Breaking the Wall

August 07, 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: 16.00 Year: 2314.91
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: 1185.83
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Did 6x400 spread throughout the run. I timed it so that I would be doing two of them in the last 1.5 miles. Again, the idea was to test the glycogen level as well as to train the nervous system to override the low fuel negative feedback. I believe a quarter is long enough for that particular purpose. The reasoning is this:

a) In a low fuel situation I cannot run a fast quarter,  and pain/slowdown is felt particularly in the second half of it 

b) In the past I have been able to correct the symptoms of low fuel shutdown by doing a few fast quarters a couple of times a week.

c)  There was a study a few years ago that demonstrated that a 3 minute bout of maximum effort greatly enhances the ability of the body to absorb glycogen over the next 24-28 hours. I do not remember all of the science behind it, but I believe the basic idea is that if you squeeze the toothpaste tube very hard for a brief moment the vacuum creates a momentum for the new toothpaste to come in if a source is available.

From this I intuitively conclude that a couple of quick quarters at the end of any run will stimulate glycogen absorption and teach the nervous system to work with less fear in a low fuel situation. A good marathoner must learn how not to panic when low fuel signals are being received, and it must happen on both the conscious and subconscious levels. After having run 50+ marathons I am OK on the conscious level, but the subconscious is much harder to train.

So anyway, the theory aside, I did this; 74.5 up - 71.1 down - 74.4 up - 70.8 down - 72.3 rolling and 69.7 down. Total run was 12.2 mile. Benjamin did 3.2, Jenny and Julia 2, Joseph 1, and Jacob 0.5. Joseph asked me during the family scripture study what "endure to the end" meant. I explained the idea using examples from running. He has been remembering it during his runs.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 12.20
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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