Breaking the Wall

January 19, 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. Ran with Jeremy and Ariel. Did a workout. 5x400 with 100 recovery starting at 74.0 and finishing at 71.4 down the canyon. Held together better that on Tuesday - kept speeding up in spite of short recoveries. Then a long recovery, and 600 in 1:40.1. Ariel did the first 200, Jeremy did the first 300. The splits were 34 and 51. Then I was able to speed up closing the last 300 in 49. I was happy about that. 

Then 6x100 uphill at the house. I did the first three in 18.0, 18.2,  17.7 and felt like I had put quite a bit of effort into them. Then Joseph came and raced me. He was far behind (around 24 seconds), but just knowing there was somebody behind made me run it in 17.3. Then his cousin Nicholas came. Nicholas is 15, and I knew from running with him that there was a possibility that he could outrun me in 100 meters. With Nicholas racing me, even though he fell behind right away, and I knew he would not be getting faster as the hill got steeper, I ran scared and hit 16.5 - my best time on this stretch so far ever. Nicholas ran 18.7.  This was quite remarkable to me. Every single time I do this workout I try to figure out a way to make myself run faster. I try to focus, etc. All of this got me 16.6 twice in the entire history of this workout, and most of the time I do not even break 17.0. A 15 year old kid shows up and runs 2 seconds behind me, and all of a sudden I am able to run 16.5. In the last one, now we had Nicholas and his older brother Zachary. This time I knew that Nicholas could not outrun me, and I also knew that Zachary was not that much faster than Nicholas if at all. I still ran scared because I heard their steps, but I was not as scared as the first time, so I ran 16.8. They got something around 18.5.

Ran some more with the kids. Benjamin did 4, Jenny, Julia, and Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.3. Total of 13.5 miles for me.

 Discussed the subject of internal and external motivation using my hill sprint example with my brother in law who teaches math education at the University of Nebraska. We both agreed that this was a good example that you cannot rely on internal motivation alone effectively. Even though I am mature in age (39 years), and just about as motivated internally to run as anyone could be (I have never missed more than 3 consecutive days of training in more than 27 years, I walk around and think what I need to do to get faster), the mere presence of a rather weak competition gives me significant improvement in performance. Yet the going theory in the educational circles is that competition is bad, and teachers who attempt to introduce it experience a lot of resistance. Perhaps that is the answer to our problems with education 


Green Crocs 3 Miles: 13.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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