Breaking the Wall

August 09, 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: 16.00 Year: 2314.91
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: 1185.83
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Took Benjamin to the Utah State Cross Country championship. He started out conservatively, moved into 3rd by around 2 K mark, and look like he was going to hold on to it, but then took a wrong turn on the course, lost about 32 seconds just on the extra distance + whatever from the mental aspect, and ended up in 6th place with 13:51.

P.M. Tempo run with Jeff. Ran a warm-up of 2.67. Then the standard 10 mile tempo. Splits:

Total time: 58:53

5:43 - 5:56 - 5:53 - 5:52 - 6:05 - 5:53 - 5:53 - 5:56- 5:52 - 5:48

Splits by 2.5: 14:35 - 14:55 - 14:45 - 14:38

HR: average 152, observed median 153, max 164 at the very end when I tried to push.

Subjective: Felt acceptable in the first mile, worse later, and terrible from mile 3 to the end. At 5 I seriously considered just stopping. But then I weighed the alternatives - next 5 miles in about 30 minutes in a trance, or next 5 miles in 40 minutes with full ability to reason. 30 minutes in a trance appeared to be a better alternative. Plus Jeff needed full 10 at tempo pace to build his gas tank, and I did not want to make him either cut it or do it all alone.

After 3 miles any time we ran faster than 5:52 even for a quarter, it would put me in a very miserable state. However, I was able to zone out drafting off Jeff, and as long as he was not breaking 88 on a quarter I could keep plodding along. He yelled at me in the last mile, and that helped with a faster split. Last quarter was 84, and it was one miserable quarter. I gave it all I had.

Jogged down with Jeff and another guy named Scott who we found on the trail, split ways with 0.46 to go, finished off 14.05 at the house. Lay on the cough for about 10 minutes, then felt good enough to run with Jenny and Julia. 14:33 for 1.5 miles with Julia running the first mile in 10:15.

The time was 6 seconds faster than two weeks ago. The effort was very hard. I'll blame it on the worn out nervous system.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 16.05
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From Phoenix on Tue, Nov 04, 2008 at 17:53:52

If you were that worn out, what did you have to gain by pushing that hard?

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