Breaking the Wall

January 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: 252.01 Year: 252.01
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. Ran 11 laps around Grandview field barefoot. First 5 with Benjamin. He turned around at the tree and finished 2 miles in around 16:20. Jenny was not feeling awake so she ran slow. 2 miles in about 20:30. Julia's foot is still recovering from the cut. 4 more laps at an easy pace, and then the last 2 fast - 2:18 and 2:16 (5:54 pace).

During the run on the 9th lap I stepped on a wasp and it stung me.At first I thought it was a thorn, stopped to check, saw no thorn and no blood. Odd, I thought - why did it feel like a thorn. Was able to run at 5:54 pace almost unaffected. First lap felt a bit odd, on the second I got used to it. Then I stopped and noticed the ring toe (for lack of a better name, the one right next to the pinky) was slightly swollen. Then all of a sudden it swelled a lot. I got concerned for a second. What if I had stepped on something deadly? But I was feeling fine, so I figured I'd just drive home and be prepared to pull over if all of a sudden I started feeling bad. Just in case gave Benjamin the cell phone and told him to call 911 if I was acting weird.

But those turned out to be overprecautions as this was just a wasp sting, and I probably got only a portion of the poison. The sting lap was done in 2:46 (7:10 pace), so I figure about 0.2 seconds for the ground contact time. A wasp probably needs at least 0.5 seconds to do its job (does anybody know exactly?). So with those assumptions, and also assuming that the venom release happens at a uniform rate, I would have gotten only about 40% of the doze. So by now the swelling is very minimal, almost non-existent.

This reminds me that Deena Kastor was once stung by a bee. Except not in the toe, but in the back of her throat. This happened during the Worlds Cross Country Championship in 2000 in Porgtugal in the first 100 meters of the race. She spat out the bee and kept on running. As the race progressed her throat began to close. She passed out, then got up and finished the race in 12th place.

P.M. Made the magic drink for Top of Utah. Recipe: 1.5 liters of water, 2 table spoons of gotu kola powder (gotu kola is a native Sri-Lankan herb and has nothing to do with colas), 2 table spoons of hawthorn berry powder. Bring it to a boil and let it cool off. Then mix with 12 table spoons of honey and 1 tea spoon of sea salt. Poor in three 0.5 liter bottles. Serve the first at mile 10, the second at 15, and the third at 20.

Bare Feet Miles: 4.25
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From jtshad on Fri, Sep 18, 2009 at 17:34:06 from

Good luck tomorrow!

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