Breaking the Wall

February 23, 2020

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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:

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 155.37 Year: 492.80
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1576.28
Neon Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1353.22
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 1 mile with Julia in 10:34 to see the fence ice sculpture on the trail. Then 5 mile shakeout by myself in 37:08. Will do the long run with Ted and Jeff later in the afternoon.

Did the magic hip stretches. 

P.M. Ted got hurt snowshoeing, so it was just Jeff and me. It was warm enough for shorts, probably about 40. But still lots of snow on the ground. We ran 10.1 in 1:09:44. Got good traction, so I thought I could do a tempo run. Took Benjamin and Jenny for a run, we did 1.5 in 13:21, then Benjamin closed with a 3:37 0.5. Ran 8 more, including the Provo River 5 Mile Tempo. The snow kept getting more and more slippery as I went along. Did the first 2.5 in 15:27 and thought that was slow until I got through the second half which took 16:00, 31:27 for 5 miles, 6:17.4 avg. I am hesitating if I should really call this a tempo because I was not working super-hard although I was tempo-focused. Decided since I was fresh, and the remaining 1.38 had more traction I'd just keep the effort to the end. Plus I needed to get home fast for missionary visits. So I ran that part in 8:28, 6:08.12 avg, with the last mile in 6:03, and the last two quarters in 1:29 and 1:25. Needless to say the last quarter was the driest. This gave me 39:55 for 6.38 of tempo, 6:15.39 avg, and 2:18:09 for 20.1, 6:52.39 avg. Felt very good.

Night Sleep Time: 0.15Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.15
From Lybi on Sat, Jan 12, 2008 at 13:11:24

Do you mean a real ice sculpture, or is the fence jut convered with snow? Either way, sounds like you and you kids are making some great memories. (Did you really chase cows yesterday?)

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Jan 12, 2008 at 13:52:03

There is a guy in a trailer that points his water hose at the fence during the winter and that makes a nice sculpture-looking shape on the fence.

Yes, and I really did chase three cows yesterday on skis. They kept running forward, stopping, looking back, realizing I was getting closer, and then running again. Cows are pretty good runners, they can go 7:00 pace without much of a problem.

From Paul Petersen on Sat, Jan 12, 2008 at 14:16:16

Cows will wear down after a couple miles, I've noticed. They can't sustain the pace for long.

From steve ashbaker on Sat, Jan 12, 2008 at 14:56:23

If all you did was lay around and eat hay all day you would be out of shape too!

From josse on Sun, Jan 13, 2008 at 14:52:04

Cows scare me, I was driving up hobble creek one time for a run and a cow came and ramed the side of our van.

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