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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: 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
Red Crocs Miles: 57.98Saucony Type A Miles: 4.09
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. Spoke in the Sacrament meeting on Joseph Smith's role as a prophet.

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 - 2017-09-25 08:23:02
Workout Totals: Distance10.060Time1:20:11.20Pace7:58.25
Had a work meeting in the morning in combination with the late start due to not being able to find Matthew's winter clothes. So split the run in two - 5 in the morning, 5 in the afternoon. Kicked uphill for a quarter at the end of the second one in 76.9. Felt that the stride rate was higher than last week, but the stride length did not want to open up unlike last week. One more data point.
Leg 1:Distance0.500Time4:06.80Pace8:13.60
With Matthew, Jacob, William, and Stephen.
Leg 2:Distance1.500Time12:35.70Pace8:23.80
Same crew minus Matthew.
Leg 3:Distance3.050Time22:52.20Pace7:29.90
With Jacob - first mile with William.
Leg 4:Distance5.010Time40:36.50Pace8:06.33
With Julia.
Split 1:Distance4.760Time39:19.60Pace8:15.71
Split 2:Distance0.250Time1:16.90Pace5:07.60
Uphill kick.

Red Crocs Miles: 10.06
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 - 2017-09-26 09:30:28
Workout Totals: Distance12.150Time1:29:48.10Pace7:23.47
Gathered a few more data points in my adrenal fatigue/training research. So far my hypothesis is this: when the adrenaline cannot push the muscles/cardio to their limit, the unconventional training is more effective than conventional. You do not have to worry about the muscle breakdown or tendon/ligament wear very much - your adrenals will not let you until they are no longer the limit. You do have to be concerned about your sleep and emotional state quite a bit, though.

Basically it boils down to this - when you feel emotionally ready to run hard, you run hard for as long as you look forward to and as often as you look forward to. You structure the workout in a way that makes you look forward to running hard. It is safe to run hard for a just little bit every day as a test. The speed you get by running hard for a little bit highly correlates with what you would have run in longer distances that day.

So to collect some data points and also to try to develop and improve the training method I came up with this for today. First 8 total in the morning with a 2 mile tempo down the canyon. I told myself it is OK run run in 88 per quarter (5:52) pace as long as I kicked in 80 at the end for the last quarter. I started out with two 84s, then ran two 82s - 5:32 for the mile. Then for the next three quarters I only felt like running 84s, which I did. Then in the last quarter I kicked. The kick surprised me - it was 73.6 which allowed me to catch the 5:30 guy and finish in 10:58, last mile in 5:26.

I did a fast quarter uphill at the end of 8 in 77.3 to get another data point. Felt medium stride length and a decent turnover.

In the evening I went to the cross-country race with Sarah and the kids. The distance was 4 K and they moved it to East Bay Golf course, which made it nice - no big hills, just little bumps and some mud from the rain earlier. I made myself look forward to it by planning to pace Jacob for the first 1 K, then catch up to Joseph and pace him for the second 1 K, then if I did not feel good, stay with Joseph, and if I did, take off and catch the leaders. If I still felt very good, pass the leaders.

I was able to follow the plan more or less. Joseph fell back in the middle of the second lap, but I did not pick it up until the end. I passed the leaders in the middle of the third lap and was able to open up a 17 second gap over the remaining 1.3 K or so feeling very strong, energetic and positive. Times:

myself 15:05
Joseph 15:35
Jacob 16:09
William 18:11
Julia 19:51
Stephen 21:46
Sarah 22:44
Matthew 26:06

Jenny paced Matthew.
Leg 1:Distance4.030Time31:28.30Pace7:48.56
Leg 2:Distance2.000Time10:58.00Pace5:29.00
Tempo run with a kick.
Split 1:Distance1.750Time9:44.40Pace5:33.94
Split 2:Distance0.250Time1:13.60Pace4:54.40
Leg 3:Distance2.030Time15:26.80Pace7:36.55
Cool-down with a kick for a quarter on the uphill.
Split 1:Distance1.780Time14:09.50Pace7:57.25
Split 2:Distance0.250Time1:17.30Pace5:09.20
Leg 4:Distance0.700Time5:48.20Pace8:17.43
Warm-up before the cross-country race.
Leg 5:Distance3.390Time26:06.80Pace7:42.18
Cross-country race - 4 K.
Split 1:Distance2.480Time15:05.90Pace6:05.28
My time.
Split 2:Distance0.000Time0:30.00Pace0:00.00
Split 3:Distance0.000Time0:33.20Pace0:00.00
Split 4:Distance0.000Time2:02.10Pace0:00.00
Split 5:Distance0.420Time3:35.10Pace8:32.14
Split 6:Distance0.110Time0:58.60Pace8:52.73
Split 7:Distance0.380Time3:21.90Pace8:51.32

Saucony Type A Miles: 4.09Red Crocs Miles: 8.06
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 - 2017-09-27 08:51:29
Workout Totals: Distance10.010Time1:19:57.70Pace7:59.29
Adrenal gland research continues. Ran easy with the kids, then added 3 miles on my own with the last quarter kicking uphill. Managed 76.0 - fastest time so far alone. Joseph and Jacob felt tired from the 4 K. Joseph still did 5, Jacob did only 4 miles. William 3. Stephen the usual 2, Matthew 0.5.

One observation for today. I felt that anything faster than 7:30 was creating a subtle energy drain. So I kept the pace slow.

In the kick the stride length felt a bit longer, but not quite as long as it did last week. My intuition, which comes from the memory of my faster shape a few years ago, tells me that to reach fast speeds comfortably it needs to get long.
Leg 1:Distance0.500Time4:34.10Pace9:08.20
With Jacob, William, Stephen, and Matthew.
Leg 2:Distance1.500Time12:45.60Pace8:30.40
With the gang minus Matthew.
Leg 3:Distance5.000Time40:00.40Pace8:00.08
With Joseph.
Leg 4:Distance3.010Time22:37.60Pace7:31.03
Split 1:Distance2.760Time21:21.60Pace7:44.35
Split 2:Distance0.250Time1:16.00Pace5:04.00
Uphill kick.

Red Crocs Miles: 10.01
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 - 2017-09-28 09:10:16
Workout Totals: Distance10.010Time1:17:04.20Pace7:41.96
10 total. Some with the kids. Joseph was not feeling 100% today, had an oncoming cold, so I told him to run only 3. Otherwise usual distances for everybody. Matthew ran 3:58.2 for 0.5 on the out and back course which is a course record and is slightly faster than his 800 track PR. Splits were 1:58/2:00.

I did another adrenal test with a fast quarter at the end of the run. Got 76.4. Felt the stride length was longer, but I had a hard time combining sustained stride length with high turnover in a balanced way - especially as the grade got steeper.

I must mention that I have gotten Ercolina, a special indoor cross-country ski machine, that unlike every cross-country ski trainer, gives your arms, back, abdominals, gluts, and hamstrings a real cross-country skiing muscle engagement. It is sold by a company in Italy and is used by the world's best cross-country skiers during off-season to stay in shape. I have been using it for about 5-10 minutes a day over the last week and a half in hopes of strengthening the supporting muscles to partially compensate for the L-4/L-5 defect. I still have a lot to learn about how to use it effectively. What I have felt from it so far is that sometimes I am able to find extra support when running and it feels like I have some extra power, and sometimes it just disappears. Lets see what happens after a couple of more weeks.
Leg 1:Distance0.500Time3:58.20Pace7:56.40
With Jacob, William, Stephen, and Matthew.
Leg 2:Distance1.500Time12:13.20Pace8:08.80
Same crew without Matthew.
Leg 3:Distance8.010Time1:00:52.80Pace7:36.03
First 1.5 with Joseph, the rest alone.
Split 1:Distance7.760Time59:36.40Pace7:40.88
Split 2:Distance0.250Time1:16.40Pace5:05.60

Red Crocs Miles: 10.01
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 - 2017-09-29 09:04:00
Workout Totals: Distance10.042Time1:10:34.80Pace7:01.71
Today we did some time trials on the track, and they went better than last week.

Matthew got a PR in the 800 with 3:49.3 - splits 24,27(51),28,30(58,1:49),31,30(1:01),30,29(59,2:00). I think he actually has even more speed than that, but the challenge is getting it to come out on the track. Family record in the 4 and under division.

One lesson I learned is that a motivated four-year-old can run himself into the ground if you let him. Matthew insisted for about a week and a half on running one mile a day on the "big boy" course which is very hilly. I though if he is volunteering he should be able to handle the stress - thinking (incorrectly) that four-year-olds always choose to run way below what they can handle. On the first day he ran 8:07, which shocked me. But then with each day he started getting slower and slower. Finally when he slowed down to 8:58 I told him he had to go back to the little boy course which is mostly flat and run only half a mile. After a week of running only half mile his speed came back.

William broke 6:00 for the first time running 5:59.3. Jacob helped pace him. He opened with 87. I was a bit concerned that we were going to have the repeat of last week as I sensed some signs of struggle. But then in the second lap he held it together better than I though he would running 91, and then continued to hold it together in the third lap with 92. In the last lap he was able to kick in 87 which brought him his first sub-6:00. And he managed to do it before turning 9 - our second child to achieve this (Benjamin broke 6:00 at 11, Joseph at 9).

Stephen ran an 800 PR as well - 3:13.3 improving by 4 seconds. Knowing that he likes to sandbag I told him to start out fast. He opened in 22, then settled to 24 (46), then dragged through the next 200 in 50 hitting 400 in 1:36. At this point I got on his case, but it did not really click for another 200 - 2:27 split at 600 (51). Then I told him - kick like you did in the mile, and he did - 24, 22 (46) and that got him the new record.

I did not have Joseph and Jacob run time trials today. Joseph was recovering from a cold and ran only 4 miles. Jacob I think is just overtrained from running 5 miles a day too often.

Jacob and Matthew are the two of our children that we need to watch out for in the matters of overtraining. They are both very much goal oriented. In fact, both had a similar problem at the age of 3 - when asked to say a family prayer they both tried very hard and got very upset if they could not do it. Both are hard workers and like to push the envelope in training - even though Matthew is only 4.

After the time trials, I did the rest of my run (total of 10 today). 2 with Joseph, the rest alone. I repeated the 2 mile tempo run down the canyon from Tuesday. In fact, I hit pretty much every split in the exact same time with the total at any point up to 1.75 varying by no more than 2 seconds. I had 5:33 at the mile. Somehow I splipped to 85 between 1.5 and 1.75. But then I kicked and it was a surprise. I was not feeling super-energetic, so I though maybe I'll run 75. But it was 71.6 with the total time 10:56.6, last mile 5:23. I felt I reached a good balanced between stride length and turnover on this one.

Then at the very end of the run I did my usual uphill quarter kick. This time the scientific experiment was being obstructed by mild headwind. I ended up with 77.6, 0.5 slower than under similar circumstances on Tuesday - with the difference of small headwind, slightly more running total, more running fast, and faster kick in the tempo run.

All these numbers are good for tracking down what different things do to me.
Leg 1:Distance0.496Time3:49.30Pace7:42.30
Matthew's time trial.
Leg 2:Distance1.000Time5:59.30Pace5:59.30
William's time trial.
Leg 3:Distance0.496Time3:13.30Pace6:29.72
Stephen's time trial.
Leg 4:Distance4.020Time31:31.10Pace7:50.42
Leg 5:Distance2.000Time10:56.60Pace5:28.30
Tempo down the canyon.
Split 1:Distance1.750Time9:45.00Pace5:34.29
Split 2:Distance0.250Time1:11.60Pace4:46.40
Leg 6:Distance2.030Time15:05.20Pace7:25.91
Cool-down with a kick.
Split 1:Distance1.780Time13:47.60Pace7:44.94
Split 2:Distance0.250Time1:17.60Pace5:10.40

Red Crocs Miles: 10.04
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2017-09-30 08:11:42
Workout Totals: Distance9.800Time1:11:54.30Pace7:20.23
Did not get good sleep last night, so I did not do anything formally fast today. Ran 1.437 up the canyon with the BYU team (7:39 for the first 1.25, then they slowed down to 6:24 trying to figure out what they were doing). This was quite an experience - I think compared to past years there were more of them and they were going faster. So as we went we kept sweeping off everything in front of us. Once in a while an unsuspecting runner all of a sudden would find himself in the middle of a teleported stampede.

I was surprised that the pace felt quite comfortable - I felt I could have run at least 6 miles like that if the grade stayed constant.

Then it was time for me to turn around - I actually went a bit further than I planned. I caught up to Jenny on the way back (she did 8), and both of us did the uphill quarter kick at the end - I got 76.9, she got 94.

Kids otherwise ran their usual distances - except I had Jacob run only 4 to help him recover better. We watched General Conference for the rest of the day.
Leg 1:Distance0.500Time4:04.20Pace8:08.40
With Matthew, Jacob, William, and Stephen.
Leg 2:Distance4.645Time33:51.10Pace7:17.27
Part with the kids, part alone, part with the BYU team.
Split 1:Distance3.208Time24:59.80Pace7:47.52
Most of it with Jenny.
Split 2:Distance1.437Time8:51.30Pace6:09.73
With the BYU team up the canyon.
Leg 3:Distance4.655Time33:59.00Pace7:18.02
Most of it with Jenny.
Split 1:Distance1.000Time7:18.80Pace7:18.80
Split 2:Distance0.187Time1:00.60Pace5:24.06
Caught up to Jenny.
Split 3:Distance3.218Time24:22.70Pace7:34.54
With Jenny.
Split 4:Distance0.250Time1:16.90Pace5:07.60
Kick uphill.

Red Crocs Miles: 9.80
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Red Crocs Miles: 57.98Saucony Type A Miles: 4.09
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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