Breaking the Wall

July 12, 2020

Recent EntriesHomeJoin Fast Running Blog Community!PredictorHealthy RecipesSasha Pachev's RacesFind BlogsMileage BoardTop Ten Excuses for Missing a RunTop Ten Training MistakesDiscussion ForumRace Reports Send A Private MessageWeek ViewMonth ViewYear View
15% off for Fast Running Blog members at St. George Running Center!


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

Major sleep-in day. Tempo run with Ted at 7:15 AM.  10 miles on the standard course between Geneva Road and the Utah Lake. Ted was not feeling well in the morning, so to make things interesting we decided to give him a head start of one minute. The conditions of the trail for the first 2.5 miles were better than Thursday but worse than last Saturday. Later on, they became significantly worse as the snow became wet and lost its crispiness. As it was warmer (14F), I decided to wear 1.5 layers on my legs (shorts over tights).

First mile in 5:56 on snow, felt good. The snow was still crisp, decent traction. Stopped for bio break at 1.75.  First 2.5 in 14:45. Ted was about 1:40 ahead already. Turned out he actually opened up 10 seconds on me on top of the head start and the bio break. 23:37 at 4 miles, still decent pace. Then I hit a solid mile of wet snow - 6:10, 15:03 for the 2.5, 29:48 for 5. Ted is a minute ahead, and the 6:00 mile guy is gaining on me, not good. I thought with me wearing only one pair of pants  he would never be gaining on me.

Next mile in 6:09 on wet snow, hanging on trying to hold off the charging 6:00 mile guy. He runs like a moose on wet snow, he does not care. Next 1.5 miles have frequent dry ground patches, time for revenge. However, the patches of snow are killing the pace. 44:50 at 7.5, 15:02 for 2.5, Ted is now only 30 seconds ahead.

On the way back working hard to build a nice cushion before the last mile. Who knows, it might get even worse than 6:10 for that mile. Passed Ted with 1.5 to go. 1:03:44 at 9 miles. Let's hope 16 second lead is enough. Figured out a trick from desperation - surge hard on every smallest dry patch, then coast on the snow - it does not pay to push there. Exponential increase in effort results only in marginal increase in speed. Finished in 59:50, 10 seconds ahead of the 6:00 mile snow-plowing hard charging moose. Last mile in 6:06, last 2.5 in 15:00.

Jogged with Ted back to my house, put on ankle weights, jogged some more to make it 14. Worked out on Curt's contraption, liked the feeling afterwards. Ran with the kids in the afternoon.

As got back home and we knelt down for a family prayer, I saw a flock of moose trophies on the shelf that I've collected from 8 Top of Utah "in the moose" finishes to remind me of today's run.  


Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Ryan Woods on Mon, Jan 29, 2007 at 14:11:48

wow, 2:13! that's an amazing marathon time. I figured he'd be good because of the people that train in that group in gainesville but 2:13 is quite impressive. Thanks for the update! what about the russian masters female? do you know of her? she's been dominating a lot of road races here in fla for the past few years

Add Your Comment.
  • Keep it family-safe. No vulgar or profane language. To discourage anonymous comments of cowardly nature, your IP address will be logged and posted next to your comment.
  • Do not respond to another person's comment out of context. If he made the original comment on another page/blog entry, go to that entry and respond there.
  • If all you want to do is contact the blogger and your comment is not connected with this entry and has no relevance to others, send a private message instead.
Only registered users with public blogs are allowed to post comments. Log in with your username and password or create an account and set up a blog.
Debt Reduction Calculator

Featured Announcements
New Kids on the Blog
(need a welcome):
Lone Faithfuls
(need a comment):