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 - 2014-11-01 11:02:10
Workout Totals: Distance11.867Time1:52:05.60Pace9:26.75
Today was the cross-country day at the Kiwani's Park. The conditions were windy. I raced the Utah USATF masters championship in the in the 5 K and won with 18:52, which earned me $30. Benjamin won the 15-16 year old race with 17:42. Jenny ran 4 K in 21:40 - not an exceptional result but perhaps OK for the still low iron and the windy day. Julia has issues with the foot and could only manage 15:01 in the 3 K. Joseph was third in the 9-10 division in the 3 K with 12:38 - got beat by Jayden Fitzgerald (12:04), and just barely by 0.1 by his arch-rival James Harrison at the finish line. Jacob won the 8 and under division with 8:30. William ran 10:33 in the same race, but he ended up adding some distance by taking the corners too wide and doing a slalom around the flags in the home stretch. Speaking of which Joseph also added some distance, which perhaps cost him the second place.

More details to follow.
Leg 1:Distance1.860Time15:01.20Pace8:04.52
Ran as the official rabbit for the 11-12 age group in the 3000, then waited for Julia to finish. Had to run fast at the start because they were right on my tail, but then I had kept the effort for too long and opened too much of a gap, so then I had to slow down.
Split 1:Distance1.860Time11:37.70Pace6:15.11
Rabbit work.
Split 2:Distance0.000Time3:23.50Pace0:00.00
Cheering for Julia.
Leg 2:Distance2.000Time21:40.50Pace10:50.25
Cheered for Jenny. I will put all of my cheering running from place to place under this entry and call it 2 miles.
Leg 3:Distance0.000Time17:42.00Pace0:00.00
Benjamin's race. He was with another boy named Joe for the first 2 miles or so, then I told him it was time to move and he did. His splits by checkpoints of unknown distance - 2:29, 12:23 (9:54), and 17:42 (5:19). Joe was 12:30 at the second checkpoint , but ended up running 18:56 (6:26) - I thought, wow he really lost it there until I had raced myself - see below.
Leg 4:Distance3.107Time18:52.80Pace6:04.60
My race. Anthony, Nate Hornok, and Steve Shepherd went ahead, I ran with Mark Payne. Anthony and Nate were 2:24 at the magic checkpoint, Mark and I had 2:46, but then all three of them missed the turn, and they did not catch us for another 3 minutes or so. I was able to drop Mark around 1.5 mark and started building the gap. My split at the next checkpoint was 12:46 (7:00), and my last split was 6:06 vs Benjamin's 5:19. So yes, Joe did slow down, but not by as much as I thought. Benjamin really turned up the heat in that last mile in spite of the wind, that is where the gap came from.
Leg 5:Distance0.900Time7:02.30Pace7:49.22
Cool-down with Nate.
Leg 6:Distance4.000Time31:46.80Pace7:56.70
Some extra distance with Benjamin.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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