Breaking the Wall

August 06, 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: 16.00 Year: 2314.91
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: 1185.83
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Started the day with a 1 mile jog. Later in the morning, took Dakota with me to the Provo River Trail by Geneva Road to do an experiment with Ultima. The night before I mixed Ultima with fructose to see how my body handles this drink.

A warm-up and then 15 mile tempo. 2.5 out, 2.5 back three times. The course looks flat but secretly rolls enough to be slow. Probably comparable to the rolling hills in the middle of the Ogden marathon.

Dakota rode a bike and handed me my drinks. First 2.5 in 14:33 - no drinks yet. Back in 14:41 with one drink at about 3 miles. Next 2.5 in 14:29 with a mild tailwind an a drink at 5.5. Then 14:49 with a drink at 8 and a mild headwind. Next one in 14:43 with two drinks, one at 10.5 and one at 12.

Now the moment of truth. Last one, give it all I've got. Turns out I do not have that much after all. 14:26, and I can feel emptiness in the legs. Tried to sprint on the last 200. 41 seconds was all I had. Total time for 15 miles 1:27:41.

Conclusion. Ultima + fructose does not cause any damage, but does not do any miracles either. The glycogen left the leg muscles at a normal rate. The early intake of the drink did not restore or hold off the muscular depletion. I felt good enough to keep going at 5:55 pace for a while, but the gear that requires muscular glycogen was essentially gone. There was some poor semblance of it up to 13.5, but then it was gone bye-bye. Good to know. Need to taper and make sure to eat very well before Ogden.

Cooled down 1 mile to make it 17 for the whole run.

In the afternoon, ran with Benjamin and Jennifer. Jennifer set a record on the mile - 9:17. She also set a record on the half - 4:15, 400 - 1:51, and 200 - 53 during her kick. Benjamin really had to work to be one second ahead of his little sister. Little feisty furious red-haired Jenny...

In the evening, when it was already dark, I decided to do my always on the run mile. It was too hard to resist the temptation to measure my muscular glycogen levels. So I decided to run the last half mile hard. Of course, I knew the results would be skewed because it was dark, I had only 0.5 mile warm-up, and I was wearing street clothes. Nevertheless, I decided to do it just for fun. First quarter was 1:31 - really hard to get going. I finally got going on the second somewhat and hit it in 1:27. The muscles felt they had some fuel, more than at the end of the 15 mile run, but not a lot. 20 miles for the day, and 90 for the week.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From joarj-trail runner on Sat, Apr 15, 2006 at 23:53:59

Remind to give you a couple of Emer'gen-C packets to try sometime. they are fructose sweetened, w/ 1,000mg vit.C, and 60mg Sodium...along w/mineral complexes, antioxidants, and electrolytes...the healthy alternative to Gatorade/Powerade...I also will add agave to it, and have also added agave, or pure maple syrup straight to my water, for good and healthy sugars...

From joarj-trail runner on Mon, Apr 17, 2006 at 17:22:48

my brother's phone # is 801.866.6003

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