Breaking the Wall

January 22, 2021

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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: 188.26 Year: 188.26
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Neon Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 1657.61
Brown Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 1359.62
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Tyler came to run with me this morning. Benjamin wanted to run part of our warm-up. He wore Crocs again. His first mile was 7:42. Afterwards, he hit two quarters in 1:46 each. I challenged him to break 7:00 on the last mile, and he took off as if his name was Haile or Kenenisa. It was not so much the speed as the long stride and the apparent ease with which it came. His next two quarters were both 1:41, which made it 6:54 for the mile, and 14:36 for 2 miles.

Tyler and I ran another 1.38, and then started our 5 mile tempo. Our first two miles were 5:28 each, followed by 0.5 in 2:45 right before the turnaround. Tyler was hanging back a bit during the first 0.5, but as soon as we turned around he started pushing the pace. We ran the next 0.5 in 2:42, which gave us 5:27 for the third mile. We coasted through another 0.5 in 2:44, and then Tyler started pressing the pace again, and we did 2:40 for the next 0.5, 5:24 for the mile. This started to feel hard, but I thought I'd be able to run at least 5:20 for the last mile. Tyler pressed even harder and hit the uphill quarter in 1:19. I hung back a bit and did 1:20. After that Tyler started to slip away. I thought it was because he picked it up to 5:10 pace, but the split at the next quarter showed that he was just holding 5:20, and I was slowing down. My next quarter was 1:22. In the last half mile, Tyler held a steady pace and finished in 27:06. My legs started to give out, and I slowed down to a 1:24 quarter followed by 1:23 on the last one. 5:29 for the last mile, and 27:16.8 for 5 miles, 5:27.36 average.

Last 0.5 felt like the last leg of Del Sol. Barely breathing, but cannot go any faster even for 50 meters for the life of me. Probably because I've been speeding on my easy runs lately. I am discovering that the nervous system is a funny animal. You cannot tell it is fatigued without trying to run at top end. And because of that, it is difficult to tell if you are wearing it out too much, especially in my case when the aerobic ability is high, the muscles are damage-resistant, but the neurological ability is low. I need to make sure I do not exceed 7:00 pace on my easy runs even if I feel like running 6:20s.

Tyler, on the other hand, got a 5 mile PR, and a 4 mile PR en route as a bonus. His recent increase in mileage is starting to pay off.

Ran some more with Tyler at 8:00 pace, dropped him off at 12 miles, then ran 3 more to make it 15.

Crocs - 228.16 miles.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:35, 1.5 with Jenny in 12:33, two more alone in 15:21.

Crocs - 232.56 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 9.33Nap Time: 0.83Total Sleep Time: 10.17
From Clay on Fri, Mar 28, 2008 at 14:51:16

What is the point of running in Crocs? Just curious... Don't your feet get sore in those darn things?

Keep up the good work, you are amazing:)

From Superfly on Fri, Mar 28, 2008 at 15:08:34

So at 228.16 miles how are those babies holding up? Can you see signs of wear or are they still looking and feeling strong. You could be on to something here!

Are you running Striders Half? If so I'll see you up there next week.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Mar 28, 2008 at 15:27:57

The point of running in Crocs is to get the benefits of barefoot running without exposing your feet to the debris on the roads. My feet feel just fine in them. The Crocs are fine at 228 miles so far. In fact, they have not gotten any worse since the 100 mile barrier. Which gives me hope that they might make it past 500. I am running the Provo City Half instead of Strider's, as it is essentially in my own back yard.

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