Breaking the Wall

July 02, 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: 291.02 Year: 1935.71
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: 805.63
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2015-10-03 07:30:11
Workout Totals: Distance15.500Time1:57:30.20Pace7:34.85
Total of 15.5. Benjamin did 12. I ran most of it with him. We did a 1 mile pickup up the canyon in 5:52. I felt good, he did not - was still not 100% from his virus. When we got to Nunn's Park we met Chad - he was getting ready to do the 3 mile tempo run on our favorite course. I decided to help him. Benjamin just jogged to avoid the extra stress.

Based on what Chad told me I figured I should pace him for 17:00 (5:40 average). The wonder is that I was able to do it precisely - 5:39, 5:41, 5:40. Would not be that much of a wonder if I was running alone - I could easily correct each mispaced quarter and make the total right. But when you have somebody for whom the pace is top effort, you cannot correct mispaced quarters very much - they will be paying for the surges. At the same time, there is inherent imprecision in pacing, so you do have to correct, but do it somehow without breaking the person you are pacing. And it is very difficult - Benjamin does not know how to do it, when I ran with Jeff, he did not know how to do it. Nick McCombs one time paced me precisely - I calibrated him at the start, and then he used his sense of rhythm and gave me perfect splits for 4.5 miles in a row.

I do not have the same sense of rhythm as Nick, though. So I relied on the sense of running partner effort which is one of my strengths.

Ironically Chad's shoe came off with about 1 K to go. My Crocs stayed on. I told him he should have worn Crocs. Seriously speaking, I think shoe laces are enough of liability to exceed that of loosely attached Crocs. If anything, if you always run in Crocs your feet are conditioned to deal with the looseness, and you will be OK as long as there is no excessive moisture or your feet do not freeze. But when a shoe lace comes undone you do not know what to do.

When I got home I ran with Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, and William. William set a course PR on our hilly 3 mile course - 23:18. Nothing super impressive on paper, his loop course 5 K PR is 23:15, but somehow our 3 mile course just does not produce fast times, so I think this result is worth more than what it looks on the surface.

Afterwards we watched the General Conference. President Uchtdorf's parable of the "Simplify" quilt gave me something to ponder. I think the failure to simplify is a fallout of pride, while the gift of simplification comes from humility, which comes as a fruit of repentance. We usually put humility first, and then repentance, but I think of it as a cycle rather than a chain. You clean up your life, purify your motives, become more one with Heaven, and then you can see clearly how everything is much simpler than you thought.
Leg 1:Distance12.500Time1:34:11.90Pace7:32.15
Split 1:Distance2.280Time18:36.60Pace8:09.74
Split 2:Distance1.000Time5:52.10Pace5:52.10
Split 3:Distance3.440Time29:28.30Pace8:34.04
Split 4:Distance3.000Time17:00.40Pace5:40.13
Split 5:Distance2.780Time23:14.50Pace8:21.62
Leg 2:Distance3.000Time23:18.30Pace7:46.10

White Crocs 2 Miles: 15.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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