Breaking the Wall

January 29, 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: 252.01 Year: 252.01
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

Started the morning with a 1 mile jog. Then went to the Provo Canyon around 11 am to do my marathon pace tempo run. I always wonder what I would have run for a half-marathon when I do 12, so to stop wondering I just decided to extend it to a half-marathon. Started at a magic mark before Canyon Glen Park. The trail has a mark every 1/16. This does not allow you to get a half-marathon, so I had to guess, but I figured I would not be off by more than 15 meters. Started the run uphill, to Nunns Park, then down to Riverwoods, back up, and back down finishing at Riverwoods. Weird feeling - sleepy and completely unmotivated. Hit a 6:05 mile going up, turned around, some headwind. Eventually worked my way up to 5:42 pace. Then turned around again. With some tail wind was able to sustain a slightly sub-6:00 pace going up, then turned around, and started going down into a headwind. Legs feel fine, the pace feels easy, but something is not right. When I try to pick it up, I quickly lose consentration and catch myself running 5:50. It went on like that all the way to the end to give me 1:16:43 for the 13.1. With a cooldown, I was at 16 miles. Came home, and felt very strange. Thought maybe I was dehydrated. Drank a quart of water. The stomach feels bloated, but I am not feeling any better even after a shower and a nap. Solid foods do not excite me at all - Sarah made me some lunch, and I have absolutely no desire to eat it. No motivation to do anything. Putting on my shoes seems like way too much work. Finally I remembered the word electrolytes. Drank some water mixed with sea salt, and ate some pickles. Then drank some pickle juice remembering the Russian alcoholics - in Russia pickle juice is probably the most popular cure for a morning hangover. It tasted very good, and my motivation and appetite returned. This gives me some food for thought. In the Top of Utah marathon of 2004 almost everybody I talked to or observed, including myself, severely underperformed. Although I did win the race, it was because there was nobody close enough to pass me at the end. I slowed down to 7:10 pace, and was shivering at mile 25. It was warm, but not enough to explain why everybody crashed. It was windy, but not terribly windy. The feelings I had in that race are somewhat similar to what I experienced today. I remember starting out, and not wanting to push the pace at all. When Demetrio Cabanillas Jr took off, I had no motivation to chase him. I've had similar feelings on warm windy days. Do those conditions deplete your sodium levels? Is there any research on that? Did another mile with Benjamin and Jennifer to hit the total of 18 miles for the day.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Paul Petersen on Sun, Mar 26, 2006 at 15:12:45

From what I've read and experienced, you will dehydrate faster on windy days. I imagine it's because the windy energy will evaporate the sweat off you quicker, you lose the cooling effect of sweating, so then you sweat more, losing more fluids and salts.

From MikeBro on Mon, Mar 27, 2006 at 14:18:14

Sasha: Yes, I've been training but have been away on a Spring Break trip (taking our daughter back East to look at colleges--she's really set on going to school out there for some reason) and I haven't touched a computer for 9 days. I will try to update my log tonight, if my daughter lets me on the computer. BTW, I ran with Duncan Larkin last Monday in Valley Forge Nat'l Park; it was fun to meet him. (That makes two Internet blogging pals I've actually run with; Kevin Beck came to Champaign last year and we ran a few miles together.)

From brea on Mon, Mar 27, 2006 at 20:31:50

Vodka and pickles can cure everything! Wasn't it Czar Nicolas II who was known to take shots of vodka and chase them with pickles. Maybe not the best after running.. I usually mix some electrolyte poweder stuff with warm water when I feel nauseated after a run and it always re-energizes me.

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