Breaking the Wall

December 04, 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. Took Benjamin for a time trial of sorts. I wanted to see what he could do on my 3 mile tempo course down the Provo Canyon. The target was something under 6:00 average, but we both knew that he would blow that away, the question was by how much. After a 2 mile warm-up uphill we started the run. I ran alongside for about a quarter to feel how fast he wanted to go, that quarter was 87, which had some uphill, then I moved forward and started setting the pace. We did 82, 82, 82 (5:33), then 83. I knew that those 82s would eventually end, but I figured as long as Benjamin was not complaining or falling back, I would hold it. The nice downhill ended, the next quarter was rolling. Benjamin started to struggle and hit 89. However, he regrouped and sped up to 86, followed by 87, which was not too bad. 11:18 at 2 miles, 5:45 for the second mile. I told him he was 2 seconds ahead of the 5:40 guy. He protested vehemently against the idea of working to stay ahead and insisted he had no juice. I knew that he was wrong, so I told him to be quiet. I knew he would be thankful in a mile. Sometimes you just need to throw away the things they tell you in child education/psychology classes and go with the natural father's instinct. Especially when the pace is 5:45, which I can handle, but I am definitely in no mood to talk going this fast. So I condensed my remarks to one phrase.

It worked quite well. He had two quarters of rebellion in 89 and 90. Then he smelled the barn, repented, and ran 85. At this point I thought all hopes of breaking 17:00 were gone. But Benjamin thought differently. He ran the last quarter in 76, which gave him 5:40 for the last mile, and 16:58.2 for 3 miles.

This was a decent time, given that my best on that course is 15:15. Day after day Benjamin is becoming a more equal workout partner, and pretty soon I am going to hear "Daddy, give me five" as he tries to make me go faster.

I ran 6 more afterwards. Jenny, Julia, and Joseph did 2, Jacob ran 1.

P.M. 0.5 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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