Breaking the Wall

July 12, 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: 51.55 Year: 2011.51
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: 881.43
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran 2.04 to Grandview, met Jeff there. We ran 21 laps around the field (8.11 miles). Last 8 laps (3.09) fast - 18:24 for me (5:57 average), 17;49 for Jeff. Then jogged back to the house. Total time for 12.19 was 1:32:46. For some reason the pace felt harder than on Wednesday. Possibly because I had a hard time with the aerated chunks of dirt in the way that were not there Wednesday.

The foot did not like the fast pace. Running home on pavement did not feel good afterwards.

P.M. Still had some energy left from the short run in the morning, and also felt the legs were getting a bit flabby. So decided to give them a non-impact workout. Rode the bike about 3 miles to our old house at 551 S 1350 E. Averaged around 15 mph through traffic including stops. Then did 6 loops about 670 meters (0.42 miles) long. The first half of the loop was a 5% climb, and the rest of it 5% drop. There was a yield sign and a turn at the bottom of the hill, so you had to brake before you got going again. I did this loop the following way: 20 seconds or so maximum effort up the hill. Then honest but not maximum effort to make it to the top of this hill without slowing down to a crawl and falling off the bike. Then pedal a little bit on the downhill until pedalling did no good, which did not require a whole lot of pedalling since my bike cannot shift into the higher gears. Then brake at the yield sign, turn, moderately try to gain some momentum before the hill, turn, and go full power up the hill again.

So it took me 10:01 to do 6 of those loops this way, which averages about 15 mph. The bike weights 30 lb, the gears do not shift well. In fact I would not dare shift them at any point on the loop. Now, I am quite clueless when it comes to biking, so I do not know what that effort was worth exactly. But I have a feeling it was respectable and this is making me wonder if perhaps Ted is right when he says I could be a better biker than a runner if I focused on biking.

Then 3 miles back to the house.

Ran 2 with Jenny in 18:40. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 14:01. Benjamin ran 2 going ahead and then trying to catch us in 15:31. Added 0.5 more with Joseph in 5:18. The foot was almost 100% - for the first time since last week I felt it was not affecting the form on pavement.

Bare Feet Miles: 8.11
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
From jtshad on Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 15:43:29 from

Sounds like it is time for a new bike (or at least a tune up at a bike store!).

Hope the foot gets feeling better.

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