Breaking the Wall

February 27, 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: 155.37 Year: 492.80
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. Did my 20 mile long run. 10 miles up the canyon in 1:15:09, then back in 57:40. Total time 2:12:49. My goal was to average sub-6:00 for the last 10 miles. When I started the tempo I felt sluggish at first and very reluctant to his the pace. But then I warmed into it, and 5:50 felt good. Then Benjamin met me with about 4.7 miles into it and pulled me through the remaining 5.3. Now that I've raised a fast running 14-year-old son I get the privilege of having my own bottle carrying pacer for the hardest part of this kind of workout. Makes all the work worth it.

The purpose of the bottle was to learn how to drink on the go. It had a mix of EmergencyC and dextrose. I drank a couple of sips when I met Benjamin, and then a couple more a mile later. After that I did not feel like drinking anymore because he turned up the heat on the pace. We did the 3 mile magic tempo stretch in 17:06 with the splits of 5:42, 5:44, 5:40. That would have been good enough for a sub-1:14 Provo River Half. Then I kept telling him to back off, but he kept serving me 84 second quarters. So finally I thought of a trick to make life easier for myself - two birds with one stone. I gave Benjamin my jacket. This slowed the pace down some, and also kept me cooler.

Neverthless the next mile was still 5:42. With about 0.4 to go Benjamin was finally fed up with having to carry the bottle and the jacket and wanted to throw them down. I took the jacket back from him and carried it in my hand. We ran the last uphill mile in 5:53.

I was very happy with the time. It was my fastest time for this course this year and suggests around 2:36 fitness on the TOU course.

Jenny did 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

P.M. Went to Jose's baptism. It had the best church activity food I've ever had and was prepared by Jose himself. He is into healthy food and life style, so it had no junk - I could eat everything. We met Jose when he was walking by our house a few weeks ago. Then last Monday he told us he was getting baptized. 

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 8.50
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