Breaking the Wall

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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
White Crocs 2 Miles: 76.60
Night Sleep Time: 50.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 52.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest. Went to church.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2015-10-26 07:23:55
Workout Totals: Distance12.000Time1:31:28.20Pace7:37.35
Benjamin did 8+3.8 pacing me through a mile down the canyon in 5:03.4 - splits 75,77,76,75. I did a total of 12. Other kids ran their usual distances.
Leg 1:Distance4.720Time37:27.20Pace7:56.10
Leg 2:Distance1.000Time5:03.40Pace5:03.40
Fast mile.
Leg 3:Distance2.280Time18:03.60Pace7:55.26
Leg 4:Distance4.000Time30:54.00Pace7:43.50
With Joseph and Jacob. I think we might have had Jenny and/or Julia for part of it.

White Crocs 2 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2015-10-27 07:31:56
Workout Totals: Distance12.125Time1:32:57.90Pace7:40.03
Kids ran their usual distances today. Benjamin did 8+3.8 with a workout in the first run - 2 miles down the Provo Canyon. I did the first 0.5 with him, then settled into tempo pace for the rest of it.

The run had me concerned. Based on the 3 miles in 14:49 (4:57,4:58,4:54) I gave Benjamin a target of 9:40 (4:50 pace) thinking it would not give him any trouble. He went through the first mile in 4:49, but then he downshifted and could only run 5:02 with no ability to kick. My first suspect was being low on fuel - the plan to deal with it is a bigger taper for the half and extra focus on food.
Leg 1:Distance4.360Time34:30.60Pace7:54.91
Warm-up with Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance2.000Time11:29.20Pace5:44.60
2 mile workout.
Split 1:Distance0.500Time2:24.60Pace4:49.20
Split 2:Distance1.500Time9:04.60Pace6:03.07
Leg 3:Distance1.640Time14:21.50Pace8:45.30
Leg 4:Distance4.000Time31:17.50Pace7:49.38
With Joseph and Jacob. I think Jenny and/or Julia might have run a part of it with us.
Leg 5:Distance0.125Time1:19.10Pace10:32.80
With Matthew.

White Crocs 2 Miles: 12.12
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2015-10-28 07:23:16
Workout Totals: Distance12.225Time1:38:15.60Pace8:02.26
Usual easy day. Benjamin did 8. Younger kids ran their usual distances - for a review, they are Jenny alternating 4 and 5, Julia alternating 3 and 4, Joseph and Jacob 4, William 2, Stephen 1, and Matthew 0.125.

I think Benjamin's body knew that he needed to refuel - he naturally chose a slower pace, and I was OK with it.
Leg 1:Distance8.100Time1:05:38.90Pace8:06.28
With Benjamin. Jenny ran the first 2 with us, then turned around.
Leg 2:Distance4.000Time31:24.30Pace7:51.07
With Joseph, Jacob, and Julia.
Leg 3:Distance0.125Time1:12.40Pace9:39.20
With Matthew.

White Crocs 2 Miles: 12.22
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2015-10-29 08:28:18
Workout Totals: Distance10.866Time1:24:58.70Pace7:49.23
Today we did a family competition. I raced 2000 meters on the track at Orem High against a 5x400 relay team composed of my children: Joseph, Jacob, Jenny, Julia, and William. Benjamin paced me. I ran 6:38 with the splits of 77,80,79,81,81. The kids were ahead of me by a few seconds up until the last leg. I passed William with 200 to go and won by 10 seconds. Kids splits were Joseph - 75, Jacob - 77, Jenny - 79, Julia - 82, William - 93. There might have been tenths of a second there to make it add up.

I think it was a big psychological blow for our 7 year old William to get passed by dad in a competitive situation - he was 43 through the first 200, and then I think he just stopped trying once he got passed and ran 50, which is his mile race pace.

Benjamin did only 4 miles - more aggressive taper.

In the evening as I was driving to pick up Benjamin from BYU I realized that as I had forgotten to tell Sarah that Benjamin needed a high-carb meal all we had for dinner was beans and rice, and I knew this was not enough for his fuel needs. So on the way back we picked up a 940 calorie cereal bowl from Jamba Juice and he consumed that and the regular dinner almost as if it was just one slice of bread.
Leg 1:Distance1.560Time13:39.20Pace8:45.13
Warm-up, strides.
Split 1:Distance1.000Time8:38.20Pace8:38.20
Split 2:Distance0.062Time0:17.90Pace4:48.71
Split 3:Distance0.062Time0:50.70Pace13:37.74
Split 4:Distance0.062Time0:20.40Pace5:29.03
Split 5:Distance0.062Time0:47.50Pace12:46.13
Split 6:Distance0.062Time0:18.60Pace5:00.00
Split 7:Distance0.250Time2:25.90Pace9:43.60
Leg 2:Distance1.000Time6:48.30Pace6:48.30
The relay race.
Split 1:Distance1.000Time6:38.30Pace6:38.30
My time.
Split 2:Distance0.000Time0:10.00Pace0:00.00
The kids team time.
Leg 3:Distance1.056Time8:26.90Pace8:00.02
Leg 4:Distance1.000Time7:54.10Pace7:54.10
With Jenny, Joseph, and Jacob.
Leg 5:Distance0.125Time1:12.00Pace9:36.00
With Matthew.
Leg 6:Distance0.125Time1:11.10Pace9:28.80
Matthew wanted to do a second run. He understands the principle of double the running double the fruit snacks.
Leg 7:Distance1.000Time8:43.60Pace8:43.60
Stephen was dragging on his first run earlier with Julia and ended up losing his privileges for it. So I told him he had to run a mile in under 9:20 to regain the privileges. He did it quite easily.
Leg 8:Distance5.000Time37:03.50Pace7:24.70
More distance alone.

White Crocs 2 Miles: 10.86
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2015-10-30 07:25:07
Workout Totals: Distance12.080Time1:33:57.20Pace7:46.66
Usual day for me. Benjamin was tapering for the Haunted Half tomorrow. Everybody else ran their usual distances.
Leg 1:Distance4.000Time29:14.30Pace7:18.57
Leg 2:Distance4.000Time30:35.50Pace7:38.88
With Benjamin, Jenny, Joseph, and Jacob.
Leg 3:Distance2.040Time17:30.10Pace8:34.75
With William.
Leg 4:Distance2.040Time16:37.30Pace8:08.87
With Julia.

White Crocs 2 Miles: 12.08
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2015-10-31 07:20:00
Workout Totals: Distance17.317Time2:45:46.30Pace9:34.37
Today was a special day. Benjamin finally qualified for the driver's license by breaking 1:10 in the half. He ran the Provo Haunted Half in 1:09:11 finishing 6th as the last big boy. Ahead of him Brett Hales 1:06:46, Mike Hardy 1:07:22, Trevor Ricks 1:07:53, Nate Clayson 1:08:51, and Taylor Farnsworth 1:08:54. David Taylor was 7th with 1:16:26 according to the official results.

The course started at 5834 ft and finished at 4761 ft according to the official map, a drop of 1070 feet. Last 5 K had 0 elevation change but consisted of gradual barely noticeable down compensated for by fairly steep climbs. The course actually had pretty much the exact same elevation drop as the Provo River Half, but it was significantly faster, probably a good minute compared to the 2014 course, due to the lesser amount of uphill running.

Benjamin's splits by the mile, all over the place due to the changes in the terrain:

5:04 (estimate), 10:05 (5:01), 15:26 (5:21), 20:34 (5:08), 25:56 (5:22), 31:14 (5:18), 36:29 (5:15), 41:40 (5:11), 52:11 (10:31 for 2 miles, 5:15.5 avg), 57:28 (5:17), 1:02:59 (5:31), last 1.109 in 6:12, 5:35 avg.

Last 5 K in 17:00, 5:28 average on a hilly course with no drop after running 10 miles hard - goes to show that he was fast today not just because the downhill.
Leg 1:Distance1.000Time7:44.40Pace7:44.40
A little bit of jogging before taking Benjamin to the start.
Leg 2:Distance2.000Time13:12.90Pace6:36.45
Ran to meet Benjamin, then ran a bit less than a mile with him.
Leg 3:Distance2.192Time51:10.10Pace23:20.59
Reset the watch at 4 miles to sync it with Jenny's and be 21:00 behind the race clock. Drove for part of the time, ran some, cheered Benjamin.
Split 1:Distance0.000Time7:39.70Pace0:00.00
Split 2:Distance0.635Time5:04.80Pace8:00.00
Ran to meet Benjamin.
Split 3:Distance0.000Time1:29.80Pace0:00.00
Split 4:Distance0.440Time2:15.30Pace5:07.50
Ran with Benjamin. He was strong.
Split 5:Distance0.117Time0:56.10Pace7:59.49
Ran to the car.
Split 6:Distance1.000Time33:44.40Pace33:44.40
Mix of driving and running, trying to intercept Benjamin, a couple of times unsuccessfully because he was too fast, including the finish - I got stuck in traffic for a minute or two and that was enough to miss him.
Leg 4:Distance0.125Time1:18.50Pace10:28.00
With Matthew.
Leg 5:Distance5.000Time38:00.50Pace7:36.10
With Joseph and Jacob. Jenny did the first 1.5 then turned around.
Leg 6:Distance7.000Time54:19.90Pace7:45.70
Alone. My calf started hurting towards the end, had to stop and massage it. For a while was not sure if I was going to make it home without having to walk or a call for a ride. But massage worked, and though it hurt, it was runnable.

White Crocs 2 Miles: 17.32
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
White Crocs 2 Miles: 76.60
Night Sleep Time: 50.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 52.00
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