Breaking the Wall

Week starting Mar 02, 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 nine children: Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, William, Stephen, Matthew,  Mary, and Bella.  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: 104.81 Year: 750.54
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 120.59
Red Crocs Lifetime Miles: 1909.35
Brown Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 280.91
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Night Sleep Time: 52.25Nap Time: 3.00Total Sleep Time: 55.25
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Sarah and I and the kids stayed overnight with James and Lybi. Went to church with them. Their ward has been promoting fitness goals, one of them being family weight loss. I suggested it would not be a good idea for us.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Travel home from Mesa. Left early and got in at 5pm, so I had time for a run. Decided to keep it short since I really did not have that much time to start with, and was still fatigued from the race and the travel. 2 with Benjamin in 16:49, 1.5 with Jenny in 12:59, 1 with Julia in 9:41, and then 6 more. Kept running into couples. First it was Jeff (different new Jeff) and Ann. They denied that they were on a date, although it did look like it. Turned out Jeff had served a mission in the Ukraine, so we chatted in Russian some. Then it was time for them to turn around, but shortly thereafter I ran into Jeff McClellan and his wife Kimia. She was following him on a bike. So we all went together from there.

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff and Josse in 1:16:30. Did 0.5 of tempo pickups after a VPB at 5:20 pace.

P.M. 5.75 with Julia running one mile in 10:05, then riding in the stroller the rest of the way. We went to Reams Family Foods to get her a present for running under 10:00 in a training run on her own initiative. Then 1.5 with Jenny in 12:59, 1.05 by myself in 7:21, and 2 with Benjamin in 15:47.

Night Sleep Time: 7.25Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.25
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff in 1:09:09 at 5:10 AM. Started slow as usual, but quickly warmed into a good pace. Did a tempo pickup on the last quarter - 1:22.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:39, 1.5 with Jenny in 12:28, she closed with a 7:55 mile, 2 with Benjamin in 15:51, and then another 5.55 in 42:14 with 0.5 worth of tempo pickups.

I have finally finished my Del Sol report.

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

A.M. Really did not want to get out of bed this morning. It was so comfortable. Ran 15.1 in 1:43:31. First 10.1 with Jeff. Adam joined us for the first 3.5. Jeff and I had a need for VPB, and picked up the pace to get to a good spot before the need would strike in a crippling manner. We ran 600 in 2:01 (5:23 pace). Then another 700 in 2:16 (5:10 pace) to catch up. We got a bit carried away on this one. Adam told us we sounded like a herd of buffalo when we came up from behind. Ran into Matt again with about 1.5 to go.

P.M. Took a nap. Had a dream about all of the girls on the blog running a relay race along the Black Sea.  Jenny was running carrying Jacob instead of the baton for some reason. Our team van was actually a bus that looked like this:

bonus challenge - identify the model. The bus was old and had a hard time going uphill. A leg was coming up that climbed 9%. I was getting concerned that the bus would not make it. Then I woke up. It took me a while to realize I did not need to worry about the bus making up the hill.

Ran 2 miles with Benjamin in 16:32. He started out slow, and gradually increased the pace. At 1.5 mark after hearing his split he correctly stated that he was 2 seconds behind the 8:30 guy and, then said, direct quote: "At this rate of aggression I will have him completely destroyed by the finish!", which he proceeded to do.

Jenny and Julia ran their usual distances with Sarah. I ran another 3.05 in 22:22, found Provo High team on the trail, ran with them a bit, did a couple of pickups.

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 9.25
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 15.03 in 1:48:59. Jeff slept in, so I ran to his house (1.35), then 9 more with him. Counted the stride rate at 6:50 pace. It was 172-174. Decided to test it at a faster pace. Ran a quarter in 1:26, stride rate was 184. Ran into Tyler. he was doing a short tempo. Ran the last 0.4 with him, timed 600 of it, it was 1:59. Tried to count the stride rate, but at 5:20 pace it was too tedious. Then ran into Matt. He joined us. We dropped off Jeff, then dropped off Tyler, and then Matt and I went separate ways with 0.46 to go (for me).

P.M. Did a kids relay of sorts from Canyon Glen Park to a little bit past Will's on 800 S in Orem. First, 1.42 with Julia in 14:12, then 1.74 with Jenny in 15:01, and 2.02 with Benjamin in 15:49. We did not make the kids stay up all night and then do it again two more times, though.

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 9.25
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 20.1 in 2:30:49. The run started with Adam, Michelle, Jon Allen, Hyrum, and Tyler. Dropped Hyrum off after 2 miles. Dropped Tyler and Adam after 12. Michelle and Jon ran the entire way. Did 2 post-VPB tempo pickups, first was 0.5 in 2:37 (1:21 - 1:16) about 8 miles into the run, and the second was about 17 miles into the run, also 0.5 in 2:37 (1:19 - 1:18). Turnover was 178 at 8:15 pace, 172 at 7:30 pace, and 194 at 5:20 pace. The tempo pickups felt good, very sustainable, although I was breathing hard. It has been probably at least 6 years since I felt I could not go any faster because I was breathing too hard. It is usually something subtle, no major pain, muscles feel fine, breathing feels fine some kind of invisible wall stops me. Some days it is further out than others. I actually like it when I am able to breathe hard and still feel the pace is sustainable.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 17:32, then 3 alone in 22:25. 

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Night Sleep Time: 52.25Nap Time: 3.00Total Sleep Time: 55.25
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