Breaking the Wall

July 07, 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: 51.55 Year: 2011.51
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: 881.43
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with  Jeff, Daniel, Mary Ann, and Matt Anderson. Daniel turned around after 3, Mary Ann and Matt ran the first 10.1. Matt had run to the house from BYU and then ran back. With Matt around I took advantage of the opportunity to share my collection of math jokes. We did the first 10.1 in 1:15:22. The trail was mostly in tempo runnable condition so Jeff and I did a tempo for the remainder of the run. We just repeated our first half, except faster. The target was 1:00:00 for 10.1. Jeff acted like he had more ambitious plans, and I went along with them to the best of my ability. Our miles splits were:

 5:48, 5:52, 5:42, 5:55, 6:23 for the next 1.05 (6:05 pace, hit some serious snow), turnaround split of 29:40, then coming back 1.05 in 6:09 (5:51 pace), 5:43, 5:45, 5:52, 6:05, second half in 29:04, a slight negative split in spite of loosing steam in the last mile.

Total time for 10.1 was 59:14, 5:51.88 average. Jeff took off with 0.75 to go and finished 32 seconds faster. My legs started caving in at that point. I could still go 6:00 pace when it was flat and I did not have to worry about the footing, but uphill, bridges, snow or puddles that would not have phased me in the early section of the tempo turned out to be too much. Jeff on the other hand handled it a lot better.

Total time for 20.2 was 1:14:36.

I was curious to get some more insight on this feeling of legs caving it and I fell for the temptation to do some power tests after the run. Fortunately I did not get injured. Unfortunately I waited too long to do them, or maybe not so unfortunately. I did them about 30-40 minutes after finishing the run. With Benjamin's help I got into a chess game right after the run and did not eat anything. I normally do not do that. But I figured it was perhaps good that I did not for the scientific research purposes. Any recovery that would have happened after the run would not have been from increases in available glycogen or blood sugar. So the results:

Upstairs sprint - 3.4. That is normal, actually near record. The record is 3.3. Standing broad jump was 75 inches. The record on that surface is 83 inches. I felt most of the explosive power was back, although some was missing. I definitely was not there in the last 100 meters of the tempo. Not sure what to think of it.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:30, 2 with Benjamin in 16:43, Jenny ran 1.5 with us in 12:35.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 20.20
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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