Breaking the Wall

August 19, 2019

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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: 160.46 Year: 2462.47
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs Lifetime Miles: 2133.34
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1263.81
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeremy and Ariel. Did a speed workout. Modified it a bit. Started with 2x400 into the canyon with 100 recovery in 78.5 and 78.1, 200 recovery, 200 in 37.3. The 200 was unplanned, I just had to catch up to Ariel and Jeremy. Then a long rest, and 2x400 out of the canyon with 100 recovery in 70.2 and 71.5. Then a long rest, and 600 in 1:41.1. On that one Jeremy and Ariel ran the first 200 with me in 33. HR was 163 in the 600. I felt awkward, like I was swimming and barely staying afloat, but nevertheless it was the fastest 600 this year. I felt like I could have gone longer, but not faster. That was 7 miles total.

Then got home and did 6x100 hill sprints on my regular stretch. The splits were 17.8, 17.5, 17.2, 17.1, 16.6, 17.1. I really focused on the 16.6 and it paid off, but then I think I was too tired both physically and mentally. Then ran with the kids. Joseph wanted to do a time trial, so we drove to the Provo Canyon as doing it on our course near the house would have produced slower times. I wanted him to experience breaking 7:00. We did the mile down the canyon. He started out conservatively and complained that his pants were falling down. I told him to let the pants take care of themselves and just run since they had not fallen down yet, and if they do, so be it, he is only seven. So his first quarter was 1:48, then as his faith in the stability of the pants increased he sped up to 1:46. At this point I was not sure if it was just the pants or he was not feeling good because he kept falling behind and was not giving me five when I asked him, so I thought that there was no chance of him breaking 7:00. But then he sped up to 1:45 in the next quarter, and the 7:00 target became reachable with a strong kick. He found it and closed with 1:40 finishing in 6:59. Thus he became the fifth sub-7:00 miler in our family, and the first one to do it at the age of 7.

Jacob ran with Jenny and Julia at a slower pace to where we finished, and then we all ran back together. Jacob ended up running a good time for 2 miles in his debut - 17:42, and it was an out and back course. Not bad for a 5 year old. He does have more in him, I believe. Benjamin ran an out and back 5 K in 27:25 at the age of 5 which is 8:49 average when his mile PR was 8:21, maybe he could have done 8:10. Jacob has already run 8:00.6 mile on the track. I think Jacob is faster, but less mature, so he cannot yet push himself as hard as Benjamin did at his age.

So Jenny, Julia, Joseph, and Jacob ran 2 miles, Benjamin did 6, and I ended up with 13. 

Green Crocs 3 Miles: 13.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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