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

Woke up from a dream. I was running in the Top of Utah Marathon. We had a good pack. Suddenly around mile 9 everybody took too long to consume their drinks. I gulped down two Powerades in an instance and broke away. My form felt terrible, but I was in the lead. I went through my competition one by one trying to estimate how many of them would be able to cover the move and not pay for it by 23. It was too many, but I figured I still had a fighting chance for top 3. Suddenly around mile 10 my cell phone alarm woke me up to reality. To make the dream come true you need to train!

Standard Saturday 10 mile tempo run. The trail was clear except for the first mile. It was manageable at the start, but subsequently became worse. 5F temperature, standard 2.5 layers of clothes. Ted helped me on the first 2.5, hit the split in 14:37. After that, he needed to back off to an easy pace to avoid overtraining. 14:56 on the way back, the snow mile did not help (5:59), 29:33 at 5 miles. Coming back the snow mile was 6:04, with the first 0.5 in 3:06. This is as bad as it gets on this run - 180 turn knocks you out of rhythm, and then you have some wet snow to battle. Finally recovered, 14:55 for the next 2.5. Now getting the 59:00 guy becomes a possibility - I need to run only 14:32. 14:32 in shorts, 50-60 degrees, no inversion, and completely dry ground is a nice and relaxed rhythmic marathon pace. Under the conditions of today, 14:32 would require some serious effort. I decided to put in good effort, but not try to run at 10 K pace to get it. If it happens, it happens, otherwise, I'll take what my body and the road will give me.

With a mile to go I needed to run 5:42 to catch the invisible runner. If the road had been in its Thursday's condition, this would have been doable. But it was way too slippery. I ended up running it in 6:04 with the last 0.5 in 3:04. 14:54 for the last 2.5, 59:22 for the whole run, course record for the 2.5 clothes layers/inversion/below 20F conditions.

Got home, put on ankle weights, ran another 1.7 to make the total of 15 for the run.

Benjamin got sick with a fever. Not too bad, but not good to run with. Just ran with Jenny, and then Julia.

Got my Nada Chair in the mail to help me maintain proper posture while I sit. Unfortunately I do have to sit to make a living. We'll see if it makes any difference in running. I like it so far.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Ryan Woods on Sun, Feb 04, 2007 at 08:55:14

Thanks! The race went faster than I had anticipated. I would have thought 30:40-31:00 so you would have outpredicted me as well. Try and stay warm!

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