Breaking the Wall

August 22, 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. 6x400 with 200 recovery with Jeff on the trail on a mostly flat section alternating directions. The target was 72 seconds but it was rather approximate. I did not want it slower than 73, nor did I want to hurt like 67. I was OK running a 67 if I could do it relaxed, but I did not want to become preoccupied with running 67s once I happened to get into that zone on accident.

On the first one we were overcautious in the first 200 - Jeff was waiting for me to go and I was waiting for him, so the first one was way off pace. After that we settled into a brisker groove and were ahead of target on all others. Splits (max HR in parenthesis):

75.2 (153) - 70.5 (161) - 69.8(161) - 67.6(166) - 67.6(165) - 68.0(164).

We had a forced extra stationary(for me) minute of rest before the last one due to Jeff's VPB. Thus lower HR at the same pace in spite of doing it later in the workout.

The thought that entered my head while we were in the 67-68 zone - why can't you run a 10 K like this? It would be nice, 68 400s gives 28:20 in the 10 K. I left that I lacked the power in the legs to sustain it. The heart could handle it just fine, I think. I would only need to be able to sustain the HR of about 180 for 28 minutes. I could do that in 2000. Then by 2004 I apparently experienced some dramatic cardiovascular gains and since then was never able to get my HR above 175.

Ran a long cool down (total of 13.35 for the run). Luz joined us shortly after we were done with the speed portion. Since she commented earlier about how easily Jeff handled 6:00 I volunteered him to sing for Luz. He got 8 out of 10 from her on the Star Spangled Banner at about 9:00 pace. Then I did it as well. Luz gave me a score of 5, I am wondering if that was too generous. She also gave me a more objective evaluation - completely off key 3 times, and flat 10 times. Have not counted the total notes in the song, but it appears that this would make it about only 20-25% error rate. This is a great improvement for me even for stationary singing.

Ran a mile with Julia in 10:00.

T4 Racer -  294.03 miles

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:28 with Jenny running 1.5 in 12:17. 1 more alone in 7:49. Pushed Jacob in the stroller.

Five Fingers - 671.04 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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