Breaking the Wall

August 10, 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: 88.07 Year: 2386.98
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: 1257.89
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 13.5 total. 8 with Benjamin. Jenny, Julia, and Joseph did 3. Jacob 1. William 0.5. I did some pickups with Benjamin, and ran the last mile hard as well. It is actually a bit more than a mile, hilly, snow covered in most parts (I could only remove so much with my snow plow), and has a 180 turn in the middle. With a pretty hard effort that I would expect to give me something around 5:20-5:30 on a good road without the hills I got 6:09.

P.M. 0.5 with Sarah. She ran 4:57 on the first part of the mile that I earlier ran fast. My split for that part was 3:01. She is starting to slowly work her way into shape after delivering Matthew. The idea is this - we run for as long as we can at the pace 10:00 or faster. Even if it is only half a mile. No more plodding at 12:00 pace. My theory from observing various runners throughout the years is that if you can run 10:00 or faster you should work on increasing the distance up until you can run 8-12 miles at once comfortably on a daily basis, and only then introduce speed work. But if you cannot, you should increase the pace rather than the distance. It is better to run 10:00 pace with frequent walking breaks than to run 12:00 continuously. The basic idea that very slow running is almost walking, and there are a lot of overweight and otherwise competitively unfit people that walk long distances every day but would not be able to run sub-10:00 pace even for half a mile to save their life.

You could, of course, argue that  we might be confusing cause and effect here - some people just cannot run sub-10:00 pace no matter what they do, and that is why they walk or run at near walking pace, while others are more naturally fit and choose sub-10:00 pace from the very beginning. This argument does have some merit, but I would like to forget about it and approach the matter like this - get yourself out of the dead slower than 10:00 per mile zone immediately and to the greatest amount that your body will let you and see if that lifts you out of the mire. The longer your head is above the water, the more oxygen you can get, the higher your chances of not drowning.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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