Breaking the Wall

August 24, 2019

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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: 173.50 Year: 2475.51
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs Lifetime Miles: 2133.34
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1360.04
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 6.05 with Adam and Ted in 52:25 at 5:20 AM, Ted was really hurting and so was Adam. Ted had two reasons to hurt, the marathon and the accident, and he decided to share with Adam, I guess, so Adam somehow ended up in pain as well. Picked it up to around 6:50 pace after dropping them off, ran another 4 in 27:18, total time for 10.05 was 1:19:43. Then ran 1.05 with Julia in 10:47.

Odd how I feel very little pain, and yet I felt could not run any faster in the race even though I had every reason to. Kory and I are in the same boat this way, except he has a hard time in the first half, while I do in the second. However, one ray of hope for me - after running high mileage, and running hard after running easy for a long time on numerous occasions I held my own on the second half better than ever, and was able to negative split for the first time in my life. Of course, true negative split in St. George is when your second half is at least 3 minutes faster than your first. But in the past I could not even do as little as negative split it period even with the second half being naturally much faster than the first. So perhaps I am just a slow learner - many people can negative split in an optimal race off as little as 70 miles a week, while I may need to sustain 120+ for a while with lots of marathon bonk simulation runs before this starts happening for me.

P.M. 1.5 with Jenny in 14:33, then 2 miles with Benjamin in 16:48. Still some residual soreness all over the legs, evenly spread, but not too bad, can start out at 7:00 pace without problems, can walk down the stairs, can run 10 miles at once and not feel like I've run at all. The virtual particle of dust that was there in my chest a week ago I guess never left, I think I just subconsciously ignored it to keep it from affecting the mental aspect of my race. I could feel it today and yesterday. Gave it some garlic treatment just in case. At 7:00 pace it is no more than an annoyance, at 5:20 pace I cannot feel it because there are a lot of other feelings that overshadow it, but it probably does make things harder by inhibiting the force of the air intake. Kind of like running at a higher elevation - you do not necessarily feel anything right away, but it is harder to run at the same pace. I would say 4.46 seconds per mile that the qualifier guy got me by could be exactly the size of that particle. Talk about Paul and his thorn in the flesh (see 2 Cor. 12:7).

I guess all I need to do in three years is show up in St. George in no worse shape than this but without the virtual particle. Better yet, just come in better shape, so I can still run the qualifier even if I am not 100%.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From brent on Tue, Oct 09, 2007 at 21:55:37

I have read all the St.George blog entries with great interest. I really want to break 3:10 next year. When you have the time over the next couple of weeks, you are aware of my fitness level, what changes would you recommend? I would like to start a training plan in the next few weeks with the long term goal of St. George. If it means building a base of miles or whatever it takes. Reading all the blogs has really got me motivated. I read your things you did to break 2:30.

*Your personal dedication is contagious. Take care, Brent

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Oct 10, 2007 at 14:30:06


I would keep your running mileage the same - around 50 a week, but add as much elliptical or bike on top of it as you can possibly handle without running yourself into the ground. Reason - because of your tendency to injuries you cannot develop aerobically to your full potential just by running. Also, make sure to keep your combined mileage high through the winter.

From Logan Fan on Wed, Oct 10, 2007 at 14:57:08

The "Top Runners" needs to be updated. Logan and a few other guys just put themselves up. Remember to be fair.

From josse on Wed, Oct 10, 2007 at 18:04:04

hey thanks for adding the women section to the top runners. It means alot

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