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 with a big group. We had Chad, Scott, Matt Poulsen, Dan, Brandon, and Brodie. First 10 miles easy pace up the Provo Canyon to the start of the 10 mile tempo in South Fork. Did that in 1:12:06. This was actually quite brisk, about 3 minutes faster than what I normally would do in this workout. But it is OK to push the first 10 a little bit outside of the very easy range as it helps dump glycogen to make the last 10 feel more like you are at the end of the marathon. I am estimating that in this workout if you count the fact that you are not tapered, this is like running the real marathon from 7 to 17 or maybe from 10 to 20, depending on how fast you run the first 10 and how drained you are at the end of the week. Regardless, it is a good marathon preparation workout - you avoid the real "zone", but you are close enough to it to prepare physiologically and psychologically without doing damage to the body.

Brodie turned around early. Matt ran back at an easy pace. Brandon ran at about 6:00 pace. Dan ran with him for the first 6 miles. Chad tried 6:30 pace, but ran out of juice. I ran with Scott for the first 3.5, then eased off to what I could sustain. My time was 55:58, which is a record for this course by 12 seconds. In the middle I timed a mile in 5:18 on the Provo City Marathon course (1st mile), then another in 5:23 on the triangles right after Vivian Park. Once I eased off I was going around 5:40-5:45 pace. The 3 mile tempo course was 5:37, 5:44, 5:40 (17:01). My last mile, which is uphill, was 5:58.  Scott got 54:28.

Overall this was a good result, and I was happy that I was able to survive the aggressive pace in the first 3 miles, and survive afterwards. The pace actually did not feel too bad in principle, in some ways it felt like a jog, but my CO2 exhaust pipe was not ready for it. I think I should be able to hold that pace for the whole 10 in this workout if I get the CO2 exhaust pipe in shape.

P.M. 0.5 with William, Joseph, and Jacob at Orem High including 100 meter time trial. William ran it in 27.6. I think he has 25 in him, but he still has not figured out the idea of sprinting. We need to do some practice. But even without it, I am not too unhappy with the result as William is still only 3 years and 10 months old. However, in order to win the Thanksgiving 400 he will need to improve his 100 to 25 by the time of the race.

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 20.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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