Breaking the Wall

January 15, 2021

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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: 107.61 Year: 107.61
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: 1276.97
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Long run with Jeff. He was not feeling fully recovered, so we did a mild version of the workout. Well, mild for him, not so mild for me, especially still not being 100% recovered from the ear infection.

We ran our 10.1 course twice. Started with a short warm-up that quickly progressed into the brisk pace (6:25). We kept winding it up but were careful not to break 6:10 by much, and sub-6:00 was the forbidden zone for a while. It was still conversational, at least Jeff was trying to carry a conversation, and I provided two sentence answers when motivated. Our first 10.1 was 1:03:54, 6:19.6 average. Then we ran the next mile in 6:07, followed by 6:02, and I said, let's just run 6:00 to the end. Jeff is an overachiever, so I knew it ment we'd be doing some 5:50s, but I felt good enough, and I wanted to test the trouble waters anyway. I tucked behind him and tried to relax.

We cruised at around 5:53-5:58 pace up until mile 16, and then Jeff pushed it to 5:47. That felt like it was too much, even though we had only 3 miles left. My legs started caving a bit. So we took it easy in the next 3 quarters (90,91,91) and it did not feel easy at all. I started wondering how much more I was going to slow down. Then Jeff saw a biker in front of us and got excited about passing her. That gave us an 88 quarter up a slight grade, and I survived it. This gave me confidence that I could do 90s to the end, at least on flat quarters. The exhilaration of passing somebody on a bike that did not seem to be totally out of shape or loafing gave me some energy.

From that point we were doing 89 second quarters, and I felt thankful for every one of them. Then with a mile to go with hit some rollers under the bridges, and that was too much. I told Jeff to go ahead. Nevertheless, I made it through the next two quarters without an exceptional embarrassment - 93, and a 92. That is about what I did a couple of months ago before I got sick in a similar run, except we loafed through the first half in 1:15, and then ran a bit faster in the second half than today. Then once it flattened out I was able to pick it up to 90, and saw that an 86 would give me 2:04:00 for 20.2, and an 85 would give me 6:00 for the last mile, which will be 6 seconds faster than 2 months ago, and will allow me to say that I stayed true to the 6:00 or faster split goal for the last 8 miles. So I worked as hard as I could, and managed to squeeze an 85 quarter out of my tired legs.

Total time for 20.2 was 2:03:59, 6:08 average. Last 10.1 was 1:00:05,  5:57 average.

A.M-2. Set up Mary Ann's course, did about 0.6 of running with Benjamin, and then paced Jenny through the mile in 7:30. Julia ran 8:23. Benjamin missed the start of his 5 K and threw a fit. We put him in the mile, but he was still upset after the quarter and threw another fit, and refused to run further. He will be doing some attitude adjustment work for the next while. Thanks to Benjamin Jenny ended up chicking the field. Small field, but it still feels good.

P.M. Benjamin's attitude adjustment run. After his fit he was in major trouble. He lost his friend's playing privileges and had to gradually earn them back. Step one was to run 1 mile hard without fits, complaining, or any other form of negative talk. He ran splits of 1:46, 1:41, 1:39, 1:38 for the total of 6:44. No complaining, good attitude. This earned most of his privileges back, but not playing with Jared, his most wanted privilege. I felt he needed an experience that would teach him the consequences of bad decisions last longer than a day.

Saucony Type A Miles: 20.20
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From TylerS on Sun, Mar 22, 2009 at 00:16:23 from

I would like to know your attitude adjustment! I have a few boys that could use one every now and again! Good job on the long run!

From Jon on Mon, Mar 23, 2009 at 00:48:55 from,948.0.html

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 19:01:53 from


Take away the most wanted privileges, and have them earn those back by good behavior and some positive action. Do not cave to pressure.

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