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 nine children: Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, William, Stephen, Matthew, Mary, and Bella. 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.
...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.
Total of a little over 12. Did a tempo run with Benjamin. Kids raced cross country - all except Jenny, she stayed with Sarah. Jenny and Julia made the agreement that Julia will get to race since she has a chance at winning the series in her age division.
The race was 3 K. Joseph ran 12:39, Jacob 13:09, Julia 14:02, and William 16:36. The course may have been shorter than last time. Everybody won their age division except Joseph who was second. His performance was good, but his competitor James Harrison who beat him in the 2 K earlier ran better - 12:22.
William for some reason ran slower today compared to his last two races.
Warm-up with Benjamin.
3 mile tempo down the canyon with Benjamin. Neither one of us was feeling that great. We even slipped and ran a 90 second quarter from 0.25 to 0.5. Then Benjamin gave it a good push and that did me in. The first mile was 5:33, then we did 5:23, and with 1200 to go I was spent and all I had for the last mile was 5:45. Benjamin held a more or less steady 5:20 and finished in 16:14, but did not feel like going any faster. My problem was the lack of sleep and I was feeling the heart skipping beats, so I took a nap later in the afternoon.
Cool-down with Benjamin.
With Stephen and Jenny.
With Jenny. This was hard for her - anemia has sapped her endurance. But she has strong muscles and good short speed, so she ran the last quarter in 96 and got a decent time.
Total of 12. Kids ran their usual distances. Benjamin and I did the 3 mile tempo run down the canyon.
Later took Benjamin to DMV and he got his driving learner's permit. He complained he was exhausted from studying for the driving test. I laughed - he does hard college math all day long without any problems, but a driving test wore him out.
Then I took him for a driving lesson. Made him pass the cone test in the church parking lot, then took him on the roads. Had to use the emergency break a few times because he forgot which pedal was which.
Warm-up with Benjamin.
Tempo run. Splits were 5:25, 5:25, 5:20. Benjamin had an assignment to make sure that I finish in 16:15. The assignment had dual purpose. I wanted to run a faster time, and I wanted him to learn how to run a steady pace. He knew very well that if the pace fluctuated even a tiny bit, that might mean I would reach the target. So he checked himself every 100 meters in the first half mile, and then every 200 meters afterwards all the way up to 2 miles. After that he went by my responsiveness. I asked him to slow down a bit with about 900 to go, but then I found the energy for a 77 last quarter with Benjamin cheering me on - a blessing in my old age - in fact more than one. I am old enough to have a son that is old enough to pace me in a tempo run, I can still run 77 at the end, and he can cheer me and tell me to push all the way.
Total of 16. Benjamin did 12, Joseph and Jacob 3, William 1, Stephen 0.5, Jenny and Julia 3. Did a 4.125 tempo run with Benjamin - odd distance because that is how it worked out with the markers.
Watched General Conference afterwards. Was very pleased to hear talks in foreign languages for the first time. Our church is often viewed as some kind of only American, or mostly American church, this is actually giving us some problems in Russia - although this was not a problem for me when I joined. But back then America was cool in Russia, it represented the good power that had the ability and the desire to free us from the yoke of Communism. Not so much anymore - in the last 20 years that image got severely tarnished and it has become more and more difficult to convince the average Russian that America is a special country with a special mission.
Regardless of that, the message of our church is of a nature that goes beyond cultural boundaries. We do talk about the role of America in the plan of God, but that role is not in convincing all nations that fast food and endless TV shows are the way to go, but rather that Christ is the Son of God and has atoned for our sins. The full knowledge of His Gospel was had in His day, but was lost and had to be restored. The role of America is that it was the first nation that received that restored knowledge in our day, and it has the responsibility to share it with others.
With Benjamin - warm-up.
The target was 5:50, but the deal was that I would set the pace and run whatever felt good, and Benjamin would play along. So we opened with 5:42, then 5:36, then Benjamin took the lead and I drafted. We did 5:35 and closed with 5:24. Last quarter was 77. I felt strong.