Breaking the Wall

February 20, 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: 81.04 Year: 418.47
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: 1353.22
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Met Jeff on the trail. Ran 10 in 1:16:27 with 3x1200 on the trail with 200 recovery. 3:57.8, 4:02.0, 3:51.2. I think this is a perfect 5 K training workout. Maybe do the 4th one once you plateau with 3. I felt HR was going into 170 range on the last one. If you just bust out a fast 1200 HR might not go up and you will be running anaerobically. This is OK for the mile, but not for the 5 K. In the 5 K you want your HR elevated for the longest extent possible (not due to the lack of aerobic fitness, though).  While in the half and longer you are playing the game of getting the most out of one heart beat, in the 5 K that is not enough. You need to get the heart to beat fast as well.

Then 3.25 more with Julia in 29:25  to Walgreens and back to get new clogs.

P.M. Ran with the kids running group. It was a special day. I have been giving Benjamin workouts to get him to believe that he could break 6:00. I carefully planned this one to make it happen right in the workout. I told him, open with an 85, then 90, then whatever you want, I do not care if it is 8:00 pace, then 90.  He was freaking out and telling me he could not do it, and that he would not even try. I gave him a talk about Laman and Lemuel, threatened him that he would have to take two piano lessons a week instead of one, and then told him to pray for humility. He finally did and was ready to go. I told him if he opened with 85, and got to half mile in under 3:00 I did not care if he jogged to the end from there, but only with one condition - he had to be able to be happy with himself.  Of course, I knew that if he opened with 85, he would get to half mile in at least 2:55, and once he is there he would not be happy with himself if he had not tried to hold the pace. He seemed to understand that as well and deep down was fighting the idea.

So from the start he busted out of the gate. After I had slowed him down, the first 100 was 18. I congratulated him for being on pace for 4:48, and he backed off to what was right. 84 at the quarter, 2:07 at 600, 2:51 (87) at the half. This was a 1 second half mile PR. Then he started freaking out and slowed down to a jog. But that was OK, it was part of my "devious" plan. I knew you could jog only that slow after running fast. His next 100 was 28, so he was still ahead of the 6:00 guy. After hearing the split he began to believe that he could break his mile record of 6:07 and sped up to a 24 quarter. He was still 2 seconds ahead of 6:00 pace, and had only 600 to go. He ran the next 200 more or less off inertia in 46 hitting 0.75 in 4:29 and then it dawned on him that he only needed a 91 to hit 6:00. So pretty much maintain the pace, and it is in the bag. He got excited and sped up. His last quarter was 84, and he finished the mile in 5:53.9 thus becoming the second member in our family sub-6:00 club!

So his progression is as follows - sub-8:00 at the age of 5, a month before his 6th birthday. Sub-7:00 at the age of 8 a couple of months after his 8th birthday. Now sub-6:00 at the age of 11 three months after his 11th birthday. Now we are hoping for sub-5:00 at 14 and sub-4:00 at 17, of course. In reality, sub-5:00 will probably happen at late 12/early 13, and sub-4:00 may never happen, but I'll be OK with that as long as he can run 4:10. You can run 2:05 marathon off as slow as 4:10 mile with proper endurance training.

Benjamin ran a total of 3. Jenny ran 2.5. Joseph ran 0.5.

Eva Clogs Black Miles: 6.35
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
From Maurine/Miles on Wed, May 19, 2010 at 13:59:55 from

Tell Benjamin congratulations! Very impressive.

From seeaprilrun on Wed, May 19, 2010 at 22:45:17 from

Congrats to Benjamin! What a smart devious plan!

From Benjamin on Thu, May 20, 2010 at 12:23:06 from

It hurt.

From Huans32 on Thu, May 20, 2010 at 16:01:58 from

Wow. Awesome job to Benjamin. That is great.

From allie on Thu, May 20, 2010 at 18:37:34 from

congrats on the breakthrough, benjamin!

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