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. We did a 2 mile warm-up, ran our standard 15 mile tempo, and then 3.1 for a cool down. Total of 20.1 miles.

Tempo - total time 1:26:52.0. New  course record by 18 seconds.

Splits by mile: 5:51 - 5:50 - 5:52 - 5:49 - 5:54 - 5:46 - 5:49 - 5:47 - 5:52 - 5:48 - 5:46 - 5:45 - 5:43 - 5:45 - 5:35.

By 2.5 segment: 14:39 - 14:37 - 14:30 - 14:32 - 14:24 - 14:10

By 5 mile segment: 29:16 - 29:02 - 28:34

By half: 43:46 - 43:06

Analysis: The plan was to go 5:50 pace without major speeding even if I felt good for the first 10 miles, and then do the best I can after that. Jeff was under the constraint of not being allowed to drop me. The reason was to make sure Jeff would not run himself into the ground. He still has a discrepancy between fuel storage/muscle resilience and a neural drive favoring the neural drive, or in more plain terms he can run hard for 15 miles but he pays for it for a week afterward. 

6:00 pace felt hard from the gun, but then I got warmed up. We did quite a bit of surging into the 86 quarter zone, then overcorrecting to an 89 or sometimes even 90, then repeating the cycle. Which I think was not necessarily bad since it happens a lot in tactical races and it is good to be ready for it.

Part of the reason we surged so much I think was that 5:50 pace felt not much harder than 5:40, but 6:00 felt much more relaxing. So once we'd realize we earned some relaxation points instead of taking a short nap (an 88 quarter), we would go to a spa (90 quarter), and then it was time to pay the bills.

The good news is that as the run progressed the pace did not feel harder. I did not have to draft behind Jeff through most of the run except a couple of surges and the last 0.5 which we did in 2:44 (83,81).

Had to do a VPB stop at mile 7.

Compared to the previous course PR which I set drafting behind Nick for 12.5 miles, we trailed that schedule the entire time and did not pass virtual me until the last mile. However, it was Abraham sacrificing the ram caught in the thicket - virtual me ran 15:12 for the last 2.5 so even though we were still behind at 14, we ended up 18 seconds ahead at the finish.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 15:56, Jenny ran the first 1.5 in 12:34. Benjamin was excited about playing with Jared, so he ran 6:44 pace in the last 0.5 to get the run finished quicker. 1 with Julia in 9:47.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 20.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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