Breaking the Wall

January 29, 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: 252.01 Year: 252.01
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1576.28
Neon Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1353.22
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Easy run with Ted and Brad (Jeff's roommate), 10.1 in 1:14:44. Did 8x100 strides towards the end of the run averaging around 18 seconds on each. With only 101 miles last week (as opposed to regular 120) I was feeling full of energy. The horses were neighing again, the strides helped calm them down a bit.

A little later took Julia for 0.5, we ran 4:46.

P.M. We were out of toilet paper. So this was a creative shopping run. I learned about a store in Provo that finally decided to stop selling alcohol and tobacco after the owner's 9 year old daughter asked him why in the world he was selling this stuff. He had the guts to go through with his convictions, something that almost every single grocery store owner even in the Utah County seems to lack. At least, this is the only regular grocery store in the Utah County I am aware of with the exception of the  BYU Creamery on 9th East that does not sell alcohol and tobacco. I wanted to support the store owner on this decision, so we ran there to shop. The store is called Reams Family Foods, not to be confused with the more commonly known Reams chain, and is located at 2250 N University Pkwy in Provo over by Shopko, which happens to be a very nice run from our house, almost entirely on the trail, 2.74 miles out .  We took the double stroller, put Jacob in it, then Benjamin rode a bike, and Jenny ran for the first 1.5 miles, which we did in 13:36. Then they traded places. We ran another 1.24 and stopped at the store. Managed to load the stroller with a case of raspberries, 12 rolls of toilet paper, two loaves of bread, and two pounds of grapes. We even got a toy soccer ball for Julia. After another 0.76, Benjamin was done with his run. His time for 2 miles was 15:25. Then we put Benjamin on the bike, and Jenny sat in the stroller holding the rolls of toilet paper and another bag with grapes. Benjamin admonished me to catch the 8:00 mile guy for the whole run. I had a bit less than 2 miles to go and about a minute to close, no problem. With the help of 0.5% grade downhill,  fairly quickly got up to 6:20 pace, slowing down to around 7:00 in the tunnels. This must have been quite a scene to watch - a grocery loaded stroller with two kids in it, and one holding rolls of toilet paper going at a brisk pace. Slowed down to 6:40 with the same effort once it flattened out, what a difference  a 0.5% grade makes for a loaded stroller! Total time for 5.48 was 41:58.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From rdrunner on Tue, Sep 25, 2007 at 11:44:26

LOL!! What a, stroller, TP and all. When you gotta go, you gotta go!

From Lulu on Tue, Sep 25, 2007 at 13:57:28

Nice post. Hysterical! Moments with the kids to remember forever. When they run x-country in high school and college, they are going to have some stories to tell about their dad taking them running!

From Michael on Wed, Sep 26, 2007 at 13:27:14

Alexander wanted me to tell you he got to experience the police escort and siren/lights like you often do when he won his first 5K run - he said like you that it made him speed up

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