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

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2017-05-13 08:00:02
Workout Totals: Distance17.070Time2:08:35.30Pace7:31.98
Today Benjamin and I did the error correction workout - 8 mile tempo. The course we originally planned to do it on was not available due to the trail closure near Bridal Veil Falls. So we had to improvise. It was like a bad dream - one of those where you are running a race, do the first part of it on the race course, but then it becomes an obstacle course. It became true for us today because the trail was closed after some distance in the other direction as well, and that part does not have quarter marks either, so we had to just estimate the pace based on the first 4 miles, and guess when we were done. Benjamin and I ended up improvising differently - he missed the real trail turn and just kept going on the road, I followed the trail, ran into the closures, followed the detour, then improvised, and miraculously ended up in the same place he did after all. I verified the distance with the Course Tool and mine miraculously ended up exactly 8 miles which I ran in 47:03. Benjamin was 0.07 short, and I think his time was around 43:30, so about 5:30 average.

Then I took the little boys to the track meet in Draper to run in the 800. It was windy, so the times were slow. On top of that, Jacob just did not have a good race - went out slow, did not maintain contact properly, and finished slower - 2:45.79. But Joseph on the other hand ran very well drafting when he could and minimizing the adverse effects of the wind - 2:36.99 - I think that would be his official track PR, although he's run 2:36.3 in a time trial.

William ran 3:02.77 which is his official track PR - although he has run 2:57 in a time trial. He lost to Jamison Ping (2:57.25) and a few other boys (Liam Larkin won the race with 2:49.14), but what I was happy about is that he put up a fight and made an effort to be in contact with Jamison from 300 to 500. Stephen ran 3:28.83 - official track PR.

Afterwards Joseph learned a lesson about choice and consequences. White waiting for the race to start he and the rest of the boys were in the car. Joseph decided to see if the car would start if he stuck something into the ignition. That something ended up being a crumbly piece of rubber. The car fortunately did not start at that time, and, unfortunately, later when I tried to start it with the key. The fallout was that we had to wait for a few hours before we got home and got food, and we ended up with $200+ in towing and repair costs. We were fortunate that our favorite mechanics at Car Doctor of Orem figured out how to rebuild the ignition switch instead of having to replace it, otherwise the bill would have been higher. But Joseph learned a lesson - if you mess with the car, you are messing with your dinner as well, and you get to experience in small measure what many kids in Africa experience every day.
Leg 1:Distance5.450Time44:07.20Pace8:05.72
Leg 2:Distance8.000Time47:01.00Pace5:52.62
Tempo run.
Leg 3:Distance3.100Time26:19.50Pace8:29.52
Leg 4:Distance0.000Time3:28.80Pace0:00.00
Stephen and William's 800.
Split 1:Distance0.000Time3:02.70Pace0:00.00
Split 2:Distance0.000Time0:26.10Pace0:00.00
Leg 5:Distance0.000Time2:45.60Pace0:00.00
Joseph and Jacob's 800.
Split 1:Distance0.000Time2:36.70Pace0:00.00
Split 2:Distance0.000Time0:08.90Pace0:00.00
Leg 6:Distance0.520Time4:53.20Pace9:23.85
With Matthew.

Camouflage Crocs 2 Miles: 17.07
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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