Breaking the Wall

January 17, 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: 146.77 Year: 146.77
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: 1276.97
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Much needed day of rest after the marathon. Went to church. The stars aligned and I taught both in Sunday school and in the Elder's Quorum. I get to do this due to being the ward mission leader and the Elder's Quorum instructor at the same time. I do not get to teach the Elder's Quorum that often, but I am in charge of the new member class. And, of course, I forgot to delegate, so I got double blessings, which I could use. The lesson in Sunday school was on the ordinance of sacrament. The Elder's quorum lesson was on obedience. During the lesson my phone, which had the lesson manual on it started to malfunction somewhat. I figured it must have happened for a purpose and used the incident to illustrate the importance of being obedient to God's commandments with exactness. We should not malfunction when asked to do good things, and God never asks us to do anything that is bad. Of course, we are at a much higher level than just a gadget. We have God-given agency. He gave us the ability to disobey His commandments to give us a chance to develop our faith. Thus, when we obey, we choose good over bad, and our faith grows, or, in fact, actually has a meaning. Tools or mere creations cannot have faith because they cannot make decisions. We can. What an irony it is when we begin to insist that to prove our ability to choose we must choose bad. 

Benjamin and I often study chess games of grandmasters using a games database. And there are times when out of let's say 30 games, in all of them the same move is made in the same position by 30 different players of high caliber. Sometimes it takes us a while to figure out why. Why not be original and make some other move?  After some analysis, and sometimes with the help of a computer, we are able to see why not. It loses the game. How interesting that out of 20-30 possibilities there is only one that works. But it takes a high skilled player to notice that. To me, this is a powerful lesson in not trying to be different for the sake of being different, being humble enough to recognize that there is only one reasonable choice in a particular situation, and you must not be afraid of uniformity.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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