Breaking the Wall

October 22, 2019

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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: 163.70 Year: 3089.36
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: 33.72
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. We had quite a group this morning. Josse, Tyler, Steve Ashbaker, Cody, and Jeff. We paced Josse to a 1:34:51 Uneventful Half for a warm-up. This is her fastest time of the year on the slowest course she's run so far (if we adjust her Painter's time for the shortness of the course). Then Josse and Tyler were done, Jeff was going 16, Cody, Steve and I went for 20. We ran a tempo for the last 7 miles. I set a conservative goal of 6:00 pace given my stomach troubles lately and expecting a bonk.

I felt somewhat hungry in the morning before the run. That was a good sign. I ate a honey sandwich and drank a large cup of Powerade. I also drank a large cup of Powerade after we finished the warm-up.

Jeff was going to run 1.5 with us, then go back, Cody courageously decided to hang with us until death, then jog the rest of the distance. We ran the first mile of the tempo in 5:46, the pack was still intact. Jeff turned around at 1.5. We hit the next mile in 5:40 with some help from Steve's pace initiative. Then we noticed Cody was struggling, and eased off a bit to help him stay with us longer. He made it to about 2.75 mark. The next mile was 5:43. Steve moved upfront and pushed the pace, I just hung on for dear life. Next mile in 5:36 with a 180 in the middle. Steve was doing surges to 5:20 pace, then easing off. I started feeling a bit fuzzy in the head during the surges, and decided to just keep it steady and not respond. When I stopped responding to the surges, I felt a lot better, 1:23 quarters started feeling sustainable. 5:34 for the next mile in spite of a small net uphill. Steve's fervor died down a bit, he stopped surging. I enjoyed that, but not enough to move upfront and start pushing the pace. Our next mile was 5:37, and it was not a fast mile at all - net uphill, a couple of turns, sharp uphill curve coming from under the Geneva road bridge. On the last mile I finally felt like pushing the pace, so I moved upfront. We hit the next two nasty quarters (rolling net uphill, bridge tunnels) in 1:25 each. Then 1:24, and 1:21 on the last one with the help of a sprint in the last 60 meters, which gave us 5:35 for the last mile. Our total time for 7 miles was 39:31, 5:38.71 average. Total time for 20.11 was 2:14:22, 6:40.9 average.

I suppose my body learned to burn fats better since I've been doing high mileage. I have no other explanation as to where I found the fuel to do two workouts like the one today and the one yesterday while struggling with a stomach flu and putting in the miles.

P.M. Wore Crocs. 3 pushing Jacob in 22:24, then 2 with Benjamin (no Jacob) in 16:34. Still stomach flu issues, although better. Was able to eat my regular oats breakfast, and a large bowl of soy ice cream at night. Somehow managing to live off stored fat, I suppose.

Crocs - 142.36 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
From benjamin on Mon, Mar 24, 2008 at 20:05:32

Daddy are you sure that I broke the 6 mile world record?

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