Breaking the Wall

September 23, 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: 146.13 Year: 2768.94
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 with Chad. There was some snow on the ground, quite a bit of it, enough to affect the pace. I wanted to run something fast without overdoing it. Decided on pacing Chad through 5 miles at 6:00 pace. We started from the Fast Running Blog 5 miler start. I mispaced the first mile overcorrecting for the snow and the "spontaneous vaccination" state of my health and we got 5:50. I suspected it would perhaps be too much for Chad, as that course is a bit slower than ideal even when you have no snow, and we hit it 10 seconds faster than the target pace on top of it. So it was probably worth a good 5:40 without the snow, and 5:35 on a nice flat road. Nevertheless, Chad lived through another two quarters in 90 each. On the positive side of things, those felt like a jog, and I was happy that my health was still good enough for those to feel that way in spite of the snow. Then we hit an area where I have struggled recently in many of my tempo runs losing about 5 seconds per mile for apparently no reason related to fitness, fatigue, or lack of effort. I think it is because overtime the asphalt got broken up and it is now quite bumpy. Constant tiny bumps take out of you more than you would think. Let us assume for simplicity you land on a surface that is sloped at a 3% incline either up or down on every step. This makes every step like going either up or down on a 3% incline. If you were to go half way at 3% uphill and the other half at 3% downhill according to the Murphy's law of running (adversity when reversed returns only half of what it took), this is equivalent to running uphill all the way on 1.5% incline. On top of that, in the bumpy run scenario you do not get the benefit of a steady rhythm.  In any case, it all added up to Chad slowing down to a 92 followed by 500 meters in 1:57, which is around 93. After seeing a 92 I told Chad we should go only 2.5 but challenged him to not let the 6:00 guy pass him. He took the challenge, made it to 2.25 still 1 second ahead, and then kicked in 86 finishing in 14:55. I figured 2.5 of tempo was good enough for me as well. 

We jogged some more, then ran with the kids - 0.5 with Jenny, Julia, and Jacob, 1 with Joseph and 3 with Benjamin. Benjamin's health was good enough to volunteer 23:17 for 3 miles.

P.M. It was just like in the Russian song about a sentimental boxer who thinks it is rude to hit his opponent. There is a line that says "he is doing the upper cut, he squeezed me in the corner, I barely escaped, now comes the upper cut, I am on the floor, and I am not feeling good". I spent the evening in bed with 102.6 F fever. It was not responding to ibuprofen. Finally we figured out a way to contain it - it did respond to tylenol quite well.  On the positive side of things, in the song the boxer wins the match without hitting his opponent once by wearing him out to the point that he collapses.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
From Chad Robinson on Wed, Dec 07, 2011 at 16:07:29 from

You know this already but your kids are impressive, I enjoyed running with them. On a side note do you have and great tips on making protein powder more pleasant? I did notice the multiple bumps in the trail as well.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Dec 09, 2011 at 15:12:42 from

Chad - you could mix it with the juice of your choice. Jenny mixes it with orange juice.

From Chad Robinson on Fri, Dec 09, 2011 at 16:12:58 from

Thanks. I mix it in with a banana, yogurt and apple juice (all stuff I was eating daily).

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