Breaking the Wall

January 16, 2021

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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: 107.61 Year: 107.61
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: 1657.61
Brown Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 1276.97
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran a warm-up with Benjamin and Jenny (0.36), then paced Jenny in the Payson Onion Days 5 K. She ran 25:04, a PR by 1:23, winning her age division (1-9), and finishing 11th woman overall out of 157 women. She beat the second place in her age division by 4:50. I checked the results, it looked like she would have made top 3 in any age division except 14-16 and 25-29. She ran pretty much exactly what I thought she would.

Benjamin ran without a pacer, and I think he was having an off day on top of it. He did PR by a bit, 22:26, but that does not reflect his potential that I saw in his training. I've seen this with him before, though. When he reaches a new level, at first he is not consistent at it, then he gets used to running at faster speeds. Nevertheless, nothing to complain about - he won the 1-9 age division by 5:08, 29th among men, and his chick score was 2, one of them being Breanna who ran a great race and destroyed the field with 19:54, the other only 11 seconds ahead, not bad for an 8 year old boy.

Added some more miles while waiting for the awards/raffle. Benjamin and Jenny got medals for their effort, and Benjamin got a nice cooler in the raffle. While I think in the end it is fair that he got the cooler, I do think that wrong values are being taught when the value of the raffle prize greatly exceeds the value of the prize for performance. I understand very well the business reasoning of the race director - most people do not win anything, and a raffle with good prizes increases the number of participants. However, if we are going to ask ourselves what it would take for Americans to start beating the Kenyans (short of facilitating the immigration process), part of the answer is to convince the race directors to move the best prizes from the raffle into overall and age division awards. Luck should never be rewarded greater than performance - we need to teach the right values at every level.

Then we went on the drive of the Nebo Loop. I was still not done with the miles, and added a few more at Maple Dell. Total of 10 additional miles in 1:13:37. Then ran 0.5 with Julia in 5:08.

P.M. We were out of honey and bread. So for my evening run I had to run to the store. To be able to carry stuff I had to bring a stroller. If I am bring a stroller, I may just as well put a kid in it. So I ran 6.1 in 45:42 with Jacob in the stroller, and some honey and bread I got at Macey's after 1.75 into the run.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Dustin on Tue, Sep 04, 2007 at 12:06:06


I appreciated the comments last week on my blog and the encouragement regarding training and mileage.

I agree with you that low mileage=under achievement and high mileage=exceeding your dreams. I feel my running is still going in the right direction. Of course some weeks have been better than others, but as I look at the overall picture I have ran much faster times this year, than last year and I feel that I'm more fit. I hope to continue to improve and increase the mileage and intensity of my training step by step. I still think I have many good years ahead of me, and I'm getting things more and more in place to have more time to train and devote to running.

As you mentioned I ran the Bryce Canyon Half Marathon quite a bit slower than Dave Holt. Like you said I should have only been 4 minutes behind, but was closer to 7:30, reason being a few weeks of poor training before that race, I also developed a blister that seemed to slow me down half way through that race. I was pretty disappointed with that race, really the only race this year I haven't been satisfied with.

This last Saturday the time difference was a lot closer 3:09, which I think I can attribute to better training the last few weeks. I think both Dave, myself, and Clyde all struggled on Saturday some with the heat. Also the race/workout was pretty spread out and it was basically everyone out there working on there own, it didn't even feel like a race.

I know you asked about the course profile, but I'm not that proficient yet with using the course tool. It had some good uphill and some decent downhill also.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Sep 04, 2007 at 15:09:58

Dustin - my comment regarding low mileage resulting in under performance in longer distances actually referred to Ryan. But I am glad it spread the heat in your direction.

From Dallen on Tue, Sep 04, 2007 at 21:45:52

Benjamin beat my in the chick scoring. I got a 4 on Monday. However, they were all Kenyans.

From Michelle on Wed, Sep 05, 2007 at 20:31:35

You guys and your chick scores. I never heard of such a thing until I read this blog. I hope to add a chick point to a guy or two at St. George (though likely none of you hot shots). I am glad I don't have a dude score. It would depress me.

Sasha, I agree with you completely on the rewarding luck commentary. Unfortunately, when you are in charge of a road race, you are competing with other races, and even well meaning directors end up doing as the other races do, even given that excellence isn't rewarded as much as showing up is.

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