Breaking the Wall

August 06, 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 - 2016-08-23 07:39:19
Workout Totals: Distance13.300Time1:45:05.10Pace7:54.07
Today I had Benjamin re-do the botched 4 mile tempo down the canyon to see if he could keep sub-5:00 average. Looks like we hit another stumbling stone, similar to his 6:00 mile struggle at the age of 11, and recent 5:20 pace struggle for the half marathon. He ran the first mile in 4:50, second in 5:05, and then just could not move his legs in the last two in a way that I did not think was possible given his fitness. So he ended up with 5:18,5:16 finishing in 20:29. I was originally planning on running a mile or 1.25 starting at Benjamin's 2 mile mark, but due to the slowness of the pace I figured I needed to run at least 2 to get a good workout. I did not feel as strong as I did last week - maybe because I was worried about Benjamin.

Benjamin suggested that the problem might be his imagination. He is able to imagine fatigue and convince himself it is real when the body is actually capable of more. I am willing to believe that as he does have a vivid imagination - at the age of 6 he was imagining that the airplane exhaust tracks in the sky were really from the alien missiles and that all adults around him conspired to hide the fact that the earth is being invaded by the aliens. At the age of 12 he wrote a lengthy futuristic novel. Perhaps this is what kept him from breaking 6:00 mile for so long.

Regardless, one thing we learned from that is that he would not be able to handle a fast start in the half right now - whether because it will trigger a real physical fatigue or just a perception of fatigue. Does not really matter for the purpose of racing - if the brain is fully convinced the body cannot go any faster, it will not let it. So based on that we came up with a plan to start conservatively in the TOU Half.
Leg 1:Distance4.150Time34:09.30Pace8:13.81
Split 1:Distance2.650Time23:14.50Pace8:46.23
With Benjamin.
Split 2:Distance1.500Time10:54.80Pace7:16.53
To the 2 mile mark.
Leg 2:Distance2.000Time10:42.00Pace5:21.00
Tried to get Benjamin to go through the first mile, all he could do was 5:18, then he was able to close with 5:16, but I did not have much juice left and ran 5:24.
Leg 3:Distance3.150Time28:04.20Pace8:54.67
Cool-down with Benjamin.
Leg 4:Distance4.000Time32:09.60Pace8:02.40
With Joseph and Jacob.

Khaki Crocs 1 Miles: 13.30
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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