Breaking the Wall

November 26, 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: 232.17 Year: 3533.69
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: 734.48
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Today was the Deseret News Practice Run. I had two purposes. Measure how long it takes to get to the start of the race from my house following the magic route through Heber, Kimball Junction, and Jeremy Ranch road; and to run the first 16 miles of the course to remember what to expect, as I have not done that since 2008. Time flies. So I drove up with Ariel. It took 1 hour and 22 minutes. Then Ariel drove further to do his run, and I ran the 16 miles. 

I started right by the Morgan County/Salt Lake County sign, but I think that was wrong because my first mile was 6:19. I think part of it was starting at the wrong place, but part also was just from running too slow - I started with zero warm-up, and had a hard time kicking into gear. The subsequent miles were more normal, but still slow, considering I was going down 8% grade. 5:43, then 5:29 I think. 29:02 at 5 miles. Still feeling sluggish. To make matters worse, somehow I managed to run the 6th mile in 6:24. It had some uphill, but not that much. It should have been at least 6:10. The next mile up the Little Mountain was 6:58, followed by 6:19 which was about half up and half down. When I saw 48:43 at 8 miles I told myself it was time to wake up and try to start running. I was not sure if I did have that wake up in me, but the next mile showed I had at least some juice - 5:23, followed by 6:01 10th mile which has a detour to the subdivision. It was a bit slower than it should have been because I slowed down looking for the turnaround sign. It was not easily visible I did find it painted on the road, however,  and with that obstacle past me, got going again. The mile split was 6:01 with 1:00:07 at 10 miles. 

It was getting warmer, and I was running without water or fuel. However, the next two miles were good - both in 5:33. It felt too aggressive in the anticipation of the Hogle Zoo monster encounter, so I eased off a bit, and ran the next one in 5:38 - 1:16:51 at 13 miles. 15 mile split was 1:28:21 - the miles were 5:48, 5:42 I think. The last mile had the notorious Hogle Zoo bump that can help you evaluate how much glycogen you and your competitors have left in their legs. If there is a decent amount, it feels like a bump. If not, it feels like an endless climb, which is a bad sign because you still have more than 10 miles left. This mile was 5:54, it felt more like a bump than an endless climb, and I was happy with that. Total time was 1:34:14, with which I was not as happy, but since the last 8 were decent, I can claim that the first 8 were just a warmup.

I was also happy that Ariel showed up in my car and rescued me from the Hogle Zoo monster right as he began chewing on my quads and calves. There was some damage left, though, and I could feel it. It should heal up and get stronger on the day of the race.

The kids ran on their own, all except William and Joseph. Benjamin did 6, Jenny and Julia 2, Jacob 1. 

P.M. 2 miles with Joseph. Julia ran 0.5 with William.

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 18.00
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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