Breaking the Wall

January 15, 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: 107.61 Year: 107.61
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: 1276.97
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Total of 10 miles. Ran the warm-up with Dustin and Derek. Then they turned around and ran back. I went a bit further, and then ran my 2.5 mile tempo.

Total time: 13:43.9

Course: From Utah Lake to Geneva Road.

Splits by quarter: 81, 82, 82, 82, 82, 82, 83, 83, 84, 82

Subjective: Probably the most even I've ever run this adjusted for the terrain. However, for the life of me could not go any faster. Felt that my power was coming from what I would describe as a compact stride.

This made me think of a Russian math joke. First, some definitions. A set is considered closed if every sequence in that set that converges to a limit contains that limit. A set is considered bounded, well, if it has boundaries specific to the nature of the beast. In a one-dimensional space (a line of real numbers) the boundaries would be a lower bound number and an upper bound number. In a two-dimensional space (XY plane) the boundaries would be a rectangle. In 3-D a rectangular parallelepiped. Speaking of the parallelepiped. In my informal polling, I discovered that most Americans do not know what it is. In Russia, this geometric object is sufficiently familiar to the general public that it is mentioned in a popular song. But we have digressed.   A set is called compact if it is both  closed and bounded. Now the joke.

A mathematician says to his girlfriend - "you are so compact". She asks what that means. "Well, you are so closed and bounded".

In running I would describe stride compactness as the amount of control you feel over your legs. The metaphor I like to use is if somebody stuck a pen in between your toes you'd be able to write small letters legibly  with your foot. The control over your legs and feet allows you to generate maximum push-off power with minimum effort.

Well, I felt while hitting the 82s that I was able to maintain some semblance of compactness in my stride. After that I began to lose it. I still managed to maintain the pace (adjusted for the terrain, the last mile had a small uphill), but it took a lot of effort.

I think next week I willl replace this tempo with 10x200.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:03, 2 with Benjamin in 16:35, Jenny ran the first 1.5 in 12:44.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
From Lybi on Wed, Dec 03, 2008 at 15:36:44

Oh dang! I hate that I must classify myself as one of those Americans that does not know what "parallel piped" means. I would guess it's just a 3D rectangle--like a long box? Basically taking the 2D rectagle and pushing it through space and all the points it touches are included in the set? Geez! You can learn so many different things on this blog.

Congrats on your most even run ever!(It's quite a feat considering you are probably one of the most consistent people on the planet.)

From Nevels on Thu, Dec 04, 2008 at 17:14:49

A parallelepiped can be a rectangular box, or it can have non-right angles at the corners, but you got the jist of it right. I think the defining characteristics are a closed solid with three sets of parallel sides.

Not that I'm a nerd or anything...

From Lybi on Thu, Dec 04, 2008 at 21:59:29

Nevels, there's nothing with being a nerd. "Nerd Pride" is where it is. And now I can say that I know what a parallelepiped is. Knowledge is sweet, so thanks!

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