Breaking the Wall

February 18, 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. When my alarm went off this morning at 6:20 I seriously was annoyed because I thought it was Sunday. I was looking forward to a day of rest. Yet, when I woke up more fully I realized I had a 20 mile run ahead of me. I thought it was not a good sign that I felt this way, and wondered if maybe there some some lingering fatigue, but from the way the run went I have to say it was more in the area of imagination. Sometimes I feel tired for no other reason than having too many memories.

We did 20.1 in 2:19:48 with 3x3 miles in the middle on our much valued 1.5 mile stretch of the trail from the bridge construction to the end. The target was 5:40 pace. I admonished Jeff not to overachieve and he tried as hard as he could. We started after a 4 mile warm up and did 1.5 recovery jog in between at a bit slower than 8:00 pace. The first one was 16:44.0 with the splits of 5:38, 5:33, 5:33. Second, 16:41.3 (5:33, 5:35, 5:33). On the last one I told Jeff to pace perfectly at 84 per quarter, time every 100 if he had to, then after 2 miles 81, 81, 80, in the last one pace me for 78 but then with 200 to go hit the gas and try to run 30. We ended up doing 5:34, 5:36 (I did have to verbally adjust the pace a few times), then 78, 81, 80, 79 (5:18, 16:28) for me. Jeff dropped me with 500 to go and ended up running 37,30 in the last quarter with the last mile in 5:06 and total time of 16:16.

Overall I was pleased with the workout. I thought 5:40 pace would challenging enough but I was able to average 5:32.6. In spite of going faster than planned I was able to run relaxed and I proved that it was true relaxation, not an illusion of relaxation, with the last mile in 5:18. I was able to maintain the pace after losing contact with Jeff. Before the last repeat I admonished Jeff not to do a 78 quarter immediately after the 2 mile mark thinking it would ruin my last mile and I would fade to 5:25.  He did it anyway. If I had not reigned him in after the first 0.1 it would have been  74. But I did not fade, and instead was able to find a relaxed groove around 5:20 pace that I was able to maintain to the finish. And it felt good to be headed for a very low 17:00 5 K in the last repeat in the middle of a long run off a conservative start.

Jenny ran 2.5 with Sarah.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:41. 1.5 with Julia in 12:58. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:47. 0.25 with Jacob in 2:46.


Eva Clogs Army Miles: 24.35
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From steve ash on Sun, Mar 28, 2010 at 01:52:32 from

How did I miss your previous announcement? I just read that and thought man I must have been super tired or something. Anyhow congratulations!

Cool name..

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