Breaking the Wall

January 28, 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: 252.01 Year: 252.01
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 the same workout as last week - Provo Riverwoods 10 miler twice, first up, then immediate 180 and down. Except this time I had Jeff with me. Seth was going to come, but he stayed up late the night before and called in the morning bailing out.

The goal was again to beat Josse's time of 1:07:02 on the way up, and James' time of 56:42 on the way down. In spite of having raced yesterday Jeff's presence made up for the fatigue and we were able to meet both goals. Not without some suffering on my part though.

We did a brisk warmup averaging probably around 6:50 for the first 5 miles. After that Jeff stretched and we started the tempo portion from around the Bridal Veil Falls area right after the Walking Zone warning sign. I wondered to myself if it was OK to run through it, but did it anyway. About 6:10-6:15 while the grade was 2% then when it flattened out to about 0.5-1% about 5:55 pace with Jeff's initiative. Once we got to the South Fork climb, Jeff threw more fuel into the fire and put me in pain. I had to ask him to back off several times. This was an odd feeling. My HR never went above 155. But I felt like I was racing a 5 K, almost. At the same time, when I asked him to back off I was not thinking so much "we've got another 12 miles of this still ahead", but more "if they told me the finish is at the top and I am done for the day, I do not think I could go any faster". The good news is that I had enough confidence in my endurance to have no fear of bonking at the end.

We did the control 3.23 stretch in 20:42. 6:21 average, 48 seconds faster than last week. I think is my PR for that stretch period, not just in the middle of a 20 miler. If not, it would be awfully close. 1:06:05 first 10 miles, beat Josse's time by 57 seconds. Unchicked myself and very satisfied. Now 10 miles going down.

We hard a hard time shifting gears and goofed through the downhill where we really could have made up some time. Probably from the fatigue of climbing. 17:57 on the control 3.23 stretch, 1 second slower than last week. No problem, though. With Jeff pulling me we'll be OK.

We ran strong through the flatter parts although I did have to ask Jeff to back off a few times and finished the second half of the run in 56:11, 9 seconds faster than last week, and 31 seconds ahead of James. 2:02:16 for 20 miles, 1:44 faster than last week. Actually it is more like 20.14. But who cares, the run is Double the Provo Riverwoods 10 miler however long it may be. With all the climbing and then dropping it is not a normal course anyway.

Went to a show by the Provo Tabernacle with the family afterwards. During a puppet show the performer asked the kids if they knew who had written the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin raised his hand and gave the correct answer - Thomas Jefferson. The performer said - "Wow, they teach well in school nowadays!" Little did he know that Benjamin had always been home schooled.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:10, 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 13:23, 2.5 alone in 18:43.

Five Fingers - 630.84 miles.

T4 Racer - 268.70 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.75
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