Breaking the Wall

August 09, 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

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2017-05-16 08:31:41
Workout Totals: Distance11.848Time1:36:24.00Pace8:08.18
We did shortened easy runs in the morning and ran in the track meet in the evening.

In the morning Benjamin and I did 0.5 pickup where I told him to just put in a half marathon effort without looking at the watch. This gave us 2:36 for 0.5 down the canyon. Overall we did 8 miles in the morning.

In the evening, Benjamin, myself, Joseph, and Jacob ran 3200, Jenny, Julia, William, and Stephen ran 800.



Jenny 2:52.68 (splits 85, 87) - new PR
Julia 2:59.73 (splits 87, 92) - official track PR
William 3:03.75 (splits 89, 94) - not sure why the second lap was so weak
Stephen 3:19.73 (new PR, splits 1:37, 1:42)


Benjamin 9:53.79 (4:58/4:55)
Myself 11:10.73 (5:21/5:49)
Joseph 11:51.10 (5:58/5:53)
Jacob 12:02.03 (5:59/6:03)

Benjamin's performance showed me that we are on the right track. The correct way to train him is to make sure he gets to run his base distance not stop, and the workout should be a long tempo right now. Something to remember after his mission, although his body will change over two years and we might need to do some adjustments.

As far as I am concerned, I felt OK through the first 4 laps (78,78,82,82), then manageable in the 5 lap (83), and then I felt like I was terribly out of oxygen in the last 3 laps (89,90,87). Is that from travelling to sea level and not re-acclimating? Sure felt like very similar to how I felt for the first month when I came to Utah for the first time.

It is interesting that Joseph, Jacob, and Benjamin did not have such problems. Maybe the difference is that unlike me they grew up at altitude.

In any case, this experience told me I need to increase my iron and liquid intake, throw in some extra pickups to get more out of my base runs, and try to sneak in some additional mileage.
Leg 1:Distance6.500Time49:58.60Pace7:41.32
With Benjamin with a pickup in the middle.
Split 1:Distance3.720Time29:16.30Pace7:52.12
Split 2:Distance0.500Time2:36.40Pace5:12.80
Split 3:Distance2.280Time18:05.90Pace7:56.27
Leg 2:Distance1.000Time8:15.40Pace8:15.40
With William.
Leg 3:Distance0.500Time3:41.80Pace7:23.60
Leg 4:Distance1.000Time8:13.90Pace8:13.90
Track meet warm-up.
Leg 5:Distance1.988Time12:02.00Pace6:03.18
3200 - everybody's splits.
Split 1:Distance1.988Time11:10.40Pace5:37.22
My time.
Split 2:Distance0.000Time0:40.40Pace0:00.00
Split 3:Distance0.000Time0:11.20Pace0:00.00
Leg 6:Distance0.340Time2:40.30Pace7:51.47
To the car and back.
Leg 7:Distance0.000Time3:19.30Pace0:00.00
William and Stephen - 800.
Split 1:Distance0.000Time3:03.40Pace0:00.00
Split 2:Distance0.000Time0:15.90Pace0:00.00
Leg 8:Distance0.000Time2:59.10Pace0:00.00
Jenny and Julia 800.
Split 1:Distance0.000Time2:52.50Pace0:00.00
Split 2:Distance0.000Time0:06.60Pace0:00.00
Leg 9:Distance0.520Time5:13.60Pace10:03.08
With Matthew.

Camouflage Crocs 2 Miles: 11.85
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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