Breaking the Wall

July 17, 2019

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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: 110.88 Year: 2082.97
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs Lifetime Miles: 2133.34
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 914.70
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran with the kids in the morning. Then drove to the Provo River Trail by Geneva Road. Warmed up, then started the 5 mile tempo run - 2.5 out, and 2.5 back. Mostly flat, a slight net drop on the first mile, and the same net climb on the last.

The form felt different during the warm-up, so I knew it was possible that I would run faster than normal. The goal was to run aggressive marathon pace. I decided to try to hold 1:24 per quarter pace to see how it felt, and back off to 1:25 if it felt too aggressive.

Total time - 27:57.7. Splits - 5:36 - 11:11 (5:35) - turnaround 13:59 (2:48) - 3 miles 16:48 (2:49) - 22:23 (5:35), and last mile in 5:34. Again, cheated on the last mile pushing it enough to get a negative split.

Felt in control of the pace. When I was focused, I could relax and run 1:24 quarters. When I lost the focus a bit I would hit 1:25. Then I would wake up and hit a couple of 1:23s to compensate, but then it started to feel too aggressive, although still sustainable with proper focus.

The stride felt wider and more relaxed. I felt like I was getting more bang in the stride length for the buck of effort. At the same time, I felt like I had just gotten off a bike and was trying to run. It seemed like my muscles were trying to learn a new trick and were not catching on right away. But they will eventually, and even in this state I was running faster with the same effort as before. Finally some tangible fruit from the spinal correction work in the last couple of weeks. I have hopes that it will continue to grow.

Ran to Benjamin's soccer practice and back in the evening.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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