Breaking the Wall

August 14, 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: 88.07 Year: 2386.98
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Neon Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 1257.89
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. DesNews practice run with Seth and Jeff. Got up at 4:30, picked up Jeff, met Seth at Hoggle Zoo. Drove up to the top of Big Mountain, the boundary of Utah and Morgan counties. Right on the Pioneer trek. Come come ye Saints, No toil, no labor fear, but with joy wend your way. Though hard to you this journey may appear, grace shall be as your day... And should we die before our journey's through, happy day, all is well. We then are free from toil and sorrow too, with the just we shall dwell...

In that spirit we started the run. The plan was to see how Seth's and my legs handle 5:00 pace down 8% grade. I was going to rabbit him running as hard as I could for as long as I could to keep him on pace, after I could not we were going to slow down to my marathon pace. Jeff drove down 3 miles to avoid the 8% down, and also to make it so he would not have to run the whole 16 miles.

Due to the differences in terrain mile splits were all over the place. I did have the Garmin for backup in case we missed the turn in the subdivision or a mile marker. But all the painted marks were visible and we were able to follow the course without problems. Splits are by the painted markers:

4:50, 4:51, 4:48, Jeff joined, 5:10. End of crazy downhill. I am hurting like it is time to sing the 4th verse of Come Come Ye Saints already, but still going. 5:24, 25:03 at 5 miles.

5:51. Now Little Mountain. Seth and Jeff are chatting, I am in pain. We are now definitely in my marathon pace territory, this is too slow for Seth. 6:36 mile and we are not done with the hill. Seth and Jeff are still chatting. I am thinking about those near death experience accounts when the nearly dead person is aware of what is going on in the room, even sees his own body, but cannot communicate. They are talking but I cannot add anything to the conversation. Done with the hill finally, now going down. Next mile in 6:07, then 5:19, and now I feel like I can talk more. Into the subdivision, up, then back down. Next mile in 5:52, 54:49 at 10 miles.

Seth at that point said he got the idea of course and the pace, and wanted to back down. We backed down to about 6:00 pace, but then he and Jeff backed down more, and I wanted to keep it faster than 6:00. So I took off.

5:58 (with some easing off), next two miles in 11:27, 1:12:49 at the half. Last three miles 5:35. 5:37, and 5:49 (with uphill). Total time 1:29:15 for 16 miles, 5:34.7 avg.

Jogged from mile marker 16 to the car and met Seth and Jeff. With that and the warm-up this added another mile.

Felt very energetic in the last 3 miles in spite of the aggressive start and the near death experience up the Little Mountain. Afterwards both Seth and I passed the hop test, no muscle soreness, at least yet.

T4 Racer - 311.03 miles. 

P.M. 1.25 with Benjamin, Jenny, and Julia in 12:46, dropped off Julia at the park, finished 1.5 with Jenny and Benjamin in 14:57. Then ran 3:08 half mile with Benjamin.

Five Fingers - 707.29 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 6.50Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 7.00
From Lyman on Mon, Jul 14, 2008 at 17:41:28

I did the same route 9 days ago but u turned at wasatch and went back through the golf course and to the zoo. So what's the hop test?

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Jul 14, 2008 at 18:38:12

You hop on one foot. If you can without pain after running 15-20 miles hard, it is good.

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