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:

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Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 0.00 Year: 948.94
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
White Crocs 1 Miles: 77.26
Night Sleep Time: 49.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 51.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest. Went to church.

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2015-03-30 07:26:33
Workout Totals: Distance13.000Time1:40:35.50Pace7:44.27
13 total. Kids ran their usual distances. For our family home evening we did running while hula hooping - well, Joseph and Julia did while the rest of us watched. Joseph did 100 meters in 50 seconds. Julia made it to about 70 meters in 54 before she dropped it.
Leg 1:Distance9.000Time1:09:44.60Pace7:44.96
With Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance4.000Time30:50.90Pace7:42.73
With Joseph and Jacob.

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 - 2015-03-31 08:44:03
Workout Totals: Distance11.945Time1:36:59.90Pace8:07.22
Benjamin did 800 meter time trial at Orem High track today in 2:06.7 - a new PR by 1.5 seconds. The splits were 31.3, 31.8, 32.8, and 30.8. Very even and a strong kick. He said he felt the pace was not as strenuous as before but he had a hard time overriding the governor to go faster.

This was an interesting result from his training in the last couple of weeks, not what I was expecting. His staple workout was 4x400 targeting 60 seconds with long rest. So I was expecting that he would open in 61 and then hang on feeling miserable and run something like 64-65. Instead he pretty much even split it with 63.1, 63.6 and the last 200 being the fastest 200 of the whole thing. His post run recovery was also good, it was perhaps the least taxing 800 he has done in the last year. There was one twist to his training that might have been the cause of this. He did not just do short speed, but also tempo runs at the end of a long run on Saturdays. Now that I am remembering, I had very similar results when I trained like this - the 800 pace was steady.

Now the problem we need to solve is to learn how to go faster in the first lap. I am thinking 500-600 intervals with the mandate to run the first 400 in 60.

Joseph's back was sore from yesterday's hula hooping so I told him to cut it to just 3 miles with Jacob today. Everybody else ran their usual distances.
Leg 1:Distance3.000Time23:11.80Pace7:43.93
With Joseph and Jacob
Leg 2:Distance1.611Time13:44.60Pace8:31.86
Warm-up with Benjamin with 2x100 strides
Split 1:Distance1.050Time8:34.70Pace8:10.19
Split 2:Distance0.062Time0:16.30Pace4:22.90
Split 3:Distance0.062Time0:56.40Pace15:09.68
Split 4:Distance0.062Time0:15.90Pace4:16.45
Split 5:Distance0.375Time3:41.30Pace9:50.13
Leg 3:Distance0.334Time2:06.70Pace6:19.34
Benjamin's 800 time trial. I ran from 200 to 400 with him, and the rest of it on diagonals to give him splits.
Split 1:Distance0.070Time0:31.30Pace7:27.14
Split 2:Distance0.124Time0:31.80Pace4:16.45
Split 3:Distance0.070Time0:32.80Pace7:48.57
Split 4:Distance0.070Time0:30.80Pace7:20.00
Leg 4:Distance1.000Time8:53.70Pace8:53.70
Cool-down to the house.
Leg 5:Distance6.000Time49:03.10Pace8:10.52
More miles with Benjamin.

White Crocs 1 Miles: 11.95
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 - 2015-04-01 07:27:28
Workout Totals: Distance13.000Time1:39:26.80Pace7:38.98
Total of 13. Usual distances for everybody. Joseph and Jacob did a 0.5 interval in the middle of their 4 mile run with the target of 3:00 (6:00 pace). Joseph got 2:51, Jacob 2:58. What I was impressed by, though, was that they did it off a rather brisk warm-up pace, and once they were done they maintained a quick pace and broke 30:00 for 4 miles.
Leg 1:Distance9.000Time1:09:45.30Pace7:45.03
With Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance4.000Time29:41.50Pace7:25.38
With Joseph and Jacob.
Split 1:Distance2.000Time15:30.30Pace7:45.15
Split 2:Distance0.500Time2:58.70Pace5:57.40
Joseph hit this in 2:51. I stayed with Jacob.
Split 3:Distance1.500Time11:12.50Pace7:28.33

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 - 2015-04-02 08:20:57
Workout Totals: Distance10.850Time1:34:01.50Pace8:39.95
Benjamin did 600-400-200 workout on the track today at Orem High - 1:32.1 (new PR), 59.6 (0.7 slower than PR), and 27.6 (0.6 slower than PR). I did the last 200 of his 600 and was able to keep up. Julia did 2 miles, Joseph and Jacob 3, everybody else their usual distances. Details below.
Leg 1:Distance3.000Time24:20.70Pace8:06.90
With Joseph and Jacob.
Leg 2:Distance1.000Time8:29.60Pace8:29.60
With William.
Leg 3:Distance1.836Time15:25.00Pace8:23.81
Warm-up with Benjamin + strides and jogging.
Split 1:Distance1.050Time8:25.00Pace8:00.95
Split 2:Distance0.062Time0:15.70Pace4:13.23
Split 3:Distance0.062Time0:49.40Pace13:16.77
Split 4:Distance0.062Time0:15.80Pace4:14.84
Split 5:Distance0.600Time5:39.10Pace9:25.17
Leg 4:Distance0.264Time1:32.10Pace5:48.86
Benjamin's 600. I ran diagonals to give him splits for the first 400, and then joined him for the last 200.
Split 1:Distance0.070Time0:29.40Pace7:00.00
Split 2:Distance0.070Time0:31.20Pace7:25.71
Split 3:Distance0.124Time0:31.50Pace4:14.03
Leg 5:Distance0.875Time9:57.50Pace11:22.86
Recovery jog with Benjamin.
Leg 6:Distance0.140Time0:59.60Pace7:05.71
Benjamin's 400. I ran the diagonals to give him the 200 split.
Split 1:Distance0.070Time0:30.30Pace7:12.86
Split 2:Distance0.070Time0:29.30Pace6:58.57
Leg 7:Distance0.625Time6:52.10Pace10:59.36
Leg 8:Distance0.070Time0:27.60Pace6:34.29
Benjamin's 200. I ran the diagonal.
Leg 9:Distance3.040Time25:57.30Pace8:32.27
Cool-down with Benjamin.

White Crocs 1 Miles: 10.85
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 - 2015-04-03 07:31:24
Workout Totals: Distance9.000Time1:11:37.30Pace7:57.48
Today Joseph and Jacob did their time trials in 400 and 100 and both ran PRs. In the 400 Joseph got 75.8 with the splits of 16 high at 100, 36 low at 200, and 55 at 300. Jacob got 78.8 splitting 17 low at 100, 37 at 200, and 57 at 300. So both probably could improve their 400 with more bear carrying practice and holding back a tiny bit in the first 100.

Then I had them do an all out 100. First Joseph did 17.3 - I noticed he was running into some headwind, so I had them do the rest of it going the other way. Jacob hit 16.6 on first try, Joseph got 16.9. Up to that point they were doing those just with me running by the side. Then I had them race each other and they tied in 16.6. I am suspecting Joseph was able to put more effort into the quarter and it wore him out, while Jacob did not quite know how to fight the bear which left him with more energy for the 100.

Regardless, I am quite happy with the results, 100 meters in particular. My sense is that Jacob will be in the low 11s as an adult while Joseph will be high 11s or low 12s - but it all depends on how they mature. So far no problems - they have been improving at about the same rate as Benjamin at their age, except they are faster in all distances.

Other kids ran their usual distances except Julia who did only 2 because of the cough.
Leg 1:Distance9.000Time1:11:37.30Pace7:57.48
With Benjamin.
Fast Running Friend Workout - 2015-04-03 17:27:06
Workout Totals: Distance3.358Time27:22.90Pace8:09.18
Joseph and Jacob's time trials.
Leg 1:Distance1.230Time10:22.30Pace8:25.93
Warm-up with Joseph and Jacob.
Leg 2:Distance0.248Time1:18.80Pace5:17.74
400 time trial. I ran with Jacob until about 70 to go, then I sprinted and caught up to Joseph at the very end.
Split 1:Distance0.248Time1:15.80Pace5:05.65
Joseph's split
Split 2:Distance0.000Time0:03.00Pace0:00.00
Waiting for Jacob.
Leg 3:Distance0.438Time3:50.10Pace8:45.94
Recovery jog.
Leg 4:Distance0.062Time0:17.30Pace4:39.03
Joseph's 100 into a headwind.
Leg 5:Distance0.124Time1:19.80Pace10:43.55
Recovery jog.
Leg 6:Distance0.062Time0:16.60Pace4:27.74
Jacob's 100.
Leg 7:Distance0.033Time0:16.90Pace8:32.12
Joseph's 100.
Leg 8:Distance0.062Time0:16.60Pace4:27.74
Jacob and Joseph racing each other in 100.
Leg 9:Distance1.100Time9:24.50Pace8:33.18
Back to the house with Joseph and Jacob.

White Crocs 1 Miles: 12.36
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 - 2015-04-04 07:26:21
Workout Totals: Distance16.100Time1:51:11.90Pace6:54.40
16 total. Shorter today due to General Conference. Did 8 mile tempo with Benjamin - he did 12 total. Joseph and Jacob ran 4.7 back to the car with me uphill into a headwind. Julia ran 2 due to the cough. Other kids did their usual distances.
Leg 1:Distance3.400Time27:44.60Pace8:09.59
Warm-up with Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance8.000Time46:13.70Pace5:46.71
Tempo run.
Leg 3:Distance4.700Time37:13.60Pace7:55.23
With Joseph and Jacob.

White Crocs 1 Miles: 16.10
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
White Crocs 1 Miles: 77.26
Night Sleep Time: 49.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 51.00
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