Breaking the Wall

August 24, 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 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: 173.50 Year: 2475.51
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs Lifetime Miles: 2133.34
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1360.04
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeff, Daniel, and Vern. Did a 4.7 warmup with everybody, then Jeff and I ran the 5 mile tempo. The plan was to run about 5:40-5:45 pace focusing on good form and good rhythm, and practice improving stability on the right foot. We ran the course in the normal direction starting from Geneva.

Total time: 28:13.5 (5:38.7 average)

Splits by mile: 5:46, 5:43, 5:41, 5:37, 5:26.

Splits by half: 14:22, 13:51.

HR: Around 150 in the first mile, around 154-155 in the second and third. 162 in the fourth. The last mile had the quarters of 83, 81, 81, and 81. HR made its way to 164 in the first half, and then all the way up to 170, and back down to 167 once I ran out of juice. Jeff dropped me with about 500 to go, and gapped me by 11(!) seconds while I was still running 5:24 pace. His last quarter was 71.

Jeff's HR stayed around 8 bpm above mine most of the time. Yes, the pace was easy enough for him to be able to report it frequently. Interesting observation - right after the 180 turn we surged to get back up to pace. My HR stayed steady, while Jeff's spiked then dropped back down once the effort was back to normal. And it goes without saying that in comparison to me he felt a lot more comfortable. That sheds some light on a few things, assuming this is a pattern and not just one occurrence. If you push and HR does not respond, you will have oxygen debt, so you can only push that far. That would explain why I really really do not like mid-race surges, get knocked out by hills, sharp turns, etc.

Total mileage for the run was 11.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 18:03, 2 with Jenny in 18:44, Julia ran the first 1.5 with us in 13:51.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 11.00Bare Feet Miles: 4.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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