Breaking the Wall

December 04, 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: 304.65 Year: 3606.17
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: 1657.61
Brown Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 806.96
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeff. Gave the foot and the fitness a mild test. Wore racing flats. We warmed up 3.62 which took us to the start of the Fast Running Blog 5 Miler course. The plan was to run comfortably hard (for me) until I felt we've run enough, but no more than 5 miles. I told Jeff to start at 5:50 - 5:55 pace.He  ended up going a whole lot faster from the gun, but I did not mind as I wanted to have a good fitness test and I was feeling good. About 2 miles into the tempo I felt like I could keep the pace all the way to 5, but wanted to avoid unnecessary stress on the foot and on the nervous system, so I made the decision to go to 3. So we ended up with the following quarter splits:

85 - 84 - 83 - 84 (5:36) - 83.5 - 84.5 - 85.5 - 83.5 (5:37, 11:13) - 83 - 86 (180 turn) - 81 - 79 (5:29, 16:42.7).

Total time for 3 was 16:42.7, 5:34 average.

The form felt good with the exception that the right foot was not allowing me to power quite as hard as I wanted. There was also some minor soreness at the insertion point of the achilles tendon on the left foot. In the past I would not have even mentioned this, but I am trying a new approach. The idea is to attack those minor aches to allow me to pound the ground as hard as I want rather than adjust the form to work around the aches. So I am going to continue to ice those spots and run some of the mileage on grass until I can put full force into the steps at any good form running angle.

I was also pleased with the leg power response. No trouble picking up the pace to 5:20 in the last 0.5, legs felt snappy. HR was 156 at 5:36 pace, and maxed out at 162 at the end at 5:20 pace. Compared to yesterday, the effort perception was also very much in line with HR patterns. Jeff's HR also behaved normally. So I suppose we did not get out of shape after all, something was indeed really odd about the Footprinter's field. Which is what I suspected.

Finished 10, then drove to a nearby grass field with Benjamin (It was not far but I did not want to run with the wheel), measured out a 1260 foot loop (0.238), and ran 9 of them with him barefoot in 18:52. That is 2.15 at 8:47 pace.

After all the adventures the foot felt the same as it did before the start. This is encouraging.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:34. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:23. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:01. Measure a part of the course for the Spring Creek Elementary 5 K with Sarah. Then it got late, so I ran 1.357 to the car in 11:35. Thanks to the wheel I knew exactly how far it was.

Saucony Type A Miles: 10.00Bare Feet Miles: 2.15Walmart Crocs (No Boundaries) Miles: 3.86
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.75
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