Breaking the Wall

Week starting Sep 21, 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: 51.55 Year: 2011.51
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: 881.43
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Night Sleep Time: 55.75Nap Time: 6.00Total Sleep Time: 61.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest. Caught up on sleep. A neighbor knocked on our door and wanted to come to church with us. So we took him. It was his first time since he was 11. He had a good time.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 11.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Easy 10.1 this morning in 1:14:51. Was supposed to have 4 training partners, but none showed up. I told Sarah this is exactly why I can win money in marathons. If everybody I ever invited to run with me showed up every time to train, and then showed up at a race, I'd have no chance without some serious Quality X fixes.

Legs felt slightly stale, but the neural drive was good. Around 6 miles into the run I heard neighing horses and decided to let them loose until they stopped neighing, but no longer than half a mile. Ran a quarter in 81 followed by 79, 2:40 for 0.5. They were still neighing to go more, but I told them to be quiet. The breathing was energetic. The legs were slightly stale but not sour. I heard that the Eskimos have 50 different words for snow. Well, runners should have about as many words to describe different feelings during a run. If everybody ran a lot, maybe the vocabulary would be richer, but for now I have to settle for inventing my own terms - stale, sour, snappy, zappy, energetic breathing, attacked by Kot Bayun, etc.

P.M. 1.06 with Julia in 11:15, 2 with Benjamin in 17:50, Jenny joined for the first 1.5 in 13:18. Swimming at Provo Rec, then ran back (2.05 in 15:54). 

Five Fingers - 1387.53 miles

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Tyler and Derek. Total of 12 miles. Did a 5 mile tempo alone on my standard course after 5.38 warm-up. Splits: 5:44 - 5:38 - 5:43 - 5:42 - 5:43. Total time 28:30, out in 14:12, back in 14:18. No staleness in the muscles, but some serious issues with the neural drive. In the last 3 miles the legs utterly refused to run any faster than 5:42 pace. Kot Bayun had his day and kept me under his spell. Probably still out of fuel from the marathon. Total time for 12 miles was 1:21:29.

Immediately afterwards added 2 with Benjamin in 17:15.

I wish I could run a marathon so that I would not be able to run for a week afterwards. Why? Because it would be 2:10.

T4 Racer - 633.05 miles

A.M-2: 1.52 with Jenny in 15:08 with Julia running the first 1.02 in 10:41.

P.M. 0.5 to Steve's Crest to get the Fast Running Van. It had a problem with power windows that got fixed under warranty.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 12 miles in 1:31:49. First 7 with Tyler, Jeff, and Derek. Quite a crew for 5:15 AM.

Thought of the day - you have to have a license to fish, and to drive, but you do not have to have one to buy alcohol. Even in the Soviet Union, an exceptionally bureaucratic state (wow managed to spell this one right on the first try, and just thought of a mnemonic rule to remember - if you pronounce it phonetically, the first part sounds like the Spanish word burro which means donkey, so bureaucratic = ruled by a donkey, easy to remember), you had to get a medical certificate to run a 10 K, but you did not have to have anything except money to buy vodka.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:59, 1.5 with Jenny in 12:42. Matt joined us have way through. Then 1.5 more with Matt in 11:56. Pushed Jacob for the entire run. Benjamin did not run - injured from soccer. He was supposed to run the BYU Triple Crown Mile, but was unfortunately side lined. We decided from now on we would play soccer in a less formal arrangement - just friends and family.

Five Fingers - 1403.63 miles

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Tyler. Did a warm-up, then 8x400 on the trail with 200 recovery. The purpose of the workout was a nervous system reboot. It has worked in the past in some cases, and my body was suggesting it was time for this particular workout. The focus was to learn a smooth but powerful and wide stride and how to maintain it with the anaerobic bear on the back. The value comes from being able to apply the wide stride skill when the anaerobic bear is not there, but you have to run longer. Usually with a lot of tempo runs the skill carries.

Ran all on the same stretch alternating direction. Tyler did a few 200s with me. Times: 73.1, 73.0, 72.0, 70.0, 71.6, 71.2, 72.6, 69.4. Felt the stride was choppy in the first two, and somewhat in the third. Then it got wider and more relaxed. Lost concentration on the 7th trying to get around a group of walkers. Could not go any faster, but was recovering very well. Felt ready to go again after 100 meter jog, but gave it more rest anyway. Was originally planning on taking 400 meter rest at times to encourage more sub-70s, but realized it was not going to help. Decided I needed to let the times happen naturally, not force them. On the last one coasted through the first 200, then pushed the last 200.

Ran a long cool-down, total distance 12 miles.

The excitement of the day was seeing two police cars on the trail and some teenagers getting arrested. Instead of handcuffs they had some form of a strait jacket around them.

T4 Racer - 645.05 miles

P.M. 1.5 alone in 11:37. 1 with Benjamin and Julia in 10:46. Benjamin's knee is still hurting from soccer, he would not even try running with Jenny. Then 1.5 with Jenny in 13:10.

Went to the temple with Sarah. I told her on the way that somebody was going to ask us if she was pregnant with our first child. She was skeptical. Sure enough, the sealer did.

Five Fingers - 1407.63 miles

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

A.M. Ran alone. The run started with some excitement. Just like yesterday it involved police and juveniles. I ran out about 0.14 and saw Sarah. She got a cramp. We stood there together trying to decide what to do. In the meantime a police car pulled up and a cop asked us if we'd seen anybody. He told us somebody called and reported that some juveniles were causing trouble. I think he thought for a moment we were the juveniles.

Finally we decided to get the van and give Sarah a ride home. So I ran back another 0.14. Then ran 12.1 in 1:32:44. My body said I needed to slower than 8:00 pace in the first 3 miles, and I did not force the pace to be any faster. Then it agreed to run around 8:00 pace. After 6 miles 7:00-7:20 pace felt right, so I ran it. With half a mile to go I felt like picking it up and ran 2:56 for the last 0.5.

Quote of the day:

Those teachers, they just don't understand. They expect something from a guy that has just run a 20 K. It is as if he had just had 100 grams of vodka!

A Russian distance coach.

Joke of the day:

An Eskimo from Chukotka is sitting by the Bering Strait and looking in the direction of Alaska. He is in tears. They ask him what's wrong. He responds: "The Queen sold Alaska, but she did not sell Chukotka!"

P.M. 1.5 alone in 12:40, 1 with Julia in 10:43, 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 13:15. Pushed Jacob for the last 2.5 miles.

Five Fingers - 1420.01 miles

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

A.M. Ran with Jeff and little James (Ted's son). We warmed up 5.62. After that James continued to the house, and Jeff and I ran the 5 mile tempo. I was not sure what to expect, so the plan was conservative - go out at around 5:40-5:45 pace, pick it up if I felt good, just try to hold it otherwise.

First quarter was sluggish - 87, then I was able to get into a rhythm. Splits by the mile:

5:36, 5:29, 5:32 (with a 180), 5:29, 5:30

Total time 27:36.6, first half 13:52, second 13:44. Was happy to beat 5:30 average coming back. 53.5 seconds faster than Tuesday.

Jeff was feeling very conversational and energetic. During the first mile I thought he was going to burst into a song. Throughout the run I had to ask him a few of times to back off because I could not hold his pace. In the last three quarters he let his horses loose and ran 76,76,75 to finish in 27:16, and hitting 5:10 in the last mile.

Drafting behind Jeff I could hit 83 quarters fairly relaxed, they almost felt like a jog. However, 82 quarters required concentration, and when it got to 81 it was sufficiently unsustainable for me to have to ask Jeff to ease off. Once Jeff left me, I struggled through a couple of 84 second quarters, and then was able to speed up to 80 on the last one. The struggle may have had something to do with running 81, and then 82 uphill earlier as well as with running alone.

Overall the tempo went better than I expected. I thought it would have been good to just dip under 28:00. Nothing spectacular, but after Tuesday I was prepared for much worse.

Cooled down 1.38, then ran 2 miles with Benjamin in 17:35 in Five Fingers.

 T4 Racer - 657.05 miles

 Five Fingers - 1422.01 miles

P.M. 0.35 around the block with Joseph pushing Jacob in the stroller accompanied by Julia running and Jenny on a bike. 1 with Julia in 11:03. My ESL student's son Moroni joined us half way on a bike. He was quite surprised that Julia was running and not getting tired. I told him she could go faster and challenged her to show off. She picked it up, but it was not too far away from the finish and she ran the rest of the run pretty slow, so a slow overall time. Then I told him I had another running daughter, older and faster. 1.5 with Jenny and Moroni in 12:12. Jenny cranked it up to about 7:40 pace in the second half, and Moroni said, wow. Then I told him she had more in the tank, and challenged her to show off. She sped to about 7:00 in the last 0.14.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Night Sleep Time: 55.75Nap Time: 6.00Total Sleep Time: 61.75
Debt Reduction Calculator

Featured Announcements
New Kids on the Blog
(need a welcome):