Breaking the Wall

August 06, 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: 16.00 Year: 2314.91
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: 1185.83
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 10.2 in 1:11:59. If you told me I'd be able to run this fast after feeling the trail with my feet but without looking at my splits I would have laughed. But somehow low 7:00 and later even 6:40, occasionally sub-6:40 started happening in spite of the slippage. Did a pickup to test if my recent attempts to massage out the scar tissue and other garbage in the right pectineus muscle did any good. The form felt smoother, the right glut was engaging better, but no miracle smoothness yet. Not surprising, easy come, easy go, it will take a lot of learning and then a lot of work to apply that learning to undo the damage that was done 23 years ago.

I spent the last ten years trying to find the culprit that makes me run funny. I think I've finally found it. At least I feel like the pieces of the puzzle are securely together, and I have an explanation I am content with for everything that happened and everything I've felt over the course of my running career. The culprit is the damaged right pectineus. Everything else is a consequence. 

Jenny ran with Sarah. 

Drove to SLC later in the morning to visit with Sarah's family. On the way there around 106th South on I-15 all of a sudden Sarah starts telling me that somebody she does not recognize is trying to say hi to us. She rolled down the window and had a brief conversation with the driver of a mini-van. I looked briefly, but then turned my eyes towards the road. I have only one working eye, so I really cannot look aside too much or I'll crash the car. The van had Colorado license plates. From that and Sarah's description of the people in the van I figured it was Nan and Aaron. This turned out to be correct. Aaron posted a comment in my blog confirming the encounter. Small world.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 17:13. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 13:38.  0.5 with Joseph in 4:40. 0.25 with Jacob in 2:56.

Water Clogs Miles: 2.75Airwalk Clogs Miles: 10.20
Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
From Nan Kennard on Fri, Jan 01, 2010 at 23:56:43 from

Yeah, what were the odds of that!?! We saw your logo on the back of the van and immediatly knew it was you. Happy New Year!

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