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: 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
Red Crocs Miles: 62.47
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest. Benjamin's trainer Elder Brennon Henderson returned home. We went to visit his family in Dayton, ID and attended their ward. Amazinging we made it 30 minutes early to the 11:30 AM meeting.  Ironically this was one of the few times we made it to church on time this year. On the way there as I drove, I passed a car on a two-lane (one lane in each direction) highway. I had not done this since our trip to Kansas, plus there was another car about half a mile way on the opposite lane. So I hit the gas pretty hard and recorded a decent adrenaline rush. I thought that was a good sign that my adrenaline is starting to come back.

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 - 2017-10-30 11:58:45
Workout Totals: Distance10.000Time1:15:44.80Pace7:34.48
Ran 2 in the morning with the kids - the older ones finished their distances on their own. Ran the remaining 8 when I got home after a meeting. Did the first 2.5 of it with Julia. On the way back down the canyon did 4x0.25 fartlek with 0.25 quick jogging recovery. The idea was to do something fast, but not strenuous, something I would look forward to. Did the first three in 74-75, then a bit quicker - 72.6 on the last one. Tail wind made it easier.
Leg 1:Distance0.500Time4:11.00Pace8:22.00
With Matthew and the gang.
Leg 2:Distance1.500Time12:14.00Pace8:09.33
Dropped of Matthew.
Leg 3:Distance8.000Time59:19.80Pace7:24.98
First 2.5 with Julia, the rest alone - did a 4x0.25 with 0.25 recovery fartlek.
Split 1:Distance4.050Time32:19.20Pace7:58.81
Split 2:Distance0.250Time1:14.30Pace4:57.20
Split 3:Distance0.250Time1:56.90Pace7:47.60
Split 4:Distance0.250Time1:15.10Pace5:00.40
Split 5:Distance0.250Time1:52.30Pace7:29.20
Split 6:Distance0.250Time1:15.30Pace5:01.20
Split 7:Distance0.250Time1:51.60Pace7:26.40
Split 8:Distance0.250Time1:12.60Pace4:50.40
Split 9:Distance2.200Time16:22.50Pace7:26.59

Red Crocs Miles: 10.00
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 - 2017-10-31 11:29:21
Workout Totals: Distance10.265Time1:18:41.40Pace7:39.95
Did a workout with Joseph and Jacob - all down the canyon. I did 5x0.625 with 0.25 recovery, Joseph 3, Jacob 2. We had some headwind, not sure how much we lost on it, probably 5 seconds per interval (8 per mile). Joseph was with me on the first two (3:20.7, 3:24.3), but fell back on the third one (3:26, 3:22.4 for me). Jacob struggled with bad emotions in the first one (3:27), but did better on the second (3:24.9). I did 3:24/3:25 on the remaining two.

Sarah did a fast interval as well - 1 mile down the canyon in 7:11. Kids ran their usual distances more or less today.
Leg 1:Distance0.500Time4:32.00Pace9:04.00
With Matthew, Stephen, and William.
Leg 2:Distance0.350Time3:29.80Pace9:59.43
With Stephen, William, and Sarah.
Leg 3:Distance1.000Time7:11.00Pace7:11.00
Fast Sarah's mile with the same company.
Leg 4:Distance0.800Time6:40.30Pace8:20.38
Back to the park.
Leg 5:Distance0.350Time3:22.40Pace9:38.29
Warm-up with Joseph and Jacob.
Leg 6:Distance4.125Time28:22.60Pace6:52.75
5x0.625 (first three with Joseph, first two with Jacob).
Split 1:Distance0.625Time3:20.70Pace5:21.12
Split 2:Distance0.250Time3:10.80Pace12:43.20
Split 3:Distance0.625Time3:24.30Pace5:26.88
Split 4:Distance0.250Time2:54.90Pace11:39.60
Split 5:Distance0.625Time3:22.50Pace5:24.00
Split 6:Distance0.250Time2:32.90Pace10:11.60
Split 7:Distance0.625Time3:24.00Pace5:26.40
Split 8:Distance0.250Time2:47.20Pace11:08.80
Split 9:Distance0.625Time3:25.30Pace5:28.48
Leg 7:Distance1.640Time13:30.80Pace8:14.39
Back to the house with Joseph and Jacob.
Leg 8:Distance1.500Time11:32.50Pace7:41.67
More distance alone.

Red Crocs Miles: 10.27
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 - 2017-11-01 08:59:16
Workout Totals: Distance10.040Time1:14:13.40Pace7:23.57
Ran with the kids, then did a 2 mile fartlek down the canyon in 11:10.7. There was some headwind, so I adjusted the goal pace by 2 seconds per quarter to 82/87. I did well on all the fast ones exceeding even my no-headwind target (78.6, 78.4, and 2:39.0). My recovery pace after the first fast quarter was right on target. However, for some reason I was very slow in the second recovery half (3:00.6), and the first quarter of it was 92.

The pattern seemed to be that I had good adrenal response for about 300 meters or so on all of the fast pickups, and I could use it either at the start or at the end.
Leg 1:Distance0.500Time4:12.70Pace8:25.40
With Matthew, Jacob, William, and Stephen.
Leg 2:Distance1.500Time11:55.10Pace7:56.73
With Jacob, William, and Stephen.
Leg 3:Distance4.020Time31:59.10Pace7:57.39
First 2.5 with Joseph, the rest alone up the canyon.
Leg 4:Distance2.000Time11:10.70Pace5:35.35
2 mile fartlek down the canyon.
Split 1:Distance0.250Time1:18.80Pace5:15.20
Split 2:Distance0.500Time2:53.90Pace5:47.80
Split 3:Distance0.250Time1:18.40Pace5:13.60
Split 4:Distance0.500Time3:00.60Pace6:01.20
Split 5:Distance0.500Time2:39.00Pace5:18.00
Leg 5:Distance2.020Time14:55.80Pace7:23.47
Back to the house.

Red Crocs Miles: 10.04
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 - 2017-11-02 09:25:59
Workout Totals: Distance10.120Time1:18:37.30Pace7:46.14
Did 2x0.625 down the canyon with Jacob with 0.25 recovery. We did have some headwind. Jacob did better this time - 3:22.0, 3:21.8. He said instead of panic he just felt being limited by the muscles. That is a good sign.

Joseph was feeling tired, so I just had him run 4 miles easy. Jenny is still on the school schedule. Otherwise usual distances for the kids. Sarah ran only 2 miles - was not feeling well today. She normally runs 5.
Leg 1:Distance0.500Time4:10.80Pace8:21.60
With Matthew, Jacob, William, and Stephen.
Leg 2:Distance1.500Time12:28.90Pace8:19.27
With Stephen, Jacob, and William.
Leg 3:Distance0.450Time4:00.80Pace8:55.11
Warm-up with Jacob.
Leg 4:Distance1.500Time9:53.20Pace6:35.47
2x0.625 workout with Jacob down the canyon.
Split 1:Distance0.625Time3:22.00Pace5:23.20
Split 2:Distance0.250Time3:09.40Pace12:37.60
Split 3:Distance0.625Time3:21.80Pace5:22.88
Leg 5:Distance1.170Time9:58.50Pace8:31.54
Cool-down with Jacob.
Leg 6:Distance5.000Time38:05.10Pace7:37.02
More distance alone.

Red Crocs Miles: 10.12
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 - 2017-11-03 08:49:48
Workout Totals: Distance10.050Time1:15:33.00Pace7:31.04
Ran with the kids, usual distances for everybody except Joseph and Jacob (both ran 3 to rest for the race tomorrow), Sarah had a better run, was able to average sub-9:00 for 5 miles.

I did a half mile uphill kick at the end in 2:46.1, a bit faster than last week, but I think there was more headwind today.
Leg 1:Distance2.040Time15:01.40Pace7:21.86
Leg 2:Distance1.500Time11:50.30Pace7:53.53
With Jacob, Stephen, and William.
Leg 3:Distance1.000Time7:02.20Pace7:02.20
With Joseph, Jacob, and William.
Leg 4:Distance0.500Time4:09.30Pace8:18.60
With Jacob, William, Stephen, and Matthew.
Leg 5:Distance5.010Time37:29.80Pace7:29.06
First mile with Joseph, the rest alone.
Split 1:Distance4.510Time34:43.70Pace7:42.02
Split 2:Distance0.500Time2:46.10Pace5:32.20
Uphill kick.

Red Crocs Miles: 10.05
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 - 2017-11-04 14:01:59
Workout Totals: Distance12.000Time1:22:47.60Pace6:53.97
Jenny did 6 today at 8:00 pace, Julia ran 5 at about 8:30 pace, Sarah ran 5 at 9:00 pace. I took the kids to Nan's Race Cats Cross-Country Championship at Galena Hills Park. We got there late, so Matthew had to run in an older age division and twice the distance - he ran 2 K in 11:40. Stephen ran 2 K in 9:40. Joseph ran 11:21 in the 3 K, and Jacob 11:33. William got 12:35. Joseph and Jacob wore spikes, William ran in Crocs because he lost his spikes. He actually ended up with a better result as a good portion of the course was on asphalt and I did not think quickly enough to have Joseph and Jacob put on Crocs. Joseph and Jacob both struggled after hitting the asphalt section.

The race was I think the biggest kid cross-country race I have ever seen in Utah. E.g. William's race (9-10 boys) had 88 finishers.

Afterwards, I ran 12 miles at home alone with 2x2 in the canyon, one up and one down. The wind was blowing into the canyon. I did the first one in 11:55 (5:52, 6:03), and the second in 11:14 (5:40, 5:34). Felt some energy, at least more than I did a couple of weeks ago. The muscles got tired on the uphill, I think this is a good sign as it means I was able to make them work close to the muscular limit.
Leg 1:Distance12.000Time1:22:47.60Pace6:53.97
Split 1:Distance1.720Time12:31.90Pace7:17.15
Split 2:Distance2.000Time11:55.80Pace5:57.90
Uphill tempo.
Split 3:Distance3.200Time25:26.60Pace7:57.06
Split 4:Distance2.000Time11:14.10Pace5:37.05
Downhill tempo.
Split 5:Distance3.080Time21:39.20Pace7:01.82
The rest of the run.

Red Crocs Miles: 12.00
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: 62.47
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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