Breaking the Wall

January 19, 2021

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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: 188.26 Year: 188.26
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: 1359.62
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 5 with Benjamin, Jeff joined us after about 1 mile. About 3.5 into the run I did a fast 0.5 miles on the trail in 2:21.5 with the splits of 71, 70. Jeff did it in 2:37. It felt good to run at world record marathon pace even though it was for only half mile. I did not have a bear jump on me this time. Actually felt like I could go longer at that pace, but not faster. Drank my "magic" carb drink (molasses sugar, honey, lemon juice, water)  I had prepared earlier as soon as I got home. Then ran 1.5 with Joseph and Jenny, and 0.5 with Jacob.

P.M. Went with Benjamin and my mother to the chess tournament. Benjamin lost one game and won one with the net result of his rating rising to 1574. I drew one and won one with the net result of the rating rising to 1529. Benjamin is now ahead of me although not by far yet. At least I am still improving, although not as fast as him. My mother lost both games. The first one normally, the second she was winning but forgot to pay attention to the clock. She has played chess for a long time, and taught me to play when I was little but she does not have a whole lot of tournament experience. But she is getting some now when she comes to visit.

The tournament was a good psychological tuneup for the marathon. A game of chess will test the depth of your emotional strength even if you think you do not care that much about the outcome. My second game told me that I was doing OK. I noticed my opponents mistakes, but did not get too excited about it, which is easy to do, and when you do you often make a bad move in response. I was able to methodically convert the small advantage into bigger until it became decisive with no blunders on my side that either one of us noticed. This evidence of emotional stability gives me confidence for the marathon. It is much easier to lose in chess off emotions than it is in the marathon, so if the chess side works fine, the running side should as well.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 7.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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