Breaking the Wall

Uneventful Provo River Half Marathon

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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: 211.63 Year: 851.13
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: 1679.47
Race: Uneventful Provo River Half Marathon (13.109 Miles) 01:15:04, Place overall: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Chad and George - total of 21 miles. Chad and I did the Provo River Half course uneventfully, meaning we raced it while there was no official race organized. Well, Chad raced it all out from the gun. I ran the first 4 miles with him, then raced it after that. My time was 1:15:04, he got 1:17:55 - a new half PR for him. I was expecting around 1:16, but Chad opened quicker than I expected, which helped with the overall time.

We warmed up 1 mile with George, and then started the Uneventful.

Splits by Curt's mile markers along with some other points of signficance - 5:21, 5:31 (10:52), 5:51 (16:41), 5:41 (22:22). At about 4.1 I had to stop to go to the bathroom, while Chad continued. If this was a real race I would have done a VPB without stopping the watch, but since this was Uneventful I just stopped my watch. Afterwards I continued at a true race effort. Next mile was 5:39 (28:01), do not remember mile marker splits after that point, but the pace was around 5:40 until the start of the climb. 36:28 at the letter S (start of the climb on the old highway). At this point I observed that I was 1:28 behind my Provo River Half split, and decided to try to make as much ground as I could. Uphill mile in 6:26 - 42:52 at the end of it - I passed Chad half way through it gaining 21 seconds on my Provo River Half time. At this point I thought that I might be able to actually beat the race time, but I ended up not quite having as much downhill speed. Next mile was 5:33 - 49:39 at the bottom by the letter S, then 50:47 at the start of the three mile tempo course at Nunn's Park. The 3 mile stretch in 17:05 with the splits of 5:37, 5:46, 5:42 - 1:07:52 at the end of it. 1:12:01 at the little bridge that is 1.5 miles away from my house, 1:14:32 at the official 13 mile marker.

Afterwards, Chad and I had a death march cooldown of 7 miles up the Provo Canyon to my car which was parked at the Vivian Park. I learned something. I noticed that 8:00 pace was awfully hard. Doing the math I also realized that we had one mile longer to the car than I hoped for. In desparation I stopped at the water fountain and drank some water. I never do that normally. I did not think it would help much because I believed the problem was fuel, but as it turned out there must have been quite a bit of dehydration. The water made quite a bit of a difference - 8:00 pace still felt harder than what it should, but at least I wanted to go faster. However, 8:00 on less steep grade, and 8:30 on steeper grade was all that Chad could do, so that is what we did.

Kids ran on their own. Benjamin did 5, Jenny 3, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 21.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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