Breaking the Wall

January 17, 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: 146.77 Year: 146.77
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: 1276.97
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Big workout with Ted. Ran at 6:10 AM. Colder, 35 degrees. Wore a jacket over long-sleeved, and shorts. Lots of leaves on the ground. Warmed up the first 6.22 in 46:31, 7:28.71 avg. Still dark, but the sun was about to rise. Started the tempo at the trail gate by the Utah Lake. Traded leads every quarter. First mile in 5:39. Battled the dark, the cold, and the leaves on the ground, so I was not expecting much. Felt good. Next 0.5 in 2:47, almost no leaves. Ted dropped back after 1.5. Next mile was a slight up, and more leaves. Got 5:39, 14:05 at the turnaround.

Had a hard time kicking into gear after the turnaround. Too cold, too many leaves. On top of that, saw our "farmer" on a bike with "Bingo". There is a guy on the trail that is always there, he always rides a bike, looks like a farmer, and has a mutt-like dog with him. We asked him the dog's name once. It was Leah. But I call it Bingo anyway. Anyway the farmer and Bingo appeared out of nowhere, and did not have enough time to react to get out of the way. To make things worse, Bingo is interested in runners. So I had to swerve into a ditch to get around them. The mile split was 5:33, slight down on the last .

After the Bingo swerve, I gradually recovered and started kicking into gear. Next 0.5 in 2:45. Was not looking forward to the last mile, it was full of leaves, although not as bad as on Tuesday, and the sun had already come out which made it easier to run fast. Managed to finally kick into gear and hit the last mile in 5:20 with the splits of 2:42 and 2:38. Total time was 27:43 with the last 2.5 in 13:38, total avg of 5:32.6.

Waited for Ted at the end, then we cooled down for 3.88 in 28:44, 7:24.33 pace. Total time for 15.1 in 1:42:58, 6:49.14 avg.

Found an interesting study on garlic and testosterone. The reason I checked was that I noticed some positive signs of increased testosterone level - quicker recovery after hard workouts is the one I am willing to publicly mention. The only thing I did different that I can recollect is suck on a piece of garlic two-three times a day for 10 minutes or more as an attempt to reduce the chances of getting sick. Sure enough, turns out some Japanese scientists have researched the subject on rats.

P.M. Sarah's tempo run. Dropped Julia off at a neighbor's house. Ran a warmup of  1.5 with Benjamin on a bike, Jenny on foot, and Jacob and Joseph in the stroller. Afterwards, Benjamin and Jenny traded places. Missed the turnaround point as it was covered with leaves, and ended up running  extra .03, so  ran 2.03 in 16:11. Than converts to 15:56 for 2 miles. Sarah was doing fine until it got dark enough for the leaves to start to confuse her. Then put Benjamin on a bike, Jenny ran home with Sarah, and we went the Daddy pace, ran 1.5 in 11:07. Got Julia, we ran 1.05 in 11:20 in the dark.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Tom on Thu, Nov 01, 2007 at 13:05:41

Wow I notice both of us have mentioned testosterone and Japan on the blogs today. You've also got the garlic and rats thing going while I've got fish oils and "fishy burps". Kinda strange but interesting topics. But I gotta hand it to those Japanese, when I was there I swear everyone seemed fit and I couldn't tell the difference between the 20 and 40 (50?) yr olds. I better get me some of that fish oil and garlic and read the article. Don't know if Kim will like me much on that diet, even with some of those positive aspects you weren't willing to publicly mention.

From ArmyRunner on Thu, Nov 01, 2007 at 17:19:29

See more from BYU Library at below link. It looks like Lard and Garlic work even better but I'm not sure I want to be eating a lot of lard.

From more on Thu, Nov 01, 2007 at 17:22:52

Garlic: The Anabolic Agent (Raising Testosterone levels)

It has been shown to raise test levels. also it has been shown to lower cortisol levels.

A catabolic hormone, cortisol is an adversary of testosterone, as the two comete for the same growth-stimulating sites within muscle cells. Cortisol causes the breakdown of muscle protein. Since garlic stimulates testosterone and inhibits cortisol, it has great potential as an anabolic agent.

Try taking a daily garlic supplement that supplies four milligrams of allicin (the active ingredient in garlic) in 2 divided doses of 2mg each. Consume one of those doses about one hour before a workout. This should help you maximize the anabolic effects of garlic.

From steve ash on Thu, Nov 01, 2007 at 19:27:53

What would be a quality supplement to take that is safe and pure?

From adam on Thu, Nov 01, 2007 at 19:34:51

My grandpa would "eat a clove a day raw" to not get sick. at least that's what I've been told is the reason...

From Barry Ames on Sat, Nov 03, 2007 at 21:29:07

Did you get my questions from Thursday?

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