Breaking the Wall

February 28, 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: 155.37 Year: 492.80
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. Had an interesting dream. Was racing Dave Holt in a marathon. We got to mile 18. I wanted to drop him. Decided the only way I'll be able to push myself to achieve this would be if I started screaming. So I started screaming, in the dream and in real life as well. This woke Sarah up, she punched me and told me to be quiet.

Ran 20.1 with the St. George Running Club in 2:13:38. Started at the St. George Running Center. Crew: Steve Hooper, Wild Bull, Dustin, and Ken Carlson. Clyde was not there to push the pace, but Wild Bull did it for him instead. So the whole run was somewhat of a fartlek. Wild Bull pulls away, then Steve tells me where the next turn is, I catch Wild Bull to make sure he does not get lost. Add a post VPB catch-up to it as well. Then around 10.6 or so Steve started to push the pace. We moved into sub-6:00 zone, eased off out of it, then moved in it again. Then we saw a sign "reduced speed ahead", and I asked Steve if he wanted me to take the wind. He said sure, so I did. Instead of reducing the speed with the help of some downhill we increased it first to 5:30, then 5:20, and then 5:00. Hoped to find a bathroom at the Hamblin's house during Steve/Ken's water break, but it was locked. Decided to go another mile and a half. At that point Steve stayed behind, and I ran with Ken. Then it was Ken's turn to push the pace and he briefly went into sub-6:00 zone, but then eased off. After my bathroom stop which this time provided some real rather than virtual privacy, Steve caught up to us and we ran together again. Then we saw Marcie. Ken and I just gave her a Brezhnev's wave (this reveals my age, I remember seeing it on TV quite a bit), while Steve stopped to talk. With about 1.5 to go I challenged Ken to pick up to sub-6:00 and he did, and was able to hold it until we got to Steve's hill where he slowed down to around 6:15-6:20, but effort-wise it was probably worth 5:50. Finished at the St. George Running Center.

Went to Zion's afterwards.

P.M. 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 13:08, then another mile with Benjamin in 8:04.

Night Sleep Time: 7.33Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.33
From dave holt on Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 16:59:52

No more dreams about beating me! You do it enough in real life!

From Lybi on Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 17:04:35

Hahahahaha! James has done stuff like that in his sleep. Sarah and I could commiserate, I'm sure. I'm just grateful that he never dreams about doing karate or kickboxing, or anything painful like that.

Hope you guys are having a great trip to Zion's!

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