Breaking the Wall

January 18, 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: 188.26 Year: 188.26
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: 1359.62
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2017-09-23 08:19:08
Workout Totals: Distance17.015Time2:01:33.40Pace7:08.65
Ran with Chad, then with the kids. Paced Sarah with Chad through 3 miles down the canyon in 23:40 (7:50, 7:56, 7:54). Then did a tempo run with Chad - 0.75 up, 1.5 down, 0.75 up. First two with Chad, then the last one hard. Expected Chad to run 95s uphill and 88s downhill. He ended up going faster - 4:34 (91 average) for the first 0.75, then 7:09 (86 average) for the next 1.25. Once I sped up I ran 82, then turned around, 93, 90, 88. Finished in 17:36. Chad got around 18:00. Felt stronger than expected.

Finished 10 with Chad then ran 6 more with the kids. They ran their usual Saturday distances today. Decided to do the quarter test up the hill at the end. The results were fascinating - 76.3 compared to 83 yesterday. Joseph ran 76.7, Jacob 80.5.

Now how in the world does it happen? Wednesday I run 75 four days after a marathon and 14 hours after running a hard 1 K at the end of 8 miles. Then I run 8 easy miles on Thursday, run 1 mile on the track in 5:30 struggling, then at then end of 8 run 83. Then on Saturday I do 16 total with a 3 mile tempo run in the middle, and I am able to run that same quarter in 76!

Two more data points - two weeks ago after racing Layton Classic, a drive home, breakfast, and a short nap, I ran the quarter in 81 at the end of 4 more miles (racing Joseph). Then on Monday I ran the same quarter alone at the end of 10 in 83.

We can allow for one factor - racing Joseph. That make a difference of maybe a second or two. But not 7 or 8! Something very interesting is going on. Fatigue from running appears to be rather irrelevant - I was able to run 76 at the end of the longest and hardest day with some hard running done the day before.

I have been going to bed consistently before 10:30 pm this week which would explain the improvement from pre-marathon 83 to post-marathon 75. But why the regression to 83 on Friday? This does not look like something was just tired, this looks like the entire subsystem was completely shut off, but then the next day it turns back on. Need more data to understand this.
Leg 1:Distance0.360Time3:33.80Pace9:53.89
Warm-up with Chad and Sarah.
Leg 2:Distance3.000Time23:40.10Pace7:53.37
Sarah's tempo run.
Leg 3:Distance1.375Time10:24.20Pace7:33.96
A little jog with Chad to get to the start of the tempo.
Leg 4:Distance3.000Time17:36.50Pace5:52.17
Out-and-back tempo in the canyon.
Split 1:Distance2.000Time11:43.60Pace5:51.80
With Chad.
Split 2:Distance1.000Time5:52.90Pace5:52.90
Picked it up.
Leg 5:Distance3.270Time17:54.40Pace5:28.56
With Chad to the car.
Leg 6:Distance0.500Time4:16.30Pace8:32.60
With Matthew, Joseph, Jacob, William, and Stephen.
Leg 7:Distance2.500Time21:05.70Pace8:26.28
Same crew minus Matthew.
Leg 8:Distance3.010Time23:02.40Pace7:39.27
With Joseph and Jacob, first mile with William.
Split 1:Distance2.760Time21:41.10Pace7:51.41
Split 2:Distance0.250Time1:16.30Pace5:05.20
Kick on the uphill.
Split 3:Distance0.000Time0:00.40Pace0:00.00
Joseph's time.
Split 4:Distance0.000Time0:04.60Pace0:00.00
Jacob's time.

Red Crocs Miles: 17.02
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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