Breaking the Wall

July 22, 2019

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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: 217.33 Year: 2189.42
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs Lifetime Miles: 2133.34
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1034.77
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Both Jeff and I slept in. So I ran alone. 10.18 in 1:12:39 with 1.5 in the middle in 8:42. It felt harder than it should have.

P.M. 3.2 with Benjamin, Jenny, and Julia in 27:06 to Walgreens to get them new clogs and back. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:38. 0.25 with Jacob in 2:35.

Sarah had the ultrasound today. This is going to be a boy. We decided to name him Stephen.  There were two Stephens in my family who died at the age of 3 back in the 1920s in the Soviet Union. A disciple of Christ by the same name was one of the few people in the recorded history of mankind to have seen God the Father and the Son (the story is Acts 7 in the New Testament). We also hope that our Steve will have the talent and the work ethic of three great British Steves: Steve Cram, Steve Ovett, and Steve Jones. If you run and do not know how they are, I would encourage some search-engine aided enlightenment. And of course, we are not forgetting our long time family friend Steve Ashbaker.  

Sarah went to the Pennies by the Inch dinner yesterday and heard a story about a blind man who worked menial jobs all his life, saved $1 million and donated all of it to Pennies by the Inch in his will. I found that story fascinating and did a bit of math. Suppose somebody with low income wants to do a similar feat. Let's say he is able to save $200 a month over 40 years. Let's say he does not want to play any games with the stock market and risky investments and just uses CDs and money market. With the current economy he will be lucky to get 3% interest this way. At 3% interest he will have about $185,000 when he retires. He will not be donating $1 million to any causes when he dies. At 10% interest he will have about $1.2 million.

The question I have is why we clamor for lower interest rates. What do we accomplish with that? We in essence rob the folks that have been working hard and saving their entire life to enable those who currently have a source of income to buy a house that is two times the size they need for four times its worth. Do we really understand that?

Eva Clogs Army Miles: 14.13
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From Rob Murphy on Sat, Mar 27, 2010 at 16:08:37 from

Absolutely right Sasha. Interest is simply the price of money. Low interest rates = cheap money! You don't want them at 18%, but neither should we want less than 1% either.

From SlowJoe on Sat, Mar 27, 2010 at 16:18:15 from

Your point about interest rates is correct but has even futher-reaching consequences. Although they're supposed to encourage lending and growth and help to grow the economy in times of recession, we're also expanding the money supply to unheard of levels. The cost will be nasty inflation in a few years. Then it will be too late for the Fed to control it with interest rates alone. But they will not raise them now with high unemployment and likely pressure from the current administration. This same situation happened in the Nixon era right before inflation spun out of control in the 70s.

From neumannator on Sat, Mar 27, 2010 at 17:00:47 from

Americas economy is so dependent on debt. Excessive debt at all levels got us this economic mess but yet the people in charge think that spending even more money that we don't have will get us out. I am no rocket scientist, but realistically we are headed for trouble. America hasn't seen inflation like you or I did in Russia in the early 90's.

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