Breaking the Wall

December 04, 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: 304.65 Year: 3606.17
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: 1657.61
Brown Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 806.96
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 20 mile run. Chad Robinson came to run with me. He is a recent convert to the true religion of running in Crocs. I observed the he looked much like Ed Eyestone and spent a good portion of the run trying to figure out why he cannot run 27:41 10,000 meters yet. We did a test running a mile in 5:55. I watched the splits, listened to his breathing, monitored the patterns of fatigue using the "how do I drop this guy" sense, and concluded that the main weakness was the lack of leg strength. Chad weighs only 120 lb while 6-1 tall. So my recommendations were smart hill work and appetite boosters like garlic and cayenne pepper in addition to consistent mileage.

Chad was only going 12, but I was easy to talk into going a little further out, so he ended up going to about 7.5 and then waiting for me to come back to finish the 15. I went to the 10 mile mark to make the total of 20. On the way back, starting about 10.5 into the run I did a 3 mile tempo down the Provo Canyon. The target was 5:20 pace. I did the first mile in 5:11, then got scared/tired and ran 5:27 for the second mile. After hitting a quarter in 83 right before the 2 mile mark I realized I need to get down to business and gave it a more serious push, which gave me 5:17 for the last mile, and the total time of 15:55. It felt good to do this workout, as the downhill helped me move my legs faster for longer than normal. I was pleased with the last mile, as I had serious doubts about my ability to break 5:20 after the 5:27 middle mile "goose egg". It was nice to have Chad for a little bit in the last mile.

Some thoughts on the "how do I drop this guy" sense. It is developed through racing, and its original purpose is to know when and how hard to surge so you can make your competitor suffer the most at his weakest moment. But just like nuclear energy it can be used for peaceful purposes such as pacing or evaluating fitness.  For example, you can know that the person you are pacing has two 6:20 miles in him left, or one 6:10. So if you have 2 miles to go and you are leading him at 6:10, he will slow down to 6:30 in half a mile from fatigue and the fear of having to run another 1.5 miles.

P.M. 0.6 miles doing errands on foot.

Green Crocs 1 Miles: 20.60
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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