Breaking the Wall

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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
Black Crocs 2 Miles: 89.90
Night Sleep Time: 51.50Nap Time: 2.50Total Sleep Time: 54.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest. Went to the deducation of the Provo City Temple.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 9.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2016-03-21 06:56:56
Workout Totals: Distance14.000Time1:50:56.60Pace7:55.47
Usual 14. Usual distances for the kids.
Leg 1:Distance10.000Time1:18:13.00Pace7:49.30
With Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance4.000Time32:43.60Pace8:10.90
With Joseph and Jacob. Part with William and Julia.

Black Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2016-03-22 06:57:16
Workout Totals: Distance12.869Time1:47:12.20Pace8:19.82
This morning Benjamin and I headed to the track to do 3x500 with full rest. It was raining, not too hard, but the conditions were not the best for this type of workout as the goal was to edge a little closer to the sub-2:00 target. So we decided to postpone the workout until he got back from class in hopes of better weather. I ran with Joseph and Jacob in the morning.

It was dry in the evening, but still cold and windy. Not ideal conditions for our workout, but by that time we did not have much of a choice - either fight the cold and the wind, or lose a workout this week. So we did the workout. I did the last 200 with Benjamin on each interval, more like I made an effort to run with him, but every time got dropped.

His first interval was 1:17.7 (47.3, 30.4). I thought that was pretty good for the wind, but he was able to speed up on the second - 1:16.2 (46.8, 29.4), and even more on the third - 1:14.0 (44.2, 29.8) with the help of the Orem High football team watching. I suggested we should bring all of Jenny's friends to his next workout, with girls there he would really move.

I think the wind calmed down some and it got somewhat warmer as the workout progressed. My 200 splits were 32.6, 31.4, 31.0. The last one was an old man track PR. Good to know I have not lost quite as much speed as it started to appear. But I still have ways to go to get to my PR of 27.5 at the ages of 17 and 31. I noticed that running 31.0 my stride became wider and more relaxed, the improvement in speed did not seem to come from increased turnover or perceived increase in effort. That is actually what I have observed in the past in general about running faster - when the improvement comes, it always is connected with being more relaxed, it appears that the muscles rather than just being stronger in and of themselves are working better together thus producing more power through a better coordination of effort.
Leg 1:Distance3.800Time31:09.20Pace8:11.89
With Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance4.000Time31:53.40Pace7:58.35
With Joseph and Jacob.
Leg 3:Distance1.496Time12:29.60Pace8:21.07
Warm-up, strides.
Split 1:Distance1.000Time7:53.60Pace7:53.60
Split 2:Distance0.062Time0:16.20Pace4:21.29
Split 3:Distance0.062Time0:46.80Pace12:34.84
Split 4:Distance0.062Time0:17.80Pace4:47.10
Split 5:Distance0.310Time3:15.20Pace10:29.68
Leg 4:Distance0.204Time1:19.90Pace6:31.67
Benjamin's 500, my 200, interval 1.
Split 1:Distance0.080Time0:47.30Pace9:51.25
Split 2:Distance0.124Time0:32.60Pace4:22.90
Leg 5:Distance0.930Time9:09.30Pace9:50.65
Leg 6:Distance0.205Time1:18.20Pace6:21.46
Interval 2.
Split 1:Distance0.080Time0:46.80Pace9:45.00
Split 2:Distance0.125Time0:31.40Pace4:11.20
Leg 7:Distance0.930Time8:56.20Pace9:36.56
Leg 8:Distance0.204Time1:15.20Pace6:08.63
Interval 3.
Split 1:Distance0.080Time0:44.20Pace9:12.50
Split 2:Distance0.124Time0:31.00Pace4:10.00
Leg 9:Distance1.100Time9:41.20Pace8:48.36

Black Crocs 2 Miles: 12.87
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2016-03-23 06:52:17
Workout Totals: Distance14.000Time1:47:33.00Pace7:40.93
Usual 14 miles. Kids ran their usual distances.
Leg 1:Distance10.000Time1:15:54.90Pace7:35.49
With Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance4.000Time31:38.10Pace7:54.52
With Joseph and Jacob.

Black Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2016-03-24 07:29:14
Workout Totals: Distance14.567Time1:56:56.30Pace8:01.66
Today Benjamin ran an 800 time trial in 2:04.3 - new PR finally after two weeks of work. He improved his old PR by 1 second. What I found encouraging is that only two weeks ago he was running only 2:10.3. We will see how much more 800 speed he can develop in the next couple of weeks, and then refocus on the 5 K. I did the last 400 of his time trial and got dropped at the 600 meter mark.

His splits were 29.9, 30.6, 32.5, 31.3. I was encouraged by him being able to shift gears in the last 200 meters in spite of a fast start. So now we just need to work more on the confidence from 400 to 600. Hopefully 600 - 400 - 200 workout can help him.

Joseph also did a time trial and got a small PR running 2:39.0. This was still slow enough for me to be able to pace, but fast enough that I could not talk much. His splits were 37.7, 41.0, 39.7, 40.6. Jacob tried as well, but missed his PR by a second running 2:44.1 (37.6, 42.7, 43.0, 40.8). I paced him also.

William also ran an 800 and got a track PR of 3:13.7 (although his old PR was weak, and he has run 3:08 in the canyon). But today was a low-motivation day for him, and this had to be the second try - I stopped him after he had run a lap in 1:42 and made him restart. Second time around he opened in 1:34, and closed in 1:39 which was more reasonable.

Otherwise we had usual runs today.
Leg 1:Distance3.611Time29:07.60Pace8:03.97
Warm-up, strides.
Split 1:Distance3.050Time24:14.50Pace7:56.89
Split 2:Distance0.062Time0:15.80Pace4:14.84
Split 3:Distance0.062Time0:40.70Pace10:56.45
Split 4:Distance0.062Time0:15.60Pace4:11.61
Split 5:Distance0.375Time3:41.00Pace9:49.33
Leg 2:Distance0.388Time2:07.80Pace5:29.38
Time trial with Benjamin. He ran 2:04.3, I gave him splits through the first lap and then attempted to keep up for the last 400, but succeeded only for the first 200.
Split 1:Distance0.070Time0:29.90Pace7:07.14
Split 2:Distance0.070Time0:30.60Pace7:17.14
Split 3:Distance0.124Time0:32.50Pace4:22.10
Split 4:Distance0.124Time0:34.80Pace4:40.65
Leg 3:Distance6.000Time50:46.60Pace8:27.77
Cool-down with Benjamin.
Leg 4:Distance1.080Time9:08.80Pace8:28.15
Warm-up with Joseph, Jacob, and William.
Leg 5:Distance0.496Time2:39.00Pace5:20.56
Joseph's 800 time trial.
Split 1:Distance0.124Time0:37.70Pace5:04.03
Split 2:Distance0.124Time0:41.00Pace5:30.65
Split 3:Distance0.124Time0:39.70Pace5:20.16
Split 4:Distance0.124Time0:40.60Pace5:27.42
Leg 6:Distance0.496Time2:44.10Pace5:30.85
Jacob's 800 time trial.
Split 1:Distance0.124Time0:37.60Pace5:03.23
Split 2:Distance0.124Time0:42.70Pace5:44.35
Split 3:Distance0.124Time0:43.00Pace5:46.77
Split 4:Distance0.124Time0:40.80Pace5:29.03
Leg 7:Distance0.250Time2:08.50Pace8:34.00
Recovery jog.
Leg 8:Distance0.250Time1:44.20Pace6:56.80
William's botched time trial.
Split 1:Distance0.124Time0:50.30Pace6:45.65
Split 2:Distance0.126Time0:53.90Pace7:07.78
Leg 9:Distance0.496Time3:13.70Pace6:30.52
William's 800 time trial for real.
Leg 10:Distance1.500Time13:16.00Pace8:50.67
Cool-down to the house.

Black Crocs 2 Miles: 14.57
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2016-03-25 06:55:54
Workout Totals: Distance14.150Time1:50:03.90Pace7:46.71
More or less usual day in terms of distances, but I did most of the little kids run in the evening. Stephen attempted a mile time trial. First time, he opened with 1:58 quarter, then faded and stopped pushing, so I just stopped him after 1 K and told him to retry in the evening. In the evening the Orem High Track was not available due to a football game, so we went to Mountain View. It was windy. Stephen opened with 1:59 quarter, then faded, but I made him finish it out this time - he ran 8:43.
Leg 1:Distance10.000Time1:18:11.60Pace7:49.16
With Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance0.650Time5:47.70Pace8:54.92
Stephen's failed mile time trial.
Leg 3:Distance1.000Time8:43.00Pace8:43.00
Stephen better mile time trial in the evening.
Leg 4:Distance2.500Time17:21.60Pace6:56.64
With Joseph and Jacob, part with William.

Black Crocs 2 Miles: 14.15
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2016-03-26 09:01:02
Workout Totals: Distance20.311Time2:35:05.30Pace7:38.14
Total of around 20. Did a time trial with Jacob - he ran 800 in 2:43.8 - splits 40,41,43,39 - missed his record by 0.8. The wind made it difficult from 600 to 800. We will try again next week.

Julia did a 3 mile time trial down the canyon in 20:00 - splits 6:38, 6:44, 6:38 - new PR. Benjamin and I paced her.

Then she ran home, and we ran up the canyon and did a 4 mile tempo run in 22:18 (5:34, 5:34, 5:33, 5:35), followed by 4x200 down the canyon. Benjamin got 30.3, 30.1, 29.4, 27.6, I got 33.5, 33.5, 33.7, 33.2.

Benjamin ended up doing 17 miles, longest run he has ever done with some speed in it.

Stephen ran 2 miles. Otherwise the kids ran their usual Saturday distances.

In the evening we needed to get to our friend's house which is about 0.4 away and Sarah happened to have taken my car keys. So we all ran, including Matthew. He also wanted to run back. I figured he is now ready to move to 400 meters daily.
Leg 1:Distance1.000Time9:18.00Pace9:18.00
Leg 2:Distance0.496Time2:43.80Pace5:30.24
Jacob's time trial.
Leg 3:Distance1.500Time13:48.70Pace9:12.47
Cool-down to the house.
Leg 4:Distance2.040Time16:52.00Pace8:16.08
With Benjamin, Joseph, and Jacob.
Leg 5:Distance0.400Time3:32.90Pace8:52.25
With Benjamin and Julia - warm-up.
Leg 6:Distance3.000Time20:00.00Pace6:40.00
Julia's time trial.
Leg 7:Distance4.000Time31:06.20Pace7:46.55
Jog up the canyon with Benjamin.
Leg 8:Distance4.000Time22:18.40Pace5:34.60
Tempo run.
Leg 9:Distance1.500Time14:16.60Pace9:31.07
Leg 10:Distance0.125Time0:33.50Pace4:28.00
This and below are 200 intervals/recoveries.
Leg 11:Distance0.125Time1:27.30Pace11:38.40
Leg 12:Distance0.125Time0:33.70Pace4:29.60
Leg 13:Distance0.125Time1:34.20Pace12:33.60
Leg 14:Distance0.125Time0:33.50Pace4:28.00
Leg 15:Distance0.125Time1:36.00Pace12:48.00
Leg 16:Distance0.125Time0:33.20Pace4:25.60
Leg 17:Distance1.500Time14:17.30Pace9:31.53
Cool down to the car.

Black Crocs 2 Miles: 20.31
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Black Crocs 2 Miles: 89.90
Night Sleep Time: 51.50Nap Time: 2.50Total Sleep Time: 54.00
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