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.
With Joseph and Jacob. Joseph ran ahead at the end and finished in 22:11. His last 1.5 was 10:28, sub-7:00 average. Jacob survived a 6:54 mile in the middle, but then was a bit tired on the hill and fell back a little.
Benjamin and I are running Phoenix Half. We set a goal to beat our father/son performance in the TOU Half. So this means both of us need to be fast and we need to balance our training appropriately. Thinking along those lines I came up with a plan. Tuesday will be his day with me supporting, while Thursday will be my day with him supporting. On Saturday we will do a long run - with a tempo ideally. So today was my day. He paced me through 1.25 in 6:39.7 and then after relatively short rest 1 mile in 5:18.9 down the canyon. Other kids ran their usual distances.
Ran a little bit more with Benjamin because he will not be able to run very much tomorrow due to the Putnam exam he is taking. The Putnam exam is the biggest undergraduate national math competition. There are 12 problems worth 10 points each. Most people score 0. If you score 40 you are doing very well - will be in the top 100 or maybe even top 50.
Benjamin took Putnam today so I ran with him in the evening. Otherwise I ran with all of the kids except Julia. This is rare for me - I have not been able to do this in a while due to the large number of running children and my schedule.
Benjamin solved 4 problems. He talked with the BYU Putnam team members afterwards, and it appears that at least he solved 3 correctly. Very possibly the fourth one was good, and he made some progress on the fifth for which he may or may not get partial credit. We will have the results in the spring.
We probably need to give a quick update on Benjamin. He started BYU last winter at the age of 14 as a "concurrent enrollment" student. He quickly progressed through the courses, was accepted as a full-time student and given a full-tuition scholarship. This fall he started the ACME (Applied Math with Computational Emphasis) program offered by the BYU Math Department, is one of the best students in the class of students that are used to be the best in their class, and will have an official Junior status after he finishes this semester.
With Joseph and Jacob.
With William and Joseph.
With Benjamin. We talked about his exam throughout all of the run. He is now ahead of me not only in running and chess, but in math as well. So I had to make an effort to understand his solutions, and I understood the gist of it for 3 problems, which hopefully means that his solutions were solid. The forth one was too hard for me to follow while running.
He is not ahead of me in programming yet, although he did invent a cool algorithm for finding the number of numbers that are not divisible by a non-trivial full square less than a given one that allowed him to compute the result for 2^50 in 2.7 s on his Chromebook. In fact, I should say he does better than me already when it comes to algorithms - where I win is the dirty low level system stuff which is something I get a lot of practice at just to earn the money to feed the family.