Breaking the Wall

February 28, 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: 155.37 Year: 492.80
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1576.28
Neon Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1353.22
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2015-01-30 07:18:18
Workout Totals: Distance12.000Time1:34:32.00Pace7:52.67
12 total. Jenny did 3, Julia 3, Benjamin 9, Joseph 3, Jacob 3, William 1, Stephen 0.5.
Leg 1:Distance9.000Time1:10:33.70Pace7:50.41
With Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance3.000Time23:58.30Pace7:59.43
With Joseph and Jacob. Joseph was struggling with a couple of things. He still that headache that comes after he has run for about a mile - probably a consequence of reduced blood volume, his range of motion is still not 100%, he senses that with those limitations he would not be able to beat his younger brother Jacob, and he is having a hard time accepting this reality.

He really does not like to get beat by Jacob. I attempted to teach him how to develop a better competitive attitude like this. I said - imagine you and Jacob are in the Olympics in a 10000 meter final. With 2000 to go you find yourself in the lead pack alongside with Jacob and three other runners. You know that those three can outkick both you and Jacob. You know that Jacob alone cannot break them, and if he tries he would not only get outkicked by them, but by you as well. You also know that if you work with Jacob your kick may not be sufficient to beat him, but at least both of you will beat the other three runners so even if you lose to Jacob you will have Olympic silver. You see that Jacob took the lead and is trying to break the other three runners - thus your choices are - go help Jacob and get the Olympic silver while he gets the gold, or sit in the pack and end up without a medal, but beat Jacob. Which one would you choose?

He said he had a hard time deciding. I asked, would you rather finish second or fourth? He said it depends on who beats me.

So need to work on this mental block, and I think there is a silver lining in Joseph's injury - it will get him to think about this matter and hopefully he can overcome this addictive sibling competitiveness and learn to be productively competitive.

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