Breaking the Wall

December 04, 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

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2014-04-10 08:18:16
Workout Totals
Distance Time Pace
11.960 1:43:04.50 8:37.09
I asked Benjamin on Tuesday if we should to do a mile time trial or the 800 today. He decided to do the mile. Today was not a good day. Looks like 4:40 is becoming another 6:00 - he is having similar mental issues again that he did when he was 10 and was trying to break 6:00. But when life gives you lemons you make a lemonade. So we tried to make some lemonade today and converted the event into a workout. Details below. Kids runs: Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1, Julia 3, Jenny 4, Benjamin 9.
Leg 1
Distance Time Pace Comment
1.3103 11:09.70. 8:31.10 Warm-up.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 1.000 8:40.70 8:40.70 Warm-up.
2 0.062 0:17.50 4:41.80 100 stride.
3 0.062 0:44.90 12:03.03 Recovery jog.
4 0.062 0:17.30 4:38.58 Another stride.
5 0.124 1:09.30 9:18.87 More jogging.
Leg 2
Distance Time Pace Comment
0.09 1:35.60. 17:42.22 Botched mile time trial. Benjamin opened with 70.3 as planned, then I started pacing him with the idea to pull him for 600 meters, but after a little over 100 meters he just stopped. The mental beast came back.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 0.000 1:10.30    
2 0.090 0:25.30 4:41.11  
Leg 3
Distance Time Pace Comment
1 10:21.90. 10:21.90 Some jogging with Benjamin while he mentally regrouped. I suggested that he should not end the workout on a sour note, and do something to kick the beast. We eventually agreed on 1000 with the target of 2:55.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 1.000 10:21.90 10:21.90  
Leg 4
Distance Time Pace Comment
0.35 2:54.00. 8:17.14 Benjamin's "kick-the-beast" 1000. I ran the diagonals to take 200 splits which are below. He did beat the target by 1 second, although not quite the way I would want him to - opening with a low 32 and then running 35s. I would have preferred even 35s with a kick in 32. But he kicked the beast ending the workout on a good note - or so he thought, see below...
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 0.070 0:32.00 7:37.14  
2 0.070 0:35.70 8:30.00  
3 0.070 0:35.50 8:27.14  
4 0.070 0:35.90 8:32.86  
5 0.070 0:34.90 8:18.57  
Leg 5
Distance Time Pace Comment
0.14 1:05.90. 7:50.71 After Benjamin finished the 1000 I suggested that the beast needed another kick. He naturally disagreed. I told him I needed another data point to better understand his metabolic pathways and he agreed to run an all out 400. I ran the diagonals again.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 0.070 0:33.40 7:57.14 This was about what I was expecting at this point, and I thought he was just tired and would be lucky to run anything under 35 for the last 200. But the problem was a tight hamstring.
2 0.070 0:32.50 7:44.29 The hamstring loosened up and he was able to go faster.
Leg 6
Distance Time Pace Comment
1 8:26.20. 8:26.20 Jog back to the house with Joseph, Jacob, and Benjamin.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 1.000 8:26.20 8:26.20  
Leg 7
Distance Time Pace Comment
1 8:45.20. 8:45.20 Another mile with Benjamin, and Joseph.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 1.000 8:45.20 8:45.20  
Leg 8
Distance Time Pace Comment
4 31:55.00. 7:58.75 More with Benjamin.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 4.000 31:55.00 7:58.75  
Leg 9
Distance Time Pace Comment
3.07 26:51.00. 8:44.76 With Julia. William ran the first mile.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 1.000 9:15.30 9:15.30 William's split.
2 2.070 17:35.70 8:30.00  

Green Crocs 7 Miles: 11.96
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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