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: 152.01 Year: 1148.62
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Brown Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 2191.97
Brown Crocs 4 Lifetime Miles: 92.01
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Black Crocs 2 Miles: 61.02
Night Sleep Time: 30.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 31.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest. Watch the General Conference.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2016-04-04 06:51:38
Workout Totals: Distance14.050Time1:49:37.00Pace7:48.11
Usual day. Usual distances for the kids for the most part. Julia was still recovering from overstretching on Friday and was able to run only 2 miles. William moved up to 3 miles a day 3 days a week, 2 miles the other 3.
Leg 1:Distance10.050Time1:17:01.50Pace7:39.85
With Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance3.000Time25:00.20Pace8:20.07
With Joseph, Jacob, and William. At the end Joseph and Jacob ran ahead, I stayed with William.
Leg 3:Distance1.000Time7:35.30Pace7:35.30
With Joseph and Jacob.

Black Crocs 2 Miles: 14.05
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 - 2016-04-05 06:56:13
Workout Totals: Distance14.073Time1:56:28.30Pace8:16.58
Benjamin did 5x1000 with 200 recovery today + 2x200. I did the first one with him, then skipped the next one, then 3x400 going with him in the first lap, and then I was his rabbit for the 200 starting out a bit earlier.

He got 3:07.5, 3:08.5, 3:08.8, 3:02.5, and 2:55.1 in the last one. I managed 3:08.6, then 75.9, 72..6, 70.1, 31.9, and 32.2.

He surprised me in the last two repetitions given that he was struggling in the first three already and the recovery was only 200 meter jog. Maybe we are hitting the Pavlov's dog effect - in the past he learned that he is supposed to be miserable at 75 seconds per lap, he is more fit now so he really should not be that miserable, but the quick movement of the legs and the arms, and the intensity of air flow through the throat and into the lungs trigger the past memories of suffering that he is not able to immediately overcome.

Otherwise kids ran their usual distances.
Leg 1:Distance1.830Time14:41.80Pace8:01.86
Warmup, strides.
Split 1:Distance1.250Time10:28.90Pace8:23.12
Split 2:Distance0.062Time0:16.60Pace4:27.74
Split 3:Distance0.108Time0:51.80Pace7:59.63
Split 4:Distance0.062Time0:17.20Pace4:37.42
Split 5:Distance0.348Time2:47.30Pace8:00.75
Leg 2:Distance0.621Time3:08.60Pace5:03.70
1000 interval.
Leg 3:Distance4.522Time39:40.50Pace8:46.43
The rest of the workout.
Split 1:Distance0.650Time6:41.20Pace10:17.23
Split 2:Distance0.248Time1:15.90Pace5:06.05
Split 3:Distance0.510Time4:05.70Pace8:01.76
Split 4:Distance0.248Time1:12.60Pace4:52.74
Split 5:Distance0.510Time4:12.40Pace8:14.90
Split 6:Distance0.248Time1:10.10Pace4:42.66
Split 7:Distance1.240Time11:51.20Pace9:33.55
Split 8:Distance0.124Time0:31.90Pace4:17.26
Split 9:Distance0.620Time8:07.30Pace13:05.97
Split 10:Distance0.124Time0:32.20Pace4:19.68
Split 11:Distance0.000Time0:00.00Pace0:00.00
Leg 4:Distance3.100Time27:23.50Pace8:50.16
Cool-down with Benjamin.
Leg 5:Distance4.000Time31:33.90Pace7:53.48
With Joseph and Jacob.

Black Crocs 2 Miles: 14.07
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 - 2016-04-06 07:06:45
Workout Totals: Distance14.000Time1:52:11.40Pace8:00.81
Usual run. Usual distances for the kids. It was William's day to run 3. Matthew set a record in the quarter - 2:20.
Leg 1:Distance4.000Time31:41.90Pace7:55.48
With Benjamin. Pushed Mary in the stroller.
Leg 2:Distance6.000Time46:05.20Pace7:40.87
Left Mary at home and ran 6 more with Benjamin.
Leg 3:Distance3.000Time26:24.30Pace8:48.10
With William, Joseph, and Jacob.
Leg 4:Distance1.000Time8:00.00Pace8:00.00
Dropped William off at home and finished with Joseph and Jacob.

Black Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
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 - 2016-04-07 07:12:32
Workout Totals: Distance12.144Time1:41:32.30Pace8:21.67
Benjamin did an 800 time trial today. I thought he would be recovered sufficiently from his Tuesday workout, but apparently it was too optimistic. The fatigue did not show itself in the warm-up, but reared its ugly face during the time trial. Benjamin opened with 29.8, a bit slower than planned, then 31.4, sort of on target, then he did not slow down much, but it was enough to miss his PR by a little bit. He ended up running 63.0 for the last lap with the total time of 2:04.3. Part of the problem may have been my rabbitting. I started in front of him in hopes to get him going in the first 200, he was fast enough to catch up to me, but still too slow overall, then due to short recovery I was too tired to give him a good rabbit run for the last 300 as I only had 51.8 as opposed to 48.4 last week.

Jacob did a mile time trial and set a new PR of 5:47.8. His first 300 was good, then his Pavlov's dog fear got the best of him between 300 and 800 - to the point that I considered stopping him, but decided to see if he maybe would find a way to overcome it, and he did. His splits were 85, 89, 87, 84, the balance going towards the 9.34 m tax. New PR by 5.3 seconds. Joseph helped pace but his legs developed their growing pain cramps after 2 laps, so he just jogged in.

Otherwise kids ran their usual distances.
Leg 1:Distance3.536Time29:09.20Pace8:14.68
Warm-up with Benjamin, strides.
Split 1:Distance3.100Time24:35.70Pace7:56.03
Split 2:Distance0.062Time0:15.80Pace4:14.84
Split 3:Distance0.062Time0:53.20Pace14:18.06
Split 4:Distance0.062Time0:15.70Pace4:13.23
Split 5:Distance0.250Time3:08.80Pace12:35.20
Leg 2:Distance0.358Time2:07.20Pace5:55.31
Assisting with Benjamin's 800 time trial. Did a bit less than 200 for the opening, and the last 300 for the closing.
Split 1:Distance0.110Time0:29.80Pace4:30.91
Split 2:Distance0.062Time0:31.40Pace8:26.45
Split 3:Distance0.000Time0:14.20Pace0:00.00
Split 4:Distance0.186Time0:51.80Pace4:38.49
Leg 3:Distance3.000Time25:57.00Pace8:39.00
Cool-down with Benjamin.
Leg 4:Distance0.950Time7:51.80Pace8:16.63
To the track with Joseph and Jacob.
Leg 5:Distance1.000Time5:47.80Pace5:47.80
Jacob's time trial.
Leg 6:Distance1.050Time9:00.90Pace8:35.14
Back to the house.
Leg 7:Distance1.000Time9:10.30Pace9:10.30
More distance with Jacob.
Leg 8:Distance1.000Time9:52.30Pace9:52.30
With Stephen.
Leg 9:Distance0.250Time2:35.80Pace10:23.20
With Matthew.

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 - 2016-04-08 06:53:09
Workout Totals: Distance14.250Time1:53:04.70Pace7:56.12
Regular runs, except Julia did a mile time trial. It was windy, and her mind was not quite in it, so she ran only 6:32 missing her PR by 4 seconds.
Leg 1:Distance10.000Time1:17:56.40Pace7:47.64
With Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance1.000Time8:43.80Pace8:43.80
Warm-up to the track.
Leg 3:Distance1.000Time6:32.10Pace6:32.10
Julia's time trial.
Leg 4:Distance1.000Time8:31.10Pace8:31.10
Back to the house.
Leg 5:Distance1.000Time8:54.00Pace8:54.00
Do not remember who this was with.
Leg 6:Distance0.250Time2:27.30Pace9:49.20
With Matthew.

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 - 2016-04-09 08:21:28
Workout Totals: Distance18.908Time2:21:10.00Pace7:27.96
Did 200 meter time trial with Joseph, Jacob, and William, and 100 with Stephen. Times: Joseph 33.4, Jacob 33.9, William 41.6, Stephen 21.8. Then Benjamin paced me through a 6.25 mile tempo run down the canyon which we did in 35:47. Stephen ran 2 miles, William 3, Joseph and Jacob 5, Jenny 5, Julia 4, Benjamin 14, Matthew 0.25.
Leg 1:Distance1.000Time8:51.60Pace8:51.60
Warm-up with Joseph, Jacob, William, and Stephen.
Leg 2:Distance0.124Time0:34.40Pace4:37.42
Joseph and Jacob 200 time trial attempt 1.
Split 1:Distance0.124Time0:33.80Pace4:32.58
Joseph's time.
Split 2:Distance0.000Time0:00.60Pace0:00.00
Waiting for Jacob.
Leg 3:Distance0.125Time1:07.40Pace8:59.20
Leg 4:Distance0.125Time1:20.00Pace10:40.00
Jog with William.
Leg 5:Distance0.124Time0:41.70Pace5:36.29
William - 200 - attempt 1.
Leg 6:Distance0.062Time0:21.80Pace5:51.61
Stephen - 100.
Leg 7:Distance0.125Time1:08.10Pace9:04.80
A jog with Joseph and Jacob.
Leg 8:Distance0.124Time0:33.90Pace4:33.39
Joseph and Jacob, 200, try 2.
Split 1:Distance0.124Time0:33.40Pace4:29.35
Split 2:Distance0.000Time0:00.50Pace0:00.00
Leg 9:Distance0.125Time1:18.30Pace10:26.40
Jog with William.
Leg 10:Distance0.124Time0:41.60Pace5:35.48
William, 200, try 2.
Leg 11:Distance1.500Time13:49.30Pace9:12.87
Back the house with the little boy gang.
Leg 12:Distance1.750Time14:25.90Pace8:14.80
With Jacob and Benjamin.
Leg 13:Distance3.100Time25:01.20Pace8:04.26
With Benjamin up the canyon.
Leg 14:Distance6.250Time35:47.20Pace5:43.55
Tempo run with Benjamin.
Leg 15:Distance4.250Time35:27.60Pace8:20.61
Cool-down with Benjamin.

Black Crocs 2 Miles: 18.90
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Black Crocs 2 Miles: 61.02
Night Sleep Time: 30.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 31.00
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