Breaking the Wall

February 17, 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. 10 miles before the chess tournament. Ran the last 3.5 in 20:57, 5:59 average. Felt sleepy, and it felt harder than it should have, but that was expected given the lack of sleep this week.

The tournament was Utah Elementary championship. I took Joseph, Julia, and Jenny to play. Benjamin came along to support his siblings and to play chess with whoever happened to be around. That is an exciting possibility, because Kayden Troff and his brothers and friends usually happen to be around. Kayden is 14 years old, is a national master, and on the verge of becoming an international master.

I promised the kids that if they came back from the tournament with a greater than zero score they would each be getting an electronic gadget of some kind depending on the age and the performance. So for the last two months they practiced every day and improved quite a bit. I knew they would score above zero, but they did better than I expected. Joseph won 3 games, drew one (his opponent managed to stalemate him), and lost two, so 3.5 points and 22 place in the 1st grade out of 66. First graders are fun to watch, they play very animated. The tournament director has to be called quite often to resolve disputes. However, the overall experience is a testimony to how much we underestimate the attention span potential of a 7 year old kid. They are engaged in an intense analytic activity for a period of 6 hours with only short breaks in between, and they think it is fun.

Jenny won 4 games, and lost 2, 4 points, 28th place in 5th grade out of 110. Julia won 5 out of 6 and lost one, 5 points,  6th place out of 110 in 3rd grade. She should have been 4th as she beat the girl that was awarded 4th in a dramatic game where she at one point was a full rook down but then sent her queen on a rampage sending the opponent's king out of for a walk, then she grabbed a couple of pawns, managed to win the lost rook back, forced a queen trade, then won on pawns. But the tie break system backfired because Julia coming into the tournament unrated was getting weaker opponents in the early games, so she ended up placing lower even though she won the face-off and otherwise scored the same number of points.

After the tournament I ran 1 mile with Joseph and Julia. Later I ran a mile with Benjamin, and 1 more with Sarah giving me total of 13 for the day. Benjamin ended up with 6, Jenny ran a mile. 

Green Crocs 3 Miles: 13.00
Night Sleep Time: 6.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.50
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