Breaking the Wall

September 19, 2019

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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: 90.98 Year: 2713.79
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: 22.05
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Interesting workout today. Total of 21 miles with two tempos. One after a short warmup, the other towards the end. The first being the Gerry Lindgren kind, the second end of the marathon kind.

Warmup - 2.62 miles in 20:50.

Gerry Lindgren tempo: First quarter in 76. Official prediction - 5:10 for the mile, 27:50 for 5 miles. Subsequent quarters: 76, 79, 82 - 5:13 at the mile, 3 seconds off the prediction on the slow side. HR peaked at 163 around 0.6 then dropped to 160 by the end of the mile. The first half mile felt more sustainable, but then I could not sustain it.

Second mile: 83, 84, 86, 86 - 5:39. HR at 159-160.

Third mile: 86, 86 (13:44 at the turnaround), 87, 86 - 5:45. HR drops to 157. Not for the lack of trying, though.

Mile 4: 87, 84, 87, 87 - 5:45. I decided to try something new. Attempt a surge to see to what extent this overrides neural fatigue. Could do it for a quarter, but could not sustain it. On the positive side, I was back to pre-surge pace post-surge. So perhaps this is a good strategy - I just bought myself a couple of seconds for free. HR climbed to 160 during the surge, then went back to 158 afterwards.

Mile 5: 86, 85, 84, 81 - 5:36. Was able to get HR above 160, and to as high as 166 on the last quarter. Total time was 27:58, last 2.5 in 14:14. Much better than on Wednesday.

Jogged 6.5 miles in 51:41. Met Larry Lawrence and Marie Gluhn (Hodson), ran with them for most of it. Larry back in his youth was fast - 3:58 mile. Then did another 5 mile tempo. I did not plan to make it 5, it kind of happened on accident. I only wanted to go 3, but then realized I started it too early, so I figured I'd go more. Then it also took me forever to get up to speed on those twists and turns, and the bridges, so I needed to go the whole 5 to hit a sub-6:00 average. Ran 29:58, last mile in 5:51. It got warmer, but not too bad. Cooled down 1.38 miles - total of 21 for the run.

Observations - not a whole lot of difference between the last 3 miles of the Gerry Lindgren portion, and the end of the run portion except for some fuzzy head. So in other words, it appears so far that I can simulate the end of the marathon minus the fuzzy head by running hard in the first mile and not stopping, just tempoing through. With proper focus I can run through the fuzzy head as fast as 5:30-5:40 pace on a good day. Fuzzy head in and of itself does not cause the slow down, there is something else that is involved, and I can get that something else to show its ugly head in the Gerry Lindgren tempo. So I will call that a small victory - I know how to make the dragon stick his head out. Now I just need a sword to chop it off.

P.M. Went to Michelle's house to watch the womens Olympics marathon. Turned out we were the only ones there. Ran there with the kids. 1 mile with Julia in 10:34, then 1.5 with Jenny in 12:40, and another 0.5 with Benjamin to make the total time for 2 miles 16:39. Kids did very well at a higher elevation and with the hills (6000 feet).

T4 Racer - 431.13 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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