Breaking the Wall

January 21, 2021

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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: 188.26 Year: 188.26
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: 1359.62
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeff. We did a 3.62 warm-up, and I needed it to be that long since we had a early start (5:30 AM) due to Jeff being called into work early. The warm-up was also brisk. After dragging through the first mile in 8:20 (which is actually moving by our standards), we sped up to sub-7:00. We needed to do this because yesterday was a laundry day, and I had a hard time finding my clothes in the morning.

The workout was originally planned to be alternating quarters of 83 and 77 until I felt it was too hard, then jog and repeat trying to get as much mileage in as possible in this manner with as few stops as possible. However, due to the lack of time we altered it. 83/77 until I felt it was too hard, then tempo to the finish with accelerating by feel. My feel, that is, not Jeff's. 

So we did 83.5 - 77.5 - 82 - 76 (5:19) - 84 - 76 - 84.5 - 74.5 (5:19, 10:38). At this point I was tired, so we started the recovery. I was amazed at how slow we went and how hard it felt after a 74.5 quarter. We did 96-94 and it felt like we were going maybe 87. 13:48 at the turnaround, wow, half a mile ago we were ahead of the 5:20 guy, now we are behind the 5:30! Then 91 - 89 (6:09,16:47) - 89 - 89 - 87 - 87  (5:52,22:39) - 86 - 82 - 85 - 76 (5:29). Total time was 28:08.4, 5:37.7 average.

HR maxed out at 167. However during the last quarter it was only 163. During recovery it quickly dropped to 145 between 2 and 2.5 (6:20 pace), then rose to 152 when the pace got up to 5:56. Normally it would be 135 at 6:20 pace, and 147 at 5:56. I interpret this as follows. There was some anaerobic build-up from the first 2 miles, most of it got cleaned up between 2 and 2.5, and all of it was gone before the last quarter. At least the heart was not being asked to work harder than normal for the pace.

I started breathing with thirst for air about 1.5 into the workout, so I interpret that as VO2 being higher, but the failure did not happen until the muscles felt tense in the 74.5 quarter.  They were also tense after the workout for a while.

We jogged briskly to the finish of 10 miles, total time was 1:05:32. Then 2 more with Benjamin in 17:16. A quarter in 82 in the middle, plus last 100 in 19.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 19:26. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 14:30. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:54. That is a record for him. He is getting into shape fast.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 12.00Bare Feet Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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