Breaking the Wall

August 15, 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

A.M. Total of 12. Today was a significant day in our family history. A child with all of his baby teeth did not break a tooth, and did not break a window (another child did earlier), but he broke something else - 7:00 barrier in the mile. This child was Jacob, which now makes it 7 people out of 10 who have broken 7:00 in the mile, while those who have not are all under the age of 5.  We also now have the distinction of having somebody in the family who broke 7:00 before turning 7. This would not have meant much to me if it was my first child, but with the fifth it means a lot because now I know how impossible it is for a 6 year old to crack 7:00 barrier in the mile.

First, I paced Joseph through a 400 in 86.6. This was not quite what we were hoping for - well, you cannot have success all the time. Joseph for the life of him was afraid to really sprint and it was subconscious - there was nothing he could do about it. But this is normal and is not too hard to fix. All we need to do is have Jacob start ahead of him.

Then Benjamin, Joseph, and I helped Jacob break 7:00 in the mile. Unlike with Jenny, the pacing was less than ideal. I blew it in the first 200 opening in 49. After that Jacob did not trust my pacing, so we had to do a lot of low fives to get him going at the right pace. So our first lap was around 1:45, then 1:47. Things were not looking good for sub-7:00, but then Jacob was able to shift gears and hit the next lap in 1:41. That was quite remarkable. He held his own in that last lap with a high 1:42, which gave him 6:57.8 for the mile, and he got his 800 PR by 1 second as well - 3:23. Jacob runs like no other kid I've ever seen - not just in terms of speed, but in terms of pacing. He looks like he is struggling, like what he is giving is all he's got. Then somewhere mid-distance he can just surge, and then he lives after it.

Then I ran more, most with the kids. Benjamin did 8.5,  Joseph and Jacob 2 total, Jenny 4, Julia 3, William 0.5.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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