Breaking the Wall

February 17, 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: 81.04 Year: 418.47
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1576.28
Neon Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1353.22
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Did the Provo Riverwoods 10 miler twice. First up, the immediate 180 and dash back down. Brisk warm up for the first 5 miles, then tempo the rest of the way. A fairly miserable workout as you climb 800 feet in the first half, but great preparation for Deseret News.

I had two goals - beat Josse's race time from two weeks ago (1:07:02) on the way up, then James Barnes' winning time (56:42) on the way back. After a bit of jogging at 7:30 pace I realized that if I had any chances of beating Josse I needed to get down to business. So I started going around 6:40-7:00 pace up the Provo Canyon. Occasional gusts of wind did not help, but I was able to keep respectable pace through them. HR quickly got up to 130-135 range and stayed there. Got through the first 5 miles, and shifted into the tempo gear. To my surprise I had a hard time getting HR above 145 no matter how hard I tried to push it. The pace was around 6:10-6:20 range until I went into the South Fork.

Did the 3.23 stretch up South Fork in 21:26, 6:38 average. Passed Michelle and Josse doing their pre-tempo warm-up. 1:07:40 at the turnaround. Chicked by 38 seconds, bummer!

On the way back tried to crank it up, but had a hard time kicking into gear. HR absolutely refused to go above 145. 3.23 in 17:56, 5:33 average. Not that great of this kind of drop (400 feet in a bit over 3 miles). Better watch out, or I might not only miss James, but get chicked by Michelle on the descent. Her split at that point was only 33 second slower.

Focused on running not slower than 5:40 figuring that if I can do that on flatter portions and James's average was 5:40 I should be OK. With only one caveat. The course is actually about 0.07 longer than 10 miles. Back when Curt certified it it went straight near Bridal Veil Falls. But since then he added a detour on the little bridge to avoid crossing the old highway.

Finally kicked into gear and started seeing 1:23 quarters. HR climbed to 149 but rebelled against the 150 range. Towards the end as it got warmed it got up to 152. Picked it up to 5:20 pace on the last quarter, HR finally progressed to 155 during that. Finished the second half in 56:20, 22 seconds ahead of James's time. Total time 2:04:00.

P.M. Benjamin ran in the state meet. I jogged a bit with him during his warm-up. He won Bantams 1500 in 6:04.20 beating his only competitor by 18 seconds. The effort earned him $4. I set up a bonus structure for him - $1 for every lap 1:35 or faster, $4 for breaking 6:00, $2 for breaking 6:10, $1 for breaking 6:18 which was what he ran last time. Time bonuses non-cumulative. His splits were 1:35, 1:39, 1:39, and 1:11 for the last 300. His last lap was 1:34. So $2 in lap bonuses, and $2 time bonus. Decent effort for 85 degree heat.

Afterwards we went on an adventure drive on the Squaw Peak road from Provo Canyon to Hobble Creek Canyon. Ran with the girls in the middle. Julia ran 1 mile downhill in 8:47. Jenny ran 1.5 in 13:23, first mile was downhill, last 0.5 uphill. That was quite an adventure drive, I think that is my PR for off-road driving both in terms of distance, the closeness to the edge of a cliff, and the bumpiness of the road. Prior PR was Avon pass which pales in comparison.

T4 Racer - 232.69 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From josse on Sat, Jun 28, 2008 at 22:32:13

Wow great job on the run! to bad you didn't get me;) Maybe next time. Tough workout!

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