Breaking the Wall

December 12, 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: 0.00 Year: 3555.51
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1576.28
Neon Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 33.72
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ted was not feeling good, did not make it. Jeff slept in. So I ran alone at 5:15 AM. Started out a bit quicker than normal - 7:21 in the first mile, after that a slight sub-6:40. Ran into Jeff at around 5.5 mark, and we ran together from there. 1:06:59 for 10.1.

P.M. Sarah went to Wal-Mart and got me a pair of crocs for $5. I wanted to try them as a proof-of-concept for near barefoot running. At the very worst, I figured, they would make nice slippers for the summer. Did my entire evening run in crocs. First a mile with Julia in 10:47. Then 1.5 with Jenny in 13:45. Her ankle was hurting, so she did not have to catch the 9:00 girl today. Then 2 with Benjamin in 15:26. Then 5.5 more by myself. I was pressed for time, and needed to keep around 7:00 average to avoid being late. Started with a first quarter in 1:45, followed by 1:41. Then hit the mile in 6:38. Figured I'd just stay ahead of the 6:40 guy. Then I noticed that my split for the next 0.5 was 3:07. I recalculated it to be sure, it was right. The next one was 3:02. I figured, forget it, this is my second run, and I have only 3.5 left, and then a night of sleep, I am not going to hold back. If I feel like running 6:00 pace, I'll just go for it. After that it was unreal. I started running 5:40 pace without actually trying to run a tempo. The rhythm and the harmony of movement were so appealing that I did not notice the effort. The form felt great. I went by a couple of guys in their 40s going around 8:00 - 8:30 that looked like they were experienced runners. This must have been quite a sight for them - a runner in crocs passing them at 5:40 pace, I must have looked like a beach bum running away from a tidal wave. I slowed down to 5:50 under the bridges, and then was back up to 5:40 pace. Ended up catching the 6:00 guy for the whole run with 32:52 for 5.5. Last 3 miles in 17:07, 5:42.3 average.

Checked for side efforts from crocs afterwards, there were none so far. Noticed that the shin muscles were working a lot better, and I felt like was getting more out of them than in regular shoes. It was also easier to take my foot off the ground, there did not seem to be as much of my usual lingering.

Night Sleep Time: 6.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
From cgbooth23 on Thu, Mar 13, 2008 at 12:05:04


What made you think of running in Crocs? I did a 5 mile run a couple weeks ago in a similar sandle called Waldies, I too felt great in them! just wonderig what motivated you to try them out! good pace by the way!

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Mar 13, 2008 at 12:26:54

I noticed that my kids run very well in Crocs. I also have known for a while that I do have a problem with an excessive ground contact time, but do not have a problem wearing shoes with no cushioning.

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