Breaking the Wall

July 18, 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: 110.88 Year: 2082.97
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: 914.70
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 10 with Jeff in 1:09:56. Did a recovery 5 mile tempo in the middle in 29:25 progressively increasing the pace. The splits were 6:00, 5:59, 5:57, 5:56, 5:33. Last mile had the quarters of 87, 86, 85, 75. Last 200 was in 34. HR was around 146-148 in the early miles, then made its way to 150-151, and in the last mile was around 157-158. During the kick it hit 172. Last 200 was hard but manageable. It was nice to feel the speed. Jeff acted like he was struggling a bit during the run, said it felt harder than 6:00 usually does, but the 34 200 kick at the end was his initiative, so that's a good sign.

2 with Benjamin in 16:48. Jenny learned than Benjamin was being taken out to lunch for his 0.5 at sub-6:00 pace earlier this week, so she wanted to earn it as well. I told her 2 miles under 16:00. She ran 15:33. Then Julia also wanted to earn the privilege. I was not sure about her fitness level exactly, and I did not want to set a standard that was either too high or too low, so I told her follow me and respond when I pick up the pace. She did not know the word "respond". So I explained that it meant if I speed up, you speed up, do not fall behind. Now I can just imagine her coming to Primary, the teacher says: "And Samuel responded to the Lord's call to serve", then asking the children if they knew the meaning of "respond", then Julia raising her little hand and giving the running explanation.

After the instruction we ran 1.5 in 11:57 with the last mile in 7:55 which is Julia's PR and her first time under 8:00. High school runners could learn from her quarter splits: 2:03, 1:59, 1:58, 1:57, 2:02, 1:58. Whenever a child breaks a minute barrier in the mile, we give him a special prize. So Julia got a book and a couple of toys at Barnes and Noble.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 15.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From Eric Day on Mon, Jun 22, 2009 at 13:40:53 from

As a bookseller, I love hearing parents give books to their children as prizes. Can't think of a better prize!

Congrats on your children's accomplishments!

From Maurine/Tarzan on Mon, Jun 22, 2009 at 14:04:40 from

Nice motivation on the children's PR's!

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