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 - 2019-06-25 08:29:57
Workout Totals: Distance11.646Time1:28:49.70Pace7:37.64
Eventful day. Total of about 12. First Benjamin paced me through 2 miles in 10:46 (5:24, 5:22). The original target was 11:00 but I was feeling good and told him 81s (5:24 pace) was OK. Then he did his own 2 mile tempo in 9:41 while I ran with him the first 0.5 in 2:24. I gave him a target of 72s (4:48 pace) "till the standard bearer fainteth". "The standard bearer" doubted some in the middle, but as evidenced by the last 0.5 did not faint. His splits were 71,73,72,74 (4:50),76,74,72,69 (4:51). This was only 8 seconds slower than his pre-mission PR of 9:33.

I suppose some clarification is in order. Technically this 2 mile run is not a tempo run - more of a 2 mile time trial. But I call it a tempo run anyway - while you are running it you are dreaming about being able to run the half at that pace. And it often happens that eventually you get there - because 90% of the battle of the half is to be able to hold your target pace for 2 miles with even splits. Once you can, with relatively small adaptations you can develop the endurance to race the full distance.

Then we ran with Rachael Moody, her son Adam, her friend Amy Thackeray, and our boys. Matthew and Adam raced each other in the mile. Matthew got a PR of 6:52.4. Adam got 7:04. Then we did an 800 where Adam's job was to run all out in the first 400 to make Stephen work, but Adam must have been tired from the mile because he could only run 92. Stephen did 90, 90, but he was suffering as well - not sure from what. Perhaps he expected to run 84 in the first lap, and then relax and coast in the second, and after the first unevenly paced 90 he just was not mentally prepared to work.

Joseph, Jacob, and William ran the 800 a bit faster, Joseph and Jacob around 2:50, William 2:55, all from the second lap.
Leg 1:Distance0.980Time7:49.00Pace7:58.57
Warm-up with Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance2.000Time10:46.30Pace5:23.15
Tempo run with Benjamin.
Leg 3:Distance2.500Time22:27.60Pace8:59.04
Recovery jog with Benjamin.
Leg 4:Distance0.500Time2:24.10Pace4:48.20
First 0.5 of Benjamin's tempo.
Leg 5:Distance0.170Time1:35.10Pace9:19.41
Leg 6:Distance1.000Time9:15.80Pace9:15.80
Warm-up with the guests + William, Joseph, Jacob, and Stephen.
Leg 7:Distance1.000Time6:52.40Pace6:52.40
Matthew's time trial.
Leg 8:Distance0.496Time3:00.70Pace6:04.31
800 with Stephen.
Leg 9:Distance1.000Time8:56.00Pace8:56.00
Cool-down with the pack including Matthew.
Leg 10:Distance2.000Time15:42.70Pace7:51.35
With Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, and Jacob.

Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 11.65
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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