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:

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
Brown Crocs 2 Miles: 74.39
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 - 2018-07-16 08:29:07
Workout Totals: Distance12.000Time1:30:12.40Pace7:31.03
Usual runs for everybody. Jenny was struggling with the stomach cramp which we now think is some kind of internal inflammation. But she still could run around 8:00 pace. I did 1.5 tempo down the canyon in the AM in 7:58.8, and another one with Joseph uphill from the 1.5 mark to the house in 8:59.6. He was pushing the pace, so I told him if he was energetic he should do a tempo. He usually declines such invitations, but this time he accepted.
Leg 1:Distance8.000Time1:01:43.50Pace7:42.94
With Jenny except for the tempo.
Split 1:Distance6.270Time51:47.30Pace8:15.58
Split 2:Distance1.500Time7:58.80Pace5:19.20
Split 3:Distance0.230Time1:57.40Pace8:30.43
Leg 2:Distance1.000Time7:53.00Pace7:53.00
With Joseph, Jacob, Matthew, Bonnie, William, and Stephen.
Leg 3:Distance3.000Time20:35.90Pace6:51.97
With Joseph, first 1.5 also with William and Jacob.
Split 1:Distance1.500Time11:36.30Pace7:44.20
Split 2:Distance1.500Time8:59.60Pace5:59.73
Tempo with Joseph.

Brown 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 - 2018-07-17 08:45:10
Workout Totals: Distance12.000Time1:30:25.40Pace7:32.12
Jenny still had her internal inflammation problem. So she ran a bit less and split her run in two - 3 + 4. Usual distances for everybody else. Total of 12 for me. I did two pickups in the AM - 1 mile up the canyon in 5:58.0, and 1 mile down in 5:18.6.
Leg 1:Distance8.000Time58:35.20Pace7:19.40
Started with Jenny, Joseph, Jacob, William, Stephen, and Bonnie. Jenny turned around at 1.5, everybody else at 1. Ran the rest of it myself.
Split 1:Distance3.520Time27:42.80Pace7:52.39
Split 2:Distance1.000Time5:58.00Pace5:58.00
Split 3:Distance2.250Time17:47.00Pace7:54.22
Split 4:Distance1.000Time5:18.60Pace5:18.60
Split 5:Distance0.230Time1:48.80Pace7:53.04
Leg 2:Distance1.000Time7:58.00Pace7:58.00
With Joseph, Jacob, Jenny, Stephen, Matthew, and Bonnie.
Leg 3:Distance3.000Time23:52.20Pace7:57.40
With Joseph, Jacob, William, Jenny, and Bonnie.

Brown 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 - 2018-07-18 08:37:14
Workout Totals: Distance13.564Time1:42:21.00Pace7:32.74
Total of 12 for me. Usual distances for everybody. Julia ran in the AM including a mile in 6:58, then headed out to the youth conference. Jenny did 4+4 - still recovering from the internal inflammation, but felt good enough to run sub-7:00 for 0.5 at the end.

I tried to get Stephen to run an 800 PR, but he just did not have it today. Stopped him early several times when he was obviously off pace and not doing anything to increase it.

William, however, ran a small PR - 2:43.7 (80, 83). So did Bonnie - 2:51.7 (84, 87). I paced William, while Joseph and Jacob paced Bonnie.

Then Joseph, Jacob, and I ran 600 with the target of 1:45, and racing the Bonnie/William relay team over the last 400. We opened in 34 (tailwind), then 36 into a headwind, then Joseph and Jacob fell apart, I tried to speed up, but just did not have the ability to shift gears running alone and ran another 36 - total time 1:46.5. Joseph and Jacob got 1:49.9. Bonnie handed off to William right as we got there, then William fell behind me, but outran Joseph and Jacob.
Leg 1:Distance1.050Time8:41.00Pace8:16.19
Warm-up to the track.
Leg 2:Distance0.150Time0:56.70Pace6:18.00
Stephen's attempt at 800, stopped him shortly after the first 200 in 45 and no attempt to speed up.
Leg 3:Distance0.248Time1:31.10Pace6:07.34
Stephen's attempt 2. Stopped him at 400.
Leg 4:Distance0.496Time2:51.70Pace5:46.17
Bonnie and William's 800.
Split 1:Distance0.496Time2:43.70Pace5:30.04
Split 2:Distance0.000Time0:08.00Pace0:00.00
Leg 5:Distance0.248Time1:29.90Pace6:02.50
Stephen's try 3. Stopped him at 400.
Leg 6:Distance0.372Time1:46.50Pace4:46.29
600 with Joseph and Jacob. They had 1:49.9.
Leg 7:Distance1.000Time9:18.10Pace9:18.10
Cool-down to the house.
Leg 8:Distance6.000Time44:47.70Pace7:27.95
First 2 with Jenny, then the rest alone.
Leg 9:Distance1.000Time7:46.90Pace7:46.90
With Jenny, Joseph, Jacob, Matthew, and Bonnie.
Leg 10:Distance2.000Time15:50.50Pace7:55.25
With Jenny, Joseph, Jacob, William, and Bonnie.
Leg 11:Distance1.000Time7:20.90Pace7:20.90
With Jenny.

Brown Crocs 2 Miles: 13.56
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 - 2018-07-19 09:16:43
Workout Totals: Distance11.953Time1:33:26.00Pace7:49.00
Did 800 pace workout with Stephen and Jenny. This was originally supposed to be an 800 time trial for Stephen, but he was not hitting anywhere close to the target pace, and I did not want him to drag through most of it. So I kept stopping him as soon as he slowed down. He finally figured out that if he just toughened up a bit, the workout would be over sooner, so he ran the full 400 in 86.
Leg 1:Distance1.050Time9:08.50Pace8:42.38
Warm-up to the track.
Leg 2:Distance0.311Time1:53.60Pace6:05.27
With Stephen and Jenny.
Leg 3:Distance0.124Time0:42.30Pace5:41.13
With Stephen and Jenny.
Leg 4:Distance0.186Time1:05.10Pace5:50.00
With Stephen and Jenny.
Leg 5:Distance0.248Time1:28.30Pace5:56.05
With Stephen and Jenny.
Leg 6:Distance0.186Time1:05.10Pace5:50.00
With Stephen and Jenny.
Leg 7:Distance0.248Time1:26.20Pace5:47.58
With Stephen and Jenny.
Leg 8:Distance1.000Time8:53.20Pace8:53.20
Back to the house with everybody.
Leg 9:Distance4.600Time36:19.10Pace7:53.72
Do not remember who this was with.
Leg 10:Distance1.000Time7:25.20Pace7:25.20
With Matthew, Joseph, Jacob, William, Stephen, and Bonnie
Leg 11:Distance3.000Time23:59.40Pace7:59.80
With Joseph, Jacob, William, and Bonnie.

Brown Crocs 2 Miles: 11.95
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 - 2018-07-20 08:41:30
Workout Totals: Distance10.878Time1:27:21.90Pace8:01.88
Did another 600 interval/relay. Joseph, Jacob, and I raced a relay team that consisted of Jenny, Bonnie, and William - each taking a leg of 200 in that order. The target was 1:45. Unfortunately I was the only one who got the target. We were all in contact with Jenny at the end of the first leg (34 high), but then only I could keep up with Bonnie on the second leg (34 high or 35 low). Joseph decided to score a DNF once Bonnie dropped him around the 300 mark under the excuse that he was going to try again when the track is not so crowded. Jacob got dropped as well, but kept running. William did around 35 high in the last 200 and I was able to stay with him finishing in 1:45.1. Jacob finished in 1:49.7.

Then Joseph decided to retry expecting me to pace him. I told him I did not have another 1:45 in me, and that since he missed the chance to be paced when it was available, he would get to do it on his own this time. He got to 200 in 36.8 and stopped. I hope he learned a lesson.

Matthew got 2 miles in today running to the track and back. Usual distances for everybody else.
Leg 1:Distance1.436Time12:40.90Pace8:49.87
Warm-up with everybody - however, Matthew and Stephen did not do the strides.
Split 1:Distance1.000Time8:32.70Pace8:32.70
Split 2:Distance0.062Time0:18.40Pace4:56.77
Split 3:Distance0.062Time0:51.20Pace13:45.81
Split 4:Distance0.062Time0:17.90Pace4:48.71
Split 5:Distance0.250Time2:40.70Pace10:42.80
Leg 2:Distance0.372Time1:45.10Pace4:42.53
600 interval
Leg 3:Distance0.070Time0:36.80Pace8:45.71
Joseph's 600 retry fiasco - stopped at 200.
Split 1:Distance0.070Time0:36.80Pace8:45.71
Split 2:Distance0.000Time0:00.00Pace0:00.00
Leg 4:Distance1.000Time8:50.90Pace8:50.90
Back to the house with everybody.
Leg 5:Distance5.000Time39:50.70Pace7:58.14
With Jenny.
Leg 6:Distance3.000Time23:37.50Pace7:52.50
With Joseph, Jacob, and Bonnie.

Brown Crocs 2 Miles: 8.88
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 - 2018-07-21 08:24:30
Workout Totals: Distance16.000Time1:57:28.20Pace7:20.51
Total of 16. Did a 5 mile tempo down the canyon in 28:04.8 - best time this year so far. Splits 5:41, 5:35, 5:36, 5:41, 5:31. Then did 8x0.125 uphill with Jacob targeting around 40. Most of the recoveries were 0.125 jog, but we occasionally took longer breaks when I sensed he was struggling. It was quite warm already. Joseph did the same workout, except downhill in 36. Bonnie did the first 2 intervals with him, then skipped one and did one more.

Kids were on reduced mileage tapering for the JO Nationals. Joseph and Jacob - 6, Jenny - 8, William 3, Stephen - 2. Julia ran 4 miles.
Leg 1:Distance2.980Time23:59.10Pace8:02.92
Warm-up - most of it with Jenny.
Leg 2:Distance5.000Time28:04.60Pace5:36.92
Tempo run.
Leg 3:Distance2.020Time16:38.80Pace8:14.46
Leg 4:Distance1.000Time7:59.40Pace7:59.40
With Jacob and Matthew. I think we might have had William and/or Stephen.
Leg 5:Distance5.000Time40:46.30Pace8:09.26
With Jacob. We had Julia with us for the first 2 miles. I think we also had William and Stephen for part of it.
Split 1:Distance2.270Time19:07.10Pace8:25.33
Split 2:Distance0.125Time0:41.10Pace5:28.80
Split 3:Distance0.125Time1:09.40Pace9:15.20
Split 4:Distance0.125Time0:41.50Pace5:32.00
Split 5:Distance0.125Time1:19.80Pace10:38.40
Split 6:Distance0.125Time0:40.40Pace5:23.20
Split 7:Distance0.125Time1:18.30Pace10:26.40
Split 8:Distance0.125Time0:40.00Pace5:20.00
Split 9:Distance0.125Time1:21.20Pace10:49.60
Split 10:Distance0.125Time0:39.70Pace5:17.60
Split 11:Distance0.375Time3:33.00Pace9:28.00
Split 12:Distance0.125Time0:39.50Pace5:16.00
Split 13:Distance0.125Time1:15.40Pace10:03.20
Split 14:Distance0.125Time0:40.90Pace5:27.20
Split 15:Distance0.125Time1:19.50Pace10:36.00
Split 16:Distance0.125Time0:36.20Pace4:49.60
Split 17:Distance0.605Time5:03.30Pace8:21.32

Brown Crocs 2 Miles: 16.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Brown Crocs 2 Miles: 74.39
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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