Breaking the Wall

January 15, 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: 107.61 Year: 107.61
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: 1276.97
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2016-04-27 08:17:48
Workout Totals: Distance12.844Time1:46:12.70Pace8:16.16
Today the weather was finally good. So this gave Benjamin a chance that Dad was right about the importance of running with people or alternatively to prove him wrong. Well, Dad's 31 years of running experience turned out to be worth something after all - Benjamin learned the hard way how hard it is to maintain a fast pace on the track for 5000 meters alone especially when you are at 4500 feet.

He ran the 5000 time trial. The deal we made before the start was that I would alternate quarters following him, but if his quarters dropped to slower than 78 I would step forward and pull him and he'd better follow. He ran the first 5 laps very evenly paced in 6:15. Then his next lap was 80.7. I considered telling him to just kick and finish 3200 under 10:00, but decided he needed the experience of the lonely 5000. But he decided differently. When I took over on the 7th lap, he started grumbling that he did not care, did not want to keep going, etc, and stopped shortly after the 2700 mark.

We had a father to son talk, and after some effort he acknowledged the error of his ways. I asked him what he thought he should do for mental redemption. He said 3200. So I told him run evenly paced 72s to the 800 mark, then just run, but obey me if I step forward and try to speed you up. So he did what I said, and ran 10:18. I ended up doing 2x400 + last 800 with him, so I got a decent workout as well.

Afterwards we talked about a plan to win against this 6th lap beast. That is where his troubles started today, and that is where he started falling apart in the race on Saturday as well. We are going to try this on Friday - one 3200 meter interval, open with 71, 72, 72, 73, then run the best pace to the finish. Obey Dad in the second half.

If that does not seem to make a dent, we might do 2400, same pace start, then whatever in the 5th lap, then all out in the last lap.

Julia went to the track and did a time trial on her own for the mile in 6:37, splits 1:34, 1:42, 1:44, and 1:35. This is part of our plan to help her overcome the fear of the track.

Otherwise usual runs for the kids.
Leg 1:Distance1.536Time13:16.50Pace8:38.55
Warm-up, strides with Benjamin.
Split 1:Distance1.100Time9:20.20Pace8:29.27
Split 2:Distance0.062Time0:16.70Pace4:29.35
Split 3:Distance0.062Time0:48.30Pace12:59.03
Split 4:Distance0.062Time0:16.90Pace4:32.58
Split 5:Distance0.250Time2:34.40Pace10:17.60
Leg 2:Distance1.244Time8:41.20Pace6:58.97
Benjamin's failed 5000 time trial attempt. I got a short recovery 400 workout out of it alternating laps.
Split 1:Distance0.248Time1:15.10Pace5:02.82
Split 2:Distance0.100Time1:14.30Pace12:23.00
Split 3:Distance0.248Time1:14.90Pace5:02.02
Split 4:Distance0.100Time1:15.10Pace12:31.00
Split 5:Distance0.248Time1:15.70Pace5:05.24
Split 6:Distance0.100Time1:20.60Pace13:26.00
Split 7:Distance0.200Time1:05.50Pace5:27.50
Leg 3:Distance0.300Time3:04.00Pace10:13.33
A little jog with Benjamin.
Leg 4:Distance1.394Time10:19.90Pace7:24.69
Benjamin's psychological therapy session which consisted of running the first 800 in 2:24 and then just hanging on at the best pace he though he could do. I did 2x400 + 800. His finishing time was 10:18.1. I ran most of the last 800 with him, but got dropped in the last 100.
Split 1:Distance0.100Time1:11.00Pace11:50.00
Split 2:Distance0.100Time1:13.00Pace12:10.00
Split 3:Distance0.248Time1:18.20Pace5:15.32
Split 4:Distance0.100Time1:20.90Pace13:29.00
Split 5:Distance0.248Time1:19.70Pace5:21.37
Split 6:Distance0.100Time1:21.40Pace13:34.00
Split 7:Distance0.498Time2:35.70Pace5:12.65
Leg 5:Distance0.370Time3:27.20Pace9:20.00
Back to the car.
Leg 6:Distance4.000Time34:05.50Pace8:31.38
More distance with Benjamin.
Leg 7:Distance4.000Time33:18.40Pace8:19.60
With Joseph and Jacob.

Black Crocs 2 Miles: 12.84
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From Rob Murphy on Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 21:11:11 from

Solo time trials are very hard. Especially for the young.

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