Breaking the Wall

August 19, 2019

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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: 160.46 Year: 2462.47
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs Lifetime Miles: 2133.34
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1263.81
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Started with an 800 meter time trial with Benjamin on the track. I was concerned about my ability to pace, as Benjamin is fast, and the distance is short. But I did OK. The target was 2:24, and I would have been happy with 2:26, but the plan was to pace him through the first lap in 72 and then see what happens. Benjamin was a bit aggressive in the first 100, which we did in 16. After that I told him to get really behind me and not push the pace from the side, and the pace became more reasonable. We did the next 500 meters hitting each 100 in 18, with 34 at 200, 70 at 400, and 1:46 at 600. Benjamin took the lead at 300 as we had planned. The idea was that if he knew he was supposed to take the lead, he had something to think about for the first 300 to get his mind off the worries about being able to sustain the pace. I took the lead back immediately after 400, and Benjamin took it again at about 540 again as planned. The idea was that this would give him a confidence boost, help practice for competitive racing, and also keep me from second-guessing how fast he wanted to go for the remainder of the run. At this point it felt really good to be behind him. I relaxed and did not try to pass him back on the curve. At 700 I found out why it felt so good - our next 100 was 19. So I moved out to pass him, but not very fast. This reluctance to accelerate came natural to me as I was quite tired, but it was just perfect for Benjamin because it stirred his competitive juices without mentally destroying him, and he picked it up. Our last 100 was 18 with the total time of 2:23.1.

This was very good preparation for the assault on the 5:00 mile barrier. Benjamin proved that he can run a significantly faster pace for half the distance, and that his second lap can be faster than the target pace, not just the first. Our next step is to take a break from the track next Tuesday and show the 6:00 guy who's the boss for 3 miles going down the Provo Canyon, and then the Tuesday after that try 1200 in under 3:45. So far, however, we are on track to break 5:00 before Benjamin turns 14, which is exciting. Now when he turns 15, it is quite likely that I might only be able to pace him for the first 800, and maybe the last lap in his mile time trials. But by then he can just run a competitive track race instead.

We ran some more miles after that, I ran with the younger kids, and some alone. Benjamin ended up with 6 miles, Jenny, Joseph, and Julia did 2, Jacob ran 1. I did a pickup for a quarter down the canyon in 76 chasing another runner. His name was Tony and he was visiting his family from California. We had a good talk.

P.M. 0.3 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.30
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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