Breaking the Wall

December 03, 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: 304.65 Year: 3606.17
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: 1657.61
Brown Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 806.96
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest. Went to church.

What impressed me the most was the sacrament hymn - Reverently And Meekly Now. Whenever I hear it I remember the times I've been at my limit. When I find myself at my limit that hymn often comes to mind bringing a sense of peace, a reminder of the eternal perspective, and sure knowledge that even though I cannot see it with my eyes, the Lord is watching. Somehow it is difficult, perhaps impossible, to get to know the Lord without hitting certain limits. Not the limits of the law or the bounds He has set to protect us and to test our faith, but the limits of strength and natural human frailty. It is when you've hit that limit, when you've seen it with your eyes, touched it with your hands, smelled with your nose, heard with your ears, tasted with your tongue, and experienced it with every other sense of the human body and mind, when you know it inside and out, when you know how impossible it is to cross it that you experience a special feeling and you come one step closer to knowing the One Who Has Overcome All Limits, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Also had a thought on the passage in 2 Nephi 32:2: "Do ye not remember that I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy Ghost ye could speak with the tongue of angels? And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the Holy Ghost? "

The tongue of angels is a difficult tongue to learn for a mortal. It is not something that comes naturally. Think about learning a foreign language. Big entry level barrier, need patience to plow through. Then you think you've learned something, you speak with a native that expects you to be fluent and gives you no breaks, and you realize you are not as fluent as you thought you were.

Then you spend some time with natives, and now you think you've got it. You can say what you need to say and you think you understand the conversations around you. But the truth of the matter is that you are still an artist that paints in black and white, and your vision is no different. You see black, white, and shades of gray. You have no color vision.

Then if you do not practice the language, you easily lose it.

A price must be paid to achieve and maintain fluency. Appearance of fluency is a lot easier to achieve than true fluency. I can trick people into thinking I am fluent in Spanish. But oh, how I struggle when a natural flow of speech is being thrown at me! I remember those struggles with English, and the fight to move up a notch in comprehension and ability to express myself.

Learning to receive truth from heaven and understand it is very similar. On paper it sounds pretty simple - say a prayer, ask a question, see how you feel. Reminds me of a quote from Bach: "It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself. " No, there is more work involved. Sometimes answers are quick and plain, but that happens only when the price had already been paid. There is never an answer without adequate preparation.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
From Kory on Wed, Dec 09, 2009 at 02:44:52 from

Speaking in tongue is a great spiritual experience. Even though we don't know the foreign language were saying, the Holy Spirit does and it brings utterance to the Lord. Then sometimes an nterpretation will be brought forth in a service.

Good scripture

1 Corinthians 14:2 For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries.


1 Corinthians 14:5 Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Dec 09, 2009 at 12:17:55 from


Just to clarify, I was not talking about speaking with your mouth. The term "Tongue of angles" is used in reference to how man can receive knowledge from heaven. Sometimes, rather rarely, an angel may appear in plain view and communicate with words. Usually, though, the communication is non-verbal and non-visual, and is done through the Holy Ghost. What makes it hard for us to learn how to understand it is that we grow up relying on our audio-visual senses.

Fortunately, though, we have training manuals in the form of the scriptures written down by men of God. As we obey what is in the scriptures, our ability to understand communications from heaven done with no audio-visual effects greatly improves, and we are able to see the truths by the Spirit without having to rely on our physical senses. The whole reason we are here on the Earth is to learn how to do it.

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