Breaking the Wall

August 08, 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: 16.00 Year: 2314.91
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: 1185.83
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2016-06-24 06:30:24
Workout Totals: Distance12.140Time1:26:10.10Pace7:05.87
12 total with a 3 mile tempo down the canyon in 16:40. Then drove the boys to Bozeman.

Benjamin, Joseph, Jacob, and William did light running this morning. Other kids ran their usual distances.

Benjamin and Joseph raced the 3000 when we got there. The conditions were finally good - aside from a 7.5 hour drive and still being at an elevation (4800 feet). But finally no major wind, cloudy skies, and 60 F or so temperature.

Fortunately Benjamin had somebody to run with - Teagan Olson from Montana. Teagan is a 9:51 3200 meter runner which would indicate that he should be able to run at least 9:20 in the 3000 even if he is not having the greatest day. For some reason, though, I noticed a pattern that when high school runners come to the USATF meet, they do not run anywhere near what they run in high school meets. Do they get out of shape that fast, or maybe just not enough girls they care about that are watching?

Our goal was for Benjamin to run something in the 9:10-9:15 range so he would be going into the nationals with a mark that would ensure being in the fast heat. Taking Benjamin's 2000 workout on Tuesday where he demonstrated that he could run 2:59 after a 3:08, I figured it would be OK for him to start conservatively. So I told him to follow Teagan for as long as the pace was 75 per quarter or faster. They did 74,75,76. Then I told Benjamin he needed to run 72. He told me to shut up, but then 100 meters later took the lead and made an effort to get the pace to where it ought to be. 74, 73 (6:12 at 2000) - Teagan fell back during this lap and ended up with 9:39. 75,74, and 34 for the last 200. Official time 9:16.10, new regional meet record. Not much of a record due to the lack of competitiveness in these meets in the high school age divisions, but hopefully it will act as a motivator for faster runners to come and try to beat it.

Last 1 K I think was a high 3:03. I am very encouraged that Benjamin could run this fast alone in the last kilometer of a race at altitude after not completely jogging the first 2 while still recovering from an injury. Now we just need to bring him healthy to the nationals.

Joseph ran 11:13.59 taking 4th place in his age division - an official PR, but I was expecting at least 10 seconds faster - even after the first 2 K I was still expecting 10 seconds faster. He had some issues. I noticed in the warm-up that his form looked funny. I asked him if his legs were OK, he told me yes. In retrospect it was a mistake, I should have massaged him anyway. He opened with 83, then 90, 87, 89, 91 hitting 2 K in 7:20. Normally after this he would be running no slower than 93,91, and 43 giving him 3:47 for the last 1 K. But his legs seized up - probably from sitting for 7 hours in the car - and he could not move - so 3:53 for the last 1 K. Well, at least he ran a PR, and hopefully can get into the fast heat at the nationals. His race was won by Jayden Fitzjerald in 10:40, which is a new regional meet record.

Benjamin jogged 2 more miles later at night after we got to the hotel.
Leg 1:Distance12.140Time1:26:10.10Pace7:05.87
My run today.
Split 1:Distance6.520Time48:26.60Pace7:25.80
Distance to dump some glycogen.
Split 2:Distance3.000Time16:40.20Pace5:33.40
Tempo run down the canyon - splits 5:35,5:34,5:31.
Split 3:Distance2.620Time21:03.30Pace8:02.18

Black Crocs 2 Miles: 12.14
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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