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: 64.91
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest. Went to church. Fast Sunday. Was careful afterwards to drink first, and then eat slowly to avoid upsetting the stomach with too much food. The need for moderation after not eating for some time reminded me of  a story my aunt told me about my paternal grandfather.

He was arrested and imprisoned in during the Stalin's purges in 1938. He worked as a statistician for the statistical ministry in the Soviet Union and apparently somebody did not like him. He was told to plead guilty to the fabircated accusations or else they threatened to go after his wife as well. So he plead guilty. Being naturally of somewhat poor health and small stature, he was found not fit for the hard  labor and his ability with numbers was considered good enough to be an accountant at the labor camp in some place far north near Arkhangelsk (City of Archangels) . This spared his life. After 18 years he came out in 1956. 

He was placed in a hosptal to recover. Next to him in the room was recovering a man from Georgia (now the country by the Black Sea, back then a Soviet republic). His friend received a package from home. Georgia has a very fertile land, so the package had a lot of good food. He offered to share with my grandfather. But my grandfather remembered the doctors' orders to use moderation as the body was not yet accustomed to this much food. So he ate either only a little bit or nothing at all. His friend feasted on the meal. This proved fatal - his friend's stomach was not used to this much food and he died.

So I remembered the importance of moderation.


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 - 2017-12-04 14:26:31
Workout Totals: Distance10.250Time1:17:51.50Pace7:35.76
Usual distances for everybody except Sarah and Jenny. Sarah ran 3, Jenny 5. I ran with the little kids, then a bit with Joseph and Julia, then the rest alone. Did 5x0.25 down the canyon. It was colder today, around 30 F, so I wore winter clothes. Afternoon headwind as usual. Decided to jog slower on the recoveries, but push harder on the intervals. Ran in the 73-74s for the first 3, then hit a patch of snow + needed to go to the bathroom on the 4th one (75.7). However, after the bathroom visit I was able to run 72.6 for the last one.

I had a split of 35-36 for the first 200 on all of them. Then I did not feel like I was exceptionally fatigued or slowing down but I ran the second 200 in 38-39 on all of them except the last one. My explanation of this is that it takes extra adrenaline to push through the state of oxygen debt, and I just do not have it yet.
Leg 1:Distance0.500Time4:00.10Pace8:00.20
With Matthew, Joseph, Jacob, William, and Stephen.
Leg 2:Distance1.500Time11:58.30Pace7:58.87
Same group minus Matthew.
Leg 3:Distance8.250Time1:01:53.10Pace7:30.07
First 1.5 with Joseph and Julia. The rest alone - 5x0.25 down the canyon.
Split 1:Distance4.050Time31:39.30Pace7:48.96
Split 2:Distance0.250Time1:14.30Pace4:57.20
Split 3:Distance0.250Time2:13.00Pace8:52.00
Split 4:Distance0.250Time1:14.80Pace4:59.20
Split 5:Distance0.250Time2:14.80Pace8:59.20
Split 6:Distance0.250Time1:13.30Pace4:53.20
Split 7:Distance0.250Time2:11.30Pace8:45.20
Split 8:Distance0.250Time1:15.70Pace5:02.80
Snow + bathroom need.
Split 9:Distance0.500Time4:23.00Pace8:46.00
Split 10:Distance0.250Time1:12.60Pace4:50.40
Split 11:Distance1.700Time13:01.00Pace7:39.41

Red Crocs Miles: 10.25
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 - 2017-12-05 14:56:15
Workout Totals: Distance9.580Time1:15:10.90Pace7:50.87
Did a family workout down the Provo Canyon. First 2x0.625 with 0.25 recovery pacing Sarah with William's and Stephen's help (4:33, 4:37). Then the same workout pacing Julia (3:50, 3:56) with the help of Joseph and Jacob. Then the same workout with Joseph and Jacob. I did 3:16.9,3:20.8. They were with me in the first one, but both had some stomach issues in the second, so Joseph got 3:23, Jacob 3:26.
Leg 1:Distance0.500Time4:18.90Pace8:37.80
With William and Matthew.
Leg 2:Distance0.110Time1:03.90Pace9:40.91
Warm up with Sarah, William, and Stephen.
Leg 3:Distance1.500Time12:06.50Pace8:04.33
Sarah's workout.
Split 1:Distance0.625Time4:33.60Pace7:17.76
Split 2:Distance0.250Time2:55.80Pace11:43.20
Split 3:Distance0.625Time4:37.10Pace7:23.36
Leg 4:Distance1.300Time10:10.20Pace7:49.38
Back to the park - some with William.
Leg 5:Distance0.400Time3:48.90Pace9:32.25
Warm-up with Joseph, Jacob, and Julia.
Leg 6:Distance3.250Time22:20.30Pace6:52.40
Workout with Joseph, Jacob, and Julia.
Split 1:Distance0.625Time3:50.00Pace6:08.00
Split 2:Distance0.250Time2:45.30Pace11:01.20
Split 3:Distance0.625Time3:56.30Pace6:18.08
Split 4:Distance0.250Time2:23.80Pace9:35.20
Split 5:Distance0.625Time3:16.90Pace5:15.04
Split 6:Distance0.250Time2:47.20Pace11:08.80
Split 7:Distance0.625Time3:20.80Pace5:21.28
Leg 7:Distance2.520Time21:22.20Pace8:28.81
Back to the house with a little detour. Most of it with Joseph and Jacob.

Red Crocs Miles: 9.58
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 - 2017-12-06 14:03:06
Workout Totals: Distance10.000Time1:15:23.30Pace7:32.33
Ran with the kids, then did 8 more with 5x0.25 down the canyon. No bathroom stops this time. The first one was relatively slow - 75.2, then hit 73.7, 72.7, but then either lost steam or just got more headwind running 74.6 both times. Similar issue as on Monday - starting out in 35-36, but then not keeping it except maybe on the 3rd one. But not losing quite as much.
Leg 1:Distance0.500Time3:57.00Pace7:54.00
With Matthew, William, and Stephen.
Leg 2:Distance1.500Time11:33.90Pace7:42.60
With William and Stephen.
Leg 3:Distance8.000Time59:52.40Pace7:29.05
First 2.5 with Joseph and Jacob, the rest alone. 5x0.25 workout down the canyon.
Split 1:Distance4.050Time30:59.70Pace7:39.19
Split 2:Distance0.250Time1:15.20Pace5:00.80
Split 3:Distance0.250Time2:07.30Pace8:29.20
Split 4:Distance0.250Time1:13.70Pace4:54.80
Split 5:Distance0.250Time2:12.00Pace8:48.00
Split 6:Distance0.250Time1:12.70Pace4:50.80
Split 7:Distance0.250Time2:13.10Pace8:52.40
Split 8:Distance0.250Time1:14.60Pace4:58.40
Split 9:Distance0.250Time2:19.20Pace9:16.80
Split 10:Distance0.250Time1:14.60Pace4:58.40
Split 11:Distance1.700Time13:50.30Pace8:08.41

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 - 2017-12-07 14:40:27
Workout Totals: Distance11.055Time1:24:27.30Pace7:38.37
Decided to change my routine a bit on cold days. I have just been training in the afternoon. But I noticed I have been feeling sluggish during the day. So I decided to add a mile jog as soon as I wake up. Then do my normal run in the afternoon. So this gives me 1 extra mile, total of 11 today.

Ran with the little kids. Then did 3x0.625 with 0.25 recovery down the canyon. Had Jacob on the first two with me, and Joseph on the last two. Kept all of them in the 3:18-3:20 range, though the last one was for some reason hard. Jacob kept up with me on both of them. Joseph pushed his first (my second), but then on his second one could not keep up after half way and finished in around 3:30.

Julia ran 5 miles in 39:03, and said she felt more energy. That is a positive. Sarah ran 5 miles at around 9:10 average. Jenny is still on the college schedule - 5 miles on a good day, 3 on a bad one.
Leg 1:Distance1.000Time7:34.10Pace7:34.10
Morning wake-up jog.
Leg 2:Distance1.500Time12:41.80Pace8:27.87
With William and Stephen.
Leg 3:Distance0.520Time4:19.20Pace8:18.46
With Matthew.
Leg 4:Distance0.500Time4:19.80Pace8:39.60
Warm-up with Joseph and Jacob.
Leg 5:Distance7.535Time55:32.40Pace7:22.26
Split 1:Distance0.625Time3:18.80Pace5:18.08
Split 2:Distance0.250Time3:00.00Pace12:00.00
Split 3:Distance0.625Time3:19.50Pace5:19.20
Split 4:Distance0.250Time2:49.60Pace11:18.40
Split 5:Distance0.625Time3:20.70Pace5:21.12
Split 6:Distance5.160Time39:43.80Pace7:41.98
Distance to get home with a detour + one more mile on the little boy course.

Red Crocs Miles: 11.05
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 - 2017-12-08 08:25:36
Workout Totals: Distance11.000Time1:23:23.00Pace7:34.82
Did 1 mile with Jenny in the morning - she ran the total of 3. Then ran with the kids in the afternoon + some more alone with 0.625 pickup in 3:16.4.

Matthew had a furious kick today. He was sluggish at the start and ran the first 0.25 in 2:11. Usually with this kind of start he runs around 4:15, on very good days, 4:10. But today he closed in 1:53, which gave him 4:04.
Leg 1:Distance1.000Time7:46.30Pace7:46.30
With Jenny.
Leg 2:Distance0.500Time4:04.50Pace8:09.00
With Matthew, William, and Stephen.
Leg 3:Distance1.500Time11:39.80Pace7:46.53
With William and Stephen.
Leg 4:Distance1.000Time7:22.70Pace7:22.70
With William.
Leg 5:Distance7.000Time52:29.70Pace7:29.96
First 2 with Joseph and Jacob, the rest alone.
Split 1:Distance3.550Time28:22.00Pace7:59.44
Split 2:Distance0.625Time3:16.40Pace5:14.24
Split 3:Distance2.825Time20:51.30Pace7:22.94

Red Crocs Miles: 11.00
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 - 2017-12-09 08:30:49
Workout Totals: Distance13.030Time1:37:46.80Pace7:30.25
Total of 13 for me.

Did a 4 mile tempo down the canyon in
23:11.6. Had some stomach issues, had to stop for a bathroom break at around 1.25. Jacob ran with me for the first 2 miles, he actually pulled ahead a bit and ran 11:29. Joseph ran the last 2 with me. He struggled, but kept up. I struggled as well, but when Joseph was strong I could follow him.

William had a cold, ran only 1 mile. Jenny I think ran 6 today. Otherwise usual Saturday distance for everybody.
Leg 1:Distance1.000Time7:31.00Pace7:31.00
Morning jog.
Leg 2:Distance1.100Time9:42.40Pace8:49.45
Warm-up with Jacob, part with Jenny and Josph.
Leg 3:Distance4.000Time23:11.60Pace5:47.90
Tempo run.
Split 1:Distance2.000Time11:30.50Pace5:45.25
With Jacob.
Split 2:Distance2.000Time11:41.10Pace5:50.55
With Joseph.
Leg 4:Distance1.890Time17:52.70Pace9:27.57
Cool-down with Joseph and Jacob.
Leg 5:Distance1.000Time8:36.90Pace8:36.90
With Matthew and Stephen.
Leg 6:Distance1.000Time8:16.50Pace8:16.50
With William and Stephen.
Leg 7:Distance1.000Time7:48.00Pace7:48.00
With Stephen.
Leg 8:Distance2.040Time14:47.70Pace7:15.15

Red Crocs Miles: 13.03
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: 64.91
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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