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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:

Russian champion tries Crocs, commits to racing a marathon in them

Nikolay Chavkin in the video below did 3x1000, first two in Adidas carbon-fiber models, the last one in Crocs. Surprised by the result (2:52, 2:52, 2:50) with the fastest interval done in Crocs, he committed to racing a marathon in Crocs if the video gets 42K likes and 195 comments (for 42 km 195 m, the marathon distance). Nikolay's current marathon PR is 2:14:00. The video was created by a Russian sporting goods store chain. Their moto is "more sports - brighter life", which we think is wonderful, and also deserves a Like. If you want to see a fast marathon in Crocs, go to the video and click the Like button. And make sure to share it with your friends.

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 226.43 Year: 2189.51
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: 1116.83
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Eva Clogs Blue Miles: 63.75Gold Crocs 1 Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 52.00Nap Time: 3.00Total Sleep Time: 55.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest. Went to church. The talks in the sacrament meeting were on maintaining hope in times of adversity. This is a repeated theme, I recall hearing talks on a similar topic a couple of months ago. But it is a very relevant topic as the times are hard, and people are struggling in different ways.

The lesson in Sunday school was on work, and the Elder's Quorum lesson was on the priesthood.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 9.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Total of 13 miles in 1:42:43. All with Jeff. Benjamin joined us for 3 in 23:26. Jeff and I did a wild workout. 3x300 fast + 100 all out with full rest between 300s and 300 jog before the 100. The first one was 46.4 for me, Jeff was around 45.8. Second, I got 45.0, Jeff was around 44.0. On the third one we hit 200 in 32, and then sprinted wild for the last 100, except there were some ladies that stood over our mark, and we were too worried about running into them, so we missed the mark. But I figure it would have been around 47 for me, and 45 for Jeff. We jogged 300 (or actually a bit less), and then did 100 all out. I got 15.1, Jeff 13.4.

The purpose of the workout was for Jeff to get used to the idea that 60 second quarter is his target 800 meter race pace. For me, it was just to learn to relax while sprinting. A wild workout for marathoners, but I do believe 800 meter speed is as much of a foundation of your marathon success as is aerobic endurance. Not to be misunderstood, a guy that cannot break 3:00 in the marathon should not worry about his 800 meter speed, he should just run base mileage. Maybe a woman that runs 3:05 marathon should, if she struggles cracking 2:50 in the 800, but 99% of the runners are not yet limited by their 800 meter speed because they have not yet trained enough. But somebody who runs high mileage consistently will eventually get to the point where his marathon performance would be limited by his 800 meter speed.

P.M. 0.5 with Benjamin, Joseph, and Jacob.

Eva Clogs Blue Miles: 13.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 10 with Jeff. Met a new running partner. His name is Ryan. He is visiting Provo on vacation. We ran 600 in 1:54 to catch up to him.

Then we also ran into three BYU students and started talking. They asked me where I was from. I thought it would be fun to have them guess. They guessed Finland. I told them right next to Finland, and we had an important historical figure that hid in Finland before he came out and caused trouble. They still had no idea. I gave them a hint that the trouble happened in 1917. One of them guessed Norway! Then I said - our country had missiles in Cuba aimed at the United States. They got it then.

2 more with Benjamin in 16:49.

P.M. 0.5 with Benjamin, Jacob, and Joseph in 4:08.

Eva Clogs Blue Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 10 miles. Met Jeff and Ryan on the trail. Did a post-VPB 600in 2:12, and then later on 0.5 in 2:39 catching up to the BYU running camp group. Felt good. Total time was around 1:16:00.

Another 2.75 with Benjamin. Jenny and Julia ran 2.

P.M. 0.5 with Jacob, Benjamin, and Joseph in 3:56. This is Jacob's record. He gave himself a nice present for his 4th birthday.

Eva Clogs Blue Miles: 13.25
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Met Jeff on the trail. 10 miles in 1:18:50. 2 more with Benjamin in 16:49. Jenny and Julia ran 2.

P.M. 0.5 with Jacob, Joseph, and Benjamin in 4:28.

Eva Clogs Blue Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 10 with Jeff in 1:15:53. Did 0.5 in 2:03 and 1000 in 3:20. 2 more with Benjamin in 17:49.

P.M. Benjamin took Jacob and Joseph for their runs separately, 0.5 each. Joseph got 4:27, Jacob  4:29.

Eva Clogs Blue Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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Race: Deseret News 10 K (6.214 Miles) 00:32:31, Place overall: 32
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran Desnews 10 K in 32:31. Exact same time as last year. First mile felt good, and then the legs started to give out. Mile by mile:

Mile 1 - 4:48. Got out of the crowd, then worked my way up to Lindsey Dunkley and James Moore, and ran with them. Felt comfortable, wondered if maybe too comfortable.

Mile 2 -  4:54 (9:42). Running with James and Linsey. Felt good enough to talk, invited Lindsey to draft, she tried, but said she felt better side by side. Saw the split, and knew something was up. That effort should have produced another 4:48, not 4:54.

Mile 3 - 5:19 (15:01). Legs were not moving, but this is not unexpected. Eventual women's winner from Ethiopia came by, Linsey went after her, my legs were not responding, we gapped James, but then I fell back, and he caught up to me.

Mile 4 - 5:24 (20:25). Sitting on James hanging on for dear life. Thinking that I'd be lucky to run 32:45, and being over 33:00 is a possibility. Telling myself to keep fighting, not to quit.

Mile 5 - around 5:25. A high school runner from Davis caught up, I was able to latch on on a downhill. I noticed that I was not breathing very hard, so I knew what was up. The nervous system had quit. When it does you are hosed, there is not much you can do. However, it is possible to gain 5 seconds a mile by refocusing and making bold moves. If you can tell yourself, latch on and run a quarter at a faster pace, and you actually manage to do it, the next quarter will not be slower from the surge as you are not going into oxygen debt. We dropped James, the high school runner started to let up, which was a blessing, then he let up too much, and I attempted to pass, but not really. I knew that I could barely manage his pace if I were in front, so all I wanted is give him an adrenaline rush (high schoolers have plenty of adrenaline) so he would go the right pace. It worked, he picked up, and I latched back on. I hoped we would catch Lindsey and I would avoid the embarrassment of being double-chicked, but at the same time I knew that the only way this was possible with how I was feeling is if she had fallen apart, and that would not be good. So I just focused on running my best.

Mile 6 - around 5:30 (31:20). With about 0.7 to go my high schooler smelled the barn and shifted gears. I did not have another gear. Another runner approached from behind. I caught a ride for 100 meters or so, but then I did not have it.

Kick - 1:11 (5:32 pace).  That was all I had. I wanted to beat my last year's time, and was trying, but legs were dead.

Lindsey ran a great race - 32:19, 2nd woman, improved by 18 seconds from last year. Dave Holt got 32:11 (gun time).  Daniel got 32:48, James 32:54.  Jeff ran 29:33, good enough for 12th place. It was a fast race, the winner ran 27:18 with 4 people under 28:00. Miles Batty did 28:15. Seth Pilkington 28:59. Teren - 29:27, I think. John Kotter around 29:30, Brad Osguthorpe 29:31, and Paul Petersen did 29:39. Total of 14 people under 30:00.

Went the shortest way to mile 20 and paced Rob Rohde to the finish. He ran strong, 41:37 for the last 10 K with around 2:51:40 finish time. I think he made top 10. Jeff paced Steve Ashbaker for the last 10 K in 39:52 with around 2:44 finish time.

There are some good and bad things about this performance. The nervous system malfunction is a concern. I thought I had gotten this under control. Apparently not. On the positive side, I held it together somewhat even with the malfunction.

I am excited about Jeff's breakthrough, or more precisely solidifying his breakthrough from Law Days 5 K. It was great that he finished only 3 seconds behind Teren there, but there were still some lingering doubts as to whether Teren was in good shape, or if he was running all out given that all he had to do was beat Jeff. Now Jeff finished in a decent position in a stacked race with  gaps that prove his performance at Law Days 5 K was not a fluke. He is however moving to Las Vegas to attend UNLV graduate program, so I need to find a new training partner. I have been spoiled in the last couple of years. Any time I wanted to run a workout, I could tell Jeff to pace me, and he could pull me at any pace I wanted for as long as I wanted, sometimes faster than I wanted for longer than I wanted as well. And, of course, he was always there for easy runs too, I rarely had to run alone. He will be difficult to replace, but I do have ambitious plans for cloning Jeffs from the BYU Cross Country tryout trash can. May Daniel could become the next Jeff.

Jenny and Julia ran 2 miles in the morning.

P.M. Found brand name Crocs at Big Lots for $10. Got two pairs, we'll see what kind of longevity they have. They do have a thicker sole.

Mark Palamar (the Mark of the blog) and his family came over to visit. He ran DesNews in 3:10;57. His wife Jenny did 3:58. They had two children with them - Andy and Tom. We went for a run/bike ride. I ran 2 with Andy in 18:06. Mark and Tom rode along. Benjamin ran ahead - 15:32 for 2 miles. Then I ran another 0.5 with Benjamin, Jacob, and Joseph.


Gold Crocs 1 Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 6.50Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Eva Clogs Blue Miles: 63.75Gold Crocs 1 Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 52.00Nap Time: 3.00Total Sleep Time: 55.00
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