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: 304.65 Year: 3606.17
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: 806.96
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Black Crocs 2 Miles: 77.58
Night Sleep Time: 50.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 52.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest. Went to church.

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

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2016-04-11 06:56:18
Workout Totals: Distance11.000Time1:24:15.90Pace7:39.63
Crazy day today, but everybody got their runs done, although with some reduced mileage. Mary had a fevral seizure, and we called 911. She got transported to the Utah Valley Hospital. She came out of it on the way and was released a couple of hours later. In retrospect we should just have driven her ourselves to the Riverwoods Urgent Care - she would have gotten help faster, and the bill from the adventure would have been around $200 instead of around $2000. I think the problem was that she was never hot during the night, and her throat was so sore that she refused to drink. Because she was not hot, we just thought she was not thirsty, and she got dehydrated. Even with the ninth child there are still things that we are learning.
Leg 1:Distance10.000Time1:15:39.30Pace7:33.93
With Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance1.000Time8:36.60Pace8:36.60
With Joseph, Jacob, William, Stephen, and Jenny.

Black Crocs 2 Miles: 11.00
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 - 2016-04-12 08:08:55
Workout Totals: Distance8.616Time1:11:37.50Pace8:18.78
Benjamin did 2x2000 + 1000 workout with long recoveries in between. I gave him the target of 6:10 and sub-3:00 for the last 1000. He ran 6:09.7, 6:10.7, and 2:47.6. I think we are still in the Pavlov's reflex. He felt the 2000s were hard, in the last one he slowed down to 76 in the 4th lap, but then he picked it up so much in the last 200 that he dropped me while I was doing a quarter, and his 1000 was a complete surprise for me - I thought he might run 2:55 if he kicked, well, he did kick quite well in 31, I could not sprint that fast, but he got to the 800 in 2:16 already.

Clearly, he was not physically maxed out by the 2000s, but mentally they were hard. We need to figure out something - he is ready to move up a level.

I did 3x400 with a brief recovery (however long it took Benjamin to run a lap in between) for each of the 2000, and 400 + 200 in his 1000. I held back some in the 400 knowing that I would need to run a fast 200 shortly.

Details below.

Do not remember what the kids did, I think they ran their usual distances.
Leg 1:Distance1.591Time13:14.30Pace8:19.25
Warm-up, strides.
Split 1:Distance1.030Time8:11.30Pace7:56.99
Split 2:Distance0.062Time0:16.20Pace4:21.29
Split 3:Distance0.062Time0:41.80Pace11:14.19
Split 4:Distance0.062Time0:17.10Pace4:35.81
Split 5:Distance0.375Time3:47.90Pace10:07.73
Leg 2:Distance0.944Time6:09.70Pace6:31.63
First interval/400 session.
Split 1:Distance0.248Time1:13.60Pace4:56.77
Split 2:Distance0.100Time1:13.30Pace12:13.00
Split 3:Distance0.248Time1:13.40Pace4:55.97
Split 4:Distance0.100Time1:15.00Pace12:30.00
Split 5:Distance0.248Time1:14.40Pace5:00.00
Leg 3:Distance1.000Time10:34.00Pace10:34.00
Leg 4:Distance0.944Time6:11.90Pace6:33.96
Second interval/400 session.
Split 1:Distance0.248Time1:13.10Pace4:54.76
Split 2:Distance0.100Time1:14.10Pace12:21.00
Split 3:Distance0.248Time1:14.60Pace5:00.81
Split 4:Distance0.100Time1:16.50Pace12:45.00
Split 5:Distance0.248Time1:13.60Pace4:56.77
Leg 5:Distance0.625Time6:30.40Pace10:24.64
Leg 6:Distance0.472Time2:48.60Pace5:57.20
Benjamin's 1000, mine 400 + 200.
Split 1:Distance0.248Time1:11.50Pace4:48.31
Split 2:Distance0.100Time1:04.60Pace10:46.00
Split 3:Distance0.124Time0:32.50Pace4:22.10
Leg 7:Distance1.000Time9:08.20Pace9:08.20
Back to the house.
Leg 8:Distance2.040Time17:00.40Pace8:20.20
More distance with Benjamin - I think we had Joseph and Jacob with us.

Black Crocs 2 Miles: 8.60
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 - 2016-04-13 08:43:55
Workout Totals: Distance12.040Time1:35:40.90Pace7:56.82
Usual day, usual distance for the kids, except I ran only 12 instead of 14.
Leg 1:Distance6.000Time46:50.50Pace7:48.42
With Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance1.000Time9:16.90Pace9:16.90
With Stephen, Joseph, Jacob, William, Julia, and Benjamin.
Leg 3:Distance3.000Time24:40.00Pace8:13.33
With Joseph, Julia, William, Benjamin, and Jacob - I think.
Leg 4:Distance2.040Time14:53.50Pace7:17.99

Black Crocs 2 Miles: 12.04
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 - 2016-04-14 09:12:33
Workout Totals: Distance13.444Time1:46:57.50Pace7:57.35
Did 300 meter time trials with Joseph (52.9), Jacob (53.5), and William (1:07.8), 100 with Stephen. Afterwards, Joseph and Jacob did a 400 (Joseph 75.4, Jacob 76.0, new PR). I was not expecting much out of that one given the fatigue from the 300, but Jacob got a PR, and Joseph repeated his, I think.

Otherwise, usual day, kids ran their usual distances.
Leg 1:Distance1.200Time10:01.90Pace8:21.58
Warm-up with the gang - Joseph, Jacob, William, and Stephen.
Leg 2:Distance0.186Time0:53.50Pace4:47.63
Joseph and Jacob's 300.
Split 1:Distance0.186Time0:52.90Pace4:44.41
Split 2:Distance0.000Time0:00.60Pace0:00.00
Leg 3:Distance0.062Time0:40.60Pace10:54.84
Jog with William.
Leg 4:Distance0.186Time1:07.80Pace6:04.52
William's 300.
Leg 5:Distance0.062Time0:22.40Pace6:01.29
Stephen's 100.
Leg 6:Distance0.248Time1:16.00Pace5:06.45
Joseph and Jacob's 400.
Split 1:Distance0.248Time1:15.40Pace5:04.03
Split 2:Distance0.000Time0:00.60Pace0:00.00
Leg 7:Distance1.500Time13:49.70Pace9:13.13
Back to the house.
Leg 8:Distance1.000Time8:35.60Pace8:35.60
With Joseph, Jacob, and Benjamin.
Leg 9:Distance9.000Time1:10:10.00Pace7:47.78
With Benjamin.

Black Crocs 2 Miles: 13.44
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 - 2016-04-15 08:14:00
Workout Totals: Distance14.250Time1:50:21.30Pace7:44.65
Did a 3 mile tempo run down the canyon with Benjamin. Well, we each did our own tempo run at the same time, rather after warming up together, and then cooled down together. I ran 16:47 (5:27, 5:40, 5:40), he got 14:43, new PR, splits 4:59, 4:55, 4:49, last quarter in 64. I felt the lack of sleep - Mary has been waking up at odd times. Benjamin also was sluggish, but in a different way - he had a hard time getting going, but he had a good kick at the end.

Otherwise the kids ran their usual distances except for William who had a cold and ran only one mile.
Leg 1:Distance5.360Time44:04.00Pace8:13.28
Warm-up with Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance3.000Time16:47.40Pace5:35.80
Tempo run.
Leg 3:Distance1.640Time15:03.40Pace9:10.85
Cool-down to the house.
Leg 4:Distance4.000Time31:53.80Pace7:58.45
With Joseph and Jacob.
Leg 5:Distance0.250Time2:32.70Pace10:10.80
With Matthew.

Black Crocs 2 Miles: 14.25
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2016-04-16 10:43:31
Workout Totals: Distance18.250Time2:14:23.40Pace7:21.83
Benjamin took the GRE Math test today, so I rearranged my run schedule to be able to run with him. I ran with Joseph and Jacob in the morning - only 3 miles as Jacob had a cold, and Joseph's legs were hurting. Then I ran 10 with Benjamin when he got back, and 5 more alone - total of 18.

Benjamin paced me through a 3 mile tempo run down the canyon. I was able to break 16:30 with his help. Our splits were 5:23, 5:31, 5:35. We had gusty cross-winds which caused a serious slow-down between 2 and 2.5, but then I was able to speed up to 5:20 over the last 600 meters, but still this was only good for 5:35.

William ran only 1 mile - still not feeling well. Otherwise kids ran their usual distances.

On another front, Benjamin passed the driver's license road tests and is just some paperwork away from actually getting his license.
Leg 1:Distance3.000Time23:37.10Pace7:52.37
With Joseph and Jacob.
Leg 2:Distance5.360Time41:32.60Pace7:45.04
With Benjamin.
Leg 3:Distance3.000Time16:29.60Pace5:29.87
Tempo run.
Leg 4:Distance1.640Time14:27.30Pace8:48.84
Back to the house with Benjamin.
Leg 5:Distance5.000Time35:54.90Pace7:10.98
Alone. Felt unusually good for this late in the run.
Leg 6:Distance0.250Time2:21.90Pace9:27.60
With Matthew.

Black Crocs 2 Miles: 18.25
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: 77.58
Night Sleep Time: 50.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 52.00
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