Breaking the Wall

Week starting Jan 30, 2011

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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: 0.00 Month: 220.24 Year: 560.35
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
Blue Crocs Lifetime Miles: 1164.32
Kimisant Black Clogs Lifetime Miles: 720.62
Black Crocs 2023 Lifetime Miles: 1312.70
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 53.20
Night Sleep Time: 44.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 44.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest. Went to church. The Sunday school lesson was on the Fall of Adam and Eve. Then I substituted at the nursery. The talks in the Sacrament meeting were on tithing again, and I was glad to hear it in spite of the repetition. Tithing helps develop faith in a unique way. Another thought about tithing. People often question the need for priesthood authority and organized religion on the basis that you can just talk to God without a mediator. While this is true, an important question remains. It is clear from Malachi 3 that tithing is a very important commandment. But who do you pay it to? Who is authorized to receive it, and how can you know that he is?

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 10 by myself, 2 with Jenny, everybody else was sick. I got a new job moving from Percona to Linkedin, but not really moving anywhere as I still work out of my house. I will be doing custom MySQL development. Most people will find what triggered the move rather odd. Percona insisted that I go to Cancun for 7 days for a company meeting. I was willing to go for 3 days figuring I like my colleagues, but not enough to leave my family for 7 days to hang out with them. Percona insisted that I stay for full 7. At the same time, my friend who is now at Linkedin has been asking me to help him find somebody to work on a MySQL project. So I figured, maybe it is time to move jobs.  Yes, I know, most people will actually look for ways to stay longer at a job that gives them essentially a free vacation in Cancun, but not me.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Total of 12. Kids were sick except for Jenny. She ran 2 miles with me.

P.M. Drove to Las Vegas with the family on the way to Mountain View, CA - Linkedin wanted me to visit for a couple of days, and allowed me to bring the whole family. Stayed the night with Jeff and Kimia.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeff for the first 5 miles on his way to school (uphill), then turned around and ran back. My chest was still giving me problems, but I was able to get going some on the way back - 37:00 out, 32:25 back.Then ran 1.6 with Jenny (Julia did 1.1).

P.M. Drove to Sunnyvale, CA where our hotel was (Marriott Residence Inn). There are not many hotels that will accommodate a family with seven children in one room, but we managed to solve that problem. On the way stopped in Bakersfield to fill up and Benjamin tried to run. He did not make it very far - about 0.6 miles, as his throat was burning. On the positive side of things, I liked the GPS and the rental van. The GPS helps with "our we there yet" concerns, can be programmed to find obscure gas stations with low prices, and can help locate places like Costco right on the route when we run out of something.  And on top of that, you can take wrong turns and still get away with it. The van (Chevy Express) tells you how much further you can go before you run out of fuel, has a very powerful engine, can do 80 with the foot barely on the gas pedal, and still achieves 15 mph at high speeds. I watched the fuel range estimator and noticed something odd. It seemed to have no better economy at 60 than it did at 80, but what made a lot of difference was uphill/downhill. Maybe because the van is so big and heavy that increased air resistance at higher speeds does not play as much of a factor?

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

A.M. 10 in Sunnyvale,CA. I liked the warm weather. I even found a running trail with the help of the Course Tool. It did not have the quarter marks, unfortunately. I did not like having to wait at the traffic lights while trying to get to the trail.

P.M. I am sure glad I am a remote employee. I must have some kind of anti-office allergy and it may be more than mental. After a day at the office my nose was runny, my throat started getting sore, and I got a minor fever. Sarah and the kids went to the beach in Santa Cruz. 0.9 with Benjamin. Julia ran 0.9 with Sarah. Everybody else was too sick to run.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 10.80
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Woke up feeling better. Logged in to FRB to see if I could map out a better route, and discovered that a bot was bringing it down with frequently repeated hits. Disabled "Hot Discussions" and  "Lost Sheep" until I can optimize those better. We really need to start using memcached there, but when I will have the time to implemented is a big question. Still ran only 8 to keep things safe.

Sarah had some interesting experiences on the trip. Somebody asked her if she was in charge of a day care. She said no, then the question was immediately "Are you Mormon?"

P.M. A meeting was supposed to end at 3:30 PM so we could leave a bit earlier to fight our way through traffic, and it was going a bit overtime. Sarah called. This gave me a chance to end the meeting with: "My wife has seven kids in the van, and she says it is time to go". Fortunately the people I work with have respect for that, so the meeting ended.

We stopped in Gilroy to buy food and run with the kids. Benjamin and Julia ran 1 mile. Jacob and Joseph did 0.6. Jenny was too sick to run.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 9.60
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. It was an adventurous morning. Last night we stopped at Marriott Inn in Bakersfield,CA. Steven got sick and has been coughing all night. Then we woke up and found Jenny disoriented and delirious. So we called 911. The operator could not figure out where our hotel was from "Marriott Inn on Chester Lane in Bakersfield, room 1112". Google search for that phrase minus the room brings up a map with the location of the hotel. Additionally, we were using a cell phone, which should have allowed pinpointing our position to within a few hundred feet anyway. Fortunately, as we were talking to 911 dispatch, Jenny drank some orange juice and started feeling better, so there was no need for us to spend the time and effort looking up the address of the hotel. The moral of the story is that you need to know your street address when you talk to 911 - at least in Bakersfield, CA.

Along the same lines of the need of city services to progress in the use of technology. Provo City encourages residents to report graffiti, which I often do. One time the location of it was rather difficult to describe in words, so I used the map, determined the GPS coordinates, and called the police dispatch with the information. They did not know what to do with it so I had to resort to the complicated verbal description,

After the morning adventure, I ran 8 miles, then another 0.8 with Benjamin, Julia, and Joseph (Jacob ran 0.3), and we drove home to Provo. 660 miles in 9:45 with 7 kids, some of them sick. Sarah is very efficient at the stops. A small adventure on the way. About half way between Barstow and Las Vegas we were going up a hill and saw a slow moving bus in the slow lane protected (you would hope so) with a solid white line. I commented to Sarah that there must be a lot of fat people on that bus, that is why it has a hard time going uphill. Right as we approached it, the bus, seemingly in revenge, suddenly moved into our lane. I was able to react and swerve to avoid it. To complicate the matters, another car was passing us at the same time. Fortunately that driver reacted quickly, and swerved to avoid us in time, so it all ended well.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 8.80
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 53.20
Night Sleep Time: 44.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 44.00
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