Breaking the Wall

November 27, 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: 232.17 Year: 3533.69
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. Met Jeff on the trail. 10 miles in 1:19:45. Noticed a few things in the last couple of days. It appears that my body needed less sleep. Usually if I get up early I need a nap in the afternoon, and I have been able to do without one. I've been getting out of bed with less struggle. Another sign of change to go along with it - I volunteer a faster starting pace. Today I opened with a 1:54 quarter which is very unusual for me for 6:00 AM, 7.5 hours of sleep, snow covered road, and 0F temperature. The rest of the run was slower because Jeff and I were engaged in a discussion of how to prevent underage tobacco use and other sources of poverty. We agreed that a kid that gets caught should be put in small room and not let out until he's written a paper on the harmful effects of the drug and then presented it to his peers without giggles and other funny noises showing his disdain for the subject. I also think he should work on the paper until it not only contains the facts but is also solid in the aspect of English. This would make the ACT/SAT average scores shoot through the roof!

On the note of change, thoracic flexibility has improved a lot. However, the shoulders are still tense. At least they look tense to Jeff. They do not feel tense to me, which is part of the problem, because I do not know what to do about it. If I could run a mile in 4:20 I would not care that they are tense, but I cannot, and I do suspect this tension to be one of the culprits. Or at least, maybe not the tension itself, but the underlying cause of the tension.

Sarah also has been telling me last night about an ancient martial art that is based on a principle of relaxation. It originated from somebody who observed that no animal is ever tense in its motion. Now think about that. Have you ever seen an animal run like the average participant in a non-elite road race? Every animal I've ever seen has been smooth and natural. Almost every human that I've seen, with the exception of very few, is tense and unnatural. Why is that? Maybe some kind of mental baggage that we accumulate throughout the years that animals cannot? If so, how do you get rid of that baggage?

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 18:11. Julia ran the first 1.5 with us in 14:26. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:11. 0.25 with Jacob in 3:08. Jenny ran with Sarah in the morning.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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