Breaking the Wall

December 03, 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: 304.65 Year: 3606.17
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: 806.96
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Today was the record of slippage on the road. After running with the little kids (Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1), I decided to wait to run with Benjamin and Sarah until later. Working from home permits such luxury. Even then, Benjamin and I took 1:11:06 to run 8 miles. The Fast Running Friend had its first test under cloudy skies and the naivety of its algorithm showed. Near the end of the first mile it spuriously added 0.08 to the distance while the immediate pace went crazy. Then it drifted another extra 0.04 miles over the next 3. On the way back it behaved. Bugs discovered:


  • Pausing the timer should not turn off the GPS signal because it takes some time to regain it when the timer is resumed.
  • When the time is paused, the back button should be disabled. Enable it only if the timer has been reset.
  • 00:13:14 pm for the time of day meaning 12:13:14 pm is wrong. Surprise from Java Calendar class.

To do list on the features for this week:


  •  Add battery usage information. I want to have a decent idea of how much longer I have left before I run out of battery and not take it to time something critical if I do not have enough.
  • Fix the GPS algorithm to reject the points that create an outlier in direction and speed at the same time. Make an exception for reasonable changes, e.g 180 turn, sudden turn on a windy road, etc. Make an exception for surges. But the idea is that it is very unlikely for a runner to change the direction and speed simultaneously which would happen if you had normal GPS data occasionally disrupted by an error.
  • Deal with lost GPS signal gracefully

For next week:

  • Add time of day synchronization via GPS so it would show correct time of day without the user having to set it.
  • Save the GPS data capture into a file 
  • Fix WiFi config and allow the user to upload the courses they run directly to Fast Running Blog Course Tool.




Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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