Breaking the Wall

April 21, 2019

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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 nine children: Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, William, Stephen, Matthew,  Mary, and Bella.  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: 206.40 Year: 1159.37
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 120.59
Brown Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1509.03
Brown Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 987.95
Navy Crocs Lifetime Miles: 2133.34
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Total of 12. All with the kids. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 1, William 1. Julia set an unexpected PR on our 3 mile course. She started out a bit quicker than normal hitting the first half in 12:09. When she turned around I challenged her to break 24:00, and maybe even her record of 23:42. She outdid my expectations and ran 11:03 for the second half, so her time was 23:12. it has been a while since she wanted to push in a longer run, so this came as a surprise to me. She has struggled with low iron over the last couple of years which affected her endurance and competitive drive. As I mentioned in my post on Tuesday, I am happy when my children succeed, but I am also thankful that I can be there to help them when they struggle, and I am thankful there are struggles and problems to solve because that is when the real growth comes - for them and for me.

Last night I finished Nikholay Khokhlov's book about his life as a KGB agent, and subsequent defection. There were some valuable lessons in that book. This would be the next book that I will read with Benjamin in Russian. We have been reading "The Story of a Real Man" about a Russian pilot in the Second World War that gets shot down behind the enemy lines, shatters his feet, manages to survive for two weeks crawling through a forest during early spring, then is discovered by Russian villagers that are hiding from the Germans in that forest, eventually recovers, and flies again in combat. The story is based on actual events - the pilot survived the war, actually managed to live past 80 years old and died in 2001. We are progressing through it at snails pace, only a few paragraphs a day, but it has been a great learning experience for Benjamin - his Russian has been improving. He learned some things that I have always taken for granted - for example, that there is a verb in Russian that means "to carry out insurgent operations against occupying enemy force" with all kinds of freely used derivatives that are still found in day-to-day speech even though the war ended almost 70 years ago.

Later we drove to Goblin Valley. Kids had a lot of fun playing on the dirt "goblins". Matthew liked the passing lane on highway 6 because when we got there I would speed up to pass whatever was in front of us. Hitting the bumps in the road at a higher speed helped rock Matthew to sleep. 

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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