Breaking the Wall

August 07, 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

I forgot to mention in my earlier entries that my wife Sarah has started her blog. She is 7-months pregnant, and has been running consistently 2 miles a day througout her pregnancy. She can still go at 11 minute mile pace on a good day. I had a couple of dreams that Sarah would call boring because they are so real. In the first I was running a steeplechase and got lapped by Henry Marsh right when he was finishing. I've never run steeplechase, but if I had tried it against Henry Marsh in his best shape, this is about where I would expect to finish after some steeplechase training. In another dream, I was running a marathon in a tactical race. I still had three tired runners with me on the last mile. The marathon was rather peculiar - you had to run up a few flights of stairs at the end and touch the door of an appartment to mark your finish. That is where I made my move and broke away from them. My time was 2:33. Well, a month and a half go I did win a marathon in 2:35, and I ended up getting lost on the last 400 meters and crawling under a barbed wire to get to the finish. About the same level of weirdness as the dream. Also, in a marathon, I would definitely have quite a bit of a competitive advantage on the stairs - I may run out of fuel, but my legs usually are not sore, often so fresh I would not be able to tell you I had run a marathon if I had not had the memory of passing 26 mile markers. The morning started with a diarrhea. No wonder I kept feeling thirsty last night. Apparently the water was not being absorbed properly. To make things worse, Eric and George were not around. So I jogged making a couple of urgent stops for about 4.7 miles, then put on ankle weights and ran for a mile 45 seconds slow, 15 seconds as fast as the ankle weights would let me. 7:04 for the mile. Then a marathon pace tempo run to get the misery over with quicker. Two Slate Canyon Loops (4.22) in 24:54. It felt like a start of a marathon knowing that I was going to have some serious problems later on no matter how conservative I started, so might just as well push it so I'll be further along when the trouble comes. However, I did not feel puky toxic, only sluggish. The hills did not feel right, and it took way too much mental effort for this slow of a pace. I could shift gears without feeling too miserable, though, when I caught myself off-pace. Later in the morning ran with Benjamin and Jennifer. In the afternoon, ran with Joseph in the stroller and the ankle weights. Wore the ankle weights all day. In the evening after dinner and scripture study, I felt lazy, did not feel like running at all. Brigham Young says when you do not feel like praying is when you need to pray the most. With some adjustments for true overtraining syndromes, this can be applied to running - when you do not feel like running, you need to run the most. So I went, with ankle weights and Joseph in the stroller. Sure enough, I felt a lot more like running towards the end of my always on the run mile. 14 miles for the day. Speedwork tomorrow.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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