Breaking the Wall

January 29, 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

Went to the Provo Canyon for the long run. Strategically parked at Nunns. Warmed up a mile to the start of Sharpen The Saw 10 K - too bad that race has been discontinued, but it is still in the certification database.

Ran 5 miles down to what I thought was the 5 mile mark (first lightpole after the old power plant at the mouth of the Provo Canyon) in 28:32. Then up in 32:14 - the wind was pretty stiff. Then back down in 28:07 - total time of 1:28:53. I think I got the 5 mile wrong. My intermediate splits suggest my times should have been about 20 seconds faster for each 5 mile segment.

Went afterwards for a bike ride with Benjamin on the course, and measured it with the Jones counter. Sure enough, my intuition was right. The distance was 5.14 miles - due to the lack of time calibrated the counter on the first mile which was still marked after all the years, and matched the description in the certification document quite well. So I'll call it 5.1 to be safe just in case.

I also checked the elevation drop with - it is about 350 feet, so 70 feet per mile, a bout 1.3% grade for the 5 mile stretch. Stopped at the car (about 11.5 miles) to get Powerade.

Cooled down to get back to the car. Found a runner on the road to join me for the cooldown - John Fee, teaches law at BYU. He was just starting his 15 mile run.

Legs felt stiff at the start, but did not get any worse at the finish. All the way though the tempo I felt like I could keep the pace forever, but I would be very uncomfortable if I tried to go any faster.

In the afternoon, ran with the kids. Benjamin wanted to run a mile time trial, and set a new record of 7:12 with the splits of 1:47 - 1:50 - 1:49 - 1:46.

Worked out with weights in the evening. Benchpress - 3 sets of 3 with 95 pounds.

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