Breaking the Wall

January 20, 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 - 2016-07-27 07:24:05
Workout Totals: Distance12.240Time1:37:43.00Pace7:59.00
Today William and Jacob raced the 800 at the USATF JO Nationals. William ran 3:07.96 taking 40th place which is a 4 second PR. He opened with 41, then had an official split of 88.36 at 400, not sure what he had at 600, but his last lap was 1:39.60. The temperature was around 90F. I was concerned he might have problems - both mental and physical, but 1:39 last lap was as bad as it got - I was happy we got away so easy. I do not know why they do hurdles before the 800s.

The video of William's race can be found here .

The slowest final qualifier in William's division (7-8) ran 2:43.49.

Jacob ran 2:38.04 finishing 21st in the 9-10 division. The slowest final qualifier in his division ran 2:29.06. For his race it was even hotter - I think around 98F. Fortunately we developed a good cooling strategy for both Jacob and William - keep them in the van with AC on until the very last moment, then use a pack of ice and a water bottle with ice water while waiting for the race to start at the stadium. Unfortunately they make you wait at the stadium for a long time and they separate the children from coaches and parents while waiting.

Jacob opened with 36, then had an official split of 77.67 at 400, and ran the last lap in 80.37. This was a new race PR - he had run 2:37.7 in a time trial. But considering the heat, this was a PR effort.

Jacob's video is here. There was some drama in that race - he was with Elijah Hughes, who has a 400 PR of 64 seconds and 800 of 2:31 with 100 meters to go. Jacob's 400 PR is 72.7, so you would think he would have no hope in the kick. Somehow he managed a kick and ended up edging Elijah by 16 milliseconds at the finish.

In another bit of drama, Tillman Bartholomew, who beat Jacob in the regionals, was in the same heat. Tillman used the same strategy that worked in the regional race - sit behind in the first lap, then move forward and try to pull away. Except this time it did not work. Jacob kicked with 300 to go and pulled ahead. Ironically, they pretty much traded times - Tillman ran 2:43, just like Jacob in the regionals, and Jacob was a second and a half faster than Tillman's time at the regionals.

Benjamin did 6, Jenny ran 5 at home, Julia 3, Joseph 2, Jacob around 4 and William around 3, I think.
Leg 1:Distance2.000Time14:15.00Pace7:07.50
Leg 2:Distance2.000Time16:51.80Pace8:25.90
With Benjamin and Joseph.
Leg 3:Distance4.250Time32:56.20Pace7:44.99
With Benjamin.
Leg 4:Distance1.140Time8:46.50Pace7:41.84
With Julia.
Leg 5:Distance0.700Time5:29.90Pace7:51.29
Errands at the race venue.
Leg 6:Distance1.140Time10:52.00Pace9:31.93
With Stephen, Julia, Jacob, and William.
Leg 7:Distance0.260Time2:34.50Pace9:54.23
With Matthew.
Leg 8:Distance0.750Time5:57.10Pace7:56.13
I think this was with Jacob and Julia.

Black Crocs 2 Miles: 12.24
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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