Breaking the Wall

December 03, 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: 304.65 Year: 3606.17
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: 1657.61
Brown Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 806.96
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2014-02-14 07:57:18
Workout Totals
Distance Time Pace
12.090 1:36:29.20 7:58.84
Total of 12. Benjamin did 9, Joseph 3, Jacob 3, William 1, Jenny 4, Julia 3. Joseph did a mile time trial on the track setting a new record of 6:12.6, details below. Benjamin got the results back from his BYU Math 313 (Linear Algebra) challenge. Operation Hubris Cubed was mostly successful - he got 88 out of 100 which gave him B+. He got tripped up by a question about adjugate matrix. The problem was that while he understood the concept behind inverting the matrix using co-factors he was not familiar with the term "adjugate" and there was no hint in the problem to deduce it from the context. The term was not on the published list of course skills and topics. That is one problem with challenging a class if the grading scale is 92% for an A, you did not attend it, and you are using the list of topics from a different section to study. You can easily get 80% on any test, and if they threw an extra credit problem that most of the A students that took the class would fail, you would solve it, so it pulls you up enough for an A. But with the setup without the extra credit where you need to be 92% perfect on whatever the professor thought was important to know about that subject, there is a problem. You could know the subject overall much better than the average student who took the class that got an A. But the student who took the class understands the professor's bias much better than you and he focused on the areas of the bias likely neglecting other topics. One way to correct this problem would be to swap midterms and finals between sections, and to add some tough extra credit problems making it theoretically possible to score above 100% thus rewarding the true general understanding over the understanding of professor's bias. But I am afraid if they did that the students would rebel - how in the world can you test me on something that you did not teach me?
Leg 1
Distance Time Pace Comment
1.05 9:12.40. 8:46.10 Warm-up to the track with Benjamin, Joseph, and Jacob.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 1.050 9:12.40 8:46.10  
Leg 2
Distance Time Pace Comment
2 14:55.50. 7:27.75 Joseph did the mile time trial. Jacob assisted in the second half acting as a rabbit by starting a few seconds ahead. I was in charge of setting the pace, Benjamin was in charge of motivation - making sure Joseph did not let me open the gap. It works better this way - it is hard to pay attention to both for one person. Fortunately we have the luxury of having two people for the job for a 6:12 mile pacing. Joseph opened with 91, then did 94, 94, and 91 for the kick finishing in 6:12.6 - a new PR by 2 seconds. The 9.34 meter tax was responsible for the discrepancy. Jacob ran 3:15 for 800.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 1.000 6:12.60 6:12.60 Joseph's time trial.
2 1.000 8:42.90 8:42.90 Cool-down to the house.
Leg 3
Distance Time Pace Comment
6 47:49.90. 7:58.32 With Benjamin.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 6.000 47:49.90 7:58.32  
Leg 4
Distance Time Pace Comment
2.04 14:56.00. 7:19.22 Alone.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 2.040 14:56.00 7:19.22  
Leg 5
Distance Time Pace Comment
1 9:35.40. 9:35.40 With William.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 1.000 9:35.40 9:35.40  

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.09
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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