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. Total of 12. Benjamin did 7, Jenny 3, Julia 1, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5. We are slowly recovering. I did a little workout to test my health and see how much fitness I've lost. Did a mile up the canyon in 6:08, and after a little rest another mile back down in 5:34. It felt hard, both up and down. Fast Running Friend was perfect with one small exception. Coming out of the canyon it reported pace 5:53, and then 5:57 when the actual pace was around 5:45. Then immediately after it reported 5:18 when the actual pace was around 5:28. However that spot is set up very well for signal distortion with the trail squeezing through a narrow opening between two tall rocks. I have not yet analyzed the data, but I've seen a similar pattern in another test sample and I am suspecting the problem is that we pick up the signal with virtual delay - that is the signal keeps us on the trail, at least the points the Fast Running Friend considers legitimate are on the route, but they are shifted back. So the GPS driver in other words tells the Fast Running Friend that we are now where we were in reality one second ago. If that indeed is the problem, there is absolutely nothing we can do to correct for that short of making the sampling distance too long because in the absence of some other feedback we cannot tell if the runner legitimately slowed down by 10 seconds per mile and then sped back up or if he ran evenly. Such a change of pace is completely legitimate and the erroneous point lies on the course.

I am still working on refining the GPS part of the Fast Running Friend, mostly the usability stuff - configuration file reading and writing, then UI to edit it on the device and via web browser if the device can connect to WiFi, support for splits of various kind, ability to upload workouts to the Fast Running Blog, etc, but I already ordered Garmin Footpod and will start research once it gets here. I have high hopes for the footpod  - I think it will have more accuracy than GPS, and also less power utilization.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 0.50
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