Breaking the Wall

September 19, 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: 90.98 Year: 2713.79
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. Ran alone. Uneventful 15.2 in 1:46:13, 6:59.28 avg. The roads were decent, although still quite a bit of snow and ice. But they were decent enough to average sub-7:00. One of those rare special times lately.

P.M. Eventful afternoon. Logistical problem. Tasks: take kids for their runs, take them to the library, retrieve VanGoGo from the car shop, get some running in, and go cross-country skiing. Solution: put the skis and boots in Zhu, take the kids to the library on foot via a scenic route. Sarah picked up Julia at 1.12 mark (12:10). We then continued on to the library with Benjamin and Jenny reaching it in 21:03 (2.03 miles). I continued to Computune (3.05 in 28:29), turned out they found nothing wrong with power-steering, and they could not reproduce the noise that bothered us. I demonstrated the noise, they will be diagnosing it tomorrow. Took VanGoGo to the library, left it there for Sarah, now she had a way of taking them back home, took Zhu to the Provo Canyon, skied 2.5 miles in 27:29, the conditions were not good, either deep snow, or hardly any snow, cannot push off well with the poles.

Also ran a short errand (0.25 miles) later.

Night Sleep Time: 0.13Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.13
From Mike Warren on Thu, Feb 07, 2008 at 23:38:56

Good miles! I ran one day this week on ice (Monday). I have to tell you, if it was everyday I doubt running would be my thing. You guys up North are some tuff cookies, Nice job!

From Ruthie on Fri, Feb 08, 2008 at 00:03:47

I just wondered, what do you eat for birthday cake? You have to stick the birthday candles in something, what do you use? Or do you not blow out candles?

From Kim on Fri, Feb 08, 2008 at 10:31:12

Wow! What a way to make it all happen! You guys have it all together! I have a sign in my house that says "we may not have it all together, but together we have it all." At your house it would have to say "we have it all together and we have it all together!"

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Feb 08, 2008 at 14:01:48

I think Sarah made a healthy cake a couple of times, but we did not put 30+ candles in it if I remember right. To tell you the truth, I actually like life without a birthday cake better, and not because I am getting old. I actually feel quite young, and it comes to me as a shock that the guys I run with or against have often lived for less than I've run. Or that I vividly remember 1980 Olympics, President Carter, my mom's dismay when Reagan was elected, Brezhnev speaking on TV on all the 4 channels at the same time, and then getting a day off at school for his funeral, etc. It almost feels like I got a glimpse of all of that from the pre-existence, and somehow manage to access that memory now. But nevertheless, for some reason my birthday is not a big deal to me, and I do not like to make too big of a deal about it.

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