Breaking the Wall

August 13, 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

Update: For those who did not notice - the long awaited discussion forum is active, click on the link above.

A.M. Paced Ted through the Provo River 5 Mile Tempo along with Jeff. His plan was to go out at 5:50 and then pick it up. I asked him if he wanted us to just pull him, or if he wanted to trade quarters, he wanted to trade quarters. We warmed up 3.88 to the 2.5 mark (the gate by the Utah Lake), and started the run there. Went through the first mile fairly even in 5:46. Ted took the first uphill quarter strong, got 1:26, then I had to speed up to pass him to take mine, and I did not slow down, so our next quarter was 1:23. This gave us 5:41 mile. We hit 14:20 at 2.5, did a 180 and headed back. Next mile in 5:43. I announced we were 10 seconds behind the 5:40 guy and proposed to chase him down. Ted was reluctant, but he is a pretty easy going guy, can be talked into running faster even when he does not feel good. To make things more interesting he took his quarter and hit it in 1:22. I took the clue and did mine in 1:22. Jeff took his, and now really put some hot pepper on Ted's plate - 1:20, but Ted was still there with 1.25 to go, which was a good sign. I asked Ted if he wanted us to pull him, or if he wanted to take his quarter. He was smart - he knew if he could take his quarter he would break the rhythm and would not have to run the last mile in 5:23. But the momentum carried him through a 1:24 quarter, which gave us a 5:28 mile. I tried to be nice but not as nice as Ted wanted me to be on the next one - he wanted 1:25, I said he could do better than that, and ran 1:23, Ted survived. Jeff being a much nicer guy, took it easy on the next one - 1:24. Ted started smelling the barn and did his in 1:23. On the last one, I wanted to break 5:30, so I picked it up to 5:20 pace right away. Ted hesitated, but after some aggressive encouragement got going. I ended up getting 28:08.4 on my watch which I stopped a bit too late, Ted was a bit ahead and got 28:07.7 on his watch. This gave us 5:30 for the last mile, 1:20 for the last quarter, 10:58 for the last 2 miles, and 13:48 for the second half, actual negative split of 32 seconds, and effective negative split (adjusting for the uphill/downhill mile) of 25 seconds.

Ted set a bunch of records today, fastest 5 miles on that course, and fastest 2.5 as well. This run shows his threshold is good enough for at least 2:30 in St. George, and very possibly a life-time PR period. And based on his training, he should be able to use his threshold very well in the marathon.
This also goes to show that threshold improves a great deal just off plain aerobic conditioning. Ted's speed work has been very spotty, virtually non-existent in the last two months, but he's been running high mileage.

I was happy to be sufficiently conversational at 5:30 pace on a flat surface to announce splits and other news items every quarter, and do some aggressive verbal encouragement. This is a good sign for St. George.

P.M. Ran 0.5 with Julia in 5:25, she is feeling better. Then 0.5 with Benjamin in 4:28. He is feeling better too, but still not 100%. Then 4 miles in 27:34. Ran the last 2.5 without looking at my watch in  17:19, which tells me my true recovery pace is just a bit under 7:00. Then 1 mile with Jenny in 9:43. She is almost 100%, but not quite there yet.

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