Breaking the Wall

Week starting Jan 11, 2015

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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:

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Miles:This week: 24.00 Month: 0.00 Year: 333.17
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: 380.67
Lopsie Sports Sandals Lifetime Miles: 818.02
Lopsie Sports Sandals 2 Lifetime Miles: 637.27
Iprome Garden Clogs Lifetime Miles: 346.18
Beslip Garden Clogs Lifetime Miles: 488.26
Joybees 1 Lifetime Miles: 1035.60
Madctoc Clogs Lifetime Miles: 698.29
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
White Crocs 1 Miles: 81.29
Night Sleep Time: 51.00Nap Time: 2.50Total Sleep Time: 53.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest. Went to church. Took a much needed long nap when I got home.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 2.50Total Sleep Time: 10.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2015-01-12 07:29:41
Workout Totals: Distance11.250Time1:29:21.20Pace7:56.55
Benjamin was feeling an oncoming cold we cut it short to only 6.7. Perhaps 66 miles a week the way we did it plus BYU is too much for him right now, need a more gradual adaptation. Other kids ran their usual distances.
Leg 1:Distance6.750Time51:01.40Pace7:33.54
With Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance3.000Time25:29.90Pace8:29.97
With Joseph, Jacob, Julia, and Jenny.
Leg 3:Distance1.000Time7:50.20Pace7:50.20
With Joseph.
Leg 4:Distance0.500Time4:59.70Pace9:59.40
With Stephen.

White Crocs 1 Miles: 11.25
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 - 2015-01-13 10:00:20
Workout Totals: Distance12.000Time1:33:44.10Pace7:48.68
Total of 12. Benjamin had a cold and ran only 3.5 miles. Jenny and Julia did only 2 - they felt like they were about to get a cold. As a precaution I had Joseph and Jacob run only 3. William did 1, Stephen 0.5.
Leg 1:Distance0.500Time5:34.10Pace11:08.20
With Stephen and Benjamin. Stephen was unmotivated today and did not get his fruit snack. He has to break 5:00 (10:00 pace) to earn a fruit snack after the run - one of his favorite treats.
Leg 2:Distance1.000Time8:32.90Pace8:32.90
With William.
Leg 3:Distance3.000Time24:39.20Pace8:13.07
With Joseph and Jacob. Jenny and Julia ran the first mile with us, then turned around.
Leg 4:Distance7.500Time54:57.90Pace7:19.72

White Crocs 1 Miles: 12.00
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 - 2015-01-14 07:51:10
Workout Totals: Distance12.020Time1:33:15.10Pace7:45.48
Total of 12. Kids ran their usual distances today except for Benjamin who did only 4 in the morning, and then 1 more mile at night.
Leg 1:Distance4.000Time31:01.20Pace7:45.30
With Joseph, Jacob, and Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance1.020Time6:57.20Pace6:49.02
An extra mile. Ran quickly out to meet Sarah on the trail, reached a good turnaround point for even distance, then caught up to her and help her with the pace on the uphill.
Split 1:Distance0.660Time3:43.40Pace5:38.48
Split 2:Distance0.360Time3:13.80Pace8:58.33
Leg 3:Distance3.000Time25:10.10Pace8:23.37
With Jenny and Julia.
Leg 4:Distance0.500Time4:39.70Pace9:19.40
With Stephen. Losing his fruit snack yesterday had a powerful effect on him. Today he was on the move and broke his 0.5 record. The splits were 2:23/2:16.
Leg 5:Distance3.500Time25:26.90Pace7:16.26

White Crocs 1 Miles: 12.02
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 - 2015-01-15 08:54:29
Workout Totals: Distance13.020Time1:35:52.80Pace7:21.84
Total of 12. Benjamin did 7. Everybody else their usual distances. Joseph had a painful learning experience of how not to push the pace when he is supposed to run easy. We had a discussion afterwards about where the big elephant gets to sit.
Leg 1:Distance4.020Time30:29.30Pace7:35.05
With Joseph, Jacob, and Benjamin. We dropped Jacob off after 3 miles and Joseph did a fast mile. Today was the day of learning the hard way for Joseph. Against my repeated warnings he kept pushing the pace towards the end of the first 3 mile trying to run Jacob into the ground on the uphill. The he had no juice in the last mile and could barely break 7:00.
Split 1:Distance3.020Time23:30.80Pace7:47.15
With everybody.
Split 2:Distance1.000Time6:58.50Pace6:58.50
Joseph last learning mile.
Leg 2:Distance3.000Time23:23.50Pace7:47.83
With Benjamin.
Leg 3:Distance0.500Time4:46.60Pace9:33.20
With Stephen.
Leg 4:Distance2.000Time7:54.20Pace3:57.10
With William and Jenny.
Split 1:Distance2.000Time7:54.20Pace3:57.10
Split 2:Distance0.000Time0:00.00Pace0:00.00
Leg 5:Distance3.000Time25:42.10Pace8:34.03
With Jenny and Julia.
Leg 6:Distance0.500Time3:37.10Pace7:14.20

White Crocs 1 Miles: 13.02
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 - 2015-01-16 07:17:31
Workout Totals: Distance13.000Time1:42:10.60Pace7:51.58
Total of 13. Benjamin did 8. Jenny 3. Jacob 3.5. Other kids ran their regular distances. Today was another day of (hopefully) learned lessons. Jenny did some crazy "let's all go out and exercise at the start of the new year" stretching and what not at Young Women's last night and was very sore. She is going through puberty and her muscles are very fragile right now. But she did not think of that and got caught in the wave of over-motivational excitement. The contrast between the losing strategy of getting over-motivated by something that appears exciting on occasion vs the winning strategy of being consistent in things that appear simple cannot be overemphasized. Jenny barely made it through 3 miles today. For the second time this week had to explain the Principle of the Big Elephant, which is - the big elephant sits wherever he wants to, or in other words you need to do what makes sense for you, and not be carried away by the popular influences.
Leg 1:Distance8.000Time59:36.90Pace7:27.11
With Benjamin
Leg 2:Distance3.000Time25:46.40Pace8:35.47
With Jenny, Julia, Joseph, and Jacob.
Leg 3:Distance1.000Time8:33.40Pace8:33.40
With William and Joseph.
Split 1:Distance1.000Time8:33.40Pace8:33.40
Split 2:Distance0.000Time0:00.00Pace0:00.00
Leg 4:Distance0.500Time4:53.20Pace9:46.40
With Stephen and Jacob.
Leg 5:Distance0.500Time3:20.70Pace6:41.40
Split 1:Distance0.500Time3:20.70Pace6:41.40
Split 2:Distance0.000Time0:00.00Pace0:00.00

White Crocs 1 Miles: 13.00
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 - 2015-01-17 08:37:12
Workout Totals: Distance20.000Time2:38:29.80Pace7:55.49
Total of 20. Benjamin did 10. Joseph and Jacob did 4.75 from Canyon Glen Park to the house. They did a time trial on the 3 mile tempo course (revised version from Canyon Glen Park to the press building) in 19:11. I was quite happy with that result. This gives me hope that they can run around 20:30 in the Salt Lake Track Club 5 K if the weather cooperates, and maybe even dip under 20:00 if the competition makes them find another gear. There was nothing in their workouts prior to Draper Days last year that made me think they could average 7:00 pace especially with the last minute course change, but they did it.

This time trial was on pace for a sub-20:00 5 K, but this is a slight downhill.

William ran 3 miles on our out and back course with hills which is quite slow. He ran 25:35. I was quite happy with that. Stephen did 0.5, Jenny and Julia 4.
Leg 1:Distance0.110Time0:55.90Pace8:28.18
Short warm-up with Joseph and Jacob.
Leg 2:Distance4.640Time32:33.30Pace7:00.97
Split 1:Distance3.000Time19:11.10Pace6:23.70
Time trial with Joseph and Jacob. Their splits were 6:26, 6:26, 6:11. I initially gave them the target of 6:40, but it was quite obvious after the first mile that they had more than that in them. I loved their opening 100 in 22 and dreamed alongside with them that they could hold 6:00 pace all the way. Not yet, but that day will come soon. They are growing. Their closing quarter was good as well - 91, and overall I was quite happy how they held it together in the last mile.
Split 2:Distance1.640Time13:22.20Pace8:09.15
Leg 3:Distance3.000Time25:35.30Pace8:31.77
With William. He was a bit hesitant to run 3 miles as he had never done it before, but I told him Mommy would be impressed if he broke 27:00 on her course and gave him a mathematical argument that it was in his reach. He bought into it and we took off. His opening mile was 8:42, then he had 13:05 at the turnaround, 17:08 at 2 miles (8:26), and 8:27 for the last uphill mile. I was very happy with how he held it together. This gives me confidence that he will have a good race in two weeks.
Leg 4:Distance0.500Time4:42.30Pace9:24.60
With Stephen and William. William was not done after his 3 miles and wanted to run more.
Leg 5:Distance4.000Time34:14.00Pace8:33.50
Benjamin, Jenny, Julia and I started together. Jenny was still struggling with the consequences of her Young Women's over-motivational mishap, while Julia wanted to go faster, so I had Benjamin and Julia go ahead after the first 2 miles. Julia was able to hold 7:30 pace, I was quite happy with that.
Leg 6:Distance7.750Time1:00:29.00Pace7:48.26
With Benjamin. Dropped him off after the first 6.

White Crocs 1 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
White Crocs 1 Miles: 81.29
Night Sleep Time: 51.00Nap Time: 2.50Total Sleep Time: 53.50
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