Breaking the Wall

January 24, 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: 266.81 Year: 266.81
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: 1438.17
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 6 miles with Jeff in 47:55 - Tvpb, Hyrum joined us for the first 3 in 24:17 with the last mile in 7:07, his mile PR since he started running again.

T4 Racer - 53.95 miles.

P.M. It was the afternoon of PRs for the girls. On Saturday I bought some honey sticks at Good Earth. Over the week I've been marketing them to Jenny and Julia explaining that they could be had if they ran fast. For Julia the standard was a mile under 9:00 and for Jenny under 8:00. Those times were slower than their PRs but I figured they needed some motivated practice in pushing themselves. Benjamin does it naturally, I actually have to hold him back a lot.

Finally Jenny succumbed to my marketing efforts and decided that today was going to be a prize run. We warmed up the first 0.5 in 4:27, then she went to the bathroom at the park and we started the fast portion. I did not expect her to break the record, but she ran the first quarter on pace - 1:51. I told her she could get the record and and that there will be additional bonuses. So she ran the next quarter in 1:48 followed by 1:53 and 1:47 for the total of 7:19 - a PR by 11 seconds.

Julia heard about Jenny's rewards and wanted some as well. Knowing the rules she asked if she could do a prize run too. She started out very fast - 26 at 100, 54 at 200, 1:24 at 300 and 1:55 at the quarter. I was holding her back figuring let her run fast while she is motivated as she might have a fit later on. Sure enough she did. When Benjamin was her age he understood math very well, he knew what the splits meant, if he was on pace or not, etc. Julia is a bit behind the Pachev curve in this area. At 5 years and 7 months her reading is at the level of Bob Books and her math is at the level of adding numbers less than 20. Benjamin and Jenny could read anything on their own at that age, although Jenny's math was at about Julia's level. However, Julia is a very emotional creature and can get upset a lot more easily. So she did not understand that we were going to the second four-triangle mark before the turnaround. She thought we were going to turn around at the first and when we did not she went into utter panic.

It took me about a quarter mile to convince her that if she just coasted she could still get her record along with the prize, during which we slowed down to 2:18, which gave us 4:13 at the turnaround. To Julia's credit, very few 5 year olds would be running  9:12 pace in her emotional state at the time. She calmed down and finally believed me that she could still get the record. Her next quarter was 2:10, and her last one was 2:06. Her mile time was 8:29, a new record by 12 seconds. Fitness wise she did have a sub-8:00 in her. She could talk on the second half, asked me several times if we were on pace, and made a comment about people walking on the trail. The first thing she wanted to do afterwards is draw a picture of us running on the trail, which she did while we were driving back.

Benjamin ran with Jenny, and then finished the last 0.5 of his run with me in 3:13, which gave him 15:00 for 2 miles.

My Five Fingers have arrived (St. George Running Center now has them), and I did the run in them. I like them very much.

Five Fingers - 3 miles. 

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.75
From wheakory on Wed, May 14, 2008 at 13:58:08

Wow only 6 miles this morning thats a record low for you. Question: are you running in the T4 racers for Saturday's marathon?

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