Breaking the Wall

August 14, 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

Ran early in the morning again with the BYU ROTC Army cadets. Ted took them on a 10x1 minute with 1 minute rest. Again, as usual this early, had to stop to go to the bathroom, and then catch them, so that added some extra tempo running. Afterwards ran some more miles with Ted.

Then drove to the Provo River Trail by Geneva road. Did 4x100 with ankle weights (19.2 - 18.8 - 18.3 - 18.0), and 2 without (16.6 - 16.5). Then did a 5 mile tempo run.

Felt sleepy somewhat on the first 0.75 (4:16), then got going. 1 mile in 5:39. Next one in 5:34 (11:13). Steady 5:36 pace to the turnaround (14:01). Thought I'd break 28:00 no problem. However, the turnaround knocked me out of rhythm a bit, and I started feeling something out of whack. 2:52 on the next 0.5 (16:53, 5:40 mile), then the next mile in 5:47 (22:50). Cardiovascularly, as well as in the muscles I was feeling great, and it felt like I was going 5:34 - 5:36. However, the form was not as smooth for some reason.

On the last mile I regrouped, improved the form, pushed a bit, and managed 5:35 to finish with 28:15.8.

My guess is that after 12 miles of being on my feet I experience some structural deterioration which makes the form less efficient. This is why I think I can never run a good marathon with a negative split. I can run a good marathon, and I can run a negative split, but not in the same race. Negative split means in essence I need to run the first half so slow that it would be possible to run faster than that with the structural deterioration that kicks in later and regardless of how fast I run in the first half.

My feeling is that the deterioration I am speaking about is connected to compression of the disks in the lower back, but I could very well be wrong.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. A long day, now need to get some rest, and sleep in particular before St. George.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Paul Petersen on Fri, Sep 29, 2006 at 12:14:08

I imagine that the core strength drills that are part of your chiro program will help quite a bit with your posture and efficiency in the second half of races.

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