Breaking the Wall

January 25, 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: 151.02 Year: 151.02
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. 20 with Mike, part of it with the kids. Did a pickup for 1.25 in 6:59. Mike was struggling - something is wrong. We ran into John Kotter and Taylor Farnsworth and joined them for part of the run. I told John he had at least a 2;13 marathon in him, if not 2:10. He thought he only had 2:20. I explained some things, among them the concept of virtual leggedness, which I have made up, or at least I have made up the term for it. Virtual leggedness is the total leg power output when running at a constant speed divided by the power output of the strongest leg. Thus, a person with one leg has the virtual leggedness (VL) of 1, a perfectly symmetric runner has the VL of 2, a perfectly symmetric four legged animal will have it at 4, and your average runner will have it somewhere between 1 and 2, but much closer to 2. Maybe 1.9 or so. The closer to 2 the better for a human. VL is an important contributor to quality X. To measure VL ideally you need a treadmill with built-in force plates. In lieu of that, it can be estimated by running on a hard surface where it is possible to leave visible footprints without affecting your form, and then comparing the stride lengths of the right and left pushoff.

A runner with a higher VL will not only outsprint a runner with lower VL given the same muscular strength relative to body weight, but also will win in the marathon given the same mile speed and the same aerobic/metabolic capacities. To understand this idea, the following exaggerated illustration can be helpful. Time yourself hopping 50 meters on one leg. Then time yourself hopping for half a mile on one leg. Compare the times to what you can do in 100 meters sprinting, and in an all out mile. You will likely get your 100 meter running time in the 50 meter one leg hop, but you will be quite far off your running mile PR in the half mile hop if you are able to finish at all.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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