Breaking the Wall

Week starting Nov 09, 2008

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: 167.90 Year: 3393.99
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: 778.63
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 30.20Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 40.00
Night Sleep Time: 55.50Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 56.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest. Went to church. Counted the kids during the Sacrament meeting to make sure everyone was still there. Then I thought of the hymn Count Your Blessings and realized I was literally counting my blessings. Every child is a blessing and I now have 6 of them. Then a short while later one blessing (Jacob) escaped and I had to chase him.

As luck or perhaps God's will would have it, I got to teach both in Sunday School and in the Elder's Quorum. The lesson in Sunday School was on the plan of salvation, and in the Elder's Quorum on knowledge. 

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Easy 10.1 alone in 1:09:55. The temperatures were cold, but not freezing. Very runnable, although my feet started getting wet towards the end. Almost ran into an uncovered drainage opening in the last mile. Somebody had lifted the cover and had not put it back. So this gave me a chance for some small weight training exercise putting it back on. Surprisingly it did not take me very long - handy tasks, even very simple, often take me a lot longer than they should.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:03, 2 with Benjamin in 17:06, Jenny ran the first 1.5 in 13:14. 

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Tyler, Derek, and Dustin Williams, Derek's friend and athletic trainer at BYU. Tyler and I did the standard 5 mile tempo. Derek and Dustin ran the warm-up with us.

My original plan was to do only the second half of the tempo, but Tyler persuaded me to do the whole 5.

Total time: 27:46.4

Splits: 5:30 - 5:30 - 5:37 - 5:34 - 5:35.

By half: 13:48 - 13:58

Subjective/Descriptive: 5:30 pace for the whole 5 was rather ambitious given that last week I barely managed 5:29 for 2.5, no nap on Sunday or Monday, leaves, and a wet road. Nevertheless we decided to go out at 5:30 and see what happens. We hit every half mile on the dot for the first 2 miles. The first mile felt a bit aggressive. Second mile felt good, just perfect. Third mile at first felt too good and then it started feeling hard, about 0.25 before 180 turn, and even harder afterwards. I tucked behind Tyler, and the fourth mile felt a bit better, but still not enough to take a turn upfront and lead pursuit of the 5:30 guy who was gradually slipping away. The first quarter of the last mile felt too good, and for a good reason - we slowed down to 85 on it. It was uphill, so it was more like an 84 effort, but still the quarter before that was 82. I took the lead after that, and Tyler started falling back. But I was not doing that much better - hit quarters in 83, 84, and 83, and that was all I could do. Tyler finished 2 seconds behind me in 27:48.

Overall happy with the tempo.

 P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:20, 2 with Benjamin in 17:07, Jenny ran the first 1.5 in 13:08.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Easy 10, first 7 with Jeff. Total time 1:21:11. Of all things discussed civil unions. My argument is that if we do allow civil unions with benefits, then two or more people living together should not have to engage in the "alternative behavior" described by Leviticus 18:22 in order to form the union and receive the benefits. E.g. two guys finish running for college and decide to try to run professionally. One year one trains full-time, the other works and trains when he can, then they trade. They share an apartment and kitchen duties to save costs. One should be able to put the other on his health insurance.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:26. 2 with Benjamin in 18:00. Jenny ran the first 1.5 in 13:23. 200 with Jacob in 1:52.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Derek and Dustin. We did 5x400 on the trail.


70.1 - 67.8 - 67.8 - 67.5 - 69.0

Recovery: 200 jog between the first three, after that 400 jog.

Subjective: Compared to last week, the effort was the same, but was able to hit faster times. Decided to increase the rest after 3 repeats to make sure the remaining two would stay faster. However, I still faded on the last one. Regardless of how fast we went I had my breathing back to normal in 30 seconds. The intensity of breathing during the repeat appeared to correlate with how fast I ran it, but the perceived effort did not. The last 200 meters of the last repeat felt very similar to the last half mile of the tempo run on Tuesday.

Ran a cool down to make the total 10 miles.

My original plan was to increase to 8 repetitions once I am able to do 4 averaging under 70, which I accomplished today. However, I decided to revise the plan. Instead, work on getting those as fast as possible. First under 67, then 66, 65, 64. Once I can do all under 64, then maybe do 400 to warm up, then 800 under 2:20, then if that is not too hard, another 800 under 2:20, otherwise, go back to 400. Work on being able to run the whole mile under 4:40. Once I am there, work on doing mile repeats under 4:40. Then 2x1.5 at 4:45 pace. Then a sub-15:00 5 K. Once I can do that, I can start thinking about an OTQ in the marathon.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:04. 2 with Benjamin in 17:06. Jenny joined for the first 1.5 in 13:02.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran alone. 10.1 in 1:08:53. A little faster today for a rather odd reason. I was feeling stoked about the economy, of all things. Yes, I am excited. Hard to explain the reasons, but I am just stoked. I feel I know something to be excited about even if I cannot quite formulate it. Maybe I should try and it will come out.

Our economy has been a huge wasteful behemoth . Collectively as a nation we produce mostly junk. Junk food, overpriced cars, frivolous law suits, overcomplicated laws most people cannot understand without the help of a professional whose sole expertise is in studying those laws, multi-level marketing schemes, over-hyped gimmicks of various kinds, you name it. Only maybe 10-20% of our collective what we do goes towards something that truly honestly contributes to life quality. The rest we would not only be able to do without, much of it we would be better off without.

So with the recent "crisis" we are being forced to normalize the economy. If all of our car makers produce no new cars (extremely unlikely, but let's consider the worst possible case) I won't miss it for another 20 years as long as the spare parts are available and some car shops are still in business. First 10 years I will drive what I have now. 10 years later I will buy a 10 year old car and drive it for another 10 years. People are spending less, I say good for them. Learn to live on what you have, learn to sacrifice, get a small taste of what it's like in other less affluent countries.

I have to say I have no clue about going without. I've never been hungry for too long because the food was not there. I've never had to sleep outside or on a dirt floor. Yet I know a lot more about going without than most Americans. I remember in the 90s when the food shortages hit Russia that I wished they had a store out in the middle of nowhere so that to get there you'd have to take a train, and then walk or run a mile, and that the train would go there only once a day. I would have never had to wait in line. Those memories make me thankful for what I have now. I live in a 2050 sq ft. home with my wife and six children, and to me it is a mansion. We have three cars! The line for food is rarely more than 5 people. You can buy fresh exotic fruit like bananas all year round. I own several computers and they are connected to the internet. With the "crisis" those things do not appear to be going away. It is not a crisis, it is a little bit of a reminder to put your wants/needs head back on your shoulders.

P.M. 1 mile with Julia in 10:20. Then 2 miles with Benjamin, and Jenny joining for 1.5. No time taken - the watch broke during the run. It was the prize from Ogden - Suunto T4.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Add Comment
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Nick. This morning all of my watches were not functional. Suunto T4 died - probably dead battery. Garmin 305 refused to boot. So I had Nick tell me the splits.

We did a warm-up, 15 mile tempo, then a cool-down. Total of 20 miles.

I think Nick accidentally stopped his watch during the first quarter, so I am going to add 7 seconds to adjust for that to the relevant splits and total time.

Total time - 1:27:10 (5:48.67 avg).

Splits by 2.5 (yes we did it on the standard course, 6 times on the same stretch of the trail from Geneva to the Utah Lake turnaround):

14:33 - 14:29 - 14:05 - 14:25 - 14:28 - 15:10

Subjective: At first it felt hard. Then I tucked behind Nick and he mesmerized me with his rhythm. He picked up the pace, and I was able to handle it. We were going faster than 5:40 and it did not feel unbearable. Then around 8 miles into it I started struggling and asked Nick to back off. Was able to hold around 5:45 pace for a while until 11. Then I started losing it. Nick took off at 12.5 and closed with 13:42 last 2.5. After he took off I did not have any splits. I felt that I was sprinting, but at the same time I could tell my legs were moving slow. But there was nothing I could do.

Overall happy with the tempo. I think it is the fastest non-aided 15 mile tempo I've ever run in training. Now if only those 2.5 mile splits were 5 K splits :-)

P.M. 1 mile with Julia, no time taken due to the lack of functional timing equipment. Then tried the Garmin and it booted. Ran 2 miles with Benjamin and Jared in 17:05. Jenny ran the first 1.5 in 12:31. 200 with Jacob, 0.34 with Joseph.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 30.20Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 40.00
Night Sleep Time: 55.50Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 56.00
Debt Reduction Calculator
Featured Announcements
Lone Faithfuls
(need a comment):
Recent Comments: