Breaking the Wall

December 02, 2020

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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: 304.65 Year: 3606.17
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: 806.96
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Standard 10.04 + untimed bathroom detour in the morning. Ran a bit faster than 7:00, threw in a tempo on the standard 2.5 stretch coming back. On the tempo felt sluggish, the pace did not feel strenuous, but I did not feel like going faster than 5:45 on the first mile. Then something got into me and I started getting excited, after the first mile in 5:45, I did a quarter in 1:25, followed by a 1:23. Decided to break 5:30 on the last mile figuring I was almost going the right pace already. Next uphill quarter in 1:23, followed by another partially uphill in 1:23. With 0.5 to go saw that I had a remote shot of catching the 14:00 guy. Next quarter in 1:22. Then saw that with a 1:19 quarter I could catch him. The legs responded to the challenge, ran a 1:17, got 13:58, and 5:25 for the last mile. For me this is very significant, I often cannot kick more than a second or two above pace.

I was particularly happy about the last 100 in 18 seconds, I think that is the best tempo run kick time this year so far. I felt I was able to power through the foot-stuck-to-the-ground phase better. I have been struggling with this problem since my teenage years - the foot lingers on the ground probably an extra 0.05 of a second, and it seems like there is nothing I can do about it. This is probably why my sprint falls short of my ten-fold jump by so much.

Finished the run in 1:06:16. Ran with the kids as soon as I got home. Then in the evening for our Monday night Family Home Evening activity we threw a tennis ball. Julia did 4 meters, Jenny 6 meters, Benjamin 14 meters, same as his softball throw, that answered my question about how the two compare for an 8 year old kid, Sarah threw 19 meters, and I did 29. Now here is the odd part:

At the age of 11 I could only throw 20 meters. My male classmates threw 30 on average, and the best of them threw 40. It bothered me that I was so far behind. During the summer I went to our school's stadium and practiced time and again, but with no improvement, stuck at 20 meters. Then something happened a couple of months later. With no practice I was throwing 30. My 60 meter sprint improved from 11.3 to 9.7. My fighting ability improved, which at least at that time in a Soviet school was a very important skill for a boy. And I won the school 500 meter race in 1:45, which gave me the encouragement to sign up at the Znamenskiye track school.

So figuring that now I that I was bigger, I should be able to throw a bit better than what I did at 12, I was expecting it to be 35-40 meters. After a number of tries, and finally getting a reasonably decent technique, which a thrower would probably laugh at, but I doubt was any worse than my 12 year old one, I was right there at my 12 year old result.

Ran about 0.3 chasing Benjamin home, and then went for a very leisurely 3 mile run, about 7:50 pace. Met another runner. His name is Jeff McMclallan. He is planning to join me on Thursday.

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