Breaking the Wall

July 17, 2019

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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: 110.88 Year: 2082.97
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs Lifetime Miles: 2133.34
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 914.70
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran with Ted this morning. It was our sleep-in day - we started at 5:30 am. With the extra sleep I felt livelier in the tempo run, and so did Ted. We ran our standard 2.5 tempo. Most of the trail was covered with snow, but there were a bit more dry spots than on Tuesday. First mile in 5:59, trying to wake up. Next time I had a chance for a reliable split was at 1.5 + 1/16, which was 9:14, 8 seconds ahead of the 6:00 mile guy. Then around the 2 mile mark I really needed to take a bio-break. This gave Ted a chance to pass me. However, I was quick enough to put Ted within reach. I knew I had to work, because I could tell that he was having a good day, and he usually runs much better the further he goes this time of day. At first I had a hard time getting going (The Toy reported 1:26 quarter), but then my tiger chasing a pray instinct turned on. The Toy reported a quarter in 1:18, and I managed to catch Ted. My total time was 14:24, which gives me 5:10 for the last 15/16 of a mile, this is 5:31 pace average. However, I did not start going fast until the last 0.5, so that 1:18 quarter was probably really 1:18. Ted ended up with 14:48, a record for him for the comparable conditions.

This goes to show that perhaps the biggest factor that makes me struggle to break 6:00 pace on those tempo runs is not the extra clothes, the cold, and the snow, but rather the lack of excitement at this early hour. Once I had a reason to run sub-5:20 pace, it came without a superhuman effort that I would expect from the difficulty of running 5:50 on those runs.

The economy felt average. Quads worked more than I wanted them too, but not terribly out of the ordinary. The spring from the back felt average, maybe even slightly better than average.

Afterwards, my adrenal glands did not want to work, I think. We ran 8:00 pace the rest of the way, and it felt fast. If 7:00 felt fast, I could have blamed it on lactic acid buildup, maybe. But in this case, I think it was just running out of mental energy to push.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon.

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