Breaking the Wall

Week starting May 04, 2008

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: 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: 45.25Nap Time: 13.17Total Sleep Time: 58.42
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

No running, day of rest.

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

A.M. Started the run with Jeff and Daniel. Daniel went to 3.5 then turned around. After a while I started messing around with landing technique trying to see what happens if I consciously tried to power the muscles harder in the early ground contact phase. The result was that we started running the easy not easy 6:40 pace. The breathing was not affected due to the slowness of the pace, but I could definitely tell I had to focus more - surprise, surprise. I was fed up with that and decided to test this at a faster pace to see what differences I would observe. So we ran a 600 in 2:01 (5:23 pace). Legs felt stale from the 5 K on Saturday, otherwise the pace felt good. At a faster pace I felt I could push in the early ground phase any harder that my natural push at that pace. So I would have to say the experiments were inconclusive.

Dropped Jeff off at 10.1, and ran back to meet Sarah on the trail. Figured that since I'd be running slower with her it would be OK to run fast until I meet her, and that way I would get to meet her sooner as well. This time I felt different, I really liked the feeling in my feet. The strike felt lighter. I think there is a bit of a paradox. The harder you push into the ground right away the lighter it is going to feel because it reduces the time on the ground and there is not enough time for the mind to register the full burden of body weight on the foot and the leg. So maybe my experiments did produce some results after all. I did not know how far I was going, but I figured I'd meet Sarah around 2 miles into the tempo. Ran the first 0.5 evenly in 2:50 (5:40 pace), then hit a 1:19 quarter on the downhill on the trail, slowed down to 1:23 with turns and bridges (5:32 at the mile), then ran the next mile in 5:26, 10:58 for 2 miles. Felt staleness in the legs, but surprisingly was holding pace OK without too much struggle.

Saw Sarah about 100 meters before the 2 mile mark, so I had to do a 200 meter pickup on the way back to catch her after jogging a bit. Ran home with her, then added another mile. Total time for 15.1 was 1:54:46.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 11:16, 1.5 with Jenny in 12:19, she closed with a 7:50 mile, 2 with Benjamin in 14:58, last mile in 7:08, got chased by a small dog at the end, 0.7 alone in 4:46.

Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Josse, and Daniel. We paced Josse through the 5 mile tempo in 34:10. She was holding almost 6:40 pace through the first 2.5 (6:43 - 6:39 - 3:23), then faded a bit and did 1:44 quarters (6:56 pace) until 1 mile to go, and then the uphill did her in, but she still survived the last mile in 7:04. Total time of 34:10, 6:50 pace. Daniel ran back to his house, the rest of us finished 10 miles. Dropped Josse off, she said: "Thanks for torturing me, I really enjoyed it." Ran some more with Jeff, then he turned around, I continued. Met Sarah, about 500 meters away from the 2.5 turnaround, decided to go all the way to the turnaround and then catch her. Ran 5:42 mile, caught her right by the swing. So we stopped and had a little swinging date. I figured Benjamin would be interested in knowing how long the swing rope was, so I measured the period of swing oscillation, which was 4.7 seconds. Benjamin later calculated that the length of the swing rope was 5.48 meters long using the formula L = (T/(2*pi))^2*g where T is the oscillation period in seconds, and g is the acceleration of gravity in meters per square second. Finished the run with Sarah, total of 15.08 in 1:56:13.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:31, 1.5 with Jenny in 13:14, 2 with Benjamin in 16:28, and 0.7 alone in 5:00. 

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

A.M. Started with 6.25 with Jeff, then Hyrum joined us for 3, then we finished with 1 more mile. Did a short pickup with Hyrum at 5:40 pace. Total time for 10.25 was 1:21:32.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:39, 1.5 with Jenny in 12:58. Then 5.5 alone in 36:35. Was plodding along and then decided to catch Josse's tempo run time for 5 miles (34:10) 1.5 into the run. Figured it would not wear me out too much, the faster pace distance being only 4 miles. I started out 50 seconds behind, and at first all I wanted to do was catch the proverbial 7:00 guy. But then I saw that he was coming to me pretty quick, so I decided to set a more ambitious goal. Passed Josse's schedule shortly before 4 miles, and I got to 5 miles in 33:40, 30 seconds ahead of target. Then I saw that the 6:40 guy was only 20 seconds ahead, and 6:00 pace over the last 0.5 would catch him. At first the voice of reason spoke to me and said relax. Then a devil entered into me and said, this is only 6:00 pace, you can do it. So I fell for the temptation and ran 5:50 pace for the last 0.4. Added another 2 with Benjamin in 14:38 afterwards. He was having devil problems as well.

Night Sleep Time: 6.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Started with Jeff and Daniel. Ran 2 times around the block waiting for Hyrum (0.7) then took off. Daniel turned around 3.2 into the run. Jeff and I ran to the end of the trail and back. Did some sprints on the way back with full rest. 2x100 15.2, 15.5 and then a 200 in 30.5. All with a slow running start. Jeff did 14.2, 14.7, and 29.8.

Dropped Jeff off, ran back to meet Sarah. Found her hiding under the railroad bridge. Turned out she did not want to step into a large puddle of water in the tunnel and took a very round about route. Ran back with her, then added another 3 to make it 15.1 for the run. A small devil got into me with 0.6 to go and I sped up to 5:50 pace. Most of the run was done at around 8:00 pace, though.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:46, 1.5 with Jenny in 13:20, 2 with Benjamin in 17:09, 0.7 alone pushing Jacob in the single stroller in 5:08.

Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 10.00Total Sleep Time: 17.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeff and Daniel. It was an eventful run with live entertainment. Yesterday I found out that Jeff and his whole family are very good singers and love to do it. This morning I began to realize the implications of having a training partner that can sing. So I challenged Jeff to sing the Star Spangled Banner at 5:30 pace. We picked up after a bit over a mile warm-up, waited for 100 meters so that Jeff would have a chance to get into a 5:30 breathing rhythm, and then he started. We ended up doing 600 in 2:03 (5:28 pace), and Jeff got a 5 (with 10 being good stationary singing) for his performance from Daniel. According to Daniel he hit about 80% of the notes on key.

Jeff thought his singing at 5:30 pace did not sound that good. To help him feel the magnitude of his accomplishment I sang the same song at 8:00 pace. Daniel gave me a 2. I kept changing keys as I went along, something I do even when I am stationary. Then Jeff sang at 8:00 pace. Daniel gave him 7.5. Reasons for not 10 - some notes slightly flat, and struggles with breathing.

Daniel turned around at 4 miles. Jeff and I went to the end of the trail and then turned around. Then at 7 mile mark Jeff began to be concerned about making it to class on time. So we picked up the pace, went through a few gears and eventually ended up running 6:00 pace. I became curious about how well Jeff could sing at that pace and challenged him to do it. He gave himself 6.5 on Daniel's scale as we did a quarter in 1:29. Then I tried it. Our quarter time was 1:32. We saw Sarah right as I was finishing "o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave". She gave us an interesting look. Jeff said it sounded worse than 8:00 pace singing as I was changing keys more often, but not much. I asked him if that was because it just could not get much worse, he said no, even at 6:08 pace I was still singing better than one of his mission companions.

As Jeff was analyzing my performance, we slowed down to a 1:34 quarter. Once we were done with the analysis, we picked up again and ran the last 1 K in 3:28 (5:33 pace).

Dropped Jeff off, ran back to Sarah, ran some with her, then we saw Iain Hunter on the trail. Sarah suggested I should join him, so I ran 5:20 pace for 0.5 while catching up to him and then ran with him some more. Total of 18.1 in 2:16:28.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:13, 1.5 with Jenny in 12:39, 2 with Benjamin in 14:30, and 100 with Joseph in 43.

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

A.M. Long run. First 10.1 with Tyler, the rest alone. During the easy part did a pickup for 0.5 in 2:49 to show Tyler the breathing at marathon pace. Jogged and chatted otherwise up to 7.1 into the run. After that picked it up. First 2 miles at 5:48 pace. Lost focus some on the next mile which was uphill and went through tunnels, got 5:58. Dropped Tyler off without stopping with a 180 at my house and continued the tempo. Had a hard time getting into a good pace, the legs were feeling stale. Not a surprise given the end of a high mileage week and 18 + 4.5 yesterday. Started moaning, that helped me speed up. Eventually settled into a 5:42 rhythm. Figured would do it while I can. Hit the next 5.05 in 29:03. Moaned every 10-30 seconds. Lots of runners on the trail, every one I passed that was going in my direction inevitably had a startled look when they heard the moan. Probably wondering why I just would not slow down and run quietly. On the way back was going a fairly steady 5:45 - 5:48 pace, again moaning. Kept waiting to hit the wall, but it never happened, I just happily moaned along. Last mile, same one with the tunnels and uphill was 5:46, last two quarters 1:25 and 1:23. Last 5.05 was 29:11. Total time for 13.1 was 1:15:49, 5:47.25 average, total time for 20.2 was 2:09:21.

Was happy to break 1:16 on a half with a net elevation gain at the end of a 20 miler and a high mileage week. This gives me confidence that on a good day I can run 1:14:30 second half in Ogden or maybe even faster if I improve my moaning. I have to say that moaning does wonders. Not quite sure why, maybe when you start acting like you are in pain your body becomes willing to bring itself to that level of pain.

Benjamin did the Cub Scout Olympics today. 7.7 in the 50 yard dash, fastest time of all the kids, including the 10 year olds. 47 feet softball throw, average. 24 push-ups in 1 minute, average. 41 sit-ups in 1 minute, highest of all the kids. 59 inches standing broad jump, second longest among the kids his age, short of the longest by 2 inches.

P.M. Ran in the Hobble Creek Canyon downhill with Benjamin and Jenny. First 1.5 in 11:49, then Sarah picked up Jenny and we ran 6:34 mile with Benjamin.

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.67Total Sleep Time: 8.42
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Night Sleep Time: 45.25Nap Time: 13.17Total Sleep Time: 58.42
Debt Reduction Calculator

Featured Announcements
Lone Faithfuls
(need a comment):