Breaking the Wall

January 25, 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: 151.02 Year: 151.02
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. Total of 12. Benjamin did 2.5 (easy before AP Physics), William 0.5, Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph and Jacob 2. I did a pickup for 2.25 in 13:04- 5:48 pace - over the rollers to catch up to Sarah, then ran with her. She did a total of 3. With Benjamin getting a bunch of AP tests at once instead of one every two months or so I remembered a Russian joke back from the Soviet days:

A man dies. He has lived a sinful life and is condemned to hell. However he is offered a choice - the socialist hell or the capitalist hell. He inquires of the difference and is told that in both hells he will have 30 nails pounded into his back every month. The difference is that in the capitalist hell he gets one every day, while in the socialist hell he gets all 30 at the end of the month.

After some thinking I realized also that Benjamin was subjected to a form of cruel and unusual punishment on Saturday having to run 3000 alone on the track in Park City at 6770 feet at 1:30 pm with the sun shining bright and clear above him and the air temperature of 75F - not a lot after 6 PM when sunlight is indirect, but earlier in the day it is not pleasant . Well, I knew that, but I had not quite thought it through and had not felt the depth of it. But it was good, because it pushed him to the limit psychologically, and revealed some things about his aerobic conditioning that would not have been so apparent otherwise. And he did run 10:10 and now has a respectable and official 3000 meter time.

P.M. Benjamin ran 1 back from the AP test. Later in the eventing he and I went for an easy 4.5. Both of us were having stomach problems, but we each had a different mode of issue. He was throwing up small amounts of liquid, while I had diarrhea. He felt worse than I did as my emissions were more effective. We remembered Bob Kempainen in the 96 Olympic Trials. It is rather symbolic that the KemPAINen has PAIN in it. My kids know this story (throwing up while running 4:55 pace at the end of a marathon), as well as the one about Lasse Viren falling but still winning the Olympic 10,000 in 1972 with a world record, as well as they know the one about the wolf and the three little pigs, and others of the kind - and you can guess why.  Sometimes they struggle when they run, and when they are younger, they complain. When they are older, they just recall those stories and draw strength from them.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 16.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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