Breaking the Wall

August 11, 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: 88.07 Year: 2386.98
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: 1257.89
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Total of 15.5. Did a 10 K time trial with Benjamin. We drove to the Canyon View Park and warmed up 3.25 miles to the start of our 10 K course which was about a quarter mile past Bridal Vail falls. Then we ran to the house from there. The course has an elevation drop of about 380 feet according to Pachev Uneventful 10 K, but it does have uphill in the last mile. Actually the profile I made is not 100% accurate - it completed missed the uphill in the last 0.2. I can understand why - there is one road that goes sharply up, while there is a road right next to it that stays flat, and in between those two there is a steep wild hill part of which is actually on our property. USGS data shows average elevations for squares, and coupled with a possible geo-coding error we have a problem. In any case, the profile is accurate for the first 6 miles of the course, and the Course Tool suggests that we get a speed up of 8 seconds per mile from the downhill not accounting for the final climb. That is within the range of believable.

One thing for sure is that this course is slower than Deseret News 10 K measured correctly with police not taking runners the wrong way. I wanted to see what Benjamin had in him over a longer distances, so the target was to run 5:40 down the canyon until failure, then see what kind of failure we got if any.

From the start Benjamin was tailgating me, so I figured he was full of juice and decided to build a lead on the 5:40 guy while we could. So first mile in 5:29, then 5:32. Around 2.5 Benjamin groaned, and I figured we should ease off. Next mile in 5:37, 16:38 at 3 miles. I am figuring we went through the 5 K in around 17:13. Then Benjamin started to wear out, I am suspecting it was more psychological as he had never run this fast for this long, so I eased off the pace to 6:00 for a quarter or so to let him rest.  I wrote this and observed that it is quite remarkable that I am calling 6:00 pace for a 14-year-old boy in the middle of a 10 K "rest".

I would have been happy if he had just run 6:00 pace all the way home, but he did a bit better. Our next mile was 5:52, followed by 5:54. The closing mile uphill was 5:53, which I was very happy about. Our total time was 35:30.2 which comes out to 5:42.8 average. Closing 5 K on a more difficult part was 18:17 in spite of the crash, which is still quite respectable.

This was a good confidence builder for Benjamin. He's never run more than 4 miles at sub-6:00 average. He learned today that he can go out aggressively, and when he crashes it will still be faster than 6:00. This is a very important mile stone.

Jenny and Julia did 3 on their own. I ran 1 with Jacob earlier before we drove to the park, and then did 3.25 with Joseph back to the car, and then 2 more with Sarah. So I ended up with a medium long run.

And I suppose I should record my own master's PR of 35:30 for a 10 K.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 15.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
From Steve on Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 19:28:17 from

He's lucky to have a dad that spends that kind of time with him.

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