Breaking the Wall

January 19, 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. For the first time in a long time I did a 20 miler with a 10 mile tempo at the end. I ran the warm-up 10 uphill in 1:16:14. On the way back I ran 58:01. Benjamin ran with me for the last 4. He dropped me in the last 200 meters. His time for the last 4 was 23:17, I got 23:20. Felt strong, but for the life of me could not consistently stay under 5:50, kept slipping. Perhaps a subconscious fear of the distance. Nevertheless I am happy that even though I did not feel super speedy at the start, I was able to maintain the pace throughout the tempo and never really felt too miserable.

Benjamin did 10,  Jenny 3, Julia 2, Jacob 1, Joseph 2. When I got home Sarah had not yet done her run, so I went with her for another 2. So I ended up with 22 miles.

Listened to General Conference. Had a bit of trouble staying awake, but it was not too bad. Was able to understand the talks.

P.M. Took William and Stephen to the track with Benjamin to help me. Asked Benjamin which one of us was more out of commission. He thought it was I. So he ran 0.5 with William while I followed Stephen around.

Listened to General Conference again. Then went to the Priesthood Session with Benjamin in the evening.

Some General Conference highlights. Elder Uchtdorf explaining our relationship with God. He does not set up commandments just so we would fail to keep them and then just sits there and anxiously waits for us to trip up. Rather, He sets them up to show us the way out of trouble. He rejoices at our successes, and when we fail, He helps us recover, just like any good parent would.

Elder Scott - if the young generation reviewed a scripture for every text message they send, they would become great scholars of scripture.

Elder Callister - the idea that young men should accelerate their spiritual development and arrive in the mission field more mature. A few weeks ago in Sunday School we talked about Joseph Smith's vision, and in particular what it was like for his father to have a 14-year old son come to him and announce a vision. Most members of the class found it rather remarkable that the father believed the son right away. The reason given was that a 14-year-old is so immature that anything he says that is unusual would hard to believe. I did not say anything at the time, but I thought about what it would be like if Benjamin came to me and told me he had had a vision. I realized I would not have a problem with that. Yes, just like many young men his age he occasionally experiences a lapse in judgement. But overall he is on top of things. He is spiritually in tune, he knows what the voice of the Lord sounds like, frequently he is able to correctly point out my errors in a mature way. If he told me the Lord had spoken to him, I would not doubt for a second because I know he would not speak of such things lightly.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 22.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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