Breaking the Wall

April 02, 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 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: 211.63 Year: 851.13
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: 1679.47
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted this morning at our usual time. Ted ran only 6 - a small, possibly a non-running  foot injury. After dropping him off, did 4x400 on the trail at a more aggressive 5 K pace - all between 77 and 78. Caught the 7:30 guy at the end. Wore the heart rate monitor. It showed that I was asleep - average HR of 118.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon.

Went to see Dr. Jex. My progress had stalled earlier as indicated by the measurements - 20 degree neck curvature and 9 mm forward head tilt - no improvement in over two months after a quick improvement in the first four. I did point out to him that we were going nowhere if we continued to do the same thing. So he came up with a couple of tests to troubleshoot the problem. Turned out that if I wore the shoulder weights on the right shoulder with 8 pounds on the front side and 2 pounds on the back side + Pettibon shoulder strap + the head weights, my neck curvature improves to 35 degrees - the highest we have ever seen it under any conditions by far. In other words, somehow the muscles in the shoulder region restrict the neck. And, according to the Pettibon teachings, whatever improvement you can get on a stress test can be eventually achieved without external means if you can train the muscles to hold that position.

To fix that I will be wearing the shoulder weights along with my head weights now. I did this today - it was quite a sight. The kids really enjoyed it. I've got to take a picture of that - I look like an English knight ready for the battle.

I am excited about this discovery. 35 degrees is within the range of normal. This means, if Pettibon is right, I have a good shot at developing an athletic neck, which is the key to developing an athletic spine everywhere else. Now I feel, after 6 months of somewhat of a windmill fight, we are getting somewhere.

Striders 5K tomorrow. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Kory Wheatley on Sat, Feb 10, 2007 at 15:35:24

I've always heard the straighter your back is when you run (Shoulders square up) and not leaning your running performance will prove. I've been trying to incorporate this in my running by watching my running posture.

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):