Breaking the Wall

Week starting Jul 09, 2006

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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: 266.81 Year: 266.81
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: 1438.17
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Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Went to the Provo Canyon for speedwork. Warm up. Strides with ankle weights (4x100) up 20.0 down 18.6 up 19.3 down 17.8. Then 12x400 down with 200 recovery. Total time 13:52.1 average of 69.3. Slowest 70.6 ( 1/3 uphill), fastest 67.9 (last). Last 200 about 32.7.

Tried to run more or less relaxed, go fast, but not be extremely anaerobic.

Saw Ed Eyestone running on the trail. Did not get to talk to him, though, as our paths did not quite overlap. He looked like he was going quite fast, but also it looked like he had to work. I suppose he is trying to get back in shape.

Ran with the kids in the evening. Played a game with Julia after Benjamin and Jennifer's run - Julia ran a quarter in 3:03, and then we were chasing the imaginary 8:00/mile guy for the remaining 1.25 miles as she and Joseph sat in the stroller. Without a stroller, it is no big deal to close a minute or so on 8:00 pace in a mile, but the extra weight made it an interesting challenge. We passed him with 0.2 miles to go, and beat him by 19 seconds. I was able to stay relaxed enough to where this did not feel like a tempo, though.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Had a lot of training partners in the morning. That is very nice. First, Stuart came to do a time trial on the Slate Canyon Loop. He ran it in 14:10 improving his time by 31 seconds. His 7 miles a day is starting to pay off. Did his cooldown. Then ran with Benjamin, and Jennifer. Merrill and his son Noah (they are visiting from Las Vegas), joined us. Afterwards, sprints with ankle weights. Did 3 with Benjamin and Noah in about 19 seconds each. Then raced against Merrill and Steve Hillam. They were a lot faster but did not get their time. I got 16.5 with ankle weights. Then I took them off. They were still a lot faster - 13.3 vs 14.8 for me.

Jogged some more with Steve. In the evening ran with Julia, and jogged some more with Joseph in the stroller. Total of 13 miles for the day.

In the evening lifted weights. 1 set of 3 with 95, then 2 sets of 3 with 100.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Ran with Steve Hillam and George. I felt sleepy. We started out at 10:00 pace, and I was perfectly happy at first. The pace got faster, but not by much. After we were done with the trails, Steve and I ran the Slate Canyon Loop (2.11) in 13:53. I challenged him to break 14:00. He hit the last 400 in 1:23 and made it. Benjamin happened to be around walking with Sarah at the quarter mark, and decided to join us. He made it through the first 100 meters of Steve's kick, and finished the quarter in 1:41.

Afterwards, Benjamin convinced Jennifer to run the Slate Canyon Loop and we paced her to a sub-20 - 19:40 with the last mile in 8:53. She handled the hill very well.

Ran with Joseph in the stroller for a mile in the evening. Felt sleepy and lazy. Even thought about walking instead, but then the thought of having to walk for the whole mile made me want to run it - when I feel lazy I always follow the path of the least resistance.

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Ran with Steve Hillam and Steve Ashbaker in the Provo Canyon this morning. Started at the Canyon View Park. Warmed up to the Nunns Park. Then Steve Ashbaker and I ran our standard 3 mile tempo downhill to the mouth of the canyon. The plan was to trade leads every two minutes for the first two miles at a brisk tempo pace, and then try to run each other into the ground on the last. The first mile was 5:12, the second 5:08. Then we duked it out on the last, hitting it in 4:55 with the last quarter in 69. Our overall time was 15:15, which is a record for me by 8 seconds, and for Steve by 10 seconds.

Then we jogged some, and did 5x400 downhill with 200 jog recovery. 70.6 - 67.3 - 70.7 - 68.0 - 65.9 (last 100 in 15.3). Steve was a bit faster on the last one - 64.3. Total of 11 miles for the workout.

In the evening ran with the kids in the Provo Canyon. Also lifted weights. 3 sets of 3 with 100 pounds. Total of 13.8 miles for the day.

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No training partners today. Patrolled the neighborhood the entire run trying to spy some out - did not see any guys. Ran a tempo mile in 5:46 to keep myself from being bored after I stopped feeling lazy. When I stop feeling lazy and start feeling bored (about 4-6 miles into the run), and there are no training partners around to chat with, this is trouble for recovery/taper runs.

Finished the run, then did 4x100 with ankle weights - 19.1 - ? - 18.9 - 17.8. Then ran with the kids.

In the evening, ran an always on the run mile alone without Joseph in the stroller - he was playing and Sarah did not want him disturbed. Decided to time it. Felt extremely lazy as usual on the first 100 meters - 34 seconds, 9:00 pace. If somebody told me at that time I could race a marathon at 5:40 pace, I would not have believed them. However, plodding along I started to wake up. Made it to the turnaround in 3:52. Then at 1000 m mark (4:46) I realized that Benjamin was going to ask me how fast I ran. I wanted to be able to tell him that I broke his record (7:12). I was 16 seconds behind, but I still had 600 meters to go, and I am a big daddy. So this looked like not too much trouble, so I went for it. I figured I needed to run a little faster than 6:40 to make it. Then with 200 to go, I saw that if I ran the last 200 in 40 it would be 7:00, so I speed up for a round number and hit it right on - 7:00.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Ran in the morning in the Provo Canyon. Did a 5 mile tempo at marathon pace - 2.5 down from Canyon Glen Park to the mouth of the canyon, and back. Felt lazy on the first half. First mile 5:37, the next one 5:33. The next half in 2:47 - 13:57 at the turnaround. Next quarter was 1:32, and it ended up being the only quarter slower than 1:30 for the rest of the run, but I did not think it would be, as the wind gusts sometimes were pretty strong. I did the next 0.5 in 3:00, and the last two mile splits were 5:54 and 5:53. Total time 28:44.

An interesting change. The head wind and the hills bothered me a lot less than they used to. I was maintaining a steady pace and did not feel like backing off when the head wind got stronger or the grade got steeper. There was an interesting feeling in the legs. I would not say they necessarily had more power, but more strength endurance.

Did a bench press in the afternoon - 3 set of 3 with 90 pounds, but this time I used a narrow grip which makes it harder for me.

Took the kids to the Provo Canyon and ran with them there in the evening. Total of 13 miles for the day.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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