Breaking the Wall

March 19, 2018

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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 nine children: Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, William, Stephen, Matthew,  Mary, and Bella.  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: 104.81 Year: 750.54
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 120.59
Red Crocs Lifetime Miles: 1909.35
Brown Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 280.91
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Total of 12. Even Benjamin started getting sick, so I had him cut the run down to 4 miles. Jenny did a mile. Everybody else rested. I ended up with a total of 12 miles.

Worked on the Fast Running Friend trying to come up with a good GPS correction algorithm. I tried several variants of bad point elimination using a simulator and plotting the resulting corrected path on the map. Naive approach of "if the angle is too big get rid of the point" kind of worked, but failed to eliminate a detour. This was a good educational experience as I learned a lot about what kind of data you get from a GPS.  Most of the time your position is wrong, but most of the time it is close enough to your route that it will not affect the total distance computed over an interval as short as 0.05 mile. However, there are minority nasty outlier points that take you on abrupt detours, and that is the main source of the annoying GPS watch distance inaccuracy. So my next approach is going to be this - break the route into samples, for each sample compute the mean and the standard deviation of the route bend angles, adjust the outlier points so their angle is within the standard deviation, and recompute the distance and pace. I have hopes for this algorithm. If not, I'll think of something else.

Once I figure out how to correct it, things are going to be very good, I might consider Fast Running Friend to be a true friend indeed when doing speed workouts or racing.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Tara on Wed, Feb 06, 2013 at 13:53:29 from

That will be a nice tool to use. I'm excited to see the outcome.

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