Breaking the Wall

August 06, 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: 16.00 Year: 2314.91
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: 1185.83
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Sergio. Had to cut the run short to 15.8 because we were going to a funeral of Sister Pauline Pace who taught me the Gospel in Russia with her husband. She died at the age of 92. It was a great privilege to know her and Elder Pace who has now been gone from this life for about 11 years. I am thankful for the sacrifice they were willing to make in their 70s to go on a mission and show me the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through their example. I could feel it, and I knew that it was not just from their personality, but there was some power beyond it that they possessed that came from their faith. I learned from them that service was not something you do when it is convenient, but you do it when the Lord asks. One of the hymns performed at the funeral was Be Still My Soul. It is interesting, perhaps more than just interesting, that this hymn drew my attention a week ago enough to write something about it in my blog.

Saw Mike Ramsdell at the funeral. We knew each other in Moscow. He was a branch presidency councilor in my branch. He asked me about my run this morning and laughed when I told him I had to cut it short to 15.8 miles.

As far as the run went, I did a warm-up with Sergio with a few pickups, then ran the 7.5 tempo with 2.5 down, 2.5 up, and 2.5 down.  The splits by half mile were: 2:46, 2:49, 2:48, 2:50. 2:48 (14:01), 3:02, 3:05, 3:11, 3:07, 3:10 (15:35), 2:49, 2:47, 2:47, 2:43, 2:40 (13:46), total time 43:22, 8 seconds faster than last week.

I felt sluggish in the first 2.5, then felt stuck in the uphill 2.5. There was headwind, maybe it was stronger than it appeared, but regardless I slowed down way too much on that uphill/headwind stretch. The quads are working too hard while all this is happening and I cannot find my rhythm. This slow down is still a concern and needs to be fixed. I should not be seeing 6:20 and slower pace in almost any wind on that grade - it is only 1-2 %. 

Then surprisingly I found another gear in the last 2.5. All of a sudden I started running 5:30 pace and it did not feel hard. 

Cooled down with Sergio, total of 15.8 miles. 

Kids ran on their own. Benjamin did 6, Joseph and Jacob 1 each, Jenny and Julia 2. 

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 15.80
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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