Breaking the Wall

April 02, 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: 211.63 Year: 851.13
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1576.28
Neon Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1679.47
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2017-05-26 08:43:21
Workout Totals: Distance11.227Time1:22:00.40Pace7:18.26
Mile time trials today. Stephen and William got PRs. Stephen ran 7:17.7, William got 6:16.1. William's splits were 92, 96, 92, 93. Do not remember Stephen's splits exactly, but he was fairly even and had a strong kick.

Joseph ran 5:35.6, which is an improvement over Wednesday, but still off his PR of 5:30. Joseph's splits were 82,85,83,83. Jacob apparently was still not 100% over his cold - he started struggling in the second lap and I told him to stop after 800.

Part of Joseph's problem was the slow second lap, but judging by his lack of a strong kick he did not really have sub-5:30 in him today.

I set up a different incentive structure for the kids today. Make it to 800 on pace - $1, 900 - $2, 1000 - $3, 1100 - $5, 1200 - $7, then $3 for every additional 100 meters. "On pace" means responding to invitations to give me a low five. If you are declared off pace, you stop right there to prevent sandbagging - to communicate the idea that I really want to know how far you are physically capable of going at the target pace. I gave Joseph a break because he has been struggling recently, and all I was requiring of him is run faster than Jacob's PR of 5:38. But otherwise I was pacing them at their PR pace. This worked particularly well for William and Stephen. But it did not work for Jacob - part of the problem was that he was still recovering from the cold, but there was something else involved, some mental issue. He can run 100 in 14.9, 400 in 69.8, and 1000 in 3:18, but I cannot trick him into going through 800 in as slow as 2:45 in the mile even if he knows he does not have to finish and I even will not let him finish. Will have to figure something out.

Jenny did a mile pickup at the end of her run uphill in 6:45 - I paced her. I also ran a little bit with Julia.

The results today gave me some food for thought. I am going to try having Joseph, Jacob, and William always run the last quarter of their run fast to teach them that they can run fast when tired. Hopefully this would not be too much of a training stress.
Leg 1:Distance0.187Time1:50.10Pace9:48.77
Leg 2:Distance1.000Time7:17.70Pace7:17.70
Stephen's mile.
Leg 3:Distance1.000Time6:16.10Pace6:16.10
William's mile.
Leg 4:Distance1.000Time5:35.60Pace5:35.60
Joseph's mile.
Leg 5:Distance3.100Time24:19.40Pace7:50.77
Part with Joseph and Jacob, part alone, part with Jenny.
Split 1:Distance2.100Time17:34.00Pace8:21.90
Split 2:Distance1.000Time6:45.40Pace6:45.40
Leg 6:Distance0.900Time6:53.80Pace7:39.78
Part with Julia.
Leg 7:Distance3.000Time21:38.60Pace7:12.87
Leg 8:Distance1.040Time8:09.10Pace7:50.29
Part with Matthew, part alone.
Split 1:Distance0.520Time4:27.30Pace8:34.04
Split 2:Distance0.520Time3:41.80Pace7:06.54

Camouflage Crocs 2 Miles: 11.23
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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