Breaking the Wall

August 15, 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: 88.07 Year: 2386.98
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: 1257.89
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeff. Wore racing flats. We did a short warm-up (1.37) and then ran a tempo. I only went 1.5 because I am tapering. He did 5. It was dark, early, and our warmup was short, so we started out sluggish with a 92 second quarter. It felt harder than it should have. I was concerned some. But then the next one was 85 and it felt easier than I thought 85 would. And then I thought the next one would be maybe 84, 83 at the fastest from the effort, but it was 81. Then 81, 81 again, and 80 to finish 1.5 in 8:20.

The right foot had no issues. The left heel hurt a bit, enough that I had to alter the form some. But not too bad, I can run a marathon on it and live.

Turned around 3 miles away from the house, then jogged back to where we started the tempo and decided that since Jeff would get there in 4 minutes I could wait for him. He finished the 5 mile tempo in 26:57. Still struggling with his cold, but hopefully there is enough time between now and St. George for him to be fully over it.

Then ran home with Jeff, total of 6 miles in 46:36.

P.M. Got my Water Clogs in the mail for $10 including shipping. Took them for a spin.  0.5 with Joseph in 5:19. Then to avoid putting too much stress on the left foot rode the bike for the other kids runs. Benjamin ran 2 in 16:33, Jenny in 18:53. Julia had cut her foot in a small accident so she biked.

Saucony Type A Miles: 6.00Water Clogs Miles: 0.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
From Jon on Fri, Sep 18, 2009 at 15:51:21 from

Are you running in your VFF tomorrow?

From LuzyLew on Fri, Sep 18, 2009 at 17:17:46 from

Tommorrow is YOUR marathon. I hope your foot won't give you any trouble. Have a great race!

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Sep 18, 2009 at 17:21:18 from

Jon - No, my racing flats.

Luz - it will give me enough trouble to run with less optimal form, but I've been doing that for years, so it will be a relative non-factor. But hopefully in a year things will change.

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