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: 171.10 Year: 2772.33
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: 606.42
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

Tempo run in the Provo Canyon this morning. Warmed up to the mouth of the canyon. Then ran 5 miles - 2.5 up, and 2.5 back down. Headwind on the way up. Quads were sore from Alta Peruvian for the first time probably ever enough to feel a signicant difference.

Total time 29:13. Mile splits - 6:02 - 6:01, then the next quarters were 1:34 and 1:39, which gave me 15:16 at the turnaround. This was rather odd - the headwind did get stronger, and the grade did get steeper, but I think I slowed down more than I should have. Possibly sore quads are to blame - quads become more important as the grade increases.

Turned around, and tried to shift gears. A quarter in 1:28, then another in 1:23. This gave me 6:04 for the mile. Now got into the rhythm. Next two miles 5:35 and 5:31.

It felt good to get the blood going. Cool down. Then we went to see Dr. Jex for more Pettibon treatment. Ran 0.7 strech on the way back since I had to drop Sarah off with the car and the kids at the computer school.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon, and added some more during and after Benjamin's soccer practice.

Also played a practice game. Some kids including Benjamin were on my team, while the coach and another parent were on on the other, as well as the rest of the kids. It really helped to have Ryan, who scores most of the goals in their games, on our team. We ended up winning 1-0 to Benjamin's delight with Daddy scoring the goal with 30 seconds to go.

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Ted had an early meeting. So we started at 5:00 am at my house. Both of us were asleep in the early miles, so it took us 3.5 miles to catch the imaginary 8:00/mile guy. I was satisfied once we caught him, but Ted suggested we chase the 7:45 guy. Got him around 5.5. Then the 7:30 guy was not that far ahead. So we went after him, and went passed him at 7.5. Finished the 8 mile run in 59:39 with the last two miles in 6:52 and 6:50. My heart rate counting for 10 seconds was 120. At some point I'll get around to measuring it in a more high-tech manner (heart-rate monitor). I am waiting to accumulate enough in-store credit at Wasatch Running to get Garmin 305.

Ran with the kids afterwards. Found a new way to motivate Jenny to hold the pace. She is allowed to spank me as much as she wants to during the run. Of course, I run slow enough for the task to be possible, but fast enough for her to have to hold a steady pace to do it.

Ran some more in the afternoon with Jenny and Julia in the stroller. Saw Dr. Jex again.

In the evening did bench press, 105 pounds, narrow grip, 5-4-3.

A few days ago I added a new feature to the blog - you can now set watches on people's blogs so you get a notification any time an entry is added or modified, or a comment is posted. But so far I do not see a lot of people using it. Is this because it is not very useful or because people are having a hard time figuring out how to use it?

If it is the latter - log in, to to Blogs, click on Add Watch button next to the blogs of interest. To disable, click on Remove Watch. Do not set watches on your own blog unless you really want to get redundant e-mails.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Early in the morning ran 8 miles by my house a mile out and a mile back four times to stay flat. After 3 miles was 29 seconds behind the 6:40 guy, and noticed I was going steady 6:40 pace. Figured I'd get him on the last half if I have to. But it was not necessary - I naturally sped up to sub-6:40 pace, and caught him with 0.4 to go. Total time was 53:10. Last two miles 6:29 and 6:21. Heart rate counted for 10 seconds was 132.

In the afternoon ran with the kids. Ran some more during break in Benjamin's soccer game. They won 5-0. The opposing team had a great goalee, and held on quite well until the last quarter. Then with all the firepower (Ryan, Spencer, Benjamin and Josh) out on the offense they scored 4 goals to go from 1-0 to 5-0. Still unbeaten and unscored against.

Ran with Julia after the soccer game, and then a mile with Abby, Benjamin, and Julia and Joseph in the stroller.

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

Ran with the BYU Army ROTC cadets this morning. We went on a 6.64 mile loop from Smith's Field House to Will's Pit Stop, then up the hill to Timpview, then past the MTC along 9th and back to Smith's Field House.

Had to stop at the Will's, so that gave me 1.5 of tempo building a lead, and then catching up. Towards the end we passed the Air Force cadets, and I could sense some rivalry between the two.

Afterwards jogged back to my car, and drove to the Provo River Trail by Geneva Road. Decided to do a 5 mile tempo at an aggressive marathon pace. The goal was to keep 5:45.

The start did not feel very good - 44 seconds on the first 200 and it felt brisk. However, I got into the rhythm later on and felt better. Total time 28:16. Splits - 5:41, 11:18 (5:37), turnaround in 14:08 (2:50), then 17:00 at 3 (2:52), 22:49 (5:39), last mile in 5:37. I cheated on the last mile to get an even split on the second half by hitting the last 2 quarters in 1:24 and 1:23, but the presense of the motivation to cheat this way is a good sign.

Came home ran with Benjamin, Jenny, and Abby. In the evening ran a little bit with Julia. We were practicing for our The Cat in the Hat skit at a ward talent show, so I was dress as the Cat in the Hat, and she was dressed as Thing 1.

I have been thinking lately about setting up the Fast Running Blog Fund. So far the development and the improvements to the blog have been happening whenever I could find a few hours to hide in my office and code, which does not happen too often. With the fund in place, once there is enough money to pay for a feature, I could pay myself out of the fund to do the work, and thus would be able to make the blog quite a bit better.

Possible sources of money for the fund - online advertising and donations. Online advertising so far has been making pennies, but I recently got approached by Burst Media to run a campaign for a month targeted specifically to runners, and they are willing to pay enough to sponsor about 12 hours of coding. That is a good start. Hopefully the improvements will help us increase the traffic. Once the traffic is up, not only does the blog get more in advertising fees from the volume, but it is also able to get into higher-paying networks.

My eventual goal is to get the blog to the point where it generates enough revenue to provide sponsorships for developing athletes. The recipient of the sponsorship will be required to maintain a blog, train at a serious level, and help other runners in the blog on a daily basis. My dream is to be able to help a large number of marathoners go sub-2:20 (men) and sub-2:40 (women), and maybe even get somebody to win Boston or medal in the Olympics.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Slept in this morning. Started with the kids run (Benjamin, Jennifer, and Abby). Then ran 8 miles out and back a 1 mile near my house. Was chasing the 6:40 guy again. Got him with 0.2 to go. Total time was 53:15, last two miles 6:32 and 6:15, heart rate 144 at the end.

Went to see Dr. Jex. On the way back stopped in the Provo Canyon for Julia and Sarah to do their runs. Sarah is recovering very well - she ran 2 miles a mile down and a mile back up in 21:38, which is a huge post-Jacob record.

In the evening we went to the ward camp-out and did our The Cat In The Hat skit. I was the cat, Sarah was the mom, and also spoke for the fish, Jacob was the fish, Benjamin and Jenny were the boy and the girl, Julia was Thing 1, and Joseph was Thing 2. I believe the Things played the best of all, since what they had to do was quite natural to them. I think we've started a family tradition - you become a Thing when you learn to walk, and you graduate from being a Thing when you learn to read.

Did bench press in the evening - 105 pounds, 5-4-4, narrow grip.

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Ran with Ted in the Provo Canyon early in the moring. A warm-up, then a 5 mile tempo - 2.5 up, then 2.5 down. The plan was to go 6:00 up, and 5:30 down - an aggressive marathon pace.

Ted went with me on the first mile - 5:55. The next mile was 6:00. 0.5 in 2:57 to the turnaround - 14:52. Next 0.5 in 2:48 - 5:45 mile. Ted was supposed to meet me with 2 miles to go and run the rest of it with me, but he was not there. Next mile in 5:27. I saw Ted some distance ahead. Soon I realized he was not jogging waiting for me to catch him. I felt tempted to crank it up and come up to him fast, but decided it would not fulfill the purpose of the workout, which is to program the marathon pace into the system. However, there was not I could do about my runner affinity instinct - if there is a runner ahead of me, he pulls me like a magnet. So I ended up doing the last 0.5 in 2:38 slowly coming up on Ted but never got him. Considered hitting the last quarter in 70 to get it over with, but resisted the temptation. Glad I was able to have the temptation.

Last mile in 5:21, total time 28:28.

Later in the morning took Benjamin to a cross-country meet in Kiwani's park. He ran 3 K on grass in 15:27 and took 2nd in the pre-Bantam division. Got beat by Jacob Blackburn by about 15 seconds. Met fellow blogger Dustin Ence for the first time in person at the meet. He was there with his team.

Ran with Jenny, Abby, and Julia later in the afternoon.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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