Breaking the Wall

December 01, 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 Michelle, and Josse. Matt joined us after a mile. The original plan was for Michelle to run the standard 5 mile tempo at 6:00 pace, while I towed Josse trying to stay with Michelle until she dropped us, then keep towing until Michelle had a gap of about 100 meters, then drop the harness, catch up to Michelle as fast as possible, and pace her from that point. Josse was not feeling good, and decided to just jog. So I just paced Michelle, which was OK as I could tell I was still feeing the neural fatigue.

We hit the first mile in 5:57, and during that mile I was really glad I was not towing Josse - I could feel the signs of neural fatigue in my stride and in the overall feeling. I was thinking, I am glad she cannot run low 5:50s, and it was not "I am too lazy to run 5:50s this hour of the day", not a sleeping lion annoyed that his sleep was disturbed, it felt like the start of the Provo Half - I really do not want to race today, I like my bed better than running. Michelle's HR was around 173-175 towards the end of the mile.

On the second mile Michelle started losing steam, but she was consistent - 4 quarters in 1:31, 6:04. HR about the same. We hit the turnaround in 15:04. I waited as long as I could to start the Give Me Five (TM), but I figured after a 180 Michelle needed to be woken up. 6:07 for the next mile. Her HR dropped to as low as 171 on a 1:32 quarter.

Over the last two miles Michelle tried to pick up the pace, but she did not have much juice. Nevertheless, she was steady. Her next mile was 6:08, and she closed with a 6:05 to finish in 30:21. Her last 200 was 41 seconds, though, and I had to work to keep up. Her HR was very interesting during the kick. She was able to get it up to 178, but then it dropped to 176, although I did not feel any let up in the pace. Not sure what that means. Might be normal - to accelerate is harder than just to maintain. Which implies that when you are kicking you should explode for 5 seconds with every bit of energy you've got, and then coast to the finish, and you can coast pretty far.

Also, the highest I've seen her HR is 180, yet she has been able to maintain 173 for 5 miles. That is 96%. I wonder if this ability is a sign that the cardio is stronger than the nervous system, which could mean that either the cardio is very strong, or the nervous system is very weak.

Ran some more with Michelle, Josse, and Matt, total of 13 miles for this morning.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:51, 2 with Benjamin in 17:14 with Jenny running 1.5 in 13:10.

T4 Racer - 398.14 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.25Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 7.75
From MichelleL on Wed, Aug 13, 2008 at 14:29:38

Thanks so much for pacing me through this workout. Not quite the stellar workout I was hoping for, but a good one.

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