Breaking the Wall

February 24, 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: 155.37 Year: 492.80
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1576.28
Neon Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1353.22
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Total of 20. Started with Benjamin, he went to 2.5 and then turned around making it a total of 5. Jenny and Julia did 2. On the way up I ran a 2 mile tempo. Wore an HRM. It was a bit colder this morning, maybe 40F, but there was a headwind on the way up. I had an experience similar to two weeks ago, except this time I had an HRM to gather some numbers. So my splits in the 2 mile tempo were 6:06 - 6:14, total of 12:20. HR for the most of it was stuck at 146. This is a good HR for 6:10 pace uphill into a headwind. The problem is that I could not go any faster, and I felt like I was not getting enough oxygen even though there was not a whole lot of air going into the lungs. So essentially I was experiencing what I normally would when it is 10 F, even though it was much warmer than that. I am wondering if I have developed a circulation problem of some kind, need to get it checked out.

On the way back I ran a 10 mile tempo. The wind turned around, and was actually quite strong. I had a weird experience again. For a long time I could not bring my HR over 140. I was still going around 6:00 down South Fork even with that low of an HR because the grade is quite steep. But for the life of me I could not speed up. Then I got out onto the Provo River Trail and was maintaining slightly sub-6:00 on average, but HR was stuck at 142. When the headwind eased off or I hit a sunny spot, I would speed up to 5:45 or even 5:40 with HR going to 146, but the headwind came back and HR would drop to 142 and so would the pace. On the positive side of things, I hit more warmer spots on the 3 mile tempo stretch and was able to beat the time from last week split by 1 second with 17:33. Total time for 10 was 59:22.

So this is really odd. What's up with this HR drop into a headwind? 5:55 pace at 142 HR into a headwind down 1-2% grade is good, shows good efficiency, I am quite happy with that. What I am not happy about is that for the life of me I did not have another gear with the headwind blowing. I tried upping the turnover, still no result. The moment the headwind stopped all of a sudden I could up the HR to 146 and go faster. Two suspects I can think of. A blood circulation problem, or some weird biomechanical issue that makes me not use all of the muscles when the headwind is blowing. But that problem was not there on Tuesday when it was warmer. So I am thinking it is circulation.

P.M. 2 with Joseph. Jacob did 1 with us. 

Green Crocs 3 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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