Breaking the Wall

January 27, 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

A.M. Ran with Benjamin and Jeremy. They warmed up with me, then did the start of my tempo. My workout was 2 miles uphill, then 1 mile jogging recovery, and 3 downhill. Jeremy made it to about 900 meters up, the split at 800 was 2:53. Benjamin made it past 1100 all the way to his turnaround. The split at 1000 was 3:35, and at 0.75 4:19. My mile split was 5:50 as the next quarter brought on some serious headwind. The next mile was 5:59, so 11:49.9 for 2 miles. I was feeling tired from yesterday's 18 mile day, and decided to take it a little easier in the 3 mile downhill tempo. First mile was 5:21. Then I fell into a coasting grove where 83 quarters felt good, but anything faster did not, so I coasted like that for 1.5 miles. Second mile was 5:32, and the next 0.5 was 2:46. Consistent, but slow. Passed a guy that wanted  me to tell him what I was training for. I did not have either the time or the lung capacity to give him any kind of answer, much less the one that I would have wanted to give him. But I will give it here. The moment you begin to insist on training for concrete immediate goals such as a particular race you reduce yourself to being slower than your potential because training properly involves long-term conditioning. It also involves a change of lifestyle, and a creation of good habits. Thus to say "train for a race" is an erroneous oversimplification of the process.  You train to be fit, and when you have the fitness or you want to test your fitness you race. You may introduce race-specific elements into your training to make sure you do well in a race of particular importance. But all of that is minor details compared to the issue of general fitness, which most recreational runners seriously lack ironically due to the mindset of "train for a race". With no race in near view they stop training consistently and lose whatever fitness they may have gained by "training for a race". Without training being a solid year-round process they are not able to progress. With that in mind, I never think too much about which race I am training for. When you are fast, there will always be a race to prove it. I just train to be faster and once in a while I race to evaluate the quality of my training. 

With 0.5 to go I began to question if I was just holding back, or perhaps maybe I was tricking myself and 5:32 pace was really all I had in me today. So I decided to see if I could speed up to 5:20. The effort was successful. I ran two quarters in 79 each, which gave me 5:24 for the last mile, and 16:17.3 for the 3 miles.

Finished the 10.5, then added 2 more with Julia. Jenny took a break to let her muscles and tendons heal. Total of 12.5.

P.M. 1 with Joseph and Jacob in 8:34, 2 more with Joseph on a bike. He surprised me by maintaining 7:00 pace on the uphill. Our time was 14:21 for 2 miles. 


Green Crocs 3 Miles: 15.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
From allie on Thu, Apr 05, 2012 at 15:49:47 from

i like that answer.

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