Breaking the Wall

January 21, 2021

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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: 188.26 Year: 188.26
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: 1657.61
Brown Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 1359.62
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2016-05-21 08:35:32
Workout Totals: Distance21.250Time2:41:25.10Pace7:35.77
Total of 21 - 20 in the AM, and 1.25 in the PM. Benjamin did 12, Jenny 6, Julia 4, Joseph and Jacob 5, William 2, Stephen 1, Matthew 0.25.

Benjamin paced me through a 3 mile tempo run down the canyon. It was raining hard although not as hard as it could have been. Nevertheless by the time we got to the start I was feeling unmotivated to run fast. I made it through the first mile in 5:29, and then just could not push myself. My next mile was 5:38. Then we ran a quarter in 87, and Benjamin shifted gears and pulled me through the next one in 81. I do not know how I survived it. Somehow I managed to run 2:46 for the next 0.5 and finish the whole thing in 16:41.9, last mile in 5:34.

I noticed that in the last few years I have been struggling with the inner drive. Even 4 years ago it did not take as much out of me to tell myself to go. Now I have to dig really deep to find the extra gears. That is all good, though, I think. It will help me develop stronger faith.

I am beginning to understand that there are two types of toughness. The first kind is hormonal/biochemical. When available it activates with relative ease. You have it more or less regardless of your character or spiritual strength. As you get older you have less of it. The second kind comes from the strength of your character/spirit. This one is hard to activate. In terms of performance for the unit of suffering it is not very rewarding. But it is much more rewarding in other ways.

In the past I have often mistook the first for the second. Now that I have less of the first, the distinction is easier to make. And I realized that in the eternal perspective the second one is much more important than the first. The experience with the first could prepare you to understand the second, but the second is what really matters.
Leg 1:Distance5.400Time41:28.80Pace7:40.89
With Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance3.000Time16:41.90Pace5:33.97
Tempo run.
Leg 3:Distance3.600Time29:59.10Pace8:19.75
Distance afterwards.
Leg 4:Distance5.000Time39:40.10Pace7:56.02
With Joseph and Jacob.
Leg 5:Distance3.000Time21:29.10Pace7:09.70
Extra distance with a mile pickup in the middle. Practiced quick leg turnover when tired.
Split 1:Distance1.500Time11:35.40Pace7:43.60
Split 2:Distance1.000Time5:54.50Pace5:54.50
Split 3:Distance0.500Time3:59.20Pace7:58.40
Leg 6:Distance1.000Time9:39.20Pace9:39.20
With Stephen.
Leg 7:Distance0.250Time2:26.90Pace9:47.60
With Matthew.

Black Crocs 2 Miles: 21.25
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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