Breaking the Wall

September 22, 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: 146.13 Year: 2768.94
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. Long run with Chad Robinson. He went 15, I did 20. He waited for me after we got to 7.5. We did a test pickup. He made it to the mile in 5:53. After that the markers were gone as the new ones have not been painted after the road reconstruction, but we kept going. I tried to maintain the same effort, not sure if I got it quite right, but Chad survived for about another 0.5 miles.This is quite an improvement for Chad in the last two weeks.

After that we jogged some, I dropped Chad off to wait, then ran up, and then did a 3 mile tempo back down. The legs were stale from the combination of quarters on Thursday and drills on Friday, or perhaps stale just because, so I was not quite sure what to expect hoping it would not be as bad as 16:30 or worse. Went through the first mile in 5:15, was happy about that, then Ian interesting event happened. A guy that I passed earlier all of a sudden caught up to me and passed me back. His form looked decent, so I had hopes he was some stray collegiate runner in good shape and could pull me for the rest of the tempo. So I mentally relaxed thinking I would have company. He did OK for the next quarter which I ended up doing in 77. Then he lasted another quarter, but started losing steam. After a 77 I had enough steam to draft at 80, but not enough to sense that we were running slow and to want to take the initiative. He actually did not quite make it to the 1.5 mark, so I was left alone at that point. I felt like somebody had just held a juicy watermelon in front of me, and then took it away. What was I thinking? I should not have held up my hopes. What are the chances that a random runner on the trail would be able to hold 5:20s for a couple of miles mid-run when out of 2000 or so people that came to race the Provo River Half last year only 4 could have done it under such circumstances?

After this disappointment, it took me some time to recover. I hit several goose egg quarters in a row with the worst being 85 and the second mile in 5:27. With about a half mile to go I was finally able to speed up to an 80 quarter when I zeroed in on Chad, followed by a 78 at the end which gave me 16:06.3 for the run and the last mile in 5:24. It was not so much the fatigue, but rather the anticipation of the rest of the run being easy and fast. The lesson to learn from that is you should always expect the target pace to be hard. Be thankful when it is easy, but always be prepared for it to require more effort than what you are currently exerting.

Chad and I jogged some, then sped up some. I challenged him to run the last 3 miles at 6:30 pace, and he accepted - we ended up with 19:32 and the splits of 6:21, 6:39, 6:32.

Benjamin ran 4, Joseph 1, Jenny and Julia 1.5, Jacob 0.25.

Green Crocs 1 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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