Breaking the Wall

August 03, 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: 16.00 Year: 2314.91
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: 1185.83
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2015-08-04 08:28:53
Workout Totals: Distance12.000Time1:29:57.70Pace7:29.81
Today was a significant day for Jenny. She is about to turn 15. I told her as a condition for getting her driving learner's permit she needs to break 6:00 mile. If she does on on the track, she gets an automatic qualifier. If she does it in the canyon, the qualification is provisional - that is there will be a waiting period to see if she might possibly get the automatic qualifier, she needs to do well in her studies of calculus, physics, and chemistry, and she needs to be more patient with her little brother Joseph.
The trouble is that he is only 10, about a good foot shorter than Jenny, she is old enough to have changed his diapers more than once, but he is beating her by about 20 seconds in the mile, and over 2 minutes in the 5 K, and he likes to emphasize his speed advantage in various ways that Jenny finds annoying.

So today Jenny was able to get her provisional qualifier running 5:59 down the canyon. Her splits were 85, 90, 93, 91. This helped her break a mental barrier.

William also did a 0.5 mile time trial in the canyon in 3:11.6, splits 43, 49, no marks at the 600, but last quarter in 99. Then Julia ran home with him, while the rest of us went back and paced Jenny.

Stephen ran 1 mile with Benjamin. William ended up doing 3.47.
Leg 1:Distance0.190Time1:49.00Pace9:33.68
Short warm-up with William.
Leg 2:Distance0.500Time3:11.60Pace6:23.20
William's 0.5 mile time trial down the canyon. Julia, Joseph, and Jacob helped with the pacing.
Leg 3:Distance0.500Time4:13.30Pace8:26.60
Back to the start.
Leg 4:Distance1.000Time5:59.00Pace5:59.00
Jenny's mile time trial. Joseph and Jacob helped with the pacing.
Leg 5:Distance2.280Time18:06.70Pace7:56.62
To the house with Jenny, Joseph, and Jacob. Benjamin joined us at around the 2 mile mark.
Leg 6:Distance7.530Time56:38.10Pace7:31.27
First 4.5 with Benjamin, the rest alone back to the car.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Russ on Tue, Aug 11, 2015 at 17:29:05 from

I saw your family's Runner's World article today on Facebook. Very cool! Great for the world to see the emphasis you always place on family.

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