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

A.M. 6 miles with Ted and Colby, then 4 more alone. Did two miles that were supposed to be fat. But for one reason or another I was feeling feisty, so they ended up too aggressive for that. I realized that half way through the first and decided instead of backing off, which would by now be futile as I had by now woken up the carb burning beast, just cruise along at the same effort and see what happens. The first mile was from the Riverside Park to the DI bridge, a slight up with 800 N bridge to dip under. Still difficult in Five Fingers. I can handle 2-3% grade OK, but anything steeper I still cannot do at full speed. The uphill mile was 5:42 with the quarters of 86,86 (under the bridge) ,84,84. HR got up to 157. I felt an interesting feeling in my quads. The blood was flowing, something was different about the way it was flowing, and I cannot quite tell what that means, if it is a good thing or a bad thing. Another mile or two at the same effort would have told me, but for a number of reasons it did not fit into my plans, probably reason number one being the nature of the trail ahead with all the bridges and turns which would make it difficult to understand the splits.

Then I jogged another mile and did the same mile backwards. The total time was 5:32 with the splits of 85, 83, 84 (under the bridge), and 80. HR got up to 158. The form felt smooth.

Total time for 10 miles was 1:12:39.

Then it was time to run with the kids barefoot. First quarter is always very hard, then I get used to the asphalt. 1.5 with Julia in 14:39, then 2 with Benjamin and Jenny in 18:14.

When I run barefoot I think of a story that I once heard in church. An Indian boy comes to a wise man and asks him for advice. The wise man says there are two wolves fighting in you, the good one and the bad one. The boy asks which one is going to win. The old man answers whichever one you feed.

So I feel there are two wolves fighting in me, the Good Form Wolf and the Bad Form Wolf. The Good Form Wolf gets fed the best when I run barefoot on asphalt, and reasonably close with Five Fingers. The Bad Form Wolf gets fed in regular shoes. I decided to stop feeding the Bad Form Wolf even if it means having to run slower, and feeling some discomfort from the process of developing calloused feet.  Five running days so far, last Thursday was the last time I fed the Bad Form Wolf.

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