Breaking the Wall

Fast Running Blog 5 Miler For Frugality And Against Obesity

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: 225.16 Year: 225.16
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
Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 45.30Saucony Type A Miles: 22.00
Night Sleep Time: 47.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 47.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest. Went to church.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Ted, Jeff, and Ben Crozier. Paced Ben through The Uneventful Half-Marathon in 1:40:40. Ted turned around after 4.5 miles so he would get 6, Jeff turned around 2 miles later to get 10. I had 4 VPBs and did not stop my watch on those, so my time was probably about 2 minutes faster. I did about 0.5 of marathon pace running catching up.

If anybody ever wants to be paced in the Uneventful Half let me know. Great way to find out what you can do in the half without paying $40 for it or more. And you get a personal pacer/bottle carrier as a bonus as well. Although if you are running 1:15 I probably would not volunteer to carry your bottle, but then you won't need it. Anything between 1:50 and 1:15 is good, I can find a way to make it fit into my training schedule. The course is a loop starting at my house but most of it is on the Provo River Trail. Not super fast, but not terribly slow either. Appears flat, but there are a lot of bridges, and there is a very gradual grade. You are following a river after all, if there was no grade it would not flow.

Tested Jeff's wife Kimia's top end speed. At first she ran 101.5 meters on the road in 19.9, but 100 was too long to be a fair measurement of her speed.  I noticed that she was a lot faster in the first 30 meters, in fact, so fast that it took me a while to catch up. So we did it one more time, this time she was going to run 30 meters and then I was going to hold pace to the finish of the 101.5. I ended up with 17.7.

Added 2 more with Benjamin in 15:36. Did explosions. He ran his last mile in 6:52.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 19:20. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:43.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 15.10
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff in 1:18:10. Did a couple of explosions, fat 0.5 in 2:59, and the last fat mile in 6:03. Discussed computers and then later the role of adrenal glands in a long race. The hypothesis is that you can slow down at the end of a long race due to adrenal fatigue, and that perhaps my "neural fatigue" is more precisely adrenal fatigue. The adrenal glands are not strong enough to sustain 5:30 pace for 2+ hours.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 18:01. 2 with Jenny in 19:20. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:43.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Ted and Jeff. Dropped Ted off at 6. Total time for 10 miles was 1:16:38.

P.M. Julia ran 1.5 with Sarah. 2 with Jenny in 17:56. Benjamin was sick, did not run.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeff. Accidentally met up with Ted and two ROTC cadets, ran with them for a couple of miles. Did explosions. Did two fat miles. The first one was around 6 miles into the run, and we did it in 5:58. It was perfectly flat. The second one was the last mile of the run, so bridges and slight uphill. We ran it in 6:14. Counted breathing rate in the last quarter, which was done in 1:30 (6:00 pace). Jeff breathed 35 times a minute, while I did 44 times a minute. Clearly he is breathing a whole lot less frequently than I do. Wonder what that means aside from the obvious and true conclusion that 6:00 pace is easier for him than it is for me.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 20:24. Julia ran 1.5 in 15:24. 1 with Benjamin in 9:38.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Ted, Jeff, and Colby. Did a pickup for a quarter at 5:20 pace and counted my breathing rate. 51 breaths per minute. What is interesting is that it takes me the same number of breaths to cover the same distance at 6:00 as it does at 5:20 pace, except I do it faster because it takes less time to run the distance. 32 breaths per minute at 7:20 pace.  Ted and Colby turned around at 3 miles, Jeff and I went on and marked the race course as we went. I did explosions early in the run, and then we ran a fat mile in 5:58 at the end of 10.1. Total time was 1:18:36.

P.M. Technical feat - got Microvision Flic Barcode Scanner ($99 online) to worth with Nokia 770 Internet Tablet over Bluetooth, so now the scanner can be used wirelessly for the race tomorrow. This is officially not supported, so I had to get my hands dirty. If anybody is interested, there are two tricks. One, to get them to pair you need to put a line

scanner_addr 0000

into /var/lib/bluetooth/nokia_addr/pincodes.  Replace scanner_addr and nokia_addr with the actual bluetooth hardware adresses of the devices.This secret was discovered with the help of strace. Good old strace has saved my rear end many times. Trick number  two was to reverse engineer the data transfer protocol, but fortunately Brendan Johan Lee had already done it for me. So I ported his driver to run on Nokia 770 and log the barcodes to a file along with a time stamp.  My hack is available for those who needed it.

Ran 1 with Benjamin in 8:22, and 2 with Jenny in 18:52. Julia was not feeling well and did not run.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Race: Fast Running Blog 5 Miler For Frugality And Against Obesity (5 Miles) 00:27:11, Place overall: 2
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Fast Running Blog 5 Miler For Frugality And Against Obesity, 27:11, 2nd pace.

Results at

This was an interesting experience. This was the first race I have ever directed. I figured if somebody wanted (more) cash I'd make him work for it, so I jumped in the race myself too. After all, this was a race for frugality, so I figured it would be a good idea to make the Fast Running Blog investment count to the highest extend.

Sarah, the kids, Ted, Kimia, and a few others helped with the race logistics, which made it a lot more manageable. We got organized, and got the race started.

Jeff and I quickly pulled away from the competition. First mile in 5:14. Felt easy. Jeff had already run 15 miles at around 6:20 prior to the start to simulate running on low fuel. So he said to me he wanted to go faster to run out of fuel. I asked him to hold back for one more mile. Two reasons. One, I did not want to run 4 miles alone. Two, I did not want Jeff to run out of fuel prematurely. So he agreed and backed off. A bit too much. Second mile in 5:24. That started to feel way too easy.

Then Jeff picked it up. I went with him, but after a 200 in 38 I realized it was not a good idea, too fast. So I eased off to 5:20 pace. Hit the turnaround in 13:17, on pace for course PR, that is exactly what I got in August 2007. Incidentally Jeff was with me. Except back then he was not as fast, so he could not drop me even fresh, much less after running a brisk 15. So he stayed with me until one quarter to go, and then I dropped him and we got 26:48 vs 26:50.

However, as soon as I made 180, my adrenaline was gone. Not surprising, directing even a low-profile race does carry a measure of stress, so when racing at PR level you are going to feel it. At least that is what I think happened. I have noticed that some days I recover from a 180 or a hill just fine. However, other days, a hill or a 180 breaks me badly. Textbook exercise physiology says, well you have work harder to get back up to speed (or run harder up a hill), so you build up too much lactic acid, and then cannot recover. There is something not quite right with this explanation. Try as I might I cannot push my RER past 1.06 even when I am doing quarters every week. With no interval work it stalls at 1.04. That is in a 5-10 minute V02 test, not in a 5 mile race or tempo run. For a comparison, a middle distance runner can get up to 1.15. While RER is not a direct measurement of lactate levels, it should correlate pretty closely. RER is the ratio carbon dioxide out to oxygen in. If it is greater than 1, you are into oxygen debt. So in short, the measurements have shown I do not have a whole lot of ability to go into oxygen debt.

I have previously thought that this difficulty of handling changes of pace might have something to do with the nervous system not being able to go into overdrive. Recently, though, I am leaning towards the adrenal failure theory. It takes quite a bit of adrenaline to run 5:20 pace. You can be aerobically and muscularly fit, but if the adrenaline is not there, the heart would not beat fast enough, you would not breathe hard enough, and the glycogen in the muscles will not be made available fast enough. The symptoms seem to match. HR drops to the right level for the pace, but for the life of me cannot go up any higher even for 50 meters. The breathing slows down. The legs do not hurt, they just cannot go any faster for no apparent reason.

So to make the long story short, I slowed down. 16:04 at 3 miles (5:26, but the last 0.5 at 5:34 pace), 21:38 at 4 (5:34), and the last mile in 5:33.

I was happy with the performance, though. I missed my course PR by 23 seconds, but I could run the first half on pace, and it felt easy. And I did not die too badly.

Jeff won with 26:35, Steve Cutitta was 3rd with 28:18. Mary Ann won the womens with 29:45, and chicked everybody else.

When I finished I made sure the finish chute was being handled, and ran back to Benjamin. He ran 39:10. He was still not fully recovered from getting sick a couple of days ago, so I was not expecting a whole lot. But at least he could run 7:50 pace.

Finished timing everybody, ran 1.5 to the house with Julia in 16:37, then ate a snack (two bananas and evaporated cane juice magic drink), and then went for more punishment/conditioning. Decided I would run the Uneventful Half in 1:20 for a challenge.

Ran the first mile in 6:13, second about the same, no mark due to altered course (due to flooding under the bridge), then eased into 6:00, then a little under, and coasted hoping I would not crash too badly. Kept it under 6:00 for a while until I started hitting the uphill and the bridge tunnels. Slowed down to 6:08, felt embarrassed, an odd feeling, I was still passing runners on the trail pretty fast, including bikers, but I still felt embarrassed because it felt slow and I could not go faster.

Then turned around past Maceys, and started heading downhill. A welcome relief, now 5:52-5:56 pace again, but that's all I've got. With 100 meters to go my prayers were answered. When I hit the desperate plateau I started praying for help to get out of it. Finally the Lord sent me help. It was a little feisty dog. It started barking at me and chasing me. I knew what I was supposed to do - get angry at it and run faster. But I had a very hard time. Finished with 1:18:47, a little slower than 6:00 average.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 19:41. Hiked the Y with Sarah for a date as well. It took us 24:36 to walk from the start of the trail to the bottom of the Y.


Saucony Type A Miles: 22.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 45.30Saucony Type A Miles: 22.00
Night Sleep Time: 47.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 47.75
Debt Reduction Calculator

Featured Announcements