Breaking the Wall

July 09, 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: 51.55 Year: 2011.51
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: 881.43
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2016-05-28 07:23:22
Workout Totals: Distance19.890Time2:32:53.30Pace7:41.20
I did 20, Benjamin 15, younger kids ran their usual distances. Benjamin and I repeated our Tuesday workout 2 up + 4 down the Provo Canyon. Benjamin did 11:12(5:39,5:33) + 20:13(4:59,5:05,5:12,4:57). I got 12:00 (5:57,6:03) + 22:29 (5:35,5:37,5:41,5:36). I prayed this morning as well as during the run to be able to run 12:00, and this is exactly what I ran, to the tenth of the second. After the first mile I was not certain, I only had 5:57, there were some climbs up ahead, and the headwind was stronger than on Tuesday. I learned something about what it means to have faith. "It is by the grace that we are saved after all we can do" (2 Nephi 2:25), and "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12). I gained a better understanding in a practical way what those passages mean.

I tend to expect my goal-specific prayers to be answered by gaining the fitness that puts me a little bit above my goal. That is not how this one was answered. I had to dig rather deep into the depths of my soul to find the extra gear in the last half mile and I had that ability to dig today.

I feel another prayer was answered as well. I prayed last night to know how I can coach Benjamin to make a breakthrough in running. And I saw something in my mind - when he hits an uphill he lengthens his stride instead of upping his turnover. I explained to him what I knew about running uphill - move the arms quicker, drive the knee up, increase leg turnover - but I knew that he would need an experience I could not give him to internalize it. So I asked him to pray as he runs so the Lord would teach him how to run uphill. I think he made some progress today. He closed with a 5:33 on the uphill interval, and he recovered better from the uphill bumps on the downhill interval. I was particularly happy that he found 4:57 after a slow-down to 5:12. Most of it actually came from the last 0.5 in 2:25. I was also happy that the slow-down mile was 5:12.

Otherwise, kids ran their usual distances.
Leg 1:Distance2.280Time18:07.10Pace7:56.80
Leg 2:Distance2.000Time12:00.00Pace6:00.00
Tempo uphill.
Leg 3:Distance1.310Time12:30.20Pace9:32.67
Leg 4:Distance4.000Time22:29.60Pace5:37.40
Tempo downhill.
Leg 5:Distance5.300Time48:59.50Pace9:14.62
Distance with Benjamin.
Leg 6:Distance5.000Time38:46.90Pace7:45.38
With Joseph and Jacob.

Black Crocs 2 Miles: 19.89
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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