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: 1283.13
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
Night Sleep Time: 54.17Nap Time: 2.67Total Sleep Time: 56.83
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A day of rest. Went to church. Stayed awake. Having to teach in the Elders Quorum helped. This also helped me remember a mission experience. My companion and I sat on the stand during a sacrament meeting rather tired as I hoped that we would have a dynamic speaker that day. Falling asleep on the stand would be rather embarrassing. Then I remembered that I was the speaker. But still I managed to fall asleep during my companion's talk.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 10.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 15.1 in 1:57:32. Started with Jeff and Hyrum. Then Matt joined us briefly. Dropped Hyrum off at 4. He did have quite a pick up on the last quarter, it was 1:32 with the last 100 in 18. He made a resolution that he would not eat on a training day (Mon-Sat) until he ran. With as much as he likes to eat, this would hopefully get him to run more regularly.

After than ran with Jeff and he realized he needed to get his car back to his wife so she'd make it to work on time. So we picked up the pace. We figured we needed to run 6:40 for 4.5 miles. That sounded tedious. We were going 6:20, then 6:10 at first. Then I figured if we just hammer a mile and a half, we can relax at the end. So we gradually picked up to a little under 6:00. Saw the new blogger Luz on the trail. Then we picked it up even more, ran 0.5 in 2:51 followed by 2:45, 5:36 for the mile. It hurt more than it should have. Some of it could be the fatigue from the 10 K, but some is probably just because it is hard to run fast in Five Fingers because you cannot pound the ground as hard. But that is OK, good practice running fast without pounding the ground.

Dropped Jeff off at 10, he moved his car and rejoined me for another 2 miles at 11.5. Then I finished the run alone.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:36, 1.5 with Jenny in 13:21, 2 with Benjamin in 16:40, and 0.5 alone. 

Five Fingers - 229.73 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Daniel, Jeff, Michelle, and Josse. We warmed up and then did the tempo. Josse and Daniel just did a brisk mile, Daniel stayed with us, Josse fell back a bit. Jeff and I paced Michelle at 6:00 pace on the Provo River 5 Mile Tempo until she could not go anymore. She hoped to make it to 3, I had suspicions that she could go longer than that and told her we would try to make it to 5 miles. She laughed at me as if she had been 90 years old and had just been told she could have a child.

After 2.62 of warmup we started the tempo. Knowing the importance of proper pacing to maximize the distance that Michelle could hold the pace for I checked the splits nearly every 1/16th of a mile to make sure we were hitting them as close as possible. First mile was 5:58 followed by a 5:59. No "give me five" were necessary to keep Michelle on pace until we've done a 180 and had to get back to speed. 18:00 at 3 miles, 6:03 with a 180. She did the next quarter in 1:29, and after that mentally lost some steam because in her mind she was done. I tried to convince her to go longer but she was too stubborn, and we did not have $100 per quarter on pace in the FRB budget to keep her going. Not yet, at least. She stopped at 3.625 mark slowing down to 1:35 quarter followed by a 1/8 in 48.

Finished 13 with Jeff and Michelle, then added another 2.1.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:40, 1.5 with Jenny in 13:10, 2.5 by myself in 19:26. Pushed Jacob the entire run.

Five Fingers - 249.83 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.25Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff early in the morning in 1:19:32.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:51, 1.5 with Jenny in 13:13, 2 with Benjamin in 16:35, 5.5 alone in 40:59. 

Five Fingers - 269.92 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 6.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.75
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeff and Daniel. Did a 200 meter time trial on the BYU track in the middle of a 16 mile run. It was not the best day for a sprint time trial - the track was wet and there was an odd wind blowing on the curve. And we had been doing distance on top of everything with very little sprinting. But it was OK, since all three of us had to deal with the same issues, and I just wanted to know the differences in all out speed rather off distance training than a true all out speed potential. Did 4x100 for a warm-up, missed the first, second in 16.6, then 15.3 and 15.6. Then ran a 200 racing each other with a jogging start. Jeff got 27.1, I got 30.0, Daniel was right there with me. Decided to see if we'd be faster the second time around. Jeff did 28.0, me 30.4, Daniel 30.5. Then did a control 100 meters staying together on purpose to see the differences in self-timing. I got 17.6, Jeff got 17.3 even though we ran together.

T4 Racer -  124.78 miles

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:09, 1.5 with Jenny in 13:23, 2 with Benjamin in 17:45. 

Five Fingers -  274.42 miles

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.67Total Sleep Time: 8.42
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 15 miles. Total time 1:58:36. Started with Daniel and Jeff. Matt joined us. Did some VPB pickups, thus 1.3 miles of marathon pace. Dropped Jeff and Daniel at 10.1. Ran a lap around the block with Sarah. Her legs were hurting, so she cut her run short. Went for some more afterwards.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:59, 1.6 with Jenny to the church picnic in 14:13 pushing Jacob and Joseph, then back the scenic way 2.4 still pushing Jacob and Joseph total time for 4 miles was 33:31.

Five Fingers - 294.42 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.67Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.67
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Did a DesNews specific workout with Jeff. Since he is not running DesNews marathon and is more injury prone than me, we modified his workout a bit to eliminate Squaw Peak decent for him. So he warmed up two miles then met me at my house. We did a leisurely warm-up at around 7:30-7:40 pace to the base of the Squaw Peak road which turned out to be 8.3 miles. The we ran a tempo up Squaw Peak Stairway to Glory. According to the Course Tool, it gains 1694 feet over 4.25 miles, which turns out to be 7.6% grade on average. So basically paved Ragnar leg about 2000 feet lower. My GPS measured 4.29 on the way up and 4.35 on the way down. There were painted marks on the road and the GPS was measuring less than the painted marks on the way up at 4 miles. I imagine we did better tangents that whoever painted the marks. But who cares about the exact distance anyway on a grade that steep - the times and paces are meaningless unless you have a comparison context.

Jeff was having a fun time - had to ease off for me a couple of times to keep the gap smaller, his wife Kimia called him on the phone a couple of times and he talked to her without too much trouble. She was supposed to pick him up at the top and drive him down. So she just wanted to make sure she was going the right way. I was working pretty hard and still could not keep up with Jeff. We were beating the 7:30 guy up to 3 miles, and then the grade got steeper and the elevation increased as well. So we slowed down to 8:00 pace. The last quarter was miserable - the grade is the steepest there. I ran it in 2:16, Jeff already had a gap on me, and he increased it some but not much. My time was 32:37, which is a 20 second PR. Last time I ran it was 2006, and I did get my old PR of 32:57 then.

I rested for a couple of minutes at the top, then Kimia took Jeff down, and I ran another tempo in the opposite direction. The road was wet, and it did matter at faster speeds. Additionally I was not used to the grade of this steepness, had not had enough practice lately. Plus the fatigue of having run 12 miles already was starting to affect me. So 5:00 pace was about all I could do. Was not breathing very hard. Ran the decent in 21:44. In the past with more downhill practice and doing it earlier in the run I've been able to do it a good minute faster. When I did that in the past I was breathing like a mad man and my HR was around 163. On the ascent I could only get 160 until the steep section, and then it got into 162-163 area. Today I did not have an HRM with me, but based on how I felt I would guess by HR was around 163 on the ascent and 155 on the decent.

Met Jeff at the bottom, we jogged to the Provo River trail (about 0.1) and started another tempo. Ran 4 miles down about a 1% grade to Wills Pit Stop where Kimia picked us up. Our time was 23:19 with the last mile in 5:31. That last tempo was hard, my head was fuzzy and the legs did not want to respond, I felt very unmotivated to be sub-6:00 but pushed past the barrier out of a sense of duty. Jeff started turning up the heat on the last mile, and I did not think I had much juice in me, but I was able to zone out, ignore the fatigue and stay with him. The feeling is not a surprise as I was between miles 17 and 21 for the whole run. Good preparation for DesNews.

T4 Racer - 145.83 miles. 

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:50, 1.5 with Benjamin, Jenny, and Jared. Benjamin went ahead and ran 12:40, Jenny got 12:42, I stayed with Jared and we did 12:55. I pushed Jacob in the single stroller. Then ran another 0.5 with Jared in 4:28, Benjamin ran ahead and did 3:55, total of 16:35 for 2 miles for Benjamin.

Five Fingers - 297.42 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Night Sleep Time: 54.17Nap Time: 2.67Total Sleep Time: 56.83
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