Breaking the Wall

August 11, 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

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2018-07-28 05:53:44
Workout Totals: Distance12.050Time1:36:56.80Pace8:02.72
Kids ran in the USATF JO Nationals in Greensboro today. 3000 meters. Jenny 11:39.62 9th place in 17-18 PR, Joseph 10:28.91 39th place in 13-14 PR, Jacob 10:27.32 PR 3rd in 11-12.

This was a miracle run. I started to lose hope. All the indicators were telling me the kids were not going to run well. Their 800 was not very good. In the 1200 pickups we did they seemed to have been putting in more effort that they would at altitude to run the same pace. Jenny got a cold and lost her voice. I knew we needed a miracle. The night before the race I prayed for one - just one. I asked the Lord to give us just one PR, that's all.

The Lord had mercy on us, and gave us three PRs instead of just one. Not only that, but Jacob got not just a top 8 finish, but third! Jenny managed a small PR in spite of running in 90F and 70% humidity and was just 5 seconds and 1 place away from the All-Americal title. She paced it with miraculous perfection. After the first 600 she was dead last but running in that last place with everybody watching she ignored the emotions and just ran the correct pace. Then she started catching girls and passing them without hesitation as if they were not there not falling for the temptation to slow down and run with them. For a 17 year old girl this takes an incredible amount of resilience and self-mastery, but that is what it took for her to run a PR under those circumstances, and that is what the Lord gave her today. Her splits by 1 K were around 3:48, 3:54, 3:57, last lap in 91, first lap in 91 as well.

Joseph raced in 86 F with about 70% humidity, but still managed a PR. His splits were around 3:24, 3:32, 3:32, last lap in 82, first lap in 81.

Jacob's race was wild. His conditions were better as the race started earlier, only 78 F with 70% humidity. He got excited and opened in 75, even though he was at the tail of the pack. The first 1 K was 3:17. Then he ran 3:38, 3:32 with the last lap of 78. Based on those splits he had the fitness to run faster, but was cautious. He was running in a pack that was contending for places 3-6 thinking if he gets outkicked, he still has two places to go down before he is out of top 8. But instead of being outkicked, he found the energy to outkick the competition in the last lap and finished 3rd. When I saw him finish I could barely talk. I was not expecting him to do so well.

Running-wise, I managed to get 12 miles in running in between kids races, and a couple of more miles with Jacob after we got to Milton, GA. William did 4, Stephen 3. Jenny, Joseph, and Jacob just did their warm-up, race, and a little bit afterwards.
Leg 1:Distance3.000Time25:02.10Pace8:20.70
With William and Stephen.
Leg 2:Distance1.100Time9:33.40Pace8:41.27
With William.
Leg 3:Distance0.750Time5:54.50Pace7:52.67
With Joseph.
Leg 4:Distance2.600Time20:01.80Pace7:42.23
Leg 5:Distance2.600Time19:46.10Pace7:36.19
Leg 6:Distance2.000Time16:38.90Pace8:19.45
With Jacob in Milton, GA.

Brown Crocs 2 Miles: 12.05
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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