Breaking the Wall

Week starting Mar 23, 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: 54.75Nap Time: 5.33Total Sleep Time: 60.08
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Happy Easter. Took a 2 hour nap after church. Improvements on the stomach front. Was able to eat and digest the big turkey dinner Sarah made.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 2 with Hyrum in 16:22, 2.1 more with Sarah in 20:07, 11.1 more alone in 1:11:30. Picked it up on the last 0.5, ran a 1:30 quarter followed by 1:23. Stomach is feeling much better, pretty much normal, although I was not as hungry as I should have been. Wore Crocs.

Crocs - 157.56 miles.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:30, 1.5 with Jenny in 13:07, 2 with Benjamin in 16:44, and 0.7 alone in 4:33.

Crocs - 162.76 miles. 

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

A.M. Stomach issues continued. Still not as hungry as I ought to be, not eating as much, plus the runs. But otherwise, surprisingly I am able to train. Started with 10.1 with Jeff, Josse, and Brad. They ran it in around 1:18, but thanks to 4 VPBs I ended up with 1:15:01 and about 1 mile worth of tempo running. Timed a 0.3125 segment at 1:40, exactly 5:20 pace. Then ran 2.1 with Sarah. Josse joined us for the first 2.1. The time was 21:05. Afterwards 3 more in 19:21, total time for 15.2 was 1:55:27.

Crocs - 177.96 miles.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 11:23, 1.5 with Jenny in 12:46, 2 with Benjamin in 16:01, and 0.7 alone in 4:50.

Crocs - 183.16 miles. 

Night Sleep Time: 7.17Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 8.67
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Took a break from Crocs. 10.1 in 1:10:12 with Jeff at 5:15 AM. Jeff's quads were tired from a bike ride on Monday.

P.M. Wore Crocs again. 2 miles with Benjamin in 15:22. He started wearing Crocs as well. Yesterday he was getting used to them, today I think he caught on. His last mile was 7:19, and it came naturally with no encouragement on my end to catch any kind of guy. Then ran 8 more alone in 50:35. That makes it 1:05:57 for 10, 6:35.7 average, and 6:19.38 average for the last 8. A bit fast, but Crocs tend to put a bit of a devil in me, so it felt very good. Had a song in my head from one of the later sequels of Nu Pogodi where the savage cannibal rabbits are trying to eat the wolf, and it got me going. Saw Bill Cobler with Breanna on their bikes certifying the Provo City Half. Picked it up to slightly sub-6:00 pace with 0.6 to go.

Crocs - 193.16 miles.

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

A.M. Jeff was sick this morning with stomach problems, so he did not come. I suppose I passed the baton to him. Mine, on the other hand, was in super shape after taking some acidophilus. Yesterday it was anxious to digest everything in sight, and the trend continued today.

Ran the first 8 miles with Brad. We started with a Kenyan warmup. First quarter in 2:19, first mile in 8:40. Then we sped up a bit, but did not catch the 8:00 guy until past 4 miles. After that we went faster, and ended up with 1:00:59 for the distance.

Dropped Brad off and went for 7 more in 45:25, 6:29.29 average. Total time for 15 was 1:46:24, 7:05.6 average. Picked it up a bit on the last quarter, ran it in 1:22. It was windy, but not too bad.

This run brought my Crocs over the 200 mile landmark. What is interesting that the amount of wear increased at a much smaller rate between 100 and 200 vs the first 100 miles.

Crocs - 208.16 miles.

P.M. 1.5 with Jenny in 13:02, 1.5 alone in 10:27, 2 with Benjamin and pushing Joseph in the stroller in 15:22.

Crocs - 213.16 miles. 

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

A.M. Tyler came to run with me this morning. Benjamin wanted to run part of our warm-up. He wore Crocs again. His first mile was 7:42. Afterwards, he hit two quarters in 1:46 each. I challenged him to break 7:00 on the last mile, and he took off as if his name was Haile or Kenenisa. It was not so much the speed as the long stride and the apparent ease with which it came. His next two quarters were both 1:41, which made it 6:54 for the mile, and 14:36 for 2 miles.

Tyler and I ran another 1.38, and then started our 5 mile tempo. Our first two miles were 5:28 each, followed by 0.5 in 2:45 right before the turnaround. Tyler was hanging back a bit during the first 0.5, but as soon as we turned around he started pushing the pace. We ran the next 0.5 in 2:42, which gave us 5:27 for the third mile. We coasted through another 0.5 in 2:44, and then Tyler started pressing the pace again, and we did 2:40 for the next 0.5, 5:24 for the mile. This started to feel hard, but I thought I'd be able to run at least 5:20 for the last mile. Tyler pressed even harder and hit the uphill quarter in 1:19. I hung back a bit and did 1:20. After that Tyler started to slip away. I thought it was because he picked it up to 5:10 pace, but the split at the next quarter showed that he was just holding 5:20, and I was slowing down. My next quarter was 1:22. In the last half mile, Tyler held a steady pace and finished in 27:06. My legs started to give out, and I slowed down to a 1:24 quarter followed by 1:23 on the last one. 5:29 for the last mile, and 27:16.8 for 5 miles, 5:27.36 average.

Last 0.5 felt like the last leg of Del Sol. Barely breathing, but cannot go any faster even for 50 meters for the life of me. Probably because I've been speeding on my easy runs lately. I am discovering that the nervous system is a funny animal. You cannot tell it is fatigued without trying to run at top end. And because of that, it is difficult to tell if you are wearing it out too much, especially in my case when the aerobic ability is high, the muscles are damage-resistant, but the neurological ability is low. I need to make sure I do not exceed 7:00 pace on my easy runs even if I feel like running 6:20s.

Tyler, on the other hand, got a 5 mile PR, and a 4 mile PR en route as a bonus. His recent increase in mileage is starting to pay off.

Ran some more with Tyler at 8:00 pace, dropped him off at 12 miles, then ran 3 more to make it 15.

Crocs - 228.16 miles.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:35, 1.5 with Jenny in 12:33, two more alone in 15:21.

Crocs - 232.56 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 9.33Nap Time: 0.83Total Sleep Time: 10.17
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Long run with Jeff and Tyler. We ran very easy. Around 10 miles into the run a runner named Matt caught up to us, and we picked it up to his pace. Or maybe he slowed down to ours. We invited him to join the blog. I think he just did, but he has not yet posted the workout, or enough bio to be able to tell for sure.

I did 2x200 accelerations each in 37 seconds involuntarily due to being over-hydrated. We dropped Tyler off at 15.1, my time was 1:54:05, Jeff and Tyler would have been a bit slower. Then we ran some more. Jeff turned around after a mile, and I went another mile with Matt, then another 0.5 and turned around. I debated whether I should run the last 2 fast. The benefits would have been getting home sooner, and practicing running fast at the end of a long run. The concern was that yesterday I was showing signs of neural fatigue, and those little pickups day after day may add up. Finally, the desire to be home and eating breakfast sooner prevailed over everything. I thought 5:40 pace would be good, given that there is a 40 feet of elevation gain in those 2 miles, lots of turns, and ups and downs when going under bridges. But it turned out that I had more juice than I thought. My splits by quarter were 1:23, 1:22, 1:23 (under a bridge, then sharp curve to do 270 turn), 1:21, 1:23 (3 underpasses), 1:23 (underpass, uphill), 1:21, and 1:19 for the total of 10:55 for 2 miles. There was an occasional tail wind around 5-7mph.

This gave me 2:27:27 for 20.1. I was pleased to see that I felt very energized in the last 2 miles. My guess is that running at 7:30 pace with friends for me is more like a leisurely walk in the forest. It nurtures my nerves, and then I have the energy, even if it is a long run. Running 6:30 alone, on the other hand, may feel just as easy, but it slowly burns the nerves out.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 11:07, 1.5 with Jenny in 13:17, 2.5 with Benjamin in 21:27.

Crocs - 237.56 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Night Sleep Time: 54.75Nap Time: 5.33Total Sleep Time: 60.08
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