Breaking the Wall

Kiwani Park Cross-Country 3000

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: 107.61 Year: 107.61
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: 1276.97
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Green Crocs 6 Miles: 83.50
Night Sleep Time: 47.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 47.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest. Went to church. We had a lesson in the elders quorum on missionary work. A question was asked - what are the reasons missionaries go on missions. I thought about the reasons I went on a mission. Then I realized something. There are times in my life when I just know I ought to do something, and I feel it is not only unnecessary but even counterproductive to ask why. Counterproductive because it takes away from the focus. Deciding to go on a mission was one of those times for me.

I can remember a few other decisions that were like that. Deciding to be baptised, deciding to get married to Sarah, and deciding to run. Even though I am inclined towards logical reasoning, I often insist on logical explanations, I work in an area where correct logical reasoning is critical to success, there are times when I am perfectly willing to cast man's logic aside recognizing that it is inferior to something higher that is guiding me.

I have had people call me "lucky" because of my ability to make a decision that yields good results without being able to explain why I made that decision at the time I made it. That would not be quite correct. Let us consider the following mathematical model. We will model luck with a function of time that has random values in the range from -1 to 1, -1 being really bad luck, the worst you can get, and 1 being really good luck, the best you can get. The luck component of life success from time t1 to time t2 thus will be the integral of our luck function from t1 to t2. It is reasonable to expect luck to be random over the duration of a sufficiently long interval of time - for every instance of good luck there should be an instance of bad luck of equal magnitude. Thus the luck component integral will be zero. I argue that if your "luck" function consistently produces integrals with the absolute value significantly above zero, you are dealing with something other than luck.

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

A.M. 12 miles total. Did 2.5 miles of pickups at around 5:50 range. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Race: Kiwani Park Cross-Country 3000 (2 Miles) 00:11:34, Place overall: 3, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Total of 12. Did a workout. 3 miles down the Provo Canyon in 16:09.6 (5:30, 5:25, 5:14), then 2 more just for tempo mileage in 11:35. Benjamin did 4, Jenny, Julia, and Joseph did 1. William and Jacob rested.

P.M. Raced in the Kiwani Cross-Country meet. Matt Pouslen decided to join the gang, so we had a fast race. He won with 10:20. Benjamin was second with 10:56. I was third with 11:34. Matt's GPS showed the course as 2.02 miles which makes sense. Joseph got 14:27, Jacob 14:34, Julia 14:52, Jenny 15:18, and William 19:48. I asked Matt what he thought he would have run 2 miles on the track off this effort - he said 9:40. Going off this conversion this gives Benjamin 10:13 and me 10:49 which I am willing to believe. So that would give 13:31 for Joseph, 13:37 for Jacob, 13:54 for Julia, and 14:18 for Jenny. If this is correct, Jacob and Julia are ready for a mile breakthrough. They still need to break 6:40 - we'll try on Friday.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 15.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 12 total. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Joseph and Julia 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did a mile pickup in 5:40.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Did a workout with Benjamin. I decided we needed to start ending our Provo Canyon speed workouts with a "graduation" on the track as a validation to make sure our canyon intervals are comparable. So we did 5x300 with 500 recovery. We were planning on doing only 4, but Benjamin had a plop of sorts on the last one. I did not want him to end the workout on a bad note and I knew that he could end it on a good note, so I talked him into doing one more. This, of course, meant I had to do one more myself.

Splits - me - 49.1, 48.4, 49.1, 49.3, 49.7, Benjamin - 46.0, 44.6, 45.4, 48.1, 46.1. So the splits were comparable to what we have been doing in the canyon, which has been my experience in the past for sprints - anything up to 400 when done with full rest. However, over longer intervals the canyon is about 10 seconds per mile faster than the Orem High track.

Jenny did 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Benjamin had the total of 8, I got the total of 12.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 12 miles total. Today was the day of time mile trials. We went to the Orem High track. I paced Joseph and Jenny with the target of 6:20, while Benjamin paced Julia and Jacob with the target of 6:40. I hit the first quarter in 92 high. Then around 450 meters Jenny said she did not feel strong and stopped. This is the second time she has done it, but we've been through this before with Benjamin at the 6:00 barrier about three years ago. At least with three tries recently she had two DNFs and one PR. With Benjamin we had a streak of 15 or so of either non-PR or DNF runs. Joseph ran the second lap in a low 95 hitting 3:08 at the 800. Then he remembered what I taught him a few weeks ago - the most important lap in the mile is the third. So he gave it a good push ending up with 94 - 4:42 at 1200, and 4:44 with a lap to go. Then I knew he had 6:20 mostly in the bag, but I also knew that an 8 year old could easily lose concentration - almost as easily as he could drop a piece in an almost won chess game. So I encouraged him to keep the heat and he responded with a 92 last lap finishing in 6:16.1 - new PR by 6 seconds. Quite exciting - he saw the virtual 6:00 guy finish, and sub-6:20 before turning 9 is something that has not happened in our family until now.

Jacob opened with 95, then Benjamin slowed him down to 1:43 which was too much. If a quarter time takes three digits to write, then I use minutes and seconds :-) Then he sped up to 98 and kicked in 97 finishing in 6:36.3 - new PR by 10 seconds. Looks like he is starting to get over his asthma - he only had small problems in the third lap, much better than last time. Sub-6:40 at a low 7 years of age is also a new boundary for us - well the fastest that Joseph ran before turning 8 is 6:52, and at low 7 he ran only 7:09.

Julia was not having a good day - lost contact with Jacob and Benjamin 300 meters into the run and finished in 6:53.8. Jenny and Julia will try again on Monday.

William was not scheduled to do a time trial. Well, with a 4 year old like William you cannot really schedule it, but he decided to do it today from the very start of his road out and back mile course. First half was uphill, around 1% grade. He ran the first quarter in 2:09, then 2:15,  2:09 and 2:04 finishing in 8:33.8 - a new PR improving his "beer mile" on the track from two weeks ago by 6.2 seconds.

Benjamin and I did a mile pickup uphill in 5:43. Benjamin did 8.5, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 3, William 1.

Benjamin got his ACT scores back - composite score of 33, math - 33, reading - 35, English - 34, science - 28. We have applied to BYU for the winter semester. He plans to major in applied math with computational emphasis.

A couple of days ago I experienced a bold thought. Benjamin could qualify for the 2016 US Olympic Marathon Trials if he ran a really good half at the end of 2015. He would be around 16.7 and by then will likely have the maturity in terms of power to pull off a sub-1:05 half. And I think we can swindle the endurance part. I do not know if they ever had a 17 year old in the marathon trials - if they have not, though, it would be because 17-year-olds do not train for the half. We have plenty of talent to pull this off - even on our blog (Conner Mantz).

I shared this thought with Benjamin and he did not think I was crazy and actually believed me that he had a shot. I was very happy about that.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 20 miles total. Started by taking William, Joseph, Julia, and Jacob for their runs. Joseph and Julia did 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Jenny ran 4 miles on her own. Then I took Benjamin for 10. We ran the last 5 miles at a tempo pace starting a little bit away from Nunn's Park and finishing at the house - so 3 miles of gentle downhill, another more or less flat mile, and last mile uphill . At the start I was at 8 miles for the run, and Benjamin was at 5. I told him I would be happy with anything under 6:00.  He decided 5:40 was a good target. I sat on him the entire time. It felt good for the first 4 miles. Then I told him I wanted to make sure we would get under 28:20 for 5 miles, and he cranked it up. Our last nasty uphill mile was 5:38 and we finished in 28:11. Benjamin said the pace was easy for him, his legs were just moving, the last mile was harder but not at his limit, he could have gone further.

I dropped him off and continued the run. 3.5 miles later I found out that the earlier tempo had nearly run me out of glycogen. I did a 3 mile tempo from 16.5 to 19.5 and was struggling to stay sub-6:00 - ran it in 17:53.

After the run I weighed 141.8 lb - so it looks like there was some glycogen depletion.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Green Crocs 6 Miles: 83.50
Night Sleep Time: 47.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 47.50
Debt Reduction Calculator

Featured Announcements
Lone Faithfuls
(need a comment):