Breaking the Wall

February 16, 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. Ran with Jeff and Daniel. Jeff was a lab rat today. He is such a nice rat, always agrees to participate in experiments and measurements. I put my HRM on him and watched his HR at different speeds. It was a lot of fun. At 8:00 pace he was roughly around 130. He wanted to see what happens when he held his breath. His HR did not go up at all, but he just could not keep running while holding his breath. Then I suggested that he should sing. With the Independence Day approaching he sang the first verse of the Star Spangled Banner at 8:00 pace. His HR maxed out at 144. Then he remembered that in his PE class he could get his HR from standing (around 75-80) to 160 in 50 meters of sprinting. I wondered if he really could. So at first he sprinted from 8:00 pace, but the problem was that he went so fast I could not keep up and he moved out of the HRM reception range. Noting that mistake I gave him the watch, and next time we tried from a resting start. We tried to wait for his HR to drop to 85, but there were too many mosquitoes. Daniel and I jogged around, while Jeff stood and sacrificed in the name of science. However, the mosquitoes kept him agitated enough that his HR would not drop below 100. So we decided that was as good as it was going to get and he busted out sprinting. After 15 seconds he was able to get his HR to 159.

Then we decided to measure his HR at 7:00 pace. It was around 150. Afterwards we tried at 5:50 pace. It got up to 172. We dropped Daniel off, and decided to try at 5:20 pace. Well, Jeff was too feisty to run 5:20 and started out at 5:00 pace. So we ran a mile in 4:58. Jeff's HR got up to 187. This was the fastest mile I've ever run wearing Five Fingers. I liked that mile a lot better than the one we did a couple of weeks ago in 4:55 because it did not have a 70 second quarter in the middle. The pacing was perfectly even. We estimate that Jeff's max HR is around 190-192.

Dropped Jeff off after 13 and ran 2 more. Total of 15 miles in 1:54:56.

P.M. Home to Costco relay. 1.06 with Julia in 11:13, 1.55 with Jenny in 13:43, and 2.77 with Benjamin in 22:04.

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
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