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: 76.13
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.

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 - 2017-12-25 10:43:02
Workout Totals: Distance12.040Time1:31:42.80Pace7:37.04
Merry Christmas to all. Got to talk to Benjamin in the morning on Skype. His Russian sounded much better that it did before he left - I could barely detect any accent or grammatical mistakes. He has been sending me his writing samples, and they had a lot of mistakes - sometimes very funny. So I expected to hear that when he spoke. But apparently it is possible to use a different part of your brain when speaking than when writing - so when he does not have to think, he says it right. When he writes, he pauses, and experiences the syndrome of the centipede that walked fine until somebody asked it how it walked - it began to think and forgot how to walk.

We got some snow today, I plowed, then we ran. I did a little bit more than usual - total of 12 including the morning jog. For speed I added 3x0.25 in the canyon, first one up (77.3), then two down - 73.8 and 72.0. Clear air and no headwind really helped today - I felt strength and energy, and was maintaining the speed at the end.

Usual distances for the kids and Sarah. Jenny is now running 6. Matthew moved up to 1 mile a day.
Leg 1:Distance1.000Time7:16.00Pace7:16.00
Morning jog.
Leg 2:Distance1.000Time8:44.00Pace8:44.00
With Matthew.
Leg 3:Distance2.040Time16:45.40Pace8:12.84
With Stephen and Julia.
Leg 4:Distance5.000Time37:30.20Pace7:30.04
With Joseph and Jacob - mostly. They ran easy, I did the fast quarters, but stopped for a VPB.
Split 1:Distance1.700Time14:13.20Pace8:21.88
Split 2:Distance0.250Time1:17.30Pace5:09.20
Split 3:Distance0.600Time4:49.70Pace8:02.83
Split 4:Distance0.250Time1:13.80Pace4:55.20
Split 5:Distance0.250Time2:05.90Pace8:23.60
Split 6:Distance0.250Time1:12.00Pace4:48.00
Split 7:Distance1.700Time12:38.30Pace7:26.06
Leg 5:Distance3.000Time21:27.20Pace7:09.07

Red Crocs Miles: 12.04
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 - 2017-12-26 08:45:16
Workout Totals: Distance15.995Time2:03:30.10Pace7:43.28
Did a longer morning jog, then ran with the younger kids, and did a workout in the canyon. First 2x0.625 pacing Jenny with the help of Joseph and Jacob with 0.25 recovery, first down, second up. The one down was 3:40.8, up 4:01.0.

Then did 6x0.625 with 0.125 recovery alternating directions (3:28.8, 3:45.3, 3:30.8, 3:40.8, 3:28.7, 3:38.2). Jacob did the first 3 with me keeping up on the first two, and finishing 3 seconds back on the third. Joseph kept up on the first, but then mentally lost it. I think his second was 3:59, and not sure what he did on the third. It seems like running uphill mentally breaks him. He has never been able to go longer than half a mile uphill in the canyon at any decent pace. Need to think of something to help him overcome it.
Leg 1:Distance3.000Time25:38.40Pace8:32.80
Morning jog - part with Sarah.
Leg 2:Distance1.000Time8:39.40Pace8:39.40
With Matthew - out and back in the canyon.
Leg 3:Distance2.000Time15:09.60Pace7:34.80
With William, Stephen, Jenny, and Julia - out and back in the canyon.
Leg 4:Distance0.520Time4:49.30Pace9:16.35
Warm-up with Joseph, Jacob, Jenny, and Julia.
Leg 5:Distance6.275Time44:07.20Pace7:01.86
Split 1:Distance0.625Time3:40.80Pace5:53.28
Split 2:Distance0.250Time3:00.00Pace12:00.00
Split 3:Distance0.625Time4:01.00Pace6:25.60
Split 4:Distance0.400Time3:43.20Pace9:18.00
Split 5:Distance0.625Time3:28.80Pace5:34.08
Split 6:Distance0.125Time1:31.70Pace12:13.60
Split 7:Distance0.625Time3:45.30Pace6:00.48
Split 8:Distance0.125Time2:00.20Pace16:01.60
Split 9:Distance0.625Time3:30.80Pace5:37.28
Split 10:Distance0.125Time1:35.80Pace12:46.40
Split 11:Distance0.625Time3:40.80Pace5:53.28
Split 12:Distance0.125Time1:32.90Pace12:23.20
Split 13:Distance0.625Time3:28.70Pace5:33.92
Split 14:Distance0.125Time1:29.00Pace11:52.00
Split 15:Distance0.625Time3:38.20Pace5:49.12
Leg 6:Distance3.200Time25:06.20Pace7:50.69

Red Crocs Miles: 15.99
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 - 2017-12-27 10:05:11
Workout Totals: Distance11.040Time1:27:22.10Pace7:54.83
Did the morning jog, then ran with the kids. Took Sarah for an extra mile with Matthew. Did 3x0.25 down the canyon. Felt sluggish in the first two (75.2, 75.3), but was able to shift gears and run 72.2 in the third. It was warm enough today to run in shorts.
Leg 1:Distance1.000Time7:15.80Pace7:15.80
Morning jog.
Leg 2:Distance1.000Time8:41.70Pace8:41.70
With Sarah and Matthew.
Leg 3:Distance2.040Time17:56.30Pace8:47.60
With William and Stephen.
Leg 4:Distance1.000Time7:52.30Pace7:52.30
With William.
Leg 5:Distance6.000Time45:36.00Pace7:36.00
Most of it with Jenny. First 2.5 with Joseph and Jacob. Did 3x0.25.
Split 1:Distance3.050Time24:02.80Pace7:53.05
Split 2:Distance0.250Time1:15.20Pace5:00.80
Split 3:Distance0.250Time2:03.60Pace8:14.40
Split 4:Distance0.250Time1:15.30Pace5:01.20
Split 5:Distance0.250Time2:10.90Pace8:43.60
Split 6:Distance0.250Time1:12.20Pace4:48.80
Split 7:Distance1.700Time13:36.00Pace8:00.00

Red Crocs Miles: 11.04
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 - 2017-12-28 08:54:17
Workout Totals: Distance11.185Time1:25:28.40Pace7:38.51
Did a morning jog, then ran with Matthew, and then did 3x0.625 with Joseph (3:27.7 down, 3:47.9 up, 3:35.8 down). He struggled but he made it through the workout. Then ran with him home, and back to get the car. Jacob ran with William and Stephen.
Leg 1:Distance1.000Time7:13.70Pace7:13.70
Morning jog.
Leg 2:Distance1.000Time8:41.90Pace8:41.90
With Matthew and William.
Leg 3:Distance1.200Time10:03.60Pace8:23.00
Warm-up with Joseph.
Leg 4:Distance2.125Time14:13.30Pace6:41.55
Workout with Joseph.
Split 1:Distance0.625Time3:27.70Pace5:32.32
Split 2:Distance0.125Time1:37.40Pace12:59.20
Split 3:Distance0.625Time3:47.90Pace6:04.64
Split 4:Distance0.125Time1:44.50Pace13:56.00
Split 5:Distance0.625Time3:35.80Pace5:45.28
Leg 5:Distance2.580Time21:12.30Pace8:13.14
Cool-down with Joseph.
Leg 6:Distance3.280Time24:03.60Pace7:20.12
Back to get the car.

Red Crocs Miles: 11.19
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 - 2017-12-29 08:29:19
Workout Totals: Distance11.040Time1:24:27.60Pace7:39.02
Did the usual morning jog, then ran with the little kids including Sarah's additional mile with Matthew, then did the rest of the run with the older kids. Did 3x0.25 uphill 78.5, down 72.8, 71.6. Wore shorts.
Leg 1:Distance1.000Time7:18.70Pace7:18.70
Morning jog.
Leg 2:Distance1.000Time9:02.70Pace9:02.70
With Sarah, William, and Matthew.
Leg 3:Distance2.040Time16:12.00Pace7:56.47
With William and Stephen.
Leg 4:Distance7.000Time51:54.20Pace7:24.89
Part with Joseph, Jacob, and Jenny.
Split 1:Distance1.700Time13:34.90Pace7:59.35
With Joseph, Jacob and Jenny.
Split 2:Distance0.250Time1:18.50Pace5:14.00
Uphill quarter.
Split 3:Distance0.600Time4:55.10Pace8:11.83
Split 4:Distance0.250Time1:12.80Pace4:51.20
Split 5:Distance0.250Time2:04.90Pace8:19.60
Split 6:Distance0.250Time1:11.60Pace4:46.40
Split 7:Distance3.700Time27:36.40Pace7:27.68

Red Crocs Miles: 11.04
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 - 2017-12-30 12:48:22
Workout Totals: Distance14.835Time1:57:47.80Pace7:56.43
Ran with the little kids and Sarah, then did 6x0.625 alternating directions in the canyon with 0.125 recovery. Joseph and Jacob did the first 3 with me. This was our best workout so far, I think. The times were 3:33.4 (down) - 3:42.8 - 3:26.4 - 3:39.4 - 3:26.5 - 3:34.1. I felt different, stronger, more relaxed. Joseph and Jacob were able to keep up on all three intervals.
Leg 1:Distance3.000Time25:44.60Pace8:34.87
With William and Stephen.
Leg 2:Distance1.000Time8:18.90Pace8:18.90
With William, Sarah, and Matthew.
Leg 3:Distance1.000Time9:03.60Pace9:03.60
Warm-up with Joseph and Jacob.
Leg 4:Distance4.435Time29:03.60Pace6:33.15
Split 1:Distance0.625Time3:33.40Pace5:41.44
Split 2:Distance0.185Time1:29.00Pace8:01.08
Split 3:Distance0.625Time3:42.80Pace5:56.48
Split 4:Distance0.125Time1:46.50Pace14:12.00
Split 5:Distance0.625Time3:26.40Pace5:30.24
Split 6:Distance0.125Time1:20.90Pace10:47.20
Split 7:Distance0.625Time3:39.40Pace5:51.04
Split 8:Distance0.125Time1:33.90Pace12:31.20
Split 9:Distance0.625Time3:26.50Pace5:30.40
Split 10:Distance0.125Time1:30.70Pace12:05.60
Split 11:Distance0.625Time3:34.10Pace5:42.56
Leg 5:Distance5.400Time45:37.10Pace8:26.87
Cool-down - part with Kjell, our neighbor and Elder's Quorum President.

Red Crocs Miles: 14.84
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: 76.13
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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