Breaking the Wall

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: 0.00 Year: 870.94
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
Red Crocs Miles: 56.79Saucony Type A Miles: 6.11
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. Fast Sunday.

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 - 2017-11-06 08:44:29
Workout Totals: Distance10.000Time1:12:07.10Pace7:12.71
Did 2 with the little kids before the work meeting, then 8 alone afterwards. Did 5x0.25 down the canyon at around 75 with a brisk jog 0.25 recovery into a headwind. Noticed that the muscles were getting a little bit tired, while I had more drive to push them, that is a good sign, I think.
Leg 1:Distance0.500Time4:13.40Pace8:26.80
With Matthew, Jacob, William, and Stephen.
Leg 2:Distance1.500Time11:48.30Pace7:52.20
Same group minus Matthew.
Leg 3:Distance8.000Time56:05.40Pace7:00.68
Alone, did 5x0.25 down the canyon.
Split 1:Distance4.050Time30:39.20Pace7:34.12
Split 2:Distance0.250Time1:15.40Pace5:01.60
Split 3:Distance0.250Time1:55.90Pace7:43.60
Split 4:Distance0.250Time1:16.40Pace5:05.60
Split 5:Distance0.250Time1:55.80Pace7:43.20
Split 6:Distance0.250Time1:15.20Pace5:00.80
Split 7:Distance0.250Time1:55.80Pace7:43.20
Split 8:Distance0.250Time1:15.30Pace5:01.20
Split 9:Distance0.250Time1:55.20Pace7:40.80
Split 10:Distance0.250Time1:13.70Pace4:54.80
Split 11:Distance1.700Time11:27.50Pace6:44.41

Red Crocs Miles: 10.00
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 - 2017-11-07 11:38:59
Workout Totals: Distance10.405Time1:16:44.60Pace7:22.54
Ran with the little boys, then did a workout with Joseph and Jacob. I did 5x0.625 with 0.25 recovery down the canyon into a headwind. Joseph and Jacob did the first 2 with me. I was able to keep all of them under 3:20 (5:20 pace) except the last one - there was an increase of headwind in the second quarter, which I ran in 83, which made it 3:21.8. But the average was still under 3:20. An improvement from last week when I did not break 3:20 on any of the intervals and ran my slowest in 3:25. Usual distances for everybody. Sarah was tired, ran 5 at a bit faster than 10:00 pace. Julia felt better, ran 39:59 for 5 miles.
Leg 1:Distance0.500Time4:08.70Pace8:17.40
With Matthew, William, and Stephen.
Leg 2:Distance1.500Time12:22.50Pace8:15.00
With William and Stephen.
Leg 3:Distance1.000Time6:44.60Pace6:44.60
With William.
Leg 4:Distance0.550Time4:48.60Pace8:44.73
Warm-up with Joseph and Jacob.
Leg 5:Distance4.125Time28:25.20Pace6:53.38
5x0.625 workout. Joseph and Jacob did the first 2 with me.
Split 1:Distance0.625Time3:19.30Pace5:18.88
Split 2:Distance0.250Time3:24.50Pace13:38.00
Split 3:Distance0.625Time3:18.90Pace5:18.24
Split 4:Distance0.250Time2:52.40Pace11:29.60
Split 5:Distance0.625Time3:19.60Pace5:19.36
Split 6:Distance0.250Time2:50.60Pace11:22.40
Split 7:Distance0.625Time3:19.90Pace5:19.84
Split 8:Distance0.250Time2:38.20Pace10:32.80
Split 9:Distance0.625Time3:21.80Pace5:22.88
Leg 6:Distance2.730Time20:15.00Pace7:25.05
Back to the car.

Red Crocs Miles: 10.40
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 - 2017-11-08 12:05:00
Workout Totals: Distance10.040Time1:12:44.10Pace7:14.67
Ran with the kids, part of their usual distances, then ran into the canyon and did a 2 mile downhill fartlek into the wind in 11:08.0 alternating 0.25 hard and 0.5 tempo. More or less followed the pacing from a week ago, but found more juice in the last 0.5 (2:36.7 vs 2:39.0) which gave me a faster time. Jenny did 4 miles at around 8:00 average, Julia ran 5 in 40:59, Sarah did 5 with the first half at around 10:00, and the second half in 21:50 (8:44 avg).
Leg 1:Distance0.500Time4:07.60Pace8:15.20
With all of the boys.
Leg 2:Distance1.500Time11:26.10Pace7:37.40
Minus Matthew.
Leg 3:Distance4.020Time31:04.70Pace7:43.86
First 1.5 with Joseph.
Leg 4:Distance2.000Time11:08.00Pace5:34.00
Fartlek down the canyon.
Split 1:Distance0.250Time1:19.40Pace5:17.60
Split 2:Distance0.500Time2:54.70Pace5:49.40
Split 3:Distance0.250Time1:19.00Pace5:16.00
Split 4:Distance0.500Time2:58.20Pace5:56.40
Split 5:Distance0.500Time2:36.70Pace5:13.40
Leg 5:Distance2.020Time14:57.70Pace7:24.41
Back to the house.

Red Crocs Miles: 10.04
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 - 2017-11-09 15:27:12
Workout Totals: Distance10.340Time1:19:44.50Pace7:42.72
Ran with the little kids, then did 2x0.625 with Joseph down the canyon into a mild headwind. Usual 0.25 recovery jog. We did 3:15.9 and 3:15.4. That is the fastest Joseph has ever done this workout. Also a good sign for me as I was doing the pace setting and wind breaking into a headwind.

Sarah ran 5 miles at about 9:40 pace. Julia did 5 in 40:39. Jenny did 3 in 24:01.
Leg 1:Distance0.500Time4:16.20Pace8:32.40
With Jacob, Matthew, Stephen, and William.
Leg 2:Distance1.500Time12:22.00Pace8:14.67
Same group minus Matthew.
Leg 3:Distance1.000Time6:52.90Pace6:52.90
With Jacob and William.
Leg 4:Distance0.520Time4:30.70Pace8:40.58
Warm-up with Joseph.
Leg 5:Distance1.500Time9:20.90Pace6:13.93
2x0.625 down the canyon with Joseph.
Split 1:Distance0.625Time3:15.90Pace5:13.44
Split 2:Distance0.250Time2:49.60Pace11:18.40
Split 3:Distance0.625Time3:15.40Pace5:12.64
Leg 6:Distance2.020Time16:49.90Pace8:19.95
Cool-down with Joseph.
Leg 7:Distance3.300Time25:31.90Pace7:44.21
Alone to get the car.

Red Crocs Miles: 10.34
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 - 2017-11-10 11:55:57
Workout Totals: Distance10.010Time1:15:07.90Pace7:30.34
Taper day for Joseph, Jacob, William, and Stephen before the Utah State Cross-Country Championship. Joseph and Jacob did 3, William 2, Stephen 1. Matthew did a mile time trial on the track. He was headed for sub-8:00 with 6:01 split with a lap to go (1:54, 1:58, 2:04), and just needed to kick a little bit. But he was not in the mood and missed not only sub-8:00 but his 8:06 PR. Afterwards we had a talk about consistency. I think even though he is only 4 some of it went it. The subject was definitely on his mind for the rest of the day.

I did a total of 6. Included 0.5 uphill kick in 2:46.8. Felt like I just could not engage the top gear and go faster, but the pace was not super hard. Probably still capped by the levels of adrenaline production.

Julia did 1600 on the track in 6:46. Jenny ran 3 miles at about 8:00 pace. Sarah set a PR for the 5 mile course with 42:34.
Leg 1:Distance1.000Time7:36.30Pace7:36.30
With William, Joseph, Stephen, and Jacob.
Leg 2:Distance1.000Time7:29.20Pace7:29.20
Same group minus Stephen.
Leg 3:Distance1.000Time7:27.00Pace7:27.00
With just Joseph and Jacob.
Leg 4:Distance6.010Time44:22.60Pace7:23.03
Alone, did an uphill kick for 0.5 at the end.
Split 1:Distance5.510Time41:35.80Pace7:32.96
Split 2:Distance0.500Time2:46.80Pace5:33.60
Leg 5:Distance1.000Time8:12.80Pace8:12.80
With Matthew on the track.

Red Crocs Miles: 10.01
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Race: USATF Cross Country Championship (3.107 Miles) 00:18:49, Place overall: 3, Place in age division: 2
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2017-11-11 10:09:23
Workout Totals: Distance12.107Time1:27:44.50Pace7:14.83
Went to the Utah USATF XC Championship at the Cottonwood complex. The kids ran their races, then I ran the 5 K. Based on my splits in the 5 K, I conclude with certainty that 2 K was more than 2/3 of the 3 K. I am suspecting that the 2 K was much longer, and the 3 K was somewhat shorter, but it is hard to tell more than that. The course was hilly, but the hills were short, though steep.


2 K
7-8: Stephen 10:35, 13th place. Kenny Briggs was the winner with 9:05.

3 K
9-10: William 12:08, 7th place. McKay Wells won with 11:01.
11-12: Joseph 10:53 2nd, Jacob 11:10 4th. Zach Hillhouse, very good last name for a cross-country runner, won with 10:51. Brian Richardson ran 10:56, 3rd place. Joseph took the lead at 1 K, built a good gap by about 1.7, but Zach closed it in the last K and outkicked Joseph in the last 200. Brian also made a very strong move at around 1.7 K mark dropping Jacob and almost catching Zach and Joseph.
Masters: Dad 18:49. Teren Jameson ran 16:21.

My splits by 1 K mark (which were not correct, but the first 3 K matches the 3 K course, and the last 1 K also matched the 3 K course): 3:33, 3:51, 3:33, 4:23, 3:29. Joseph: 3:26, 4:00, 3:27. Jacob ran the first 1 K in 3:35.

I ran another 6 miles when I got home, total of 12 for the day. Jenny did 1 with Matthew in 8:43, and then 5 more at 8:00 pace, Julia 5 with the last 1.5 in 11:21, Sarah 5 at 10:00 pace.
Leg 1:Distance3.000Time24:58.30Pace8:19.43
Leg 2:Distance3.107Time18:49.30Pace6:03.47
5 K race.
Leg 3:Distance6.000Time43:56.90Pace7:19.48
More distance at home.

Saucony Type A Miles: 6.11Red Crocs Miles: 6.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Red Crocs Miles: 56.79Saucony Type A Miles: 6.11
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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