Breaking the Wall

December 01, 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: 304.65 Year: 3606.17
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: 1657.61
Brown Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 806.96
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Total of 12.Started with a warmup and a cobweb shakeout 0.75. It went better this time. I got 3:45.7 with almost perfectly even quarters. I also figured out a trick on how to survive under enemy fire with more comfort - exhale more vigorously. This allows you to be more aerobic. Perhaps another contributing factor was the weight at the start of the run. Yesterday it was 146.6, today it was 145.0. However, yesterday I waited until the end of the run to do the "shakeout", while today I did it first thing. So I was probably close to 145 when I started it yesterday as well, except this morning I was fresher, which could also be a factor. But at the same time, yesterday was warmer, which helped. So I would say the difference is most likely explained by having had some practice at the pace from the day before.

Then 5 with Benjamin. The Utah County pumped out the water from under the bridge, so now we had a good mile. I remembered that at around 3.5 mark into the run, and challenged Benjamin to break his PR of 5:43 in the middle of 5. He resisted, I told him to at least try 5:40 pace for the first 0.5, and if it did not feel good, ease off there. So he decided to be obedient and went for it. First quarter in 82, then 83. He was holding the pace just fine, but in his mind he figured he was done. Just like in this joke. In Doctrine and Covenants in multiple places it takes about the worth of one soul, and how great shall be your joy if you should labor all your days and bring just one soul into God's kingdom. So a missionary says to the mission president - I've baptized that one soul, can I go home? So Benjamin just slowed down to a jog. I did not and yelled at him to catch me. He hesitated for some time, but then decided to be like Nephi rather than Laman and Lemuel. I slowed down to the pace that was fast enough for Benjamin to get the record, but slow enough that he would be able to catch me within a reasonable time. That ended up being a 92 quarter. Benjamin caught up, ran the last quarter in 81, and we ended up with the mile in 5:38.6, which is his new record. As soon as he finished he told me he was glad he obeyed and got the record.

I ran with the other kids. Jacob and Julia did 0.5, Joseph 1. I added some more to make the total 12.

P.M. 2 miles

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From jeffmc on Thu, Oct 20, 2011 at 21:54:14 from

Benjamin being able to run 5:38 in this scenario tells me that he could run under 5:30 right now given the right situation.

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