Breaking the Wall

January Fast Running Blog Series 10 K

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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:

Russian champion tries Crocs, commits to racing a marathon in them

Nikolay Chavkin in the video below did 3x1000, first two in Adidas carbon-fiber models, the last one in Crocs. Surprised by the result (2:52, 2:52, 2:50) with the fastest interval done in Crocs, he committed to racing a marathon in Crocs if the video gets 42K likes and 195 comments (for 42 km 195 m, the marathon distance). Nikolay's current marathon PR is 2:14:00. The video was created by a Russian sporting goods store chain. Their moto is "more sports - brighter life", which we think is wonderful, and also deserves a Like. If you want to see a fast marathon in Crocs, go to the video and click the Like button. And make sure to share it with your friends.

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 152.00 Year: 152.00
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 640.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 450.37
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Brown Crocs 4 Lifetime Miles: 1334.06
Amoji 1 Lifetime Miles: 732.60
Amoji 2 Lifetime Miles: 436.69
Amoji 3 Lifetime Miles: 348.67
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 74.61
Night Sleep Time: 56.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 56.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day off. Went to church. Spent a good portion of the day reading President Kimball's biography.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 7F at the start. I think the global warming is like Santa - it happens for you if you believe it.

Ran with Daniel, Jeff, and Mary Ann. Daniel turned around at 3 miles. The rest of us ran full 10.1. My time was 1:19:46, Jeff and Mary Ann were a bit slower due to my VPB. Additionally we did short burts of speed on dry sections.

Afterwards took VanGoGo to Computune and ran back. Turns out my little detour into a snow drift a couple of weeks ago damaged VanGoGo's power steering pump.

Felt very good on the way from Computune. Did some pickups when it was dry. There was even a dry section that was long enough to run a 200, which I did in 39 with a tempo effort. Then I found an even longer section - 300 which I ran in 58 putting in a tempo effort. This was about 0.5-1% downhill, though. However, the temperature was 14F. I was not expecting sub-5:20 pace to feel so easy, natural, and enjoyable. This gives me the confidence that as crazy as my idea of daily micro-bursts of speed may sound, there may be something to it.

P.M. We got some serious snow. 1 with Benjamin and Julia in 13:30. 1.5 with Jenny in 16:37. About 0.4 into the run Jenny said - I bet you and I will be the only ones on the trail. About a minute later we saw Tyler and he joined us for about a mile.

I told Tyler - if dedication played a bigger role in being selected for the BYU team than your 3000 meter speed, you'd be on the team for sure. Unfortunately 3000 meters is short enough for natural Quality X to have quite a bit of the upper hand on dedication.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 14.85
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff in 1:35:30, 9:27 average. I think that is a PR for me for how slow I've run for that long. And it was not that we were lazy - we actually put in a solid 7:00-7:20 effort most of the way, but the snow was deep, rough, and slippery. However, I remarked to Jeff that the pioneers would have loved to travel in those conditions (balmy 28 F), and especially at our speed. 6+ mph through the snow-covered plains of Nebraska and Wyoming would have been a dream for them.

A.M-2: Ran with Benjamin and Jenny to Computune to pick up VanGoGo. 2.25 miles in 23:21.

P.M. 1 mile with Julia in 13:05. The time speaks for itself - we did quite a bit of treading through the snow and slipping on ice.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 12.35
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Early morning run with Daniel and Mary Ann (they ran first 6). Both of them made it for the 5:15 AM start. I thought the roads would be better after a warmer night with some snow melting. However, that seemed to make things worse increasing the slippage. 8 miles at a blistering 9:43 pace in 1:17:47. Found Tyler on the trail with a mile to go, he ran with me.

Joke of the day, a follow-up to Mary Ann telling us how she met a guy with long hair at Walmart.

Teenage son: Dad, can I get a car?
Dad: Well, you need to cut your hair first.
Son: But Jesus and his apostles had long hair!
Dad: And on foot they went!

P.M. Honked at two runners - Thatcher and his training partner, possibly Neal. Maybe I should count this towards mileage. 1 with Julia in 11:26, 2 with Benjamin in 18:09, Jenny ran 1.5 with us in 13:45. Road conditions have improved, but still a lot of slippage.


Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 8.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Daniel, Jeff, and Mary Ann. Daniel went 3 with us then turned around. The rest of us ran 10.1 in 1:19:39. The trail was a lot better today as evidenced by the pace. Did some mini-sprints in the middle when the traction allowed.

A.M-2: Literally ran an errand - 0.6 miles.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 11:32. 2 with Benjamin in 17:30, Jenny ran 1.5 in 13:24.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff and Mary Ann in 1:22:58. Daniel ran the first 3 with us. 2 more with Benjamin in 17:48. The trail was more slippery than yesterday, but not as bad as on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Our neighbor managed to get stuck on our street in spite of having 4x4. We were able to dig/push her out though. 

P.M-1. 2 miles cross-country skiing.

P.M-2. The roads and the trail cleared up some. 1 with Julia in 10:57. 1.5 with Jenny in 13:21.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 12.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Race: January Fast Running Blog Series 10 K (6.214 Miles) 00:36:30, Place overall: 2
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran 7.2 miles with Jeff and some of it with Daniel setting up the course for Mary Ann's race. We reached an agreement so now the Fast Running Blog is the title sponsor of her races. Jeff, Daniel, and Mary Ann also got a strength workout hammering at the ice under the 800 N bridge. Jeff and I did an acceleration to determine the position of the 2 mile marker in the 5 K. We had 100 meter mark from the mile marker, but 2 mile marker is supposed to be  172 meters. So we figured if we got a split at 100 meters and then prorated the time we would place it within 3 meters, which is a reasonable accuracy considering that over 2 miles you could take a variety of tangents. So we ran pretty hard hitting 100 in 17 seconds and then continued at the same effort to 30 seconds.

Also met Nick during the run and invited him to the race.

A.M-2 Ran the race. Warmed up with Benjamin and Jenny - 1.4 miles. Jeff ran the 5 K, Nick ran the 10 K. I talked him into it saying - just run a nice marathon pace tempo at around 5:50 pace. Jeff wanted to run hard. Nick saw Jeff run hard and also decided to run hard. I saw Nick and Jeff run hard and decided to run with them for a mile thinking they would hit maybe 5:10-5:15, no faster. Good luck. First quarter in 73, minor snow/ice cover. Second quarter - fairly serious snow/ice cover, but 77 nevertheless. Third quarter - I was glad we cleared off under the bridge, at least we did not have to walk. But we did have to slow down still. Nevertheless, we managed 80. Third quarter - still some snow and ice, but mostly dry. 76 seconds. This gave us 5:06 for the mile. I did not know I could run a 5:06 mile on that type of surface with all the clothes, so I was pleasantly surprised. But it became necessary to back off so I did.

Next quarter was 87 seconds, moderate snow/ice cover, and I was pleased with that because I felt it was a nice recovery pace. However, the ice cover became fairly solid in the next mile, and I was afraid to run fast. Plus, the nervous stress from running a near all out first mile reduced my ability to focus. So I slowed down to 97 quarters for the next three. 2.5 K in 8:35, 2 miles in 11:23.

After that the snow/ice cover became lighter and I was able to speed up to sub-6:00 pace. 3 miles in 17:16. I was pleased with that. 5 K turnaround in 17:54 (2.5 in 9:19). Acceptable for the conditions.

On the way back I improved my ice cover handing and was able to speed up a bit. Next 2.5 K in 9:14. However, then I slowed down a lot in the next 500 meters on ice under the bridges. Last 1.25 was 7:13 with the splits by quarter of 87, 86, 90 (under the bridge), 88 (slippage), and 82.

The first/last mile had about 1% grade favorite the outgoing direction. However, with the dip under the bridge I think the downhill direction is about equivalent to flat and no dip.

Total time of 36:30 for the 10 K. Nick ran 33:18 with the splits of 16:28 and 16:50. Jeff ran the 5 K in 16:36. Daniel ran 19:24 in the 5 K.

Benjamin won the mens mile in 7:05. Jenny was the first woman in 8:05.

Jeff, Benjamin, Jenny and I ran back to the house for a cool down. Then I ran a mile with Julia in 10:55.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 17.21
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 74.61
Night Sleep Time: 56.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 56.00
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