Breaking the Wall

December 05, 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: 304.65 Year: 3606.17
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: 806.96
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran in the Provo Canyon. Speed work. Warmed up, then 5x400 alternating up and down with 200 recovery. Headwind when going down as usual this time of day (late morning). 71.3 down - 77.3 up - 73.3 down - 75.2 up - 72.3 down. That shows a solid headwind. Still air difference between up and down should be 5 seconds. This did not come as a surprise. I noticed during the warm up that I was running 7:12 pace downhill and the HR of 127. Usually it is around 6:50 with the same effort and HR over there.

Jogged up to Nunn's park and ran the standard 3 mile tempo down. Mile splits - 5:24 - 5:24 - 5:21, 16:09. HR gradually made its way to 162-164. I kicked the last 100 meters, it went up to 169. Solid headwind virtually with no breaks. Not a single quarter faster than 1:20 except the last one (1:18). However, not a single quarter over 1:21 either possibly with the exception of the first (there is no mark there, but it actually uphill for the first 0.15).

Jogged back to the place where I did the 400s earlier and repeated 5x400. 72.9 down - 76.4 up - 73.9 down - 75.9 up - 67.5 down. The last one shows that I am lacking anaerobic ability. When I have it in full force, I am only able to speed up by 2 seconds on the last one. I could also tell I was losing steam after the first 200.

Then cooled down to the car. It started to get warm, and I could tell I was dehydrating a bit. HR went up to 138 at about 7:20 pace uphill. Normally it should have been around 128.  Total of 14.8 for the workout.

Ran with the kids in the evening.

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