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: 12.00 Year: 1930.97
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: 567.20
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 70.91
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest. Went to church.

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 - 2019-06-17 08:31:15
Workout Totals: Distance12.000Time1:35:31.60Pace7:57.63
Easy 12 in two runs, usual distances for the kids, except Stephen ran only 3 as a precaution - he had bad hip pain in the morning, it went away at night, but I had him run less to be sure.
Leg 1:Distance4.000Time32:17.70Pace8:04.43
With Jacob, William, and Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance4.000Time31:23.20Pace7:50.80
With Joseph and Benjamin.
Leg 3:Distance1.000Time7:42.00Pace7:42.00
With Matthew.
Leg 4:Distance2.000Time16:10.80Pace8:05.40
With Benjamin, Joseph, Jacob, and Stephen.
Leg 5:Distance1.000Time7:57.90Pace7:57.90
With Stephen.

Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 12.00
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 - 2019-06-18 07:38:39
Workout Totals: Distance12.484Time1:33:04.40Pace7:27.32
Did a workout in the AM with the boys. First with 1.25 with William down the canyon in 7:12 - his target was 7:20, closing 0.25 85. Then did the same interval with Joseph, Jacob, and Benjamin at a faster pace. Jacob did everything perfectly, 5:21 evenly paced at the mile, then 76 for the last 0.25. Joseph struggled, decided to DNF after about 0.75, Benjamin tried to talk him into finished, but was not successful. I was able to keep up with Jacob, though I had to work.

After our 2x1.25 Benjamin did 2 miles down the canyon alone. His target was 10:00 - 5:00 pace. He ran 4:51, 4:53 and got 9:44 - his fastest time on the course since he got back and only 11 seconds slower than his pre-mission PR.

Then we paced Adam Moody, Rachael Moody's son. His first 800 was unsuccessful - for some reason he could not even keep up with Matthew who ran 3:11.8. Then I paced Julia through 8:43 2000 while Adam rested, and then Stephen and I paced Adam through an 800, which went a whole lot better - he ran 90, 93 for a 3:03.7 PR by 5 seconds.

Then did a cool down to the house, and then 2 more miles in the evening with Benjamin.
Leg 1:Distance0.980Time7:57.70Pace8:07.45
Leg 2:Distance1.250Time7:12.50Pace5:46.00
1.25 down the canyon pacing William with the help of Joseph, Jacob, and Benjamin.
Leg 3:Distance1.750Time14:28.90Pace8:16.51
Recovery jog.
Leg 4:Distance1.250Time6:37.90Pace5:18.32
Another 1.25 interval down the canyon. With Jacob, part with Joseph and Benjamin.
Leg 5:Distance1.022Time8:10.50Pace7:59.94
Leg 6:Distance1.000Time8:51.40Pace8:51.40
To the track with Julia and Stephen.
Leg 7:Distance0.496Time3:11.80Pace6:26.69
Matthew's 800 time trial. Stephen helped pace.
Leg 8:Distance1.240Time8:43.90Pace7:02.50
Julia's 2000.
Leg 9:Distance0.496Time3:03.70Pace6:10.36
Adam's 800 time trial. Stephen helped pace.
Leg 10:Distance1.000Time8:44.10Pace8:44.10
Back to the house.
Leg 11:Distance2.000Time16:02.00Pace8:01.00
With Benjamin at night.

Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 12.48
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 - 2019-06-19 08:42:50
Workout Totals: Distance11.960Time1:31:39.20Pace7:39.80
Usual 12 total, paced Sarah through 1.5 down the canyon in 11:34, kids tapering for the regionals, ran reduced mileage.
Leg 1:Distance0.980Time6:59.40Pace7:07.96
Leg 2:Distance1.500Time11:34.90Pace7:43.27
With Sarah.
Leg 3:Distance5.480Time41:05.60Pace7:29.93
Leg 4:Distance1.000Time8:02.40Pace8:02.40
With Matthew.
Leg 5:Distance3.000Time23:56.90Pace7:58.97
With Benjamin.

Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 11.96
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 - 2019-06-20 06:52:21
Workout Totals: Distance12.315Time1:30:49.50Pace7:22.51
Kids did reduced mileage tapering for the regionals. Benjamin paced me through 2 miles down the canyon. The target was 10:40, 5:20 pace, and with Benjamin's help I was able to do it. He wisely started a bit slower - evenly paced 5:22. I considered pulling alongside to urge a faster pace, but decided against it figuring perhaps Benjamin was sensing something. This was after all a safe bet - if all I had in me was 10:50, this would get me there, but if I really had 10:40, then I would be able to kick. It turned out to be the latter. We ran 81, 81, 80 for the next three quarters, at which I went from wanting to run faster to just hanging on and praying for adrenaline. In the last 0.25 my prayer for adrenaline was answered again and I found a 76 quarter closing the gap on the 5:20 guy and hitting the target time of 10:40. I was happy about being able to close with 5:18 for the last mile.

This is my fastest time on that course in almost 2 years, a PR for the year, PR for past 46, and PR as a father of 11. Maybe I should add PR as a father of a return missionary as well to keep myself motivated. Benjamin is also working on giving me a chance for decent grandfather PRs - he went on a date right after the run.

In the evening I had a very interesting run with Matthew. He started out complaining he was not feeling good, but still opened the mile with 2:00 quarter. Then in the second quarter a dog growled at him, and he ran 1:53. On the way back that same dog chased us, so the next quarter was 1:45. In the last quarter, he still had the adrenaline pumping from the dog chase, so he ran it in 1:41 with 7:18 for the mile. I wish USATF rules allowed specially trained chase dogs during the 8 and under division races :-)
Leg 1:Distance0.980Time7:45.30Pace7:54.80
With Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance2.000Time10:40.70Pace5:20.35
2 miles down the canyon with Benjamin.
Leg 3:Distance5.210Time40:28.60Pace7:46.14
Part with Benjamin, part alone.
Leg 4:Distance1.000Time7:18.70Pace7:18.70
With Matthew, part with Benjamin.
Leg 5:Distance0.125Time1:12.30Pace9:38.40
With Bella.
Leg 6:Distance3.000Time23:23.90Pace7:47.97
With Benjamin.

Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 12.31
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 - 2019-06-21 07:33:23
Workout Totals: Distance12.015Time1:30:34.00Pace7:32.27
Total of 12. Ran 8 with Benjamin in the morning, then drove to Bozeman with the crew where they ran USATF regionals.


Jenny 11:55.83 - suffered from shin splints and side pain, but toughed it out. First lap in 92, then more or less even 96.

Julia 13:27.41 - fastest time this year. Another improvement. Splits were around 1:37 at 400, then 3:20 at 800, 5:05 (1:45), 6:54 (1:49), 8:45 (1:49), then 12:32 at 2800 (3:47, 1:53 avg), and then 55 seconds for the last 200. So she still lost a lot in the second half due to the inability to maintain the focus and keep the right leg turnover, but at least she ran OK in the first half. We need to practice making the normal leg turnover natural enough that she can maintain it when tired.

Joseph - 10:27.49 PR. I was very concerned about him after his DNF in a workout on Tuesday and given that he struggles to run his best when his younger brother Jacob is beating him. But he found enough humility in himself today to run a PR. He and Jacob worked together with William Horne to keep a decent pace as they each ran a PR today and pulled Cole Jameson to a PR as well. I gave them the instruction to run 83s which they followed almost perfectly. They had 82,84,81,83,84 for the first 5 laps. Then Joseph and Cole started struggling and fell back a couple of seconds, but hung on enough to get PRs (Cole ended up with 10:29.08). But still, 3:33 last 1 K at altitude is something I am happy with for Joseph.

Jacob 10:21.42 PR - splits were 82,84,81,83,84,84,84, and 39 for the last 200. In the third kilometer he kept the pace hot, and even at one point gapped the pack, but in the last lap due to his small size and a young age (he is still 12) could not kick as well as William Horne (10:16.25 PR) and Tyler Stoker (10:15.85, racing in 15-16 division). But still, great PR, last 1 K in 3:27, nearly perfect splits (3:26, 3:28, 3:27), and some show of character as well as tactical skill in the last 1 K - he knew he would not have a chance in the kick against older kids so he went for a gap at the place where it hurts the worst. With that he was able to run down two kids in the older divisions + his older brother Joseph - though he can outkick Joseph on a good day, but Joseph is behind in growth, so it does not really count quite the same. Things are looking good for sub-10:00 at the nationals in Sacramento for Jacob, and maybe even for Joseph with a little bit some combination of growth spurt and mental toughness.

Our William - 11:28.97, a second off his PR, but this is the fastest he has ever run in a meet. Ran most of the race in no man's land - the kids in front were too fast, and behind were too slow. 2:59 at 800, 6:05 at 1600, 7:37 at 2000. So more or less even 92s after the first two laps, but he should have been able to run 90s based on his workout on Tuesday. But that was Tuesday in a workout in a pack, and today was a meet running most of the race alone. So maybe at the nationals we can get him to run sub-11:00.
Leg 1:Distance8.000Time59:55.10Pace7:29.39
With Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance1.000Time8:27.20Pace8:27.20
With Matthew in Bozeman - part with the other kids as they were doing warm-up for the 3000.
Leg 3:Distance3.015Time22:11.70Pace7:21.69
Alone in Bozeman.

Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 12.02
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 - 2019-06-22 07:07:34
Workout Totals: Distance10.134Time1:16:22.30Pace7:32.17
Day 2 in Bozeman. I did a total of only a little over 10 so that I would be alert on the late drive back home.

Joseph and Jacob raced the 1500. Joseph got 4:56.25 (3rd), Jacob 4:55.26 (2nd). William Horne won their race with 4:49.80. Both Joseph and Jacob were tired from the 3000 the night before, but they still were able to run respectably.

In the 800 Stephen ran 2:57.60 (3rd). Kenny Briggs won his race with 2:41.63. Matthew ran 3:17.36 (2nd). Luke Foote won his race with 2:58.80. I told Stephen - run with Kenny for the first 300, then do whatever you want. Well he did run with Kenny for the first 300 like I told him in around 1:00, and then he just relaxed and coasted at around 92 per lap pace. Matthew is still struggling with the idea that he either has to be winning the race or else he just gives up. It did not help that he was in the heat where the ages went up to 12 years old. So he did not put in a whole lot of effort once he saw he would not be winning the heat.
Leg 1:Distance8.077Time1:00:22.60Pace7:28.51
Leg 2:Distance2.057Time15:59.70Pace7:46.55
With William.

Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 10.13
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 70.91
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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