Breaking the Wall

August 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: 160.46 Year: 2462.47
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: 1263.81
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Total of 12 miles. Joseph wanted to do a time trial. So I ran 2 with Julia, 4 more alone, then took Joseph, Jacob, Jenny, and Benjamin to the track and we helped Joseph get a good time in 400 meters. It took some persuasion to get Jenny to run fast - her excuse over the last year has been that her muscles are hurting from the growth spurt. That was indeed the case, but with that came also a mental issue of being afraid to run fast. So today I said we've had enough of that and told her she had to at least try. She reluctantly agreed to participate in pacing Joseph, which was of great help. However, Jacob was the key element. Joseph's goal was sub-90.  In the previous attempt he ran the first 200 in 43, followed by 50, which gave him 93. I knew that Jacob could run 200 in 47, he's done it before. I also knew that there is no way in the world that Joseph would let his younger brother Jacob finish ahead if he had even an ounce of strength remaining, and even if he did not. So we had Jacob start 200 meters into Joseph's time trial, and about 1 second in front.

Joseph, Jenny, Benjamin, and I went through the first 100 in 20. I knew the pace was too fast from the start, but I did not want to slow it down, and decided to just watch and see what happens. I wanted in particular to see how Joseph would fare against Jacob after a fast start. There was some easing off in the next 100 which was done in 23, giving us 43 for the 200. It appeared at first that Joseph was headed for a gradual decline. However, the presence of Jacob running in front stirred him to action. The next 100 was in 21 giving us 64 at 300. At that point I knew sub-90 was in the bag for Joseph. Jenny was also excited by the presence of Jacob, and pushed some to pass him. She finished in 85, which is technically her new record, although I believe she should be able to run quite a bit faster, sub-80 for sure, on a good day, if we can just find one. Jacob and Joseph finished together. Joseph's time for 400 was 86, 4 seconds ahead of the goal, and 43 for the second 200. It is quite remarkable that he managed an even split after a jack-rabbit start. Amazing what a younger brother placed at a strategic location can do for you. Jacob did 44 for the 200, which is his new record.

With the proven ability to run sub-3:00 800 pace for half the distance, Joseph is now on track to crack the 3:00 barrier in the 800 in the Thanksgiving race. I believe he may need to do that to win this year. His main competition is Ammon Blackburn who is a year older. Joseph will still be 7, and Ammon will be 8 on the day of the race. Ammon could very well run under 3:00. Benjamin's course record of 3:00 in that division is definitely under threat this year.

Afterward we ran home, and I ran 4 more with Benjamin. So Benjamin did 6, Joseph, Jacob, and Jenny did 2, I ended up with 12. 

P.M. 0.3 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.30
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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