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 - 2015-10-10 08:54:52
Workout Totals: Distance20.625Time2:45:15.10Pace8:00.73
A little more than 20 total today. First did a workout with Benjamin which had a dual purpose - to help him recover the fitness after the virus attack and possibly also some loss due to school stress, and to prove it earning the driver's license in case it somehow magically came back by virtue of his youth. So we went to the start of the Provo River half (2012-2014 version). I used the Course Tool to project the splits, and had him run at the half-marathon race pace effort until he either reached the finish or it was apparent that going further is counter productive. Obviously, I would only let him reach the finish if he was on pace for sub-1:10.

I ran portions of the workout with him, and drove the van from spot to spot to intercept him and to make sure we would not have to come back for the van as well.

Benjamin made it through the first mile on schedule - 4:57, target 5:01, but then fell apart. He said the problem was he could not find the speed. Never felt out of control, just the legs refused to move. He was around 13:32 at 2.5, target 12:49, then 21:42 at 4, target 20:36, 36:05 at 6.5, target 34:15. I still had him run up and down the hill before I stopped him to make sure he got an endurance workout, though, and ran that portion with him. His uphill mile was 6:18, target 5:55, and down 5:32, target somewhere around 5:10-5:15. So we have some work to do to recover his fitness.

Afterwards, we jogged 4 more miles (so he got 14), and I ran 10 more alone.

Other kids ran their usual distances except William - he had a stomach ache, tried to run, but could not.
Leg 1:Distance1.500Time13:26.00Pace8:57.33
Leg 2:Distance5.125Time49:09.70Pace9:35.55
Benjamin's tempo run. He was headed for something along the lines of 1:13 high. I stopped him at around 8.7 or so.
Split 1:Distance1.000Time4:57.90Pace4:57.90
With Benjamin.
Split 2:Distance0.125Time1:07.80Pace9:02.40
Back to the car.
Split 3:Distance0.000Time13:48.70Pace0:00.00
Split 4:Distance0.400Time2:49.70Pace7:04.25
Some of it with Benjamin.
Split 5:Distance0.000Time5:10.10Pace0:00.00
Split 6:Distance3.600Time21:15.50Pace5:54.31
About 0.5 alone uphill, then the rest with Benjamin, some up, some down.
Leg 3:Distance4.000Time34:02.60Pace8:30.65
With Benjamin.
Leg 4:Distance10.000Time1:08:36.80Pace6:51.68

White Crocs 2 Miles: 20.62
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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