Breaking the Wall

August 06, 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: 16.00 Year: 2314.91
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Neon Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 1185.83
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 10.2 in 1:18:07. Met Jeff and Daniel on the trail. Did a post-VPB 900 in 3:13, which is 5:43 pace. Caught up to Neal Harmon at the end and ran with him. He told me about his new business OraBrush and even gave me a sample product. It scrubs the tongue to remove bad breath.

Jenny and Julia ran 2 miles.

Later took the kids for a group run. I stayed with Kaytlin and she did 6:09 for 0.5, and this time she ran all the way. Jacob did 0.5 in  5:49. Joseph  and Julia did 0.5 in 5:00.

Then took Benjamin for 2.9. I have given him a challenge of breaking my 11-year-old  2 K record of 7:57. He obviously was ready to smash it, given that his mile PR is 5:53. So something like a 6:10 to open, and even jogging down in 1:40 would still put him 7 seconds ahead. But he does have a tendency to psyche himself out, and he has been doing that over the last two weeks stubbornly convincing himself that he could not do it in spite of all of the facts to the contrary staring him in the face. Finally I had enough of that and told him we were going to run 1200 in 4:42 (6:16 pace), and if he made it that far with no negative comments he was off the hook and could run whatever pace he wanted to the finish. If he made a negative comment he had to surge for 100 meters at whatever pace I would set for him (around 5:20). If he failed to do that, then we stop immediately, go back to the start, and try again. We keep doing this until we have gotten to 1200 in 4:42 or faster, or until we've run a total of 10 K!

So we hit the first quarter in 95, then I picked up the pace and did 92 with Benjamin reluctantly dragging about 2 seconds behind. I yelled at him and told him he could not stop at 1200 until he had caught me. He caught me immediately running an 88 quarter. So we were 4:37 at 1200 and jogged the next 400 in 1:59 while I tried to convince Benjamin to start running a normal pace and get that monkey off his back. He fought me like there was no tomorrow, and those of you who I have paced before would know that I will make your life so miserable at a slow pace that the faster pace would appear the lesser evil if you have that faster pace in you at all. And after having raced for 25 years I do know by feel when a runner right next to me has another gear!  So when we approached the mile mark (6:36), he smelled the barn and starting running. His next 200 was 43, and then he shifted gears and ran the last 200 in 37. That is 5:00 pace! So he ended up with 7:56, 1 second ahead of my record in spite of jogging and arguing for a quarter mile at 8:00 pace in the middle.

This was the third time in the last couple of months that Benjamin had a practical lesson on not doubting himself. First one was 5:53 mile. Second was in a chess tournament when he kept insisting that he was going to lose to a 1900 player no matter what he did, and then ended up beating him. So hopefully the third witness today had delivered the final crushing blow to his self doubt.

Eva Clogs Pirate Miles: 13.60
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
From Kory on Fri, Jun 18, 2010 at 15:40:14 from

Great work for Benjamin. Does he enjoy running with you or more by himself?

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Jun 18, 2010 at 16:03:23 from

Kory - he prefers company.

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