Breaking the Wall

January 22, 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. Did a DesNews specific workout with Jeff. Since he is not running DesNews marathon and is more injury prone than me, we modified his workout a bit to eliminate Squaw Peak decent for him. So he warmed up two miles then met me at my house. We did a leisurely warm-up at around 7:30-7:40 pace to the base of the Squaw Peak road which turned out to be 8.3 miles. The we ran a tempo up Squaw Peak Stairway to Glory. According to the Course Tool, it gains 1694 feet over 4.25 miles, which turns out to be 7.6% grade on average. So basically paved Ragnar leg about 2000 feet lower. My GPS measured 4.29 on the way up and 4.35 on the way down. There were painted marks on the road and the GPS was measuring less than the painted marks on the way up at 4 miles. I imagine we did better tangents that whoever painted the marks. But who cares about the exact distance anyway on a grade that steep - the times and paces are meaningless unless you have a comparison context.

Jeff was having a fun time - had to ease off for me a couple of times to keep the gap smaller, his wife Kimia called him on the phone a couple of times and he talked to her without too much trouble. She was supposed to pick him up at the top and drive him down. So she just wanted to make sure she was going the right way. I was working pretty hard and still could not keep up with Jeff. We were beating the 7:30 guy up to 3 miles, and then the grade got steeper and the elevation increased as well. So we slowed down to 8:00 pace. The last quarter was miserable - the grade is the steepest there. I ran it in 2:16, Jeff already had a gap on me, and he increased it some but not much. My time was 32:37, which is a 20 second PR. Last time I ran it was 2006, and I did get my old PR of 32:57 then.

I rested for a couple of minutes at the top, then Kimia took Jeff down, and I ran another tempo in the opposite direction. The road was wet, and it did matter at faster speeds. Additionally I was not used to the grade of this steepness, had not had enough practice lately. Plus the fatigue of having run 12 miles already was starting to affect me. So 5:00 pace was about all I could do. Was not breathing very hard. Ran the decent in 21:44. In the past with more downhill practice and doing it earlier in the run I've been able to do it a good minute faster. When I did that in the past I was breathing like a mad man and my HR was around 163. On the ascent I could only get 160 until the steep section, and then it got into 162-163 area. Today I did not have an HRM with me, but based on how I felt I would guess by HR was around 163 on the ascent and 155 on the decent.

Met Jeff at the bottom, we jogged to the Provo River trail (about 0.1) and started another tempo. Ran 4 miles down about a 1% grade to Wills Pit Stop where Kimia picked us up. Our time was 23:19 with the last mile in 5:31. That last tempo was hard, my head was fuzzy and the legs did not want to respond, I felt very unmotivated to be sub-6:00 but pushed past the barrier out of a sense of duty. Jeff started turning up the heat on the last mile, and I did not think I had much juice in me, but I was able to zone out, ignore the fatigue and stay with him. The feeling is not a surprise as I was between miles 17 and 21 for the whole run. Good preparation for DesNews.

T4 Racer - 145.83 miles. 

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:50, 1.5 with Benjamin, Jenny, and Jared. Benjamin went ahead and ran 12:40, Jenny got 12:42, I stayed with Jared and we did 12:55. I pushed Jacob in the single stroller. Then ran another 0.5 with Jared in 4:28, Benjamin ran ahead and did 3:55, total of 16:35 for 2 miles for Benjamin.

Five Fingers - 297.42 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From Hayden on Sat, Jun 07, 2008 at 23:37:31

Hey i left you a message on yesterday's just in case you didn't get it. Here is a reminder.

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