Breaking the Wall

Orem Thanksgiving Earn Your Turkey 4 Miler which I suspect to be 3.96

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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
Black Crocs Miles: 12.07
Night Sleep Time: 23.00Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 24.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest. Went to church. Was tired when I got home, took a nap.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 9.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2014-11-24 07:04:50
Workout Totals: Distance12.070Time1:37:30.60Pace8:04.72
Usual run today - 12 miles. Kids ran their usual distances. We got some snow, so the pace was slower, but at least we could still move at reasonable speeds.
Leg 1:Distance9.070Time1:12:54.00Pace8:02.25
With Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance3.000Time24:36.60Pace8:12.20
With Joseph and Jacob.

Black Crocs Miles: 12.07
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 - 2014-11-25 07:02:34
Workout Totals: Distance12.040Time1:34:09.30Pace7:49.21
12 total. Little kids were in taper mode today for the Thanksgiving race, but Benjamin and Jenny ran their regular distances. Benjamin and I did a mile interval down the canyon. He paced me. I ran 5:06.9, he was a little bit ahead with 5:05.
Leg 1:Distance5.700Time46:29.20Pace8:09.33
Warm-up with Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance1.000Time5:06.90Pace5:06.90
Mile interval with Benjamin. My splits were 77, 76, 75, 78. He ran 5:05. Said he was feeling sluggish.
Leg 3:Distance2.300Time18:08.00Pace7:53.04
Cool-down with Benjamin.
Leg 4:Distance2.040Time16:18.60Pace7:59.71
With Joseph and Jacob.
Leg 5:Distance1.000Time8:06.60Pace8:06.60
With William.

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 - 2014-11-26 08:36:37
Workout Totals: Distance10.040Time1:15:56.80Pace7:33.86
10 total. A mini-taper of sorts before the Thanksgiving race. Kids were in taper mode - Benjamin did 7, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, and Jacob 2, William 1, Stephen 0.5. Benjamin and I did a short interval to shake the legs out - 0.5 on the road by the house in 2:33.
Leg 1:Distance2.040Time16:04.30Pace7:52.70
With Joseph and Jacob.
Leg 2:Distance0.500Time3:54.50Pace7:49.00
With Benjamin.
Leg 3:Distance0.500Time2:33.50Pace5:07.00
With Benjamin.
Leg 4:Distance1.000Time8:17.30Pace8:17.30
With William.
Leg 5:Distance0.500Time5:24.70Pace10:49.40
With Stephen.
Leg 6:Distance5.500Time39:42.50Pace7:13.18

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Race: Orem Thanksgiving Earn Your Turkey 4 Miler which I suspect to be 3.96 (3.96 Miles) 00:22:33, Place overall: 12, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2014-11-27 07:37:57
Workout Totals: Distance1.250Time9:39.30Pace7:43.44
Orem Earn Your Turkey 4 miler - 22:33, 12th overall, 1st master, earned a turkey. So did the rest of the family - Benjamin (3rd overall, 20:59.9), Jenny (4 miles, 30:39, 1st in 12-14), Julia (1 mile, 6;36, 1st in 11-12 girls), Joseph (1 mile, 6:00, 1st in 9-10, won the race outright, beat all older boys), Jacob (800, 2:51, first in 7-8) , and William (800, 3:28, first in 5-6) earn turkeys by winning the age division, Stephen got a pie for 2nd place (400 in 2:10), Matthew managed to win the youngest participant again even though he was a year older and finished 5th in the 100 meter dash in 47 s.
Leg 1:Distance1.250Time9:39.30Pace7:43.44
Fast Running Friend Workout - 2014-11-27 08:03:44
Workout Totals: Distance10.268Time1:13:10.60Pace7:07.60
Leg 1:Distance5.660Time37:10.00Pace6:33.99
My race, plus running back to pace Sarah.
Split 1:Distance3.960Time22:34.40Pace5:42.02
My race. The mile markers were messed up. I measured most of the course the next day so I know my splits.

So here is the chart:
Miles Feet Description My split Benjamin's Split
0.250 1320 east side of driveway of 776 w 165 s    
0.273 1444 corner of 165 s and 800 w    
0.463 2447 corner of 800 w and center 2:26  
0.500 2640 east end of house 775 w center    
0.750 3960 7 feet before the last tree on the MV High parking lot stretch    
0.953 5030 official mile marker 1 year 2014 5:08 4:59
0.955 5042 corner of center and 400 w    
0.966 5103 official mile 3 5:15 5:05
1.000 5280 5 feet after first green pole on 400 w    
1.250 6600 west end of 248 s 400 w    
1.440 7605 corner of 400 w and 400 s 8:01  
1.493 7882 0.5 to go mark year 2014    
1.500 7920 first green pole on 400 s    
1.688 8911 turn off to the finish    
1.750 9240 west end of house 650 w 400 s    
1.939 10238 corner of 400 s and 800 w    
1.953 10310 official 2 mile mark year 2014 10:51 10:21
2.000 10560 40 feet ahead of 25mph sign, start of side walk leading to enterance of 359 s 800 w    
2.233 11791 corner of 165 s and 800 w second loop    
2.926 15450 official mile marker 3 (2014) second loop 16:41 15:55
3.452 18229 0.5 to go mark (2014) second loop 19:44  
3.952 20869 Finish (did not measure this segment, assumed the distance from 0.5 to go to the finish was really 0.5) 22:34 20:59


according to my calculations Benjamin ran around 4:56 last mile. This is also confirmed by the fact that he gapped one competitor by about 40 seconds (5th place), and the other 20 seconds (4th place) over the last mile. I asked him why he did not go with the second place (Jayden Asay) when he made his move in the second mile. He said he felt the pace was fast (although the pace over that mile was only 5:17) and he did not want to risk his chances of making the turkey winning top 5. Then in the next mile the pace of the pack slowed down to 5:43 but he did not move because there was some headwind and he did not to lead. Then with 1 mile to go he was concerned that the runners he was with were more physically mature due to their age and would have a better kick, so he made a move which they could not match.

Split 2:Distance1.700Time14:35.60Pace8:35.06
Sarah finished in 36:17. I ran back to her and then paced her. Benjamin ran with me and paced Jenny.
Leg 2:Distance0.062Time0:47.80Pace12:50.97
With Matthew. He had quite a crowd of pacers - myself plus all of his siblings except Mary.
Leg 3:Distance0.248Time2:10.80Pace8:47.42
With Stephen. He had the ability to win, but not quite the drive. But his talent and training got him second place.
Leg 4:Distance0.498Time3:27.20Pace6:56.06
With Jacob, then waited for William to finish. Jacob crushed the competition - 36 second gap on second place with a new course record. William was third overall, just a second behind the 7-8 second place, and first in his division (5-6) - not sure by how much.
Split 1:Distance0.498Time2:50.20Pace5:41.77
Split 2:Distance0.000Time0:37.00Pace0:00.00
Leg 5:Distance1.000Time6:36.30Pace6:36.30
Paced Julia as Benjamin paced Joseph. Julia won her race and was 3rd overall losing only to Joseph and another boy.

Joseph, who is 9, did not take the lead of the 11-12 year old race until about half way through, but he ended up beating the next competitor by about 30 seconds. His time according to Benjamin's watch was 5:59, officially they had him at 6:00. When he finished we heard whispers that expressed a suspicion that he cut the course or started early - that was quite funny.
Leg 6:Distance2.800Time22:58.50Pace8:12.32
Back to the house with Benjamin.

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

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2014-11-28 08:16:55
Workout Totals: Distance13.300Time1:42:00.70Pace7:40.20
13.3 total. Kids ran usual distances except for Jenny and Julia who were sore after the race.
Leg 1:Distance3.000Time22:48.80Pace7:36.27
With Joseph and Jacob.
Leg 2:Distance9.300Time1:10:51.30Pace7:37.13
With Benjamin.
Leg 3:Distance1.000Time8:20.60Pace8:20.60
With William.

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 - 2014-11-29 08:49:50
Workout Totals: Distance19.955Time2:28:40.40Pace7:27.03
Total of 20. Benjamin did 14. Other kids ran their usual distances. Benjamin paced me through a 5000 time trial on the track at Orem High in 17:44.
Leg 1:Distance3.000Time23:01.40Pace7:40.47
With Joseph and Jacob.
Leg 2:Distance2.600Time20:40.90Pace7:57.27
Warm-up with Benjamin.
Leg 3:Distance3.105Time17:44.50Pace5:42.83
5000 time trial at Orem High Track. Benjamin paced me. Splits by 1000 below. This was a good fitness test which I think confirmed the result of the Thanksgiving race - somehow I have lost fitness and need to do something to regain it. I think with age I am getting more sensitive to disruptive events - lack of sleep, not eating meals on time, not doing enough speed work, running to slow on aerobic runs. Over the last year I have observed larger than normal fluctuations in performance in workouts and races that appear to relate to those things.
Split 1:Distance0.621Time3:30.50Pace5:38.97
Split 2:Distance0.621Time3:32.00Pace5:41.38
Split 3:Distance0.621Time3:30.70Pace5:39.29
Split 4:Distance0.621Time3:38.00Pace5:51.05
Split 5:Distance0.621Time3:33.30Pace5:43.48
Leg 4:Distance1.250Time10:53.40Pace8:42.72
Cool-down to the house with Benjamin.
Leg 5:Distance7.000Time54:13.00Pace7:44.71
More distance with Benjamin.
Leg 6:Distance3.000Time22:07.20Pace7:22.40
Alone. Death march at the end.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Black Crocs Miles: 12.07
Night Sleep Time: 23.00Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 24.50
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