Breaking the Wall

Utah USATF Cross Country Championship

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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: 151.06 Year: 782.84
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: 216.09
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
White Crocs 2 Miles: 74.48
Night Sleep Time: 42.00Nap Time: 9.00Total Sleep Time: 51.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest. Went to church.

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2015-11-09 07:43:37
Workout Totals: Distance12.125Time1:35:46.40Pace7:53.93
Did 5x0.25 with Benjamin, 4 down the canyon, 1 uphill by the house in the middle of 8 miles. Then 2x200 with Joseph, Jacob, and Jenny in the middle of 4. Joseph was a bit ahead, I stayed with Jenny and Jacob. Benjamin did 8+3.8, usual distances for everybody.
Leg 1:Distance8.000Time1:02:10.90Pace7:46.36
With Benjamin.
Split 1:Distance4.220Time33:49.40Pace8:00.90
Split 2:Distance0.250Time1:14.30Pace4:57.20
Split 3:Distance0.125Time1:22.20Pace10:57.60
Split 4:Distance0.250Time1:11.60Pace4:46.40
Split 5:Distance0.125Time1:26.70Pace11:33.60
Split 6:Distance0.250Time1:12.00Pace4:48.00
Split 7:Distance0.250Time2:33.80Pace10:15.20
Split 8:Distance0.250Time1:14.70Pace4:58.80
Split 9:Distance1.770Time14:23.80Pace8:08.02
Split 10:Distance0.270Time1:24.10Pace5:11.48
Split 11:Distance0.240Time2:18.30Pace9:36.25
Leg 2:Distance4.000Time32:25.10Pace8:06.28
With Jenny, Joseph, and Jacob. Julia ran the first mile with us.
Split 1:Distance0.313Time2:41.50Pace8:35.97
Split 2:Distance0.125Time0:35.40Pace4:43.20
Split 3:Distance3.124Time25:50.00Pace8:16.16
Split 4:Distance0.125Time0:40.20Pace5:21.60
Split 5:Distance0.313Time2:38.00Pace8:24.79
Leg 3:Distance0.125Time1:10.40Pace9:23.20
With Matthew.

White Crocs 2 Miles: 12.12
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2015-11-10 07:48:19
Workout Totals: Distance12.718Time1:41:02.00Pace7:56.65
Today, Benjamin, Joseph, Jacob, and I did a 200 time trial. The day was not the best for it, it was cold and the track was wet. Sometimes you can go fast on a wet track, but today was not one of those days - I think maybe the little ice particles is what made the difference. We noticed something was funny during the strides I could not go faster than 16.4, and Benjamin was stuck at 14.4. Things got a little better in the 200. Benjamin was able to run 27.6, I ran 32.3 in my second attempt - the first one was 32.8. I also paced Joseph to a 34.9, and Jacob to 36.8. They both should have been much faster than that as well.

Then we ran some extra distance. Kids ran their usual distances otherwise.
Leg 1:Distance1.744Time15:20.90Pace8:48.04
Warm-up, strides.
Split 1:Distance1.000Time8:44.20Pace8:44.20
Split 2:Distance0.062Time0:16.40Pace4:24.52
Split 3:Distance0.062Time0:44.30Pace11:54.52
Split 4:Distance0.062Time0:16.40Pace4:24.52
Split 5:Distance0.062Time0:52.60Pace14:08.39
Split 6:Distance0.062Time0:16.80Pace4:30.97
Split 7:Distance0.062Time0:57.50Pace15:27.42
Split 8:Distance0.062Time0:16.60Pace4:27.74
Split 9:Distance0.310Time2:56.10Pace9:28.06
Leg 2:Distance0.124Time0:34.90Pace4:41.45
Joseph's 200.
Leg 3:Distance0.124Time1:13.60Pace9:53.55
Leg 4:Distance0.124Time0:36.80Pace4:56.77
Jacob's 200.
Leg 5:Distance0.124Time1:04.90Pace8:43.39
Leg 6:Distance0.070Time0:27.60Pace6:34.29
Benjamin's 200 - I ran the diagonal to time him.
Leg 7:Distance0.370Time3:24.10Pace9:11.62
Some jogging with Benjamin.
Leg 8:Distance0.124Time0:32.80Pace4:24.52
My time trial - first attempt.
Leg 9:Distance0.250Time2:23.00Pace9:32.00
A lap jog.
Leg 10:Distance0.124Time0:32.30Pace4:20.48
My second attempt, Benjamin ran it with me. It went better.
Leg 11:Distance2.500Time17:35.40Pace7:02.16
Extra distance with Benjamin,Joseph and Jacob.
Leg 12:Distance3.000Time23:58.60Pace7:59.53
With Benjamin. I think we had Jenny with us as well.
Leg 13:Distance1.000Time9:04.30Pace9:04.30
With Stephen, William and Julia. Maybe Jenny also.
Leg 14:Distance1.000Time8:15.10Pace8:15.10
With William and Julia.
Leg 15:Distance2.040Time15:57.70Pace7:49.46
With Julia.

White Crocs 2 Miles: 12.72
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2015-11-11 07:24:40
Workout Totals: Distance12.000Time1:34:37.10Pace7:53.09
Usual run. Kids ran their usual distances.
Leg 1:Distance8.000Time1:02:15.80Pace7:46.98
With Benjamin. Jenny started with us, then turned around at 2 miles.
Leg 2:Distance4.000Time32:21.30Pace8:05.32
With Joseph and Jacob.

White Crocs 2 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2015-11-12 07:44:54
Workout Totals: Distance12.125Time1:36:27.30Pace7:57.30
Benjamin's hamstrings were still sore today from the 200 time trial on Tuesday, plus he was going to race Saturday, so I had him just run 8 in the AM, and picked him up from school. Otherwise kids ran their usual distances.
Leg 1:Distance8.000Time1:03:35.10Pace7:56.89
With Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance4.000Time31:34.90Pace7:53.73
With Joseph, Jacob, Julia, and Jenny. Jenny turned around at 1.5 and then ran home to finish 2 miles with William and Stephen.
Leg 3:Distance0.125Time1:17.30Pace10:18.40
With Matthew.

White Crocs 2 Miles: 12.12
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2015-11-13 07:31:02
Workout Totals: Distance11.600Time1:34:48.20Pace8:10.36
Kids were tapering today for the cross-country championship tomorrow. Otherwise a usual day.
Leg 1:Distance8.000Time1:03:55.50Pace7:59.44
With Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance2.600Time21:54.90Pace8:25.73
With Jacob, Jenny, and Julia to the bank and back.
Leg 3:Distance1.000Time8:57.80Pace8:57.80
With Stephen, William, and Joseph.

White Crocs 2 Miles: 11.60
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 7.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Race: Utah USATF Cross Country Championship (3.107 Miles) 00:18:43, Place overall: 5, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2015-11-14 10:22:17
Workout Totals: Distance13.922Time2:00:47.50Pace8:40.58
Today was the Utah State Cross Country Championship. First kids races, then an open race. Our results:

2000, boys 8 and under:

William (7 years old) 9:31 (third place) - McKay Wells won in 8:20, William got outkicked by another kids in the last 100 meters who ran 9:27.

Stephen - 13:09, 6th place - he got lost on the course, not sure how much time he lost. But he is only 5, so I was not expecting him to be competitive against 8 year olds.

3000 meters, boys 9-10 division:

Joseph 12:25, 1st place
Jacob 12:33, 2nd place

They both took a wrong turn and lost about 10 seconds after about the first quarter. I was a bit concerned about Joseph because he complained about a cold yesterday morning, but he seemed to be OK.

4000, girls 13-14:

Julia took second with 19:06. That was a breakthrough run for her.

5000, girls 15-16

Jenny won with 23:33. Good time for her for cross-country.

Open 5000

Benjamin got 4th with 16:59. Ahead of hims Riley 16:15, Jake (back in racing) 16:20, and John Coyle 16:55 (I think). I ran 18:43 winning the masters ($30). Mark struggled today - was with me for the first mile or so, then fell apart badly.

Benjamin was actually ahead of John until the last 600 meters. There was also a high school runner in the heat, but not in the open race because he was in the 17-18 division. Not sure who he was. He took out hard, was ahead of Riley and Jake for some time. Benjamin caught up to him somewhere between 2 and 3 K, they went back and forth for a while, then Benjamin dropped him and ended up beating him by 10 seconds. John started out very conservatively, but then closed very strong passing first the high school runner, and then Benjamin.

Afterwards Benjamin and I added 8 miles.
Leg 1:Distance0.750Time6:00.40Pace8:00.53
Leg 2:Distance0.114Time0:54.70Pace7:59.82
More warm-up.
Leg 3:Distance1.000Time23:33.30Pace23:33.30
Jenny's race. I ran around cheering, probably a mile.
Leg 4:Distance0.951Time7:36.40Pace7:59.92
More warm-up.
Leg 5:Distance3.107Time18:43.20Pace6:01.51
The race.
Leg 6:Distance8.000Time1:03:59.50Pace7:59.94

White Crocs 2 Miles: 13.92
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
White Crocs 2 Miles: 74.48
Night Sleep Time: 42.00Nap Time: 9.00Total Sleep Time: 51.00
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