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: 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
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
White Crocs 2 Miles: 82.57
Night Sleep Time: 49.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 51.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest. Went to church.

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 - 2015-07-06 07:15:02
Workout Totals: Distance12.000Time1:32:40.70Pace7:43.39
Usual new routine. Total of 12. Kids ran their usual distances.
Leg 1:Distance4.000Time30:56.10Pace7:44.02
With Joseph and Jacob (Jenny and Julia did the first 1.5).
Leg 2:Distance8.000Time1:01:44.60Pace7:43.07
With Benjamin.

White Crocs 2 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2015-07-07 07:06:06
Workout Totals: Distance12.100Time1:34:06.70Pace7:46.67
Usual routine with the kids, then a workout with Benjamin. He did 2x1.5 with 1 mile recovery jog down the canyon. His goal was to dream about running 4:48 pace. He actually did in the first interval (7:11) with rather even splits, and then in the second interval opened with 68, then digressed to 74-75s for the rest of the interval finishing in 7:20. So we can say his dreams came true to about 75% level - his split in the second interval at 0.75 was 3:36 - right on target.

I used the opportunity of having a fast runner to do the Gerry Lindgren style workout - for each interval, the first 0.5 with Benjamin, then cruise one more mile at something respectable, which ended up being around 5:47 average, but of course, the first couple of quarters were slower, around 6:00 pace, and then I would pick up to 5:40. Both times I ended up with 8:10 for 1.5.
Leg 1:Distance4.000Time31:22.40Pace7:50.60
With Joseph and Jacob. Jenny and Julia ran the first 1.5 with us. Today they have gotten their fastest times for 3 since we started the new routine - Jenny 23:08, Julia 23:24. A week earlier Jenny was running barely under 24:00, and Julia was barely breaking 25:00, so I think they are improving.
Leg 2:Distance0.700Time5:50.20Pace8:20.29
Warm-up with Benjamin.
Leg 3:Distance1.500Time8:10.20Pace5:26.80
First interval.
Split 1:Distance0.500Time2:23.10Pace4:46.20
With Benjamin - kept up. The pace was more or less even, aside from the first 100 in 16.
Split 2:Distance1.000Time5:47.10Pace5:47.10
Finishing out alone.
Leg 4:Distance1.000Time10:45.10Pace10:45.10
Recovery jog.
Leg 5:Distance1.500Time8:10.10Pace5:26.73
Second interval.
Split 1:Distance0.500Time2:22.50Pace4:45.00
Opening quarter was 68. I marveled I could keep going after that. Kept up with Benjamin.
Split 2:Distance1.000Time5:47.60Pace5:47.60
Alone to the finish.
Leg 6:Distance3.400Time29:48.70Pace8:46.09
Cool-down with Benjamin.

White Crocs 2 Miles: 12.10
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 - 2015-07-08 07:19:30
Workout Totals: Distance13.140Time1:43:12.40Pace7:51.26
Mile time trial today for Joseph and Jacob. Joseph did OK, 5:53.4, new track PR. Jacob struggled but still ran 6:08.1 - I decided to call this a bad day PR. The splits were 87, 89, then Jacob fell back. I went with Joseph. He ran the next lap in 88, and then kicked in 86. The balance went to the 9.34 meter tax.

Jenny ran the first 800 and finished it in 2:58. Julia ran the first lap in 87.

I ran with Benjamin and William, and ended up with 13 miles total instead of 12.

Otherwise it was a usual running day with usual distances.
Leg 1:Distance1.100Time10:06.70Pace9:11.55
Warm-up with Joseph, Jacob, Julia, and Jenny.
Leg 2:Distance1.000Time6:08.10Pace6:08.10
Joseph and Jacob's mile time trial.
Split 1:Distance1.000Time5:53.40Pace5:53.40
Joseph's time.
Split 2:Distance0.000Time0:14.70Pace0:00.00
Waiting for Jacob.
Leg 3:Distance1.000Time9:35.90Pace9:35.90
Cool-down back to the house.
Leg 4:Distance2.040Time16:46.70Pace8:13.48
With William. He ran the last uphill mile in 7:57.
Leg 5:Distance8.000Time1:00:35.00Pace7:34.38
With Benjamin.

White Crocs 2 Miles: 13.14
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 - 2015-07-09 07:49:20
Workout Totals: Distance12.994Time1:39:33.00Pace7:39.67
Usual run with the kids. One change - William volunteered to run with us. So Joseph, Jacob, Jenny, Julia, William and I ran together for the first 1.5, then Jenny and Julia took him back - their time for 3 ws 25:27. Then I did a workout with Benjamin. He paced me through 5 x 0.75 in the canyon - the first two up, the last three down. The recovery varied - I tried to keep it relatively short, but did not mind it being longer if that meant I would start and finish at a spot with a well visible mark.
Leg 1:Distance4.000Time31:47.00Pace7:56.75
With Joseph and Jacob. Jenny, Julia, and William ran the first 1.5 with us.
Leg 2:Distance2.230Time18:05.50Pace8:06.77
Started without Benjamin because he was already running, met him en route and finished the warm-up with him.
Leg 3:Distance5.124Time35:02.90Pace6:50.40
The workout.
Split 1:Distance0.750Time4:16.60Pace5:42.13
Split 2:Distance0.187Time2:12.30Pace11:47.49
Split 3:Distance0.750Time4:14.80Pace5:39.73
Split 4:Distance0.562Time5:58.30Pace10:37.54
Split 5:Distance0.750Time3:56.90Pace5:15.87
Split 6:Distance0.250Time2:36.30Pace10:25.20
Split 7:Distance0.750Time3:54.60Pace5:12.80
Split 8:Distance0.375Time3:56.20Pace10:29.87
Split 9:Distance0.750Time3:56.90Pace5:15.87
Leg 4:Distance1.640Time14:37.60Pace8:55.12

White Crocs 2 Miles: 12.99
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 - 2015-07-10 07:25:07
Workout Totals: Distance12.340Time1:37:36.80Pace7:54.62
Retried the mile time trial with the kids at Orem High. Well, it was mostly for Jacob. I wanted him to go into Draper Days with the confidence that he can ran a good mile. We also have a tradition to do a mile time trial a few days before the birthday - Jacob is turning 9 in 12 days.

He ran a PR of 5:56.4 (improving by 0.9 seconds) with the splits of 85, 92, 91, and 86 with the balance going towards the 9.34 meter tax. Knowing that he tends to get overanxious when the pace is fast and he still has some distance to go I reminded him of a hymn we sing in church - Master, The Tempest is Raging, and the story from the Bible to go with it. I also told him about one time when a little boy had caused some trouble and when his mother was about to reprimand him said to her - Peace, be still!

I think this preparation helped. I could tell after the first lap that he was starting to struggle, however he was able to regroup in the second lap, his breathing started to sound better, so I knew he would have a kick. And he did. His last 200 was 42.

Joseph showed an unusual amount of patience. Jacob told us earlier he would like me to set the pace with Joseph running behind him or by his side. He did this for the whole three laps, then he just sensed I was too hesitant to kick at the right pace for Jacob, so he stepped forward and turned it on. This was just perfect because Jacob responded. Joseph ended up finishing in 5:54.8 with the last 400 in 84. I must note that he sacrificed a chance for a PR to help his brother - all he had to do was make a move with two laps to go instead of one. That same Joseph who a few months ago said he was not sure if he would rather finish second to Jacob in the Olympics, or be without a medal if he got to beat Jacob.

Jenny was struggling today and ran the 800 in 3:04. She ran the first lap with us, but then fell back. On the positive side of things for her, her AP scores came back - she got 5 in Psychology, and 3 in English.

Julia did OK. Her assignment was to run the first lap with us, and then her best pace to the mile. She was around 86-87 at the 400, rested a lap in 1:52, then ran around 1:40 per lap pace to the finish and got 6:51.4 for the mile.

Stephen did 1, and William did 2 with Benjamin as usual. Benjamin did his regular 10.
Leg 1:Distance1.100Time9:38.20Pace8:45.64
Warm-up to Orem High.
Leg 2:Distance1.000Time6:51.40Pace6:51.40
Time trial.
Split 1:Distance0.995Time5:54.80Pace5:56.58
Joseph's time.
Split 2:Distance0.005Time0:01.60Pace5:20.00
Jacob and I finished.
Split 3:Distance0.000Time0:55.00Pace0:00.00
Waiting for Julia.
Leg 3:Distance1.040Time9:28.80Pace9:06.92
Back the house with the gang.
Leg 4:Distance1.000Time8:27.50Pace8:27.50
With Joseph and Jacob.
Leg 5:Distance8.200Time1:03:10.90Pace7:42.30
With Benjamin.

White Crocs 2 Miles: 12.34
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Benjamin forgot to bring his watch. I gave him mine, so no Fast Running Friend splits today. Total of 20. Did a workout with Benjamin. He did 6x1 mile down the canyon. Target was 5:00, he exceeded it - 4:55, 4:51, 4:51, 4:50, 4:46, 4:56. He kept complaining about missed sleep - right as he was falling asleep last night Matthew started crying. Benjamin listened for a while, then decided to check what was wrong, and changed Matthew's diaper, but then had a hard time falling asleep. That did not seem to affect him much as he had a great workout. I do not know where that 4:46 of the 5th repetion came from. Recoveries were 0.25 after the first 2, then 0.75 for 2 more, then 1 mile before the last one. Can he cash in on the fitness at Draper Days? We shall see...

I did 0.5 in the first two with him, then 500 meters in the third, and three more 0.5 after that. My splits were 2:28, 2:21, 1:31(500), 2:24, 2:23, 2:28. Decent workout for me as well. Have not gone that fast for that long for a while.

Then we got home - Benjamin was done with about 12.7 total for the day, I ran 5 more with Joseph and Jacob - William, Jenny, and Julia ran 3 total, 1.5 with us. Jenny ran one more with Stephen. Then I added 3 more alone.

I think running hard intervals at the start of a long run could be a good way to develop fuel storage/efficiency. I would not have thought of it, though, had Benjamin's training needs not required it of me today.


White Crocs 2 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
White Crocs 2 Miles: 82.57
Night Sleep Time: 49.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 51.00
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