Breaking the Wall

August 24, 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: 173.50 Year: 2475.51
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: 1360.04
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Total of 12. First 5 with the stroller and Matthew in it. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 2, Jacob 2, Joseph 3. The air felt warm and humid. I started the run at 147.0 lb and finished at 142.0 lb.  I should start a new weight loss program - lose 5 pounds in one run!

Benjamin got his AP scores today. 5 on Calculus BC, 4 on Computer Science, 4 on Chemistry, and 4 on Physics C: Mechanics. This gives him credit for Math 112, Math 113, Computer Science 142, Chemistry 105, and Physics 121 at BYU. So we are going to apply for the winter semester.

I was particularly happy with his score in Chemistry. For me this is a vindication of our home schooling approach. The big question is - can a child student being only 14 years old exceed the parent teacher? He did not have to exceed my knowledge to get good scores in other subjects. But in Chemistry he did and he succeeded. This proves to me that you can successfully home school in subjects you do not have the expert knowledge of. The key is teaching the child how to learn - instead of teaching the facts you need to teach initiative, confidence, proactive problem solving, and other good qualities in that department. If the learner quality X has been developed, he will learn the necessary facts and techniques on his own.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 12.00Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 5.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
From Superfly on Mon, Jul 08, 2013 at 13:18:30 from

Great scores. Good job to Benny!

From Tanner on Mon, Jul 08, 2013 at 13:35:34 from

I got my AP Human Geography score back yesterday and I also got a 5. I'm very impressed with Benjamin's running ability, but also that he is a great student as well. I enjoy hearing about well-rounded people that work hard in all aspects of their life. Congratulations to Ben!

From Dave Taylor on Mon, Jul 08, 2013 at 15:52:31 from

Awesome scores!

From Jake K on Mon, Jul 08, 2013 at 16:01:08 from

Impressive scores... and weight loss program :-)

From Cam on Sat, Jul 13, 2013 at 15:21:28 from

I want in on that weight loss program. In four runs ill be at racing weight !

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