Breaking the Wall

January 17, 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: 146.77 Year: 146.77
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: 1276.97
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Let's start with the blog campaign message for Devine Racing - pay your runners! Any ideas of the most effective way to get the money out of them? I find this feet dragging on the pay check particularly upsetting. It is not just a matter of a few hundred or a thousand dollars to feed the starving runner ( neither Nick, nor Steve, or Hobbie are rolling in dough), it is a matter of respect. We talk about The Zone referring to the last 6 miles of a marathon. Those guys quietly put themselves in The Zone every day to run as well as they do except there is no marching band to cheer them up or volunteers handing out drinks. They come home, they are still in The Zone and they have to do what everybody else does. The pay check for this is very minimal, losing the kick cuts it in half, hitting the wall with a mile to go can mean no paycheck that day after all the work. Sometimes it is 5 really good runners, the money goes 3 deep, and someone will have to go home empty handed. So when it comes, it is a hard earned treasure. I personally value the paycheck a lot more than a trophy. If I want a trophy, all I have to do is find a race that is sufficiently non-competitive. With the paycheck, there is no cheating - you have to be good to get it. And you bring something home, it helps pay the bills. I cannot quite put it in words, but I feel there is something morally wrong in intentionally taking your time to pay the runners while the money earns interest in the bank for you instead of your runners.

As for the training, Ted is alive again, and we able to lure Nick McCoombs into coming to run with us. Ted ran easy, Nick and I did 6x1 mile on the trail alternating directions with 200 meter recovery in between - very slow jog, about 1:40 or so. The target pace was 5:20. I got the inspiration for this from analyzing the training of Chris Rogers. I noticed that while not being fit to do so, he would run at 6:29 pace on a hard course, and call it easy. I wondered why, then realized this is probably how fast he ran in college on on his easy runs, and the memory of that was driving him. In this case, it was doing him harm, but I was inspired by the idea of building a muscle memory to trick the body into thinking 5:20 is threshold.

We did 5:16.7 - 5:17.1 - 5:17.9 - 5:19.2 - 5:21.2 - 5:19.2. The pace kept getting more and more uncomfortable for me, Nick was fine. After 4, I decided to run the 5th one a bit easier. We hit the half in 2:42. I felt so much better. Then I was able to push in on the second half in 2:39. On the last one, I decided to follow the same approach. We hit the first quarter in 1:22, then 1:21, that felt so much more comfortable. Then the final 0.5 hard. Steady pace - 1:18, 1:18. That felt like a near death experience (as opposed to just very hard). Afterwards, I told Nick and Ted the workout  overall was comfortably painful. Nick remarked than only an endurance athlete would know what that  means.

Ran with the kids in the evening + another 1.5 with the double stroller. Benjamin went through all 18 gears of a semi truck starting out at 9:30 pace and finishing at 6:40. His last mile was 7:16, and his last 0.5 was 3:25.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Scott Browning on Fri, Jun 15, 2007 at 00:39:00

The most effective way to get the attention of Devine is start a write-in campaign to local media outlets. This is not the first time they have not paid and they got crucified for it last year. The community needs to know that Devine is not acting in the best interest of the competitors. If the media outlets receive well written statements, they should report on it. I believe Chad has some connection with the media. I agree with you, that it is a matter of respect, but it also a matter of business ethics. I know of no other race that refuses to pay or reward their participants as agreed upon. In my opinion, Scott Kerr needs to go, and some well written letters to Chris Devine may make him rethink his decision to leave incompetence in place. Let me know what you need.

From Scott Browning on Fri, Jun 15, 2007 at 01:10:22

I just read your comment on lateral lumbar correction. I have not done much with lateral adjustment, I understand what you are trying to accomplish and have read up a little on the Pettibon method, but I am not familiar with other methods to correct abnormal curvature. I think there is a lot to be said for identifying potential mechanical limitations to optimal performance, but to what degree they can be corrected I am not sure. My brother has a PhD in Biomechanics, I will pose the question to him and see what he has to say. His area of expertise is in gait and has significant research in sport both as a former pro triathlete and researcher. He may have some interesting insight into what you are looking for. I will let you know what I find out. I want to thank you again for creating the blog, it has been nothing but positive!!!!

From ashman on Fri, Jun 15, 2007 at 08:37:39

I left a message with Bill Gephardt and as of today there is an attorney who is sympathetic and has agreed to do some things for us pro bono.

From ashman on Fri, Jun 15, 2007 at 09:10:27

Next stop, Mayor Andersen's office and the newspapers. The sick thing about it is they probably justify it in their minds by calling it part of their buisness strategy, while in the mean time laughing all the way to the bank as they count their six-figure salaries.

From Mike K on Fri, Jun 15, 2007 at 13:52:38

It doesn't help for this year but no one should run Devine's race next year. When asked about the SLC Marathon by non runners or more recreational runners tell them why you don't run it. Look at this year's winning time. It is obvious that Devine has fallen out of favor with national class runners. Do we local runners have the willpower to walk away from a paycheck to make a point. Ogden pays better for a sub 2:30 than SLCM (not that I have ever won money in SLCM). Ogden gives comps and has a training series. I would rather see Park City replace SLCM in the late spring.

Maybe a good race could replace it but I don't believe Devine can put on a good race.

From Dallen on Fri, Jun 15, 2007 at 16:59:13

I ran the now defunct Chicago big 10K in 2005. Sweatshirts were promised to the age group placers. After waiting through the delayed awards ceremony it was announced that they would be mailed. It never came. I didn't really want it, but there is a principal behind not giving the promised awards.

They still run the 10,000 runner Chicago half marathon every fall. I might find a way to pass the word out here in Chicago

From ashman on Fri, Jun 15, 2007 at 20:38:01

Sounds good Dallen. Anything you can do would help in some way. Thanks!

By the way, I just received my award from Ogden Marathon with a free pair of running shoes. It is nice to know that there are races all over that have integrity and that Devine racing is just a bad apple in the barrel probably.

From Paul Petersen on Sat, Jun 16, 2007 at 00:59:25

Ha ha, I will retain my boycott of Devine events, no problem. After a mere 3 weeks, I too received my paycheck from Ogden. I've run Ogden 3 times now, and I'll gladly run it again.

From James on Sat, Jun 16, 2007 at 09:25:19

I will never run any of Devine's races, they are an absolute joke! I thought that Hobbie would have learned his lesson last year after having to get Gephardt in November to finally get his money. Besides not paying people, the other thing that they do is mess up half of the other races and marathons by changing when they have their race every year. I hope Steve gets his money, but it should be a lesson learned to everyone.

From Michael on Sat, Jun 16, 2007 at 22:02:35

Hope you can make a differance, agree they should pay their runners considering all the money their company and execs get. (Not that I will ever get a prize money yet alone a ribbon)

Keep up all the good running miles. I admire your dedication and effort

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