Breaking the Wall

November 29, 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: 244.22 Year: 3545.74
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: 734.48
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with the kids. Total of 11.5. Jenny did 3, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob did 2.05 miles on our nasty course in 15;48 with the splits of 8:08 for the first half, and 7:40 for the second. I was quite impressed by that. It all started with me challenging Jacob to catch an adult runner ahead of us. He did it without too much of a problem, I invited the runner to join us but he was too intimidated to run with us even though I told him Jacob was only 6 years old - maybe that had the opposite effect. Once Jacob got going, he was maintaining a decent pace, so I challenged him to break 16:00 and he did with vengeance. William did 0.5.

Benjamin took AP Calculus BC today. It took quite a bit out of him. The stress of a third AP test wore on him, and early on he felt his mind was clouded. But then it cleared up and he felt more and more confident in his answers. So we'll see what he got - the worst thing that can happen is that he did not get a 5 - he already has a 4 to his credit from last year. So he ran only 3 miles today to avoid getting sick as he felt a cold coming on - we do have a little cold going around the house.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 11.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
From Rob Murphy on Fri, May 10, 2013 at 19:41:36 from

The AP U.S. History exam is on Wednesday. All of my students will be meeting me at school at 8 am tomorrow to take a full length ( over 3 hours) practice exam. I tell them that taking an AP exam is a bit like training for a strenuous athletic event. If you've been there before it's less intimidating. It's always interesting how physically drained you feel after such an exam.

The brain burns a huge percentage of the bodies calories and when it's working hard, it burns even more. I always tell my students to fuel up with plenty of protein and carbs before the test.

From Dave Taylor on Sat, May 11, 2013 at 13:04:14 from

AP History, tough test. I only got a 2.

Hey Sasha that workout you suggested is having some pretty cool side effects, can't wait to try the full version!

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, May 11, 2013 at 17:52:20 from


Yes, I think people do not realize the requirements on glucose consumption and other subsystems that are placed by demanding brain activity. I play chess in a small tournament every other week, and I can tell that after two hours I am hungry as if I had just run a few extra miles. I also noticed that chess players, while not as skinny as runners, tend to be less obese than the general population. So the moral of the story is that if you want to lose weight and cannot or are just too lazy to exercise, you can make some headway by playing chess or some other strenuous brain activity.

Dave - I looked at your workout and left a comment. I think you need a pacer.

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