Breaking the Wall

January 19, 2021

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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: 188.26 Year: 188.26
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: 1359.62
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2014-02-01 07:41:11
Workout Totals
Distance Time Pace
20.100 2:35:56.80 7:45.51
Total of 20. Most of it with Chad. Benjamin did 12.6, Jenny 3, Julia 3, Joseph 4, Jacob 2, William 1. Chad, Benjamin, and I did a tempo run. Details below.
Leg 1
Distance Time Pace Comment
3 22:13.30. 7:24.43 With Chad.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 3.000 22:13.30 7:24.43  
Leg 2
Distance Time Pace Comment
4 35:05.10. 8:46.27 With Chad and Joseph. Joseph solved the following problem: a falcon is flying at 100 mph ascending at the angle of 30 degrees in relation to the horizontal line. The sun is shining on him at a perfectly vertical angle. Assuming the earth is flat in the vicinity of the falcon and assuming the sun is positioned at an infinite distance away, find the speed of the falcon's shadow. With a few hints he was able to get it. He forgot the approximation of the square root of 3, so I had him do it in his head using the method of splitting the search interval in half until the required precision is reached. He figured out that since 17^2=289 and 18^2=324, then sqrt(3) can be approximated as 1.7. I gave him one more digit for free because by then we were almost done with the run, and with that he figured out that the shadow was travelling at 86.5 mph. A 9-year-old is actually capable of doing rather advanced math, but the challenge is that he keeps forgetting his results and occasionally needs reminders about where he is at so far and where he is going. Very similar to the way they play chess. At times they find a brilliant move, but they lose focus and blunder a lot. That gets fixed with age.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 4.000 35:05.10 8:46.27  
Leg 3
Distance Time Pace Comment
5.3 42:42.30. 8:03.45 Warm-up with Benjamin and Chad from the house to Nunn's Park. Benjamin ran 2 miles with Jacob earlier.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 5.300 42:42.30 8:03.45  
Leg 4
Distance Time Pace Comment
3 16:34.90. 5:31.63 There was some ice on the road, but it was still quite runnable. We tried to repeat the Tuesday's workout. Benjamin went through the first mile in 5:16, I was a little bit back in 5:18. I thought I was doing well and would be able to run at least under 16:20, but after the first mile I lost steam. I am going to blame it on low glycogen as I was 13 miles into the run by that point. My next mile was 5:39, followed by only 5:37 in spite of a heroic effort. Benjamin had some mental issues after the first mile. His next mile was 5:25, followed by 5:32. He said he had a side ache combined with the mental pressure of having to run 5:00 in the last mile. So he did not even try, just coasted. Chad finished in 17:38. It is good that we discovered this weakness. Benjamin on the surface looks like he overcame completely the issues that kept him from breaking 6:00 when he was 10 and 11, but they do not just go away and under some conditions in the past have popped up their ugly head. However, each time this happened he hit them with a hammer pretty hard and came out a winner. We will try this workout again on Tuesday. It is important to win this battle.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 3.000 16:34.90 5:31.63  
Leg 5
Distance Time Pace Comment
2.3 17:22.50. 7:33.26 Cool-down to the house. Dropped off Chad and Benjamin.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 2.300 17:22.50 7:33.26  
Leg 6
Distance Time Pace Comment
1.5 11:58.10. 7:58.73 Alone.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 1.500 11:58.10 7:58.73  
Leg 7
Distance Time Pace Comment
1 10:00.60. 10:00.60 With William.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 1.000 10:00.60 10:00.60  

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 20.10
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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