Breaking the Wall

February 20, 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: 81.04 Year: 418.47
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 Jeff, Daniel, and Mary Ann. Jeff is learning Linux so we had an on-the-run computer class. 10.15 miles in 1:20:40. Later ran 2 with Benjamin in 15:52. Too slippery to do explosions, but Benjamin managed to run the last mile in 7:21 anyway.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:42. Jenny ran 2 miles with Sarah.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From Nevels on Fri, Feb 13, 2009 at 15:48:18

Linux, huh...I'm working with a modeling software in Linux that keeps spitting out error(174) SIGSEGV, and contrary to what I initially thought, it is not due to a lack of memory. Any ideas?

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Feb 13, 2009 at 16:28:16

SIGSEGV is segmentation fault. It means the program tried to write do an unallocated address. E.g code like this:

char* p; *p = 0; will segfault.

You can actually get that from being low on memory because Linux kernel overcommits. When you allocate a buffer, but do not initialize it, it will not actually allocate any pages until you access them. So if you you allocate a large buffer, and then wait for some time to use it, you could very well get a SEGFAULT when you actually access the memory, the kernel tried to give you a physical page, but there are no free pages.

You can also get it if you hit a stack overflow - excessively deep recursion or local functions having very large local variables, or allocating large chucks with alloca().

But very often SIGSEGV comes from just an honest bug.

You can try loading it in gdb to see where it segfaults. You can also try strace to see if there is any pattern of system calls. Note that in strace you will see memory allocated with pbrk(), which is an obscure syscall that is called from under malloc(). strace can also help you track down the files that your program is trying to open. Sometimes programs crash when they cannot find a certain config file in the right place.

From Nevels on Fri, Feb 13, 2009 at 16:35:09


That is actually a much better explanation than any I've found online, so thanks. I'll try locating where it segfaults in the model. I got a version of the model to run, but it appears to be much larger than it should be, so I'll have to investigate that further as well. Again, thanks for the advice.


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