Breaking the Wall

August 13, 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: 88.07 Year: 2386.98
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: 1257.89
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran a recovery 20 miler with Jeff if there is such a thing. I ran pretty hard long runs for the last several weeks, and Jeff was going to drive to Mesa afterwards, so we decided to take it easy. I decided to stop being a chicken and finally wear Five Fingers on a long run. I figured if I only run easy in them I keep learning barefoot form only at slow paces. If my fast miles happen in shoes, I will just keep unlearning what I learned in Five Fingers.

The warm-up was uneventful - 10 miles uphill from my house to Bridal Veil Falls in 1:14:41.On the way back we ran a mild 5 mile tempo down the Provo Canyon (first 3.2 miles) and then following the trail along the University Avenue for the remainder. We followed the magic triangle marks for distance. The mile splits were 6:01 - 5:52 - 5:43 - 5:40 - 5:26.  Total time 28:42, 5:44 average. HR was 137 at 5:50 pace, 147 at 5:40 pace, and 153 at 5:25 pace. Early on we had more downhill and tailwind. This goes to show how much downhill and tailwind help on the economy end. Jeff was consistently 15 or so beats higher than me. What is interesting is that the last mile felt quick, like I was working.

Shortly after we finished the tempo we saw a group of bikers. Jeff reported there were 21 of them. Of all things somebody could be thinking in the 16th mile of a 20 mile run counting people was not something I would have expected. He told me counting people in a group was his hobby. I was very impressed with this talent. Later I asked him how many people attended his Elder's Quorum in church last Sunday. He knew the exact number, he said it varied from 19 to 21 as people kept coming and going. With this talent he is going to make a great ward clerk, and he actually has been one. Also, when he and Kimia have 10 children he will never accidentally leave one of them at a gas station on a trip.

Around mile 16 we were done with the post-tempo jogging and picked up the pace to get the run over with to around 6:40. My feet started to burn a bit. With a mile to go Jeff asked me if I wanted to run the fat mile. I did not feel like it at first, but then the thought of finishing the run 40 seconds sooner was more temptation than I could handle, so I agreed. So we ran our last mile in 5:58. Towards the end my HR was 155 at 5:50 pace and it was also warmer than 8 miles ago. Total time for 20 was 2:17:09, 6:51 average, last 10 in 1:02:28, 6:14 average.

The feet did OK, there are minor blisters on the balls of both feet that will hopefully turn into nice callouses.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin and Jenny. Timed only the last 1.5 in 13:06. 1.5 with Julia in 14:30. Happy to be able to run barefoot at the end of a long day.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 20.00Bare Feet Miles: 3.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
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