Breaking the Wall

January 25, 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: 151.02 Year: 151.02
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. Ran with Daniel, Jeff, and Mary Ann. 10 miles in 1:14:31. Did explosions, and picked it up a bit in the last quarter to 5:50 pace. We dropped off Daniel at 6.5. Soon after we ran into Tommy Gruenewald, a BYU runner. He joined us for about a mile. He was wearing sweat pants and a ski jacket, and did not look like a guy that could run 8:21 3000 at all judging by his clothes. I love it when fast runners dress down. One time Bill Rogers hammered out a 20 mile race at around 5:00 per mile wearing jeans and tennis shoes, I think. It was back in the day when sponsorships were hard to find, and he was too poor to afford more traditional running apparel.

This also reminds me of an experience of my own. On July 24th, 2003 I was headed to the start of the Deseret News Marathon. Half way through I realized that I had left my racing flats at the house. The only shoes I had were a 13 oz pair that I got from a gift certificate to the Riverwoods Mall won in the 10 miler two years earlier. Those were the closest to running shoes you could find at that store. I tried running in them, but pretty soon they were relegated to the walking shoe status due to their heavy weight and general awkwardness. I was not even thinking of running a race in them as a possibility.  So I tried to call a couple of friends to see if I could borrow their racing flats, but nobody was awake at that early hour. I said a silent prayer, and in response heard a gentle answer:

Run in the shoes you have, it is not the shoe that makes the runner.

So I did. I ended up with 2:34:48, which was a course PR by 2:27, and the second fastest marathon I had run to that point. It was a PR equivalent considering the nature of the course.

I learned something. What matters the most in running is the fitness. Fitness, unlike beauty, is not skin-deep. It is in the muscles, the heart, the lungs, the bones, the nerves, the brain, the liver, the glands, and other numerous organs, most of which are internal. It cannot be bought, it has to be earned.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:09. 2 with Benjamin in 17:14. Jenny ran 1.5 with us in 13:24.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From air darkhorse on Wed, Feb 04, 2009 at 15:26:11

Good thoughts, Yes, true fitness is paid for with hard sweat for currency.

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