Breaking the Wall

February 17, 2020

Recent EntriesHomeJoin Fast Running Blog Community!PredictorHealthy RecipesSasha Pachev's RacesFind BlogsMileage BoardTop Ten Excuses for Missing a RunTop Ten Training MistakesDiscussion ForumRace Reports Send A Private MessageWeek ViewMonth View
15% off for Fast Running Blog members at St. George Running Center!


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: 81.04 Year: 418.47
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

Aggressive marathon pace tempo run again. Trying to attack the sour legs syndrome and also keep up the intensity while tapering. Ted joined me in the warm up and cool down. He was feeling sore from building a tree house yesterday and decided to keep things safe.

Short warmup, then the tempo starts. Standard 5 miles on the Provo River Trail starting at Geneva road. First mile in 5:41, followed by 5:37. HR was 146 at the mile, and 152 at 2 miles. 14:08 at the turnaround (2:50), then 16:57 at 3 miles (2:49, 5:39). HR at 154. Moving along at a steady effort trying to keep the 5:40 guy at bay, and getting ready for the last mile. Next mile in 5:39, 22:36. HR at 158, the effort feels hard but not miserable, like if I had a pack with somebody doing the work up front in the marathon, I'd run in it, at least for the first half. Good news - no sour legs! And the effort feels easier than Tuesday.

Now the last mile, the moment of truth. Was I just tricking myself into thinking the pace was not hard, or am I really more fit. To test, I decided to put myself mentally into threshold gear and see what happens. The first two quarters are 1:22 each. That is very good, as the first one is steady uphill, and the second rolls. HR hit 164, the mind gets a little fuzzy, but that is normal for me when I am in shape. When I run my best halves/10 milers/15 Ks I am able to go into a trance to where it hurts like a 10 K, maybe even a 5 K when I am not ready for a good 5 K, but I can tolerate it for an hour with proper mental focus. Again, no sour legs! The heart just picks up the work and pumps the oxygen like it should instead of quitting like it used to.

Feeling that I've proved my point I eased off a bit and hit the next quarter in 1:24, that's too much, I want to be sub-5:30 on the last mile. Picked it up on the last and finished it in 1:20. HR hit 167, it felt hard but sustainable with proper mental focus. 28:04.8, last mile in 5:28.

Cooled down with Ted, 8.7 for the run. Ran with the kids in the evening, total of 10 for the day. Now this is starting to look like a taper. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Add Your Comment.
  • Keep it family-safe. No vulgar or profane language. To discourage anonymous comments of cowardly nature, your IP address will be logged and posted next to your comment.
  • Do not respond to another person's comment out of context. If he made the original comment on another page/blog entry, go to that entry and respond there.
  • If all you want to do is contact the blogger and your comment is not connected with this entry and has no relevance to others, send a private message instead.
Only registered users with public blogs are allowed to post comments. Log in with your username and password or create an account and set up a blog.
Debt Reduction Calculator

Featured Announcements
New Kids on the Blog
(need a welcome):
Lone Faithfuls
(need a comment):