Breaking the Wall

November 12, 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: 25.33 Year: 3286.80
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1576.28
Neon Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 33.72
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Decided to try a normal shoe for the non-grass running. The foot felt slightly better in it than in a Croc, but it did not seem to make a whole lot of difference.  Ran 2.04 to Grandview, saw Ted and his cadets on the way.  Took the shoes off, Jeff had his on.

Did another lap around the field with Jeff at an easy pace(0.386 miles), and then we started a tempo. We had no definite plan how fast or how long, just stay on the safe side of the hard-retard line. We did the first lap in 2:21 (6:05 pace), then sped up to around 2:15 per lap (5:49 pace), and then started seeing 2:12 laps (5:41 pace). After 10 laps I said one more, which we did in by my watch 2:05 (5:23 pace), 2:07 by Jeff's (5:28) - a matter of looking at it at a different time.

Total time for 11 laps (4.248 miles) was  24:34, 5:47 average. I think this is the fastest I've ever run on grass barefoot for that long.

HR was 154 at 5:50 pace, 157 at 5:40. What's odd is that it did not spike once we sped up to under 5:30 at the end, it was only 158. So I suspect we are dealing with something very interesting. I felt that the faster we went the more efficient I got. I really liked the last lap. It felt very smooth. The form felt perfect, the right glut was engaging like in my best races, and possibly even better. I believe that is why I was able to run so much faster without a significant increase in HR.

Jogged 3 more laps barefoot, put shoes on, and jogged back home. Total distance was 10.26, time 1:14:57.

Then to avoid crossing the notorious hard-retard line rode the bike while Benjamin ran. He did 2 miles in 16:04 with the last 0.75 in 4:48.

Noticed positive symptoms of increased testosterone in the last few days. Increased appetite, muscles feel snappier, etc. Not sure where this came from.

P.M. Ran 2.05 with Jenny in 21:10 at Amelia Earhart's Elementary field during Benjamin's soccer practice. Julia ran 1.54 with us in 16:03. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:18.

Bare Feet Miles: 8.22
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.20Total Sleep Time: 8.70
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