Breaking the Wall

Week starting Jun 24, 2007

Previous WeekRecent EntriesHomeJoin Fast Running Blog Community!PredictorHealthy RecipesSasha Pachev's RacesFind BlogsMileage BoardTop Ten Excuses for Missing a RunTop Ten Training MistakesDiscussion ForumRace Reports Send A Private MessageMonth ViewYear View
Graph View
Next Week
15% off for Fast Running Blog members at St. George Running Center!


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:

Click to donate
to Ukraine's Armed Forces
Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 60.05 Year: 1638.67
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: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run in the morning. No training partners. Did the usual 10.04. Threw in a control 2.5 tempo run on the way back to evaluate the recovery from Wasatch Back Relay. Felt OK, although the legs were a bit stale. First mile in 5:43, then 0.5 in 2:49, and the last mile in 5:29. HR got up to 163 on the last mile. Total time 14:01 - barely missed the 14:00 guy. It was a bit warm - 68 degrees. Last week it was 57 when I ran 13:58 for the same run. Using Tinman adjustment, the same effort today would have been 5 seconds per mile slower than last week. Total time for 10.04 - 1:07:55.

Ran to with the kids to the fire station, we had a nice tour. Then I ran back, while Sarah and the kids played and then walked back. Added a bit more to make the total of 15 for the day.

Got an inversion table for my Father's Day present. Have been trying it out. No miracles after two days, but I like the feeling I get when I run so far. I wonder if it is just my imagination or a real change. When  I run 100 meters in under 13.5 or Draper Days 5K in under 15:15, or hit the Trials Qualifier in St. George I'll call it effective.

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

Ran the Provo River 5 Mile Tempo with Jeff McLellan this morning. The plan was to go out at 5:45 pace and keep picking up if feeling good. Felt no problems at first - 2:52 half, then 2:49 (5:41), 2:49, 2:48 (5:37,11:18),2:49 (14:07 at the turnaround), then started gradually picking it up after recovering from a 180, recovery quarter in 1:25, then 1:23, the next one in 1:24 and it felt a bit hard. The next one was still 1:24, and it felt harder. And then comes the familiar symptom of neural fatigue, good old friend, or rather bad old foe  - next quarter in 1:29. I could not believe it, I thought I did my math wrong. Thought it was a fluke, tried to push harder, next quarter in 1:27. Jeff took off with a mile to go. I ran the uphill quarter in 1:27 putting in mentally about a good 1:22 effort although not breathing very hard, and then 1:28, and 1:27. Recovered a bit by the last one, was able to pick it up a bit, and it did not feel so bad - 1:24, total time 28:25, last mile in 5:46. Jeff ran the last mile in 5:33 finishing in 28:12.

I expected a measure of neural fatigue from WBR, but not that much. It is a weird feeling - legs are not sore, breathing is fine, HR is normal for the pace, overall you are feeling fine, except you just cannot go any faster. The only way you know that something is wrong is from your splits, your heart rate being too low for the mental effort, and seeing your training partner move away as if you were standing still.

In the past, I treated neural fatigue by cutting mileage. This time I'll try something different - just train normally, and try to find a way to control it without cutting the mileage. Today I tried Powerade, honey on bread and whole wheat animal crackers, and a nap.

Ran to Computune to pick up Zhu in the morning (1.7), then a bit later ran with Julia (0.5), and also ran with the kids in the evening and added some more (5.8). Felt good in the evening.

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

Had a good morning run alone at 5:00 AM. Had a rough time getting started as usual, but after two miles was going around 7:10 pace with a natural effort. Got to the turnaround (5.02) in 37:32. On the way back gradually eased into a steady 6:50 pace. HR was good - stayed around 126 at 6:50 during the later part of the run. Felt a rush of energy with 0.6 to go, shifted gears, went 5:40 pace to the end. Got 1:10:59 for 10.04. The legs felt responsive. Unlike last week, there were no low fuel signals.

I am testing the theory that what I call neural fatigue (the state of not being able to go faster than about marathon race pace even for a mile) can be cured by maintaining normal blood sugar level throughout the day. So I've been taking Powerade and/or honey every time I felt like my brain stopped working during the day. So far I've seen good signs on easy runs and the mind has been more alert. However, the true test will come tomorrow - I'll try the same 5 mile tempo and see how responsive the legs will be over the distance.

Dropped VanGoGo off at the body shop and ran 1.5 miles home in 95 degree heat, but felt OK. Ran with the kids in the evening and added some more.

On another subject - I am looking for a PT or chiropractor that would meet the following requirements:

  • Has practice in the Utah County
  • Has his head straight on his shoulders
  • Individual approach - will not rush you through his standard routine 
  • Can think out of the box
  • Likes challenges
  • Familiar with sports medicine and running in particular
  • Does not think that if nothing hurts and there are no injuries the work is done.
  • Does not easily give up - will not be satisfied until success is reached
Any recommendations?

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

Ran the Provo River 5 Mile Tempo again this morning with Nick. It went much better than on Tuesday. Felt a bit stale, but no major neural fatigue disaster.

Splits by 0.5 - 2:52 - 2:48 (5:40) - 2:48 - 2:50 (11:18, 5:38) - 2:47 (14:05 at the turnaround) - 2:47 (16:52, 5:34) - 2:46 - 2:45 (22:23, 5:31) - then by quarter 1:25 (uphill), 1:24, 1:23, 1:19, last mile in 5:30, total time 27:53, last 2.5 in 13:48. HR hit 161 on the last mile before the kick, did not feel lucid enough to check during, and too lazy to get it out of Garmin history.

Then did 4x200 with 200 recovery on a section that was about 1 second slower that the track - partially uphill - 32.8 - 33.5 - 33.2 - 30.7. I was happy about the last one, even though I died on the last 50 meters.

Ran to the body shop - forgot to give them the VanGoGo key  shortly after the morning run - this added another 3 miles. Ran with Julia little later - 0.5 miles.

In the evening ran with Benjamin and Jenny and added some more to make it 4 miles. Felt good, no high mileage fuzzy head.  Consumed a lot of honey and Powerade today. Seems like my body is just sucking the glucose in like a breath of fresh air. Looks like my constant blood sugar replenishment experiment is working.

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

Easy 10 miles in the morning with Brett and Jeff. Brett ran the first 5 with us. We moved along at 8:00 pace with no ambitions to go faster. 8:00 felt fast enough for me. Then with 2 miles to go I noticed we were going 7:12. I was curious about the cause of not wanting to run faster than 8:00, so I proposed running the last mile in 5:45 to see how it would feel. Jeff agreed. We were still too chatty on the first quarter and ran it in 1:30. Then we stopped talking and focused. This resulted in a sequence of 1:25 - 1:24 - 1:25 quarters, and 5:44 for the mile.

Later in the morning ran 1.5 to the body shop to pick up VanGoGo. First 0.5 with Julia pushing an empty stroller, then the rest with Julia in the stroller.

Ran with Benjamin and Jenny in the evening and then added a mile to make it 4 for the run. Looks like I am on schedule for a 100+ week. This was not intentional. I felt really good after my new carbo-reloading routine, and my instinct told me I could get away with a few extra miles. Now that Benjamin and Jenny can keep up with me riding a bike, when I need extra miles I can put Jacob and Joseph in the stroller, and have Benjamin and Jenny ride along - that leaves Sarah only with Julia.

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

Before I forget - Kris Erickson wanted me to tell everybody that there is no day of race registration for Draper Days 5 K. So everybody who would like to run, register in advance. You can register at SportsNuts  or download the registration form. I recommend everyone to run this race. It is a fast course, but not so fast that your PR crosses the boundaries of what I consider legitimate. I estimate it to be about 10 seconds faster than a perfectly flat 5 K in Salt Lake City. You get very good competition, and I have run this race enough times to where I can tell you what is going on with your training and fitness by studying your Draper Days splits.

Jeff and I drove to Vivian Park from my house. We left his car there. Warmed up 3.26 to the start of the Provo River 10 miler at 7:56 pace average up 3% grade. I originally wanted to run a 10 mile tempo, and the rest easy, then on the way up I changed my mind to make it 12, then 13.1, then decided to make it 15. My body was telling me I was fit enough to benefit from a 15 mile tempo at marathon race pace. Another reason for making it 15 is that it would avoid running at threshold for a good portion of the tempo thinking it was marathon pace. The longer tempo would have a humbling effect with a better inclination to face reality. It would also be a better test of marathon fitness - in most of my marathons I have been able to predict my finish time with a minute accuracy from my splits up to 15 and analyzing how I felt.

The tempo had a total drop of 1160 feet starting at 5675 ft, then dropping to 5200 ft in the first 3.23 miles (3%), then a more gradual drop to 4800 in the next 6 miles (1%), then a drop to 4700 in the next 2.5 (about 0.5%), after that a rolling drop to 4535 at the finish (less than 0.5%).

We were a bit sluggish getting started, but then eventually worked into a nice 5:30 rhythm. Hit the 3.23 mark (wheel-measured) in 17:38, then the 5 mile mark on the course, which agreed with the GPS in 27:31. Dropped Jeff off at 6 miles, he ran back to the car. Hit the standard 3 mile tempo stretch from Nunns to the mouth of the canyon in 16:42. 55:45 at around what I thought was the finish of the Provo River 10 miler. The GPS showed 10.10. I was checking it against the trusted marks and it was accurate everywhere expect about a mile stretch on mile 2 of the standard 3 mile tempo. I think the Provo River 10 miler is really 10.05 - when it was certified, there was no bridge detour. Then Curt put in the detour but did not adjust the start or the finish for it. The detour is about 0.05 long. My 10th mile was around 5:40 - it flattened out by then, and the sun started to come out. I did not worry about the pace, and focused on maintaining the same effort with the realization that now it was going to be slower.

11th mile was 5:48 (by the dots). Then I needed to go to the bathroom. So I made a stop at Wills (11.2 into the tempo). Although I was feeling good, I wanted to stay as far away from running on empty as possible. So I bought a quart of Powerade. Ideally I would have gotten a smaller container, but that was the smallest they had. I drank about half of it. Not wanting to waste the substance, I decided to run with the bottle and empty it as I went along. It turned out to be quite a nuisance. I actually ended up not using it until I was done with the tempo. Had a rough start after getting out of Wills, 1:34 quarter, then figured out a good way to carry the bottle and got into a nice rhythm - 5:40-5:45 pace on a slight down, 5:50-5:55 on the up. The trail got back to the river, and now I was going under bridges and making a lot of turns - this slowed me down to a couple of 1:30-1:32 quarters, but then I shifted gears and started handling the disruptions of rhythm better - 1:28-1:29 quarters. Hit the half marathon around 1:13:50 - going by the GPS and adding 0.05 for the error in the Provo Canyon.

Felt strong all the way to 15, finished it in 1:25:00, exactly 5:40 pace average on the dot. It was very tempting to try to run another 11 just as hard to see what I could get for the marathon. However, I was running out of time, and also there a bit of wisdom that I learned from years of running - Just because you can, does not mean you should!

Stopped, and finished the Powerade. Now I was glad I had it with me. Had a nice recovery jog to get to the total of 20 eventually easing into a 7:00 pace, which felt very nice. Total time for 20 miles was 2:02:50.

Afterwards, ate breakfast and went the children's parade. Ran 0.6 with James (Ted's son) there to fetch the van after the parade was over.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Debt Reduction Calculator
Featured Announcements