Breaking the Wall

August 04, 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: 16.00 Year: 2314.91
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: 1185.83
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Final speed workout before Ogden. 3 mile tempo run from Geneva Road on the way to the Utah Lake, then 180 at 1.5 and back. Slight down the first mile, mildly almost invisibly rolling (I think you'd see it better if it were not for the trees) everywhere, slight up on the last mile. Ted ran the first mile with me, we started out slow - first 600 in 2:06 even paced, but then picked it up to a steady 5:20 pace. Hit the first mile in 5:26, HR at 152. The pace felt comfortable.

Without Ted the second mile felt harder. I could tell I slowed down a bit, but at the same time, it felt harder. Next two quarters 1:21, 1:21, 8:08 at the turnaround. Recovered from 180 turn in 1:24 (43,41), then got back into the groove, next quarter in 1:22, 10:54 at 2 miles, HR at 159. Ted gave himself a bit of a head start, but nothing I could not close quickly with a surge. I saw 100 in 19 seconds, and knew he was going to stir some trouble. So I tucked in behind him and hung on for dear life.

The head started getting a little fuzzy, but the pace still felt sustainable, HR hit 165. Checked the split at the quarter, wow, 1:17 uphill. The bad news was that it hurt. The good news was that it was fast. Ted eased off a bit on the next quarter, 1:20. Next one in 1:21, and then the last one in 1:20. 16:12.2 for the run, 5:18 last mile. Actually it was probably 5:17.6, because Ted got 5:18.7, and he started a bit ahead, and finished a bit behind. Not bad, equivalent of 5:07 perfectly flat. HR got up to 168. The last mile was very painful. Ted said he's never heard me breathe that hard. This is a good sign, it means I am getting into shape. I ran this tempo run alone in 16:22 a couple of weeks before Richmond in 2003. As far as I remember, I went out at 5:20 pace, but then could not hold it in that tempo, and was down to 5:35 on the last mile. In Richmond, I was doing qualify or bust. So I hit the first half in 1:12:09, maintained 5:30 pace to 15, then it was bust, but not too bad - finished in 2:31:45.

Good sign - HR was down to 124 after a mile of jogging, and then stayed there at sub-8:00 pace. This is an indication that although that tempo hurt, it was primarily an aerobic effort.

Ran with the kids in the evening. Let Benjamin take off on the last quarter and watched him from a distance. He was running 7:30 pace, he told me afterwards it felt comfortably hard, but his form looked like he was jogging. This is a very good development, to feel the pain of the hard pace, but still look relaxed.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From bill cobler on Wed, May 16, 2007 at 23:59:49

Thanks Sasha It was the second unnamed comment since I started blogging. It is important to be able to comment freely but I agree anonymously is wrong. I have used BC before just to be fast but found people want to know who you are. I agree the race is going to be one of ogdens quickest. Someone recently told me the problem with American distance runners is they all want to beat each other so bad they don't work together like the Kenyans. A huge advantage to the Kenyans. I hope you guys can work together part of the race to give you all a good finishing time. But It only takes one nervous guy to break away to early that will pull the pack apart. I hope to stick with a group as long as I can Saturday, to many times I've run the whole thing alone. Last year I had Henley, King and Greenwood to work with the first half, do you know if any of them are coming this year.

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