Breaking the Wall

Alta Peruvian Logde 8 K

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: 220.24 Year: 560.35
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

A.M. Ran a warm-up with Benjamin and Jenny (0.36), then paced Jenny in the Payson Onion Days 5 K. She ran 25:04, a PR by 1:23, winning her age division (1-9), and finishing 11th woman overall out of 157 women. She beat the second place in her age division by 4:50. I checked the results, it looked like she would have made top 3 in any age division except 14-16 and 25-29. She ran pretty much exactly what I thought she would.

Benjamin ran without a pacer, and I think he was having an off day on top of it. He did PR by a bit, 22:26, but that does not reflect his potential that I saw in his training. I've seen this with him before, though. When he reaches a new level, at first he is not consistent at it, then he gets used to running at faster speeds. Nevertheless, nothing to complain about - he won the 1-9 age division by 5:08, 29th among men, and his chick score was 2, one of them being Breanna who ran a great race and destroyed the field with 19:54, the other only 11 seconds ahead, not bad for an 8 year old boy.

Added some more miles while waiting for the awards/raffle. Benjamin and Jenny got medals for their effort, and Benjamin got a nice cooler in the raffle. While I think in the end it is fair that he got the cooler, I do think that wrong values are being taught when the value of the raffle prize greatly exceeds the value of the prize for performance. I understand very well the business reasoning of the race director - most people do not win anything, and a raffle with good prizes increases the number of participants. However, if we are going to ask ourselves what it would take for Americans to start beating the Kenyans (short of facilitating the immigration process), part of the answer is to convince the race directors to move the best prizes from the raffle into overall and age division awards. Luck should never be rewarded greater than performance - we need to teach the right values at every level.

Then we went on the drive of the Nebo Loop. I was still not done with the miles, and added a few more at Maple Dell. Total of 10 additional miles in 1:13:37. Then ran 0.5 with Julia in 5:08.

P.M. We were out of honey and bread. So for my evening run I had to run to the store. To be able to carry stuff I had to bring a stroller. If I am bring a stroller, I may just as well put a kid in it. So I ran 6.1 in 45:42 with Jacob in the stroller, and some honey and bread I got at Macey's after 1.75 into the run.

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

A.M. The Big Workout. Ran with Jeff. I got tired of wondering how fast I would have run 5 miles had I extended a shorter interval all the way to 5, so today I proposed to Jeff to just run 5 holding 5:20 pace trading leads, until we cannot do 1:20 quarters any more. Then try to do 1:21 until we cannot, then try 1:22 until we cannot, and so on and so forth. He agreed. He is such a nice guy, agrees to just about any form of a cruel and unusual punishment. That is why he has improved so much, I believe.

We warmed up 2.38 really slow, slower than 8:00 average, and then started the tempo at Geneva Road on Provo River 5 Mile Tempo. 5:20 pace still scares me. It should not, but it does. After the first quarter, my body reminded me I was in better shape, and my fear started to leave. We hit the first two miles in 5:18 each. Then 13:17 at the turnaround - the 180 turn messed us up on approach and we hit a 1:22 quarter. After the 180, we did not do that great either time wise trying to regain the lost rhythm - 1:23 quarter. However, Jeff surged pretty hard on the next one, and we hit a 1:19. 15:59 for 3 miles (5:23), and still ahead of the 5:20 by a second with 2 miles to go. Not bad.

However, both of us were pretty tired, and were giving ourselves some slack not pushing too hard taking our leads. Next mile in 5:25. Too bad we did not have Nick McCombs with us, he would have kept us on the straight and narrow 5:20, and the best thing about it would have been drafting! But still 21:24 at 4 miles was a decent time.

The last mile is tough - has a decent amount of uphill, and you've already run 4 and are tired. We hit three quarters in 1:22 each. Last quarter was Jeff's, but I passed him with about 300 to go so we would not get beat by the 5:20 guy too bad. With 200 to go, I shifted gears, and it was too much for Jeff. I ended up with 26:48.3, last quarter in 1:18, last 200 in 38, last mile in 5:24, decent for the uphill. This time is a course PR for me by 7 seconds. Jeff got a huge course PR with 26:51 - he had never broken 28:00 on that course before.

And just like the Cat in the Hat says, that is not all, oh that is not all! We jogged 1.62, and then ran a mild 3 mile tempo to my house. There were two purposes to this run. To get Jeff to his class on time, and to get some more tempo miles in. We ran it in 17:39.8, fairly steady pace, not bad for the net uphill, rolling under the bridges, and turns.

Dropped Jeff off, and ran another 4 miles in 27:13. Total of 16 for the workout.

P.M. 2.13 to Benjamin's soccer game in 17:51. It was hot, 95 degrees. Ran 0.55 in 4:14 around the field before the game, then decided I'd rather do the extra mileage on the Provo River Trail in the shade. Benjamin's team won 5-1. Then back home via a scenic route with Jenny, Julia, and the double stroller. 3.74 in 35:42, including 1.5 in 14:22 with Jenny, and 0.5 in 5:36 with Julia. It must be noted that the slow average pace was not just the work of Jenny and Julia, I contributed my fair share to it while they were in the stroller. Of course, they weigh about 90 lb together, so with them and one tire being under-inflated the pace is about 40 seconds per mile slower.

I think my form has changed for the better. Check the recent Salt Lake Half pictures vs Ogden pictures. If indeed so, I have two suspects to credit for it - high mileage, and the inversion table, which I have been doing every day twice for 10 minutes each session for the last two months.

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

A.M. Sasha House 10 Miler with Ted. 10.1 due to the new bridge route. Easy pace - 1:18:50. It was dark, rained a bit, flashes of lightning, tree branches on the trail. Ted as a precaution removed his HRM to not attract lightning with electric signals.

Saw in a newspaper report that Chuck Engle, the notorious marathon junkie who specializes in running local marathons all over the country trying to see how many he can win in a year, claimed Salt Lake City as his place of residence. He e-mailed me back with the following:

Unfortunately the job that I had moved to Salt Lake
City fell through. I would love to live in or near the city and run and
work...but without income it would not be a very wise move on my part. I
had accommodations lined up and I was working on packing for the end of the
month...but the company that I was to work for has abandoned their expansion
plans. Thank you for the invitation and if you know of anyone who is
looking to hire an HR rep, sales or someone with knowledge in running please
let me know. I have a Masters in biology and chemistry and multiple years
experience in coaching, sales, advertising as well as human resource work

I would love to have Chuck in Utah. He and Bill Cobler would get along great. If anybody is in a position to give him a reason to come, contact him at marathonjunkie at

P.M. Ran 0.5 with Julia in 5:15, then took the double stroller with Jacob and Joseph, 1.5 with Jenny in 13:30 (Benjamin on a bike), found Jeff on the trail, and he joined us, 2 with Benjamin (Jenny on a bike) in 15:53, then 0.2 trying to find Sarah, then left the stroller at home and ran 3 in 20;52. 

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

A.M. Had a most peculiar dream, very entertaining, enjoyed watching it. I dreamed that I turned 104 and died. My body was still in good condition, like it is now, but I was needed on the other side. To facilitate the transition, though, I was allowed to come back occasionally and run. Running felt good, and I thought I could set a record in the zombie division. So I found Iain Hunter (who was still alive and looked young), apparently in the dream he was the nation's expert on running zombies, and told him I wanted to set a record. I ran for him, he timed me, and said I was the fastest zombie runner he's ever seen.

Now back to real life. Ran the warm-up with Ted, Adam, and Jeff. 4.87 in 38:26. Then 12.23 tempo with Jeff, starting at 1.5 mark of Provo River 5 Mile Tempo, to the turnaround of Sasha House 10 Miler, back to the start of the Provo River 5 Mile Tempo, 180 turn, then Provo River 5 Mile Tempo, and back to the house. Let Jeff set the pace and tried not to influence it. We went at a fairly even pace, started out in 5:56, then eventually worked our way up to 5:46, then Jeff started feeling his training this week (he ran 10.5 the night before, and then slept only 4 hours), and was struggling with the pace, but still managed to maintain around 5:55 all the way home. We finished the run in 1:11:58, 5:53 average. At first I felt the pace was brisk, but then warmed into it, and it became relaxing. Felt refreshed after the run, but still took a nice nap, and really enjoyed it.

Ran with 0.5 with Julia in 4:21

P.M. Ran with Benjamin and Jenny to Benjamin's soccer practice. Jenny ran 1.5 in 13:48, then rode in the stroller the rest of the way. Benjamin and I ran 2.04 in 18:58. Ran a couple of loops around the soccer field, and then headed back home, 2.57 in 17:56. Starting to feel tired from the mileage, but not too bad. 


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

A.M. Easy 12.06 alone in 1:23:55. Started out at slower than 9:00, took me 8 miles to start cracking 6:40, then I went after the 1:24:00 guy, but had to run the last quarter in 1:28 to get him. Felt fresher than the night before.

P.M. 0.5 with Julia in 5:24, then 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 13:43, then another 0.5 with Jenny in the stroller and Benjamin running, this gave Benjamin 17:21 for 2 miles, then 3.5 by myself in 24:25. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Race: Alta Peruvian Logde 8 K (4.97 Miles) 00:22:21, Place overall: 2
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 2 miles with Benjamin in 16:21, then 2 miles by myself in 13:39. Watched Benjamin's soccer game, they won again 7-0. Afterwards, 1.53 with Jenny in 14:10, and 0.57 with Julia in 5:20.

P.M. Peruvian Lodge 8 K, 22:21, 2nd place after Paul (21:46), details to follow.

Ran 2.5 warm-up with Cody. Paul and Bob were a bit too feisty for me in their warm-up. Convinced Paul and Bob to try to trade quarters. Paul's reason to consent - "if I do not go with it, you'll just sit on me".

Known troublemakers at the start: Paul, Bob, Nate Hornok, Albert Wint. Nate agreed to trade quarters as well. Turns out there was another I did not know - Danny Oliva originally from California, now living in Herriman. Bob was supposed to take the first quarter, but Danny ran with him side by side. I tried to take the second quarter, but Danny took it for me, I said thanks in my mind, and then took the third quarter instead. Then Paul took the fourth. First mile in 4:31 according to my GPS, 4:19 at the official mile marker. Which one of them is right? Normally I'd be able to tell by feel, but with a 7% drop starting at 8700 feet I am confused. Garmin proved right eventually.

I tried to take the next quarter, and did it, sort of, Paul ran just side by side forcing a fast pace instead of tucking in behind me and letting me control the quarter. Smart move on his side, he's watched me run this race enough, he knows if he brings me with him to the last mile, which is 9% grade down, and I am feeling good, this is bad news. He took the next quarter, around 1.5 he dropped me and Bob. Bob and I worked together for the next 0.5. Next mile (by GPS) 4:31 again, 8:32 at 2 miles.

Bob dropped back after two. From that point I just tried to coast at a good pace knowing that if I just maintained, even if somebody came up on me I could just draft a bit, and then do the Sasha lethal dash on the 9% grade on the last mile. I did have hopes of catching Paul, but they were very slim, especially without anybody to pull me or at least to threaten me from behind - he was moving away from me at a steady rate of 10 seconds per mile.

The downhill flattened out a bit to slow me down to 4:35 on the next mile, followed by 4:32 which was flatter at first, but then the 9% drop started. I saw the official mile markers showing consistent splits of 4:20, and began to hope that maybe they were right rather than the GPS. But, as it is with things that are too good to be true, they were not. On the last mile, I could see the wisdom of Paul's early move. Without any hope of catching Paul at that point, and no audible or mathematical threat from behind, I hit the next three quarters in 65.9, 63.3, 63.2, and 57.2 for the last 0.23, which is equivalent to a 61.5 quarter. 22:20 on my Garmin with the distance showing 4.98 (0.01 off), officially 22:21. This is my second fastest time on that course. The only time I've run it faster was 2003 (21:58), and it was a much different race. I came the race a lot fresher (only 68 miles that week vs 120), already started my taper for TOU. Sat in a pack for the first 2 miles. Then Joe made a move, Corbin went after him a bit later, I was surprised nobody else did, was feeling good and went with Corbin. When we got to the 9% grade, I unleashed my lethal weapon, passed Corbin and I was running super-scared. I had 4 guys behind me that have been beating me by anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute in 5 Ks. I felt like I had stepped into a lion's den, grabbed a piece of meat, and now was running for dear life. Additionally, Joe was close enough where it looked realistic to catch him. So compared to that race, I think this one was shows at least equivalent fitness.

Danny was third with 23:00. Nate Hornok I think got 23:19, then Bob, I think 23:39. Wasatch Running Center got 1-2-4-5 finish. 

Very good recovery after the finish. No significant pain anywhere. As soon as they took off my tag, I said to Paul, let's go up. Paul said he needed a minute. A minute later he needed another minute. On the way back ran with Paul and everybody at first, then Danny pulled ahead, and I went with him. We started out at 11:30 pace, then sped up to 10:30. Danny stopped at 1.25, his girlfriend picked him up. I had more miles to do, so I ran all the way back. Eventually eased into a sub-9:00 pace. Got to the lodge, still had some distance to do, hit the flat parking lot, looped around it with Cody. Caught the 9:00 guy, ended up with 57:51 for 6.51, 8:53 average, not bad for climbing from 6800 feet to 8700.

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
Lone Faithfuls
(need a comment):
Recent Comments: