Breaking the Wall

July 13, 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: 51.55 Year: 2011.51
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: 881.43
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Provo River 5 Mile Tempo with Jeff. Slept in this morning, barely jumped out of bed just when Jeff showed up. Ran a slow warm-up, 3.62 at slower than 8:00 average, with a record-slow first quarter in 2:31. Did a longer warm-up on purpose, waiting for the sun to rise, and for the body to recover from sleeping in.

The plan was to run 28:00 or a bit under. Jeff had been doing some hard workouts, so I suggested he should just draft today. The start was rough, first 200 in 44, first quarter in 1:26. Then I pushed a bit, it woke me up, and I settled into pace. First mile 5:34, second 5:31, then 0.5 in 2:47, 13:52 at the turnaround, recovered from 180 in 2:49, third mile in 5:36. Felt good, did not want to positive split, picked it up a bit to get back into the rhythm again, next mile in 5:31. Then the next 0.5 uphill in 2:47. I was running relaxed thinking about how slow I could go and still even split when Jeff took the lead and started pushing the pace. I justed tucked in behind him and coasted, but we were now outside of the marathon pace zone. Next quarter in 1:19, and then with 200 to go I pulled alongside Jeff, and we finished the last quarter in 1:15. Total time was 27:33.7, nearly caught the 5:30 guy, last 0.5 in 2:34, last mile in 5:21, and last 2.5 in 13:41, definitely a negative split.

Cooled down 1.38 to the house.

5:36 pace felt like a jog, 5:30 felt like I could make it at least to 15 in a pack. Good sign, because this is flat/slightly rolling, and I had not yet tapered at all. TOU is high quality downhill the first 14, then a slight downhill for the next 4, then a mild up for the next 2, good down for 1, then rolling to the end. I feel good about being on pace for the Trials Qualifier at 15, which, if you can do at TOU, you will qualify in St. George.

One more thing - Kory still has not found a place to stay in St. George. Does anybody have offers for him?

P.M. 0.5 with Julia in 5:10, 2.1 with Benjamin to his soccer game in 17:23, then 0.4 in 2:55 on grass before the game started. Benjamin's team won again 6-2. The other team had bigger kids, but Benjamin's team dealt with the problem by never letting them have the ball. Back home with Jenny, 1.58 in 14:00, then added some more to make the total 2.02 in 17:10. Felt a nerve irritation in the lower back after waking up from a nap, maybe laid in a funny position. Have had this before, a couple of times it made my runs very very miserable in the past, so I am concerned. However, the pain was manageable to begin with, and was reduced by the end of the day.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Logan on Tue, Sep 11, 2007 at 13:58:12

Keep up the great training. It will be nice to meet this weekend at TOU. My parents might have room at there house for Kory. Is it just him or is his family coming down as well. Let me check on it and get back with you.

From ashman on Tue, Sep 11, 2007 at 20:52:37

I am in the same boat. I may just have to pitch a tent. Seriously!

From ArmyRunner on Tue, Sep 11, 2007 at 21:03:20

Still looking as well. I have a place through Thursday night for my work trip but need a place for Friday night. However, the good news is I am officially in St. George as they called and confirmed my information today.

From Jon on Tue, Sep 11, 2007 at 23:28:11

If anyone needs a place to stay this Friday before TOU, I have an extra bed.

Also, Sasha, can you make sure you bring my first aid kit on Friday? I need some stuff out of it for the race this weekend.

From Lybi on Wed, Sep 12, 2007 at 00:41:29

Hey, sorry to hear about your nerve pain. Annoying! Losing fat quickly can lead to nerve pain. Have your exceedingly high miles been affecting your body composition? (Or maybe forcing your body to use fat stores?) Fat insulates the nerve axons. If your body is in a pinch for fuel, it will strip the axons, which leads to referred pain.

From Lybi on Wed, Sep 12, 2007 at 00:53:30

Hmmmm. I just looked it up and it seems to not be that simple. Probably just a bad nap. He he.

From jtshad on Wed, Sep 12, 2007 at 09:45:34

Here is the name and number of a place with condos for reservation. They may have at least one condo available as a guy up here just cancelled his 3 bedroom condo about 2 weeks ago ($300 a night, Friday and Saturday) because two of his buddies backed out. Resorts Reservations of St. George: 435-673-1392. Hope they still have some left. Maybe Steve, Kory and Ted can hook up and get one. Full kitchen, hot tub/pool access, etc. Could be pretty nice.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Sep 12, 2007 at 19:44:31


I'll try to remember. For a safe bet, leave a comment in the Fast Running Mommy's blog, she will not let me forget.

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