Breaking the Wall

January 19, 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: 188.26 Year: 188.26
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: 1359.62
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Tempo run with Derek and Tyler. During the 4.12 warm-up talked about the economy, what affects the cost of living, and to what extent is the government regulation of the free market necessary. My thoughts. Comparing free market to a race. No individual competitor should be unfairly aided or hampered by the race officials. However, strict rules are needed to make sure nobody cheats. If you trip or punch somebody, cut the course, ride part of the race on a bike or in a car, use roller blades, poison a competitor before the start, or do something of that nature you are disqualified. If a famous runner is struggling and falls behind we do not give him a ride to catch up to the leaders or to be back on pace.

Then we ran the 2.5 in 13:42.1. The rough plan was 5:30 pace and we beat him by 3 seconds. I drafted behind Derek and Tyler most of the way. The splits were mostly unavailable due to the trail being heavily covered with leaves. We got our first split at 0.435 - 2:28. About 4 seconds off pace, no wonder it felt too manageable. I told Derek to speed up. He took us through the rest of the mile at 5:20 pace on the dot, so we had 5:28 at the mile. At this point my HR was 165, and I started to feel uncomfortable. So I asked Derek to back off a bit, and he did hitting the next two quarters in 81 each like a clock, 8:10 at 1.5. My HR was 163, and I felt balanced but very tenderly - a slight surge could do me in and the pace, even slower pace, would become unsustainable. This stretch had the fewest leaves, which I think is why 81 quarters felt more sustainable than at any other point in the tempo.

The last mile was uphill and covered with leaves. The next split was at "3000" - 10:16, so the uphill "600" at 5:36 pace. It felt hard but not miserable. Next "600" in 2:03, 5:28 pace, not noticeably uphill, but still uphill, I know because I had cross-country skied it several times timing it in both directions. On the last quarter it felt like we picked up the pace, HR got up to 168, but we only got 83 for the quarter. I wonder if it had to do with the increased amount of leaves while on a slightly higher upper grade. My HR never spikes that high unless I am running a sub-80 quarter. If I am too tired to run a sub-80 quarter, I just cannot push it that high.

Total time for the last mile was 5:32. Average HR 160, max 168.

I was pleased with the run. The time was the fastest for that stretch since St. George. But I was more pleased with the following: HR could get to 165 in 5 minutes of running, life seemed bearable at HR of 163, and I felt like I still had a little bit to give when it was as high as 168.

Cooled down with Derek and Tyler for 1.38 discussing no state income tax in Washington, then 2 more by myself to make the total of 10.

Sarah and I voted today. It felt good to vote for neither McCain nor Obama. I felt relieved that there was a candidate that represented my values much better even though he could not win.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 8:59. 2 with Benjamin in 17:10, Jenny did the first 1.5 in 13:08. Julia rode the bike during Jenny's run. This is a big breakthrough for Julia - she learned to ride less than a week ago. 200 with Jacob in 1:54, and 0.34 with Joseph in 4:09.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
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