Breaking the Wall

August 07, 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: 16.00 Year: 2314.91
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: 1185.83
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A day of adventures. It began with me sleeping in, if arising at 1:30 MST can be called sleeping in, and missing the bus I planned to get on to go to the airport. I ran downtown (1.5 miles) with my bag, but by the time I got there, I realized the next bus will not allow me to make my flight. So I took a taxi. I had to find an ATM to get the cash for the taxi.  Part of the bummer is that I had already bought the bus ticket the night before. That was the start of the travel marathon. Then customs at the airport, and a connection to Cleveland to find out that Delta had overbooked my connecting flight to Minneapolis. The agent offered me a plan to get to SLC by 7:00 PM instead of one. I pressed her to find a better option, and she found a plan that would get me there by 4:00 PM that would involve a connecting flight from Continental to Atlanta. I took that. On the positive side of things I got at $6 breakfast voucher and a $200 certificate for Delta for the inconvenience.

I checked the Continental schedule, and realized that the flight I was supposed to be on was going to be late, and that would jeopardize my connection in Atlanta. Fortunately, there was another flight right before it that was late as well, and I had enough time to make it. The Continental people were nice enough to book me on that flight. Thus I progressed to Atlanta, and on to Salt Lake from there. Delta pt me in first class on that flight. I still do not understand why people fly first class. It is still a plane.

The entire time I was very concerned about getting sick. I already had a bit of a snotty nose when I started the trip. So I took some vitamin C, ate some garlic, and was drinking lots of orange juice to contain the damage. Planes and airports are an incredible germ factory. I suppose the damage could be reduced if they let you go outside for a walk somewhere with clean air between flights, but that will not happen until the majority of travelers are runners with concerns about being healthy for the marathon they are going to run the day after their trip.

 The travel marathon continued with a drive to Logan, bib pickup, and finally I arrived at my destination at Jason's house by 7:00 PM. So 3.5 hours of sleep + 17.5 hours of traveling from 200 feet above see level to race at 5000 feet. Great preparation for the marathon!

I considered just skipping it altogether, but just could not do it. I had to at least try. I have run Top of Utah every single year they've had it. I love the race directors. They are some of the few that really understand what it takes to be fast, and put a lot of effort into making this a great race. I felt that I needed to at least make it to the starting line if I could, and then do my very best to get to the finish in a decent time without risking my health.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Rob on Tue, Sep 21, 2010 at 14:56:26 from

This sounds to much like my everyday life, I travel about 50% of the time for my job and have for the most part gotten used to training where and when ever I can. I think 4 weeks in San Francisco was a little to much to turn around and run TOU 1 day later but not much we can do, we need the paycheck.

Since I do travel a lot however, I rarely sit in coach. I can attest, first class makes all the difference. Especially on the long cross country flights, or better yet international.

Congrats on 5th place, I dream of running that fast some day but time is against me. I should have started my pursuit about 10 years sooner.

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