Breaking the Wall

January 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: 252.01 Year: 252.01
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

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff and Mary Ann in 1:15:53. Had a post-VPB tempo- 5/16 of a mile in 1:37, that is 5:10 pace. Felt very strong, it felt tempo, not 5 K pace. Experiences like this make me wonder if I am just one loose wire away from being able to race a half at 5:10 pace on a flat course at 4500 feet. But where is that loose wire and how do you connect it?

Did explosive sprints.

A.M-2. Went to Iain's lab to do force plate tests. Benjamin and I ran from the car and back, total of about 0.65. Jeff and Mary Ann did the tests as well.

P.M. 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 13:00. 1 with Julia in 9:41.

Saucony Type A Miles: 10.75
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From Burt on Wed, Jan 14, 2009 at 16:01:30

Just out of curiosity, what is your fastest mile time ever? What do you think you could do it in now? I have a friend that runs 7 minute miles for everything from a 5k to a marathon.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Jan 14, 2009 at 16:15:42


I've run a slightly aided (1% downhill grade) but with headwind mile alone in 2005 in 4:42. I've run a non-aided mile in a group in 4:46 in 2007. In 2005 I was primed for the mile. In 2007 I had not been training for the mile as much, but I had done some quarters for about 2-3 months up to one month from the time I ran that mile. Last year I ran a non-aided mile in 4:55 once in a workout. I also ran a 5:04 at the end of a 10 K. On Saturday I went through the first mile of a 10 K in 5:06 just for fun, but adjusted for the road conditions it was probably worth 4:55. I imagine I could run 4:52 right now, maybe faster on a good day and in good company. At least the first quarter in 73 in the 10 K on Saturday felt very manageable thinking of it in terms of racing the mile.

From Burt on Wed, Jan 14, 2009 at 17:08:49

Here is why I ask. In high school I ran a 4:59 mile. I also ran the two in 11:10. That's 35 sec/mile slower. I'm not sure what my fastest 5k was, but it was probably around 18 min. (another 30 sec/mile slower.) It just made sense to me that the further you run, the slower you get. Then I met my friend who has only trained for one speed, and he runs that same speed no matter if runs a 5k or a marathon. So when you mentioned the loose wire, it made me think maybe there are some people who only know how to run a certain speed. My hunch is that my friend needs to connect that wire. He just doesn't know how.

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