Breaking the Wall

February 27, 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. Long run. First 10.1 with Tyler, the rest alone. During the easy part did a pickup for 0.5 in 2:49 to show Tyler the breathing at marathon pace. Jogged and chatted otherwise up to 7.1 into the run. After that picked it up. First 2 miles at 5:48 pace. Lost focus some on the next mile which was uphill and went through tunnels, got 5:58. Dropped Tyler off without stopping with a 180 at my house and continued the tempo. Had a hard time getting into a good pace, the legs were feeling stale. Not a surprise given the end of a high mileage week and 18 + 4.5 yesterday. Started moaning, that helped me speed up. Eventually settled into a 5:42 rhythm. Figured would do it while I can. Hit the next 5.05 in 29:03. Moaned every 10-30 seconds. Lots of runners on the trail, every one I passed that was going in my direction inevitably had a startled look when they heard the moan. Probably wondering why I just would not slow down and run quietly. On the way back was going a fairly steady 5:45 - 5:48 pace, again moaning. Kept waiting to hit the wall, but it never happened, I just happily moaned along. Last mile, same one with the tunnels and uphill was 5:46, last two quarters 1:25 and 1:23. Last 5.05 was 29:11. Total time for 13.1 was 1:15:49, 5:47.25 average, total time for 20.2 was 2:09:21.

Was happy to break 1:16 on a half with a net elevation gain at the end of a 20 miler and a high mileage week. This gives me confidence that on a good day I can run 1:14:30 second half in Ogden or maybe even faster if I improve my moaning. I have to say that moaning does wonders. Not quite sure why, maybe when you start acting like you are in pain your body becomes willing to bring itself to that level of pain.

Benjamin did the Cub Scout Olympics today. 7.7 in the 50 yard dash, fastest time of all the kids, including the 10 year olds. 47 feet softball throw, average. 24 push-ups in 1 minute, average. 41 sit-ups in 1 minute, highest of all the kids. 59 inches standing broad jump, second longest among the kids his age, short of the longest by 2 inches.

P.M. Ran in the Hobble Creek Canyon downhill with Benjamin and Jenny. First 1.5 in 11:49, then Sarah picked up Jenny and we ran 6:34 mile with Benjamin.

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.67Total Sleep Time: 8.42
From Lybi on Mon, May 12, 2008 at 09:35:41

Man, thanks for giving me a chuckle. You are going to become a Provo legend with all that moaning...little kids will be afraid to go out at dusk because of the "Moaning Man" who might suddenly appear.

What a great tempo run--without even a race! It'll be fun to see what you do in Ogden this year. Good luck.

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