Breaking the Wall

November 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: 244.22 Year: 3545.74
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: 734.48
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Eventful 15.1 with Ted. Was supposed to be uneventful. The events were the end of the heat wave, lots of ice on the ground, and me taking a spectacular spill on black ice under the bridge around 14.3 into the run. Almost made it to the finish without events, almost. This is the best I've had in years. I felt like a figure skater - a lot of interesting movements in the process. It happened so fast, and there was so much movement involved that I do not remember all the details. Got away with a bloody lip and nose. Got up right away. The quarter with the fall was 1:52, and I did not stop my watch in the middle. We were otherwise going 6:40 pace at that point, which perhaps was not a safe running speed on that part of the trail. Total time was 1:49:22.

P.M. 1.05 with Julia in 11:11, 1.5 with Jenny in 13:22, she closed the last quarter in 1:49, 2 with Benjamin in 17:51. I told him to guess his splits every quarter, but I was not going to give him any feedback. He guess all of them within 3 seconds except the ones where there was an ice patch that reduced us to a walk. On that one, he was off by 7 seconds. Added another 0.7 in 4:46.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From josse on Fri, Dec 21, 2007 at 17:18:49

Careful it's icy outside.

From James on Fri, Dec 21, 2007 at 23:39:07

Was it the bridge on 800 North? I have ate it pretty good under that one before.

From Mike warren on Sat, Dec 22, 2007 at 00:06:25

No harm, No foul! Those runs build character and toughen you up! Great job on the miles, you are really ramping it up!!

From Jon on Sat, Dec 22, 2007 at 12:37:02

Hope you are ok from the fall.

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Dec 22, 2007 at 13:31:12

James - it was under the railroad bridge. The 800 North bridge underpass is a lot of fun as well.

From James on Sat, Dec 22, 2007 at 14:00:50

The rail road bridge is a duzy. You are talking about the one that is about a mile west of where you live, right? It is funny because I know most of the areas where you run quite well, because I once lived in those areas too. I lived just up from the park on 650 North and 1200 west before I was married. If you went out my back gate and you were on the trail. And after I was married I lived by Slate Canyon.

Hey, there is a possibility that I might stay down in Utah County on Sunday night. If I do I would love to hook up for a run on Monday morning. Give me your phone number again incase I do and I will give you a call on Sunday evening.

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