Breaking the Wall

August 14, 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: 88.07 Year: 2386.98
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: 1257.89
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2014-03-28 08:01:42
Workout Totals
Distance Time Pace
12.387 1:44:19.90 8:25.36
Total of 12. Benjamin did 9.25, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. Benjamin did a "break out the rust" mile time trial on the track at Orem High. I helped him in the first and third lap, and Joseph and Jacob raced him in the last. Details below.
Leg 1
Distance Time Pace Comment
1.311 11:55.50. 9:05.77 Warm-up with strides.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 1.000 9:12.60 9:12.60 Jog to the track with Joseph, Benjamin, and Jacob.
2 0.062 0:17.50 4:42.26 100 meter stride with Benjamin.
3 0.062 0:43.90 11:48.06 Recovery for 100 meters.
4 0.062 0:16.70 4:29.35 100 meter stride.
5 0.125 1:24.80 11:18.40 Recovery for 200 meters.
Leg 2
Distance Time Pace Comment
0.496 4:52.50. 9:49.72 Mile time trial. The plan was to try to maintain 70 seconds per lap without bleeding too much. The first lap was perfect, second acceptable, Benjamin had a mental meltdown in the third, but recovered a little in the last. All in all, 4:52 is not too bad for the first try in 33 F with almost nothing at mile race pace. But it should have been 4:48 with proper psychological preparation with everything else being the same.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 0.248 1:09.80 4:41.45 Everything was perfect in this lap. I managed to hit the right pace and Benjamin seemed to handle it just fine.
2 0.000 1:13.00   Benjamin was alone here and I think the wind got to him and played tricks with his mind.
3 0.248 1:16.00 5:06.45 This lap was a disaster. Two years ago such laps produced a split of 85. Now at least we progressed to 76. Benjamin started to get negative in the second lap when it got hard, but now he had an audience for his complaints. So the first 200 meters of this lap I had to do some coaxing and Benjamin was vehemently talking back. Naturally, this was not very productive. For both of us the oxygen flow was less than optimal. Benjamin knows that very well, but sometimes in the absence of oxygen or glycogen he gets hit with a compulsive complaining disorder. He thought he was over it by now, and I naively thought that too, but, as I told him afterwards - once an alcoholic always an alcoholic - you have to be humble and be ready for a compulsive complaining disorder attack at all times. Half way through the third lap he came to himself and started running normally, but it was now difficult to speed up.
4 0.000 1:12.00   With Jacob's and Joseph's help taking turns for 100 and then 200 meters and not wanting to be outrun by his little brothers Benjamin kicked and managed a 72 for the last lap.
5 0.000 0:01.70   9.34 meter tax. Less than 1%!
Leg 3
Distance Time Pace Comment
1 9:07.70. 9:07.70 Back to the house with Benjamin, Joseph, and Jacob.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 1.000 9:07.70 9:07.70  
Leg 4
Distance Time Pace Comment
6 50:08.90. 8:21.48 With Benjamin. We did not move very fast.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 6.000 50:08.90 8:21.48  
Leg 5
Distance Time Pace Comment
0.52 3:05.00. 5:55.77 Back to meet Julia, and then finished with her. Hilly segment here, so the effort was more than the time shows.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 0.520 3:05.00 5:55.77  
Leg 6
Distance Time Pace Comment
1.02 9:31.40. 9:20.20 With William on the big boy course.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 1.020 9:31.40 9:20.20  
Leg 7
Distance Time Pace Comment
2.04 15:38.90. 7:40.25 Alone.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 2.040 15:38.90 7:40.25  

Green Crocs 7 Miles: 12.39
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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