Breaking the Wall

February 23, 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: 155.37 Year: 492.80
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

Day of rest. Went to church. Got a strength workout rocking Matthew to sleep during the meetings, but was able to participate nevertheless. Again was tired when I got home and took a nap.

Sarah made new friends with a neighbor family  and we had them over for dinner in the evening.  They asked me how I managed the transition from living in Russia to living in the United States. My short answer was that the first 20 years of my life (while in Russia) were a long culture shock even though I had never been outside and did not know any different. When I came to the United States, the shock was over and I gradually recovered.

I suppose the subject deserves a slightly longer explanation. When I was introduced to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints a realization hit me that I would feel at home with the people that have made the covenant to follow Christ and were serious about it. When I moved from Moscow to Provo I found a higher concentration of such people. We may complain about Utah Mormons, or various shortcomings of BYU students and professors, and perhaps for a good reason - with all the knowledge that we possess we should do better than what we are doing. But the truth of the matter is that it is the "Utah Mormons" that make Utah what it is - a place with the lowest smoking rate, lowest alcohol consumption, a place where you are more likely to be helped by a stranger, a place where people have more reason to trust each other than anywhere else in the United States that I visited. In spite of all the shortcomings of Utah that the natives grumble about, this is where I feel at home. While there are people that are not doing a good job living their faith, and I have had plenty of disappointment with that, we still have more of those who take it seriously here than anywhere in the world, and it shows in a number of ways. It all depends on what you choose to see.

Right now I have the ability to live anywhere in the world. I can move anytime almost anywhere. My employer would not notice much of a difference as long as I had a good internet connection. But I am still in Utah and am refusing to move.

When I travel to other parts of the United States, I do not quite get that feeling. Visiting a big city makes me feel like I have taken a step back in the direction of the Soviet Union. I begin to feel a portion of that oppressive spirit.

So coming to Provo from Moscow was an easy adjustment. If it had been New York I think it would have been different.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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):