Breaking the Wall

August 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: 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

Day of rest. We had  a Stake Conference. Elder Costa from the Presidency of the Seventy came and spoke. Among many other things he told us about the sacrifices that the members of the Church in Brazil make to go to the temple. They have to work and save for a year or more, and then will sell some of their property as well to pay for the trip. The Provo mission president and his wife spoke as well. They are from Rochester, NY and are serving here for three years. They are converts and joined the Church shortly after they had gotten married. When the sister missionaries came to the door, he asked them to explain to him in one sentence why he should listen to them. One of the sisters was able to condense it to one word - authority.

Interestingly enough, later that evening I was participating in the ward missionary visits, and we met a couple that moved to our neighborhood from California not too long ago. While I was explaining the concept of authority I ran into an interesting obstacle. The man believed that Joseph Smith indeed saw God the Father and Jesus Christ, was ministered to by angels, and in truth translated the Book of Mormon by divine means, but even after a thorough  (or at least I thought so) explanation still could not see how it would follow from that that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint would in that case become the only one with the authority to baptize. I suppose I can understand the emotions behind it. When somebody says he has seen an angel, you do not want to question his experience at first, hey, why not? When you realize this means you have to make significant changes in your life that involve work and sacrifice, there are three different paths you could take. a) Verify for yourself if his experience was authentic, and if it turns out to be so make those changes, otherwise do not worry about it b) Enter the perpetual question mode - what about this, what about that? - so you do not have to accept the authenticity of the experience while at the same time excusing yourself from the work to find out if it was true, and c) Enter the logical disconnect mode accepting the authenticity of the experience while denying that you have to do something about it.  Back 50 years ago the missionaries mostly saw either a) or b), but lately with the arrival of political correctness and other garbage related to it, c) is becoming a more common response.

What I am wondering about is how much of what 50 years ago would have been a big positive a) has now become a lame c) due to the general reduction in the willingness to make commitments and sacrifices.


Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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