Breaking the Wall

August 07, 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 - 2017-07-11 07:47:12
Workout Totals: Distance11.854Time1:29:35.20Pace7:33.45
Paced the kids through their time trials. James Leblow helped me.

Joseph and Jacob did 2K (Joseph)/1 mile Jacob. They ran together for the first three laps, then Jacob kicked, I went with Jacob, he ran a PR of 5:35.9. I then continued, but Joseph was lagging behind, so I slowed down to let him catch me, but he had a mental lapse and slowed down to maintain the gap until I really slowed down to the point where he had to catch me on the home stretch. We ended up with 7:07.8 for 2000.

Jacob's splits: 82,83,84,83 high, the balance goes towards the 9.34 meter tax.

William went through the first 800 in 3:06 struggling, but then really lost it. I stopped him at 1200, which was the deal - if he fails to check in with a low five at a checkpoint, he is done with the time trial. I want him and other kids to learn how not to sandbag to finish the distance, but rather run by faith focusing on the next checkpoint which I try to make challenging but reasonable enough so the failure - if it does happen - would have to be mental.

Stephen ran 400 in 91.4, a bit off his record, but with more even splits. I gave William a chance to redeem himself from the mental collapse and gave him a target of 82 400, which he was able to hit.

Then I ran 7 miles with Jenny with a pickup for 1.25 uphill after VPB in 7:11.7. That was a surprise - it felt easier than pacing Joseph and Jacob on the track earlier when it was cooler. Then at the end we did a mile fast finish on the little boy course in 6:35.

I did an experiment yesterday by taking one 65 mg pill of Costco iron supplement. I do not know if it can act this fast, but what I was observing today is that I was sluggish to start, but once I got going I did better holding the effort than I normally do. Not sure what that means. Can iron be absorbed that fast?
Leg 1:Distance1.000Time9:08.80Pace9:08.80
Warm-up to the track.
Leg 2:Distance1.240Time7:07.70Pace5:44.92
Pacing Joseph and Jacob.
Split 1:Distance1.000Time5:35.90Pace5:35.90
Split 2:Distance0.240Time1:31.80Pace6:22.50
Leg 3:Distance0.740Time4:45.20Pace6:25.41
William's failed mile time trial.
Leg 4:Distance0.248Time1:31.40Pace6:08.55
Pacing Stephen.
Leg 5:Distance0.248Time1:22.00Pace5:30.65
Pacing William.
Leg 6:Distance0.248Time2:03.50Pace8:17.98
Jog with Jacob.
Leg 7:Distance1.000Time8:46.80Pace8:46.80
Running back home.
Leg 8:Distance0.120Time1:00.80Pace8:26.67
False start with Jenny.
Leg 9:Distance7.010Time53:49.00Pace7:40.63
With Jenny - mostly.
Split 1:Distance1.680Time14:35.70Pace8:41.25
Split 2:Distance1.250Time7:11.70Pace5:45.36
Uphill interval
Split 3:Distance3.080Time25:26.60Pace8:15.65
Split 4:Distance1.000Time6:35.00Pace6:35.00
Pickup with Jenny.

Camouflage Crocs 2 Miles: 11.85
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From emruns on Thu, Jul 27, 2017 at 10:31:49 from

When we were put on iron protocols in college, we took liquid iron on empty stomachs with vitamin c and orange juice. That was supposed to help absorption. It took two weeks taking iron 3 x a day to show improvement. If we needed a quicker improvement in iron levels, we received iron injections, which were painful! I don't think iron absorbs quickly. Maybe a little placebo effect happening?

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