried to work on it in the past and discovered that training on a long hill only makes things worse for me. The root of the problem is probably neurological or biomechanical. That in combination with racing at a higher than normal percentage of HR and VO2. I remember being able to drop the competition on a hill when I was slower, had lower VO2 Max, higher HR, and raced at a lower percentage of HR.

We had the same field as last week, with the addition of Dennis Simonaitis. We started out slow, then gradually warmed into a harder effort as we started the climb. There was a bit of a slight downhill to give us a break. I maintained a steady effort, and it resulted in pulling ahead a little bit. I figured I could use a bit of a buffer before the serious uphill. Then we started the climb for real. 5:59 on the first mile (going by the mile marks). The lead pack pulled away from me at first, then I gradually reeled them in right as we approached the end of the hill. Then it was immediate down. I had a hard time shifting gears, and dealing with the slippage and they got away. Did fine for a while - had them in view, probably within 10 seconds for another mile or so. Missed 2 mile split.

Then the nasty climb on the third mile that gains 300 feet. That is 6% grade for a mile. My Garmin 305 (The Toy) showed quarters at 7:00 pace, HR finally started reading normally as I had worked up some sweat. Steady 166. The leaders kept moving away further and further. 18:27 at mile 3, 12:28 for the last 2 miles. I was running with Steve Ashbaker for a while, but then he started to drop back. The leaders have lost Kenneth Richardson, and I hoped to catch him. However, the long uphill mile put me out of commission. Even though we were now going downhill, I could not get into a good rhythm for a while. My HR dropped to 155. Next mile in 5:27, 23:54 at 4 miles, finally caught the 6:00 mile guy.

Around the 4th mile mark I finally started getting into a good rhythm. Did the next downhill mile in 5:09. Closed a bit on Kenneth. Dennis Simonaitis went by - he was doing a win-the-masters paid tempo run of sorts. Had he been racing he would have gone out with the leaders. I thought of latching on him, but did not feel strong enough to do it.

Another little bit of downhill, and how we are climbing the final hill. Closed a bit on Kenneth at the start of the hill. The Toy reported a 1:38 quarter. Steve is not too far behind. I figured I focus on catching Kenneth, I'll be safe from Steve's kick.

Got to the end of the hill. Kenneth put on a move to make me not want to catch him, and opened a wider gap. We stayed in that order to the finish. 34:59 at mile 6 (5:56).

Bob won in 34:28, then Corbin 34:30, Joe 34:42, Paul 34:47, Dennis 35:47, Kenneth 35:56, me 36:07.9, Steve 36:28, Chad 37:15. Ted finished 18th in 39:13.

Splits by the GPS (distance 6.30): 5:48 - 5:40 - 6:37 - 5:31 - 5:17 - 5:40). Interestingly enough, other GPS's reported similar discrepancies both in distance and in splits. I wonder why. The course was certified.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Later we went to the dinner/talent show at our church. We did our famous Cat In The Hat skit, with Julia and Joseph starring as Thing 1 and Thing 2, Benjamin and Jenny as the boy and the girl, Sarah being the mom and speaking the part of the fish, Jacob being the actual fish, and me acting as the Cat. My favorite part is when Thing 1 and Thing 2 come out of the box, and start running around making a mess.

Sarah's Carob Chip Cookies won the first prize in the chocolate chip cookie bake off. I asked our Elder's Quorum President earlier if carob chips were allowed. He said that it would be OK, but suggested our chances of winning would be greatly reduced. He and his family ended up taking second.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Debt Reduction Calculator

Featured Announcements
Lone Faithfuls
(need a comment):