Breaking the Wall

Week starting Jul 21, 2019

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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: 88.07 Year: 2386.98
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: 1257.89
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 71.94
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest. Went to church.

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

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2019-07-22 08:14:26
Workout Totals: Distance11.940Time1:33:59.30Pace7:52.30
12 total, easy runs with 2x0.25 down the canyon with Benjamin, one of them with Jacob in 70.6, the other with Joseph in 71.0.
Leg 1:Distance1.000Time8:06.30Pace8:06.30
With Benjamin and Matthew.
Leg 2:Distance4.000Time32:02.70Pace8:00.67
With Benjamin, Joseph, Jacob, and William.
Split 1:Distance2.110Time17:16.20Pace8:11.09
Split 2:Distance0.250Time1:10.60Pace4:42.40
Split 3:Distance1.640Time13:35.90Pace8:17.50
Leg 3:Distance3.940Time30:56.70Pace7:51.24
With Benjamin and Joseph.
Split 1:Distance2.050Time16:33.70Pace8:04.73
Split 2:Distance0.250Time1:11.00Pace4:44.00
Split 3:Distance1.640Time13:12.00Pace8:02.93
Leg 4:Distance3.000Time22:53.60Pace7:37.87
With Benjamin.

Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 11.94
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2019-07-23 09:52:01
Workout Totals: Distance10.836Time1:24:41.70Pace7:48.96
Got in whatever distance we could while driving from Orem to Sacramento, then some more late at night when it cooled off in Sacramento.
Leg 1:Distance1.488Time13:09.70Pace8:50.71
In Wells, NV at a gas station with the kids.
Leg 2:Distance1.428Time11:13.70Pace7:51.78
In Mill City, NV at a gas station with the kids.
Leg 3:Distance2.503Time19:22.70Pace7:44.52
In Sacramento at night with Benjamin and some other kids.
Leg 4:Distance5.417Time40:55.60Pace7:33.31
With Benjamin in Sacramento.

Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 10.84
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2019-07-24 07:55:33
Workout Totals: Distance14.628Time1:53:43.50Pace7:46.47
In Sacramento. Got whatever runs we could whenever we had a chance.

Matthew ran 3:13.30 for 27th in 7-8 division. Opened in 92.34, then 1:41.06 for the second lap. A bit off his time trial, and also 800 split in a 1500 PR, but as far as a race 800 is concerned, this is a PR. He still does not know how to race and loses focus easily. Obviously if he could run 3:11 and then finish the 1500, he should be able to run at least 3:05, but in order for that to happen there needs to be somebody running 3:08 that he feels is vulnerable enough for him to catch, and the next boy in front of him in his heat ran 2:56.

Stephen ran 800 in 2:57.84, 37th place in 9-10. Opened in 84.34, but then slowed down to 93.50 in the second lap, and missed his PR. We still have a lot of work to do on focus and fighting to the end.
Leg 1:Distance3.083Time24:57.30Pace8:05.66
Looping around the Hornet Stadium with Benjamin and younger kids.
Leg 2:Distance3.068Time23:23.00Pace7:37.30
Looping around the Hornet Stadium with Benjamin.
Leg 3:Distance1.861Time14:20.00Pace7:42.12
With Julia around the Hornet Stadium.
Leg 4:Distance2.610Time21:43.50Pace8:19.43
With Benjamin and some other kids.
Leg 5:Distance4.006Time29:19.70Pace7:19.27
With Benjamin - did a little pickup at the end.
Split 1:Distance3.216Time24:38.20Pace7:39.64
Split 2:Distance0.790Time4:41.50Pace5:56.33

Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 14.63
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2019-07-25 08:18:27
Workout Totals: Distance12.067Time1:33:42.70Pace7:45.96
Again ran whenever I could fit it in. Joseph and Jacob raced today in the 1500 (both in the 13-14 division) and both got a PR. They ended up in the same heat and worked very well together. Joseph ended up with 4:47.03, splits:

54.815 (54.815) 2:12.718 (1:17.904) 3:29.623 (1:16.905) 4:47.034 (1:17.411)

Jacob was right behind him with 4:49.08 in 37th, splits:

54.159 (54.159) 2:12.155 (1:17.997) 3:30.808 (1:18.653) 4:49.080 (1:18.272)
Leg 1:Distance3.020Time23:49.00Pace7:53.18
With Benjamin, William, and Stephen around the Hornet Stadium - did a short pickup.
Split 1:Distance1.863Time14:47.30Pace7:56.27
Split 2:Distance0.390Time2:28.00Pace6:19.49
Split 3:Distance0.767Time6:33.70Pace8:33.30
Leg 2:Distance3.143Time24:16.90Pace7:43.54
With Benjamin around the Hornet Stadium - short pickup.
Split 1:Distance0.745Time5:54.40Pace7:55.70
Split 2:Distance0.740Time4:08.30Pace5:35.54
Split 3:Distance1.658Time14:14.20Pace8:35.20
Leg 3:Distance5.904Time45:36.80Pace7:43.55
With Benjamin at VRBO late at night.

Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 12.07
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2019-07-26 09:35:54
Workout Totals: Distance11.966Time1:29:39.20Pace7:29.54
Still in Sacramento. Measured out a course on the trail near the VRBO with a wheel for intervals. First did 2x0.25 with William - 85 into the wind, 82 the other way. Joseph, Jacob and Benjamin did 78 and 74. Then did 6x0.625 with 0.125 recovery alternating directions. There was significant wind introducing a difference of about 5-10 seconds for the interval (8-16 seconds per mile) between directions. I did 3:31.0, 3:22.9, 3:29.4, 3:25.8, 3:37.8, 3:25.5. Benjamin pulled me in the first 4, then did the last 2 at his own pace - 3:02 into the wind, and 2:52 the other way.

Then we took Jenny, Julia, and Stephen and had them run 0.375 in the aided direction. Jenny did 2:03, Stephen 2:05, and Julia 2:20. Stephen just baffles me - why could he do that in the race two days ago? With that effort he would have broken 2:50. He said he was dehydrated, and perhaps that was indeed what slowed him down.
Leg 1:Distance0.500Time4:02.10Pace8:04.20
Warm-up with the kids.
Leg 2:Distance1.000Time7:32.00Pace7:32.00
4x0.25 with William.
Split 1:Distance0.250Time1:25.30Pace5:41.20
Split 2:Distance0.250Time2:33.40Pace10:13.60
Split 3:Distance0.250Time1:22.30Pace5:29.20
Split 4:Distance0.250Time2:11.00Pace8:44.00
Leg 3:Distance4.375Time28:39.00Pace6:32.91
6x0.625 with 0.125 recovery alternating directions, first 4 with Benjamin, last 2 alone.
Split 1:Distance0.625Time3:31.00Pace5:37.60
Split 2:Distance0.125Time1:23.80Pace11:10.40
Split 3:Distance0.625Time3:22.90Pace5:24.64
Split 4:Distance0.125Time1:32.50Pace12:20.00
Split 5:Distance0.625Time3:29.40Pace5:35.04
Split 6:Distance0.125Time1:29.50Pace11:56.00
Split 7:Distance0.625Time3:25.80Pace5:29.28
Split 8:Distance0.125Time1:45.60Pace14:04.80
Split 9:Distance0.625Time3:37.80Pace5:48.48
Split 10:Distance0.125Time1:35.20Pace12:41.60
Split 11:Distance0.625Time3:25.50Pace5:28.80
Leg 4:Distance0.570Time5:20.90Pace9:22.98
Back to the house with Benjamin.
Leg 5:Distance1.000Time7:47.40Pace7:47.40
With Benjamin, Jenny, and Matthew - I think.
Leg 6:Distance1.646Time13:43.30Pace8:20.18
With Benjamin and Jenny. Did a pickup for 0.375 in 2:03.
Split 1:Distance0.191Time1:42.90Pace8:58.74
Split 2:Distance0.375Time2:03.40Pace5:29.07
Split 3:Distance1.080Time9:57.00Pace9:12.78
Leg 7:Distance0.375Time2:20.00Pace6:13.33
Pickup with Julia for 0.375.
Leg 8:Distance0.500Time4:31.40Pace9:02.80
Back to the house with Julia.
Leg 9:Distance2.000Time15:43.10Pace7:51.55
With Benjamin late at night.

Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 11.97
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2019-07-27 08:16:39
Workout Totals: Distance10.500Time1:22:30.00Pace7:51.43
Last day in Sacramento. Got a bit over 10 miles in running around the Hornet Stadium during the races. Joseph, Jacob, William, Jenny, and Julia raced the 3000 today.

William ran a PR with 11:01.68, 20th place in the 11-12 division. Splits:

42.335 (42.335) 2:11.662 (1:29.327) 3:39.025 (1:27.364)
5:05.664 (1:26.639) 6:34.926 (1:29.263) 8:04.413 (1:29.488)
9:34.893 (1:30.480) 11:01.680 (1:26.788)

Very evenly paced, showing a lot of self-control, quite impressive for a 10-year old. In fact, of all of our kids, I have never seen such a great pacing job in a 3000.

Joseph ran a PR of 10:14.89, 25th place in 13-14. Splits:

38.337 (38.337) 1:54.486 (1:16.149) 3:13.422 (1:18.936)
4:34.695 (1:21.273) 5:59.840 (1:25.145) 7:26.851 (1:27.012)
8:52.982 (1:26.131) 10:14.886 (1:21.905)

Jacob 10:36.20, 35th in 13-14. Splits:

38.075 (38.075) 1:53.172 (1:15.098) 3:12.464 (1:19.292)

4:34.444 (1:21.980) 6:00.248 (1:25.805) 7:31.737 (1:31.489)

9:06.744 (1:35.008) 10:36.200 (1:29.456)

The start proved to be too aggressive for the warm conditions - especially for Jacob. He tried very hard to run sub-10:00 - too hard, and then mentally just did not have it in the last three laps when he saw that his best effort was not good enough.

Jenny ran 11:40.19, just 0.57 off PR, 9th in 17-18. Splits:
45.496 (45.496) 2:16.741 (1:31.245) 3:48.221 (1:31.480)
5:21.275 (1:33.054) 6:55.297 (1:34.023) 8:29.700 (1:34.404)
10:05.877 (1:36.177) 11:40.190 (1:34.313)

by the time her race started it was quite warm, but she toughed out the side pain and the shin splints, as well as effects of reduced mileage and lack of speedwork over the last year, and held it together.

Julia got 13:05.89, 11th in 17-18. Splits

48.588 (48.588) 2:29.477 (1:40.889) 4:12.726 (1:43.250)
5:55.333 (1:42.608) 7:38.715 (1:43.383) 9:27.083 (1:48.368)
11:18.070 (1:50.988) 13:05.884 (1:47.814)

Good result considering the struggles she's had this year. Only 21 seconds off her PR in spite of the heat.
Leg 1:Distance10.500Time1:22:30.00Pace7:51.43

Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 10.50
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 71.94
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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