Breaking the Wall

February 22, 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: 81.04 Year: 418.47
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1576.28
Neon Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1353.22
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Total of 16. Started by running with William. He set a new mile record of 8:42.7 on his out and back course. His splits were 2:14, 2:16, 2:13, 1:59. Last quarter was actually a PR for the quarter. This was the family record in the 4 and under division. For this effort he earned a new bike. His form is starting to look better. A year ago he looked like a kid. Now he is beginning to look more like an elite runner.

It is probably too early to tell for sure but it seems like the running talent in our boys has been in the inverse birth order so far. Joseph showing more talent than Benjamin, Jacob more than Joseph, and William more than Jacob. Jeff McClellan once offered a hypothesis that this may have to do with Sarah getting more running experience behind her belt over the course of the years. Another theory says that younger children tend to develop more talent because they are constantly chasing their older siblings. Well, if the pattern continues our little Matthew (nicknamed Mo-Mo) might live up to his nickname and be the next Mo Farah.

Benjamin, even though supposedly being the least talented, showed some teeth today. We did a 4 mile tempo run down the canyon. The target was 5:45. We started out at 5:36 pace, I asked Benjamin if he was OK with it, he said no problem. We ran the splits of 5:34, 5:32, 5:33, and 5:16 - total time 21:55. With 1000 to go Benjamin saw that a pace a little under 5:20 would catch the 5:30 guy and went for it making me suffer and wanting to plead for mercy as we ran the last 1000 in 3:13. I was thankful that I was able to survive that. I figured if he ran the UVM half today it would have been around 1:13.

Benjamin did 8.25, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did a pickup at the end of 16 down the canyon for 2 miles in 11:43. This gives me around 15.4 miles for this week at 6:00 pace or faster. Short of the goal of 20, but given this was on the week immediately after the marathon this was just perfect, I think.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 16.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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