Breaking the Wall

February 24, 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. Lots of training partners this morning. Ran with Ted and James the first 7 miles in 54:17. Then 3 more just with Ted in 21:01. Joined James in his kick, and caught Ted after a VPB stop, that gave me some marathon pace running. Ran some more afterwards. Was originally planning on adding 3.11 so I would be at half-marathon distance for my morning run, but then I saw my old friend and training partner Matt Anderson, and added a bit with him. Matt and I have run a lot of miles together. He has been out and about getting a lot of education, and now is back, teaching math at BYU, 400 and 500 level classes. He is 31, and still single. He has been running the entire time, though, and looks like a teenager. I teased him that if he showed up at a high school dance, he could have some success as the girls would have no idea about his age. Maybe that's the problem - the girls that are old enough to marry think that he is too young to date them.

When I told Matt that I ran 2:23 in St. George, he responded correctly to it right away without being prompted - bummer! I guess reaching any goal is similar to writing a program. At first it does not compile with a lot of error message. Then you fix some and try again. Get even more error messages. Then you finally fix them all, it compiles. You are ready to celebrate, but you know better if you are a programmer with experience. You try to run it, it dumps core on a trivial test. You fix that. Then it produces terribly incorrect output on a trivial test case. Fix that. Then incorrect output on a less trivial test case. Then it finally works correctly on all of your test cases. Then you give it to the users. They start reporting bugs. Finally you think you've fixed them all. Then a month later you get an ugly bug report. So on and so forth. It is incremental progress with frequent failures, but you are becoming better and better one step at a time.

We ran to my house, finished 13.3 in 1:38:20. Then Matt gave Benjamin some math problems, Benjamin solved all of them except this one - what is the limit of sin(1/x) as x approaches 0? This one challenged me as well, although it should not have, but I was too lazy to think and asked Matt the answer. This turned out to be a trick question - the limit does not exist, the sine function diverges as the argument approaches infinity. I also asked Matt about the equation on my shirt. I understand the front part, which says, "and God said", then Maxwell's electromagnetic equations, then "and there was light". The back part says, What part of - some ugly looking partial differential equation - do you not understand? Turned out to be something from the quantum mechanics, which is what I thought it was. The discussion, however, stirred up Benjamin's interest in math, which is very good.

I'll keep bugging Matt about Fast Running Blog until he joins.

P.M. 1.05 with Julia in 10:33 in the early afternoon. Later, 2 miles with Benjamin, Jenny ran the first 1.5, then rode in the stroller. Jenny's time was 14:14. Benjamin finished 2 miles in 17:47. He put some hot pepper on my plate with the last quarter in 1:38. With Jenny in the stroller I had to move my legs to keep up, this was almost marathon race pace effort. Ran 2 miles afterwards with Jacob and Joseph in the stroller in 14:38.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From adam on Mon, Oct 15, 2007 at 15:56:11

What's your plan for tomorrow morning?

From adam on Mon, Oct 15, 2007 at 15:57:26

nm. I guess I should have checked my blog first. I should be able to make it if I can get a good night of sleep.

From Mike K on Mon, Oct 15, 2007 at 16:02:33

Series expansion! Everytime I see a limit problem with a trig function I think "series expansion". Then I think how long it has been since I've done a serious math problem.

My dog is named Maxwell. I think he understands EM but not Schrodinger's Eqn.

Now I know what to think about on my run this afternoon.

From Becky on Wed, Mar 26, 2008 at 17:37:10

Hi - I was actually doing a search for the equation shirt you mention in your blog, and I ended up on your page. I am trying to get one of those shirts for my not-LDS boyfriend who saw one at BYU last week and wants one.

Any ideas on where I can find one? If so, please email me at


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