Breaking the Wall

August 19, 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: 160.46 Year: 2462.47
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: 1263.81
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Met Jeff on the trail. Ran 10.2 in 1:19:22. Did some pickups (100s, 200s, 400s) totaling a mile at around 5:05 pace.

P.M. Worked on breaking the 6:00 barrier with Benjamin. The plan was go 6:00 pace to failure, then kick, when the kick becomes slower than 6:24 pace stop. Benjamin made it to 1000 in 3:43 (2 seconds ahead of schedule), but then he panicked and said he could not go anymore without failing to break 6:24 pace over 100 meters first. That was revealing and helped me understand why he is struggling with a sub-6:00 mile. Fast pace produces a certain measure of emotional stress and he does not yet know how to handle this type of emotion. He is only 10 and his emotions have not yet matured, but I would imagine many adults have a hard time running fast for the exact same reason.

So the hypothesis is that interval training can be used to treat a certain type of deep emotional problems. Fast pace will very predictably cause some type of emotional blow-up if there is an underlying weakness. The individual can be prepared and know exactly where that blow-up would happen and can be prepared to make an effort to control it. Thus he will develop a skill that he can use when that blow-up rears up its ugly head in other situations.

Since it was obvious that Benjamin's failure was of emotional nature, I told him he had to finish the mile in segments.  So after jogging 600 I told him to try to run 2:17 for the remaining 600. He made it to 300 in 1:06, continued for another 50 meters, and then bailed out. I had him jog back 50 meters, and told him to bust out the gate and blast the first 100 as fast as he could and then hang on to dear life for the remaining 200. I was thinking he would end up with something like 1:03, be he surprised me and ran 59 (5:15 pace) with the splits of 18-20-21. That gave us 5:48 total for the mile in three segments of 1000 - 300 - 300. 

This is the furtherest Benjamin has run at sub-6:00 continuously, and also the fastest segmented mile he has run in a workout. The good news is that he consciously understands the problem, and with each try is more and more prepared to deal with the beast.

Our total distance  was 2 miles.

2 with Julia and Jenny. We stayed together until about 0.3 to go.  Then Jenny took off. I stayed with Julia for about 200 meters, and then went after Jenny so I would get her time. Barely caught her before the finish, our time was 16:58. Julia finished in 17:27.

0.5 with Joseph in 4:39. 0.25 with Jacob in 2:49. 

Water Clogs 3 Miles: 14.95
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
From Marathon Dreamer on Sat, Feb 06, 2010 at 10:28:06 from


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