Breaking the Wall

January 15, 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: 107.61 Year: 107.61
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: 1276.97
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeff in racing flats. Felt good. Neural drive was there, even though it did not quite shine in the warm-up - 8:00 pace felt fast. The feet felt decent, both the achilles on the left and the top on the right. So decided 2x2 miles at 5:30 pace would be good. In the past I would have said 3x2 miles at 5:25 pace. But I am suspecting that the training effect is better if you take what you can do all out and cut it some. The effectiveness of the stimulus is not in how much it brings you down, but in the net difference between the loss of fitness from the stress and the gain of fitness in the recovery. And I am suspecting that this effectiveness is maximized at a respectable distance away from the start of the red zone.

So we warmed up our usual 3.62. I gave Jeff the instructions. 10:58 is good, but 10:57 is bad - too fast. If you hit 81 do not slow down to 84 to make up, make it 83. The first one (first 2 miles of the FRB 5 Miler) went like this:

81.5 - 85.5 - 82 - 83 (5:32) - 79 - 83 - 82 - 82 (5:26, 10:58.2).

Now you can say with 10:58 that Jeff was a sly fox and got everyout out of me that I was willing to give, but the truth of the matter is that I did pull alongside him in the last 0.5 to communicate that I did not want the pace to drop. The fifth quarter was interesting. I said - wow, I wonder why 5:30 feels like miles 6-8 of this years SLC half when I was trying to hang on to BJ. Then I saw the split - the pace was 5:16, not 5:30, no wonder it felt so hard. HR was 156 after the first mile, then 158 after the fifth quarter, and then it gradually drifted to 160 maxing out at 162.

We jogged 0.5 with a VPB in the middle, and then started the next one from the turnaround of the FRB 5 Miler. It went like this:

81 - 82 - 83 - 82 (5:28) - 82 - 81 - 83 - 79 (5:25, 10:53.8).

I felt strong and communicated by pulling alonside Jeff in a few places that I wanted the fast pace to stay fast. So it was a bit faster than the 10:58 too fast cut off, but I felt a little faster was OK on the second one. The last two quarters were up a small grade and are usually about 1-2 second slower than the others with the same effort in our tempo runs. HR was at 160 by 1.5, got to 162 with a quarter to go, and then peaked at 167 in the last quarter.

Cooled down to 10 miles. Total time was around 1:10:43 if I remember right.

Then 2.15 with Benjamin barefoot at Footprinter's field in 18:48. To my disappointment it got aerated.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 17:29. Julia ran the first 1.5 with us in 13:32. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:12. Wore Crocs.

Saucony Type A Miles: 10.00Bare Feet Miles: 2.15Walmart Crocs (No Boundaries) Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.75
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