Breaking the Wall

July 05, 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: 51.55 Year: 2011.51
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: 881.43
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2014-10-21 07:45:14
Workout Totals: Distance12.804Time1:37:50.80Pace7:38.51
Total of a little over 12. Did a workout with Benjamin. Then took the little kids to the track to do time trials. Joseph broke 6:00 on the track today (5:58.5) for the first time and earned a chinchilla. Jacob assisted by running the first 2 laps with Joseph, and then hanging on in the third lap to provide pressure from behind, and finished 1200 in 4:31. William took down Jacob's 5 and under family record of 7:34 with 7:27.5, and Stephen surprised me with a sub-10:00 mile - 9:38.5 - we've never had a kid that actually did this at the age of early 4. Details below.
Leg 1:Distance4.690Time38:16.60Pace8:09.68
Warm-up with Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance3.000Time17:12.30Pace5:44.10
The workout. The plan was for Benjamin to bring me to 1.25 in 6:20 (5:04) pace and then ran alone at whatever pace he wanted with the idea of keeping or maybe even increasing the pace. It did not quite work out. I only lasted 1 mile, and Benjamin did not feel the drive to go after the first 1.25 and just coasted to the finish in 15:46. We will repeat the workout on Thursday.
Split 1:Distance1.000Time5:05.20Pace5:05.20
Benjamin paced me perfectly, but I just did not have it to go beyond 1 mile.
Split 2:Distance0.500Time3:27.00Pace6:54.00
Recovery jog.
Split 3:Distance1.500Time8:40.10Pace5:46.73
Tempo at a more reasonable pace to the finish.
Leg 3:Distance1.690Time14:43.70Pace8:42.90
Cool-down with Benjamin.
Leg 4:Distance0.180Time2:00.20Pace11:07.78
Warm-up with little boys.
Leg 5:Distance1.000Time5:58.50Pace5:58.50
Joseph's epic chinchilla run. We opened with 89, then 91. I became concerned that we might not make it, but Joseph found another gear running the next lap in 89, which drop Jacob, and then kicked in 87. I think this was the best paced mile in Joseph's running history.
Leg 6:Distance1.000Time9:38.60Pace9:38.60
I took the boys to Hobbytown last week and Stephen saw a remote-controlled dump truck for $89 and asked if he could have it. I told him he could if he broke 10:00 in the mile think it would not happen for a few months. Last night he asked me if he could could come to track. I was planning on him running a shorter distance. But right before we started he insisted on getting him dump truck. I explained to him he would have to run 4 laps and a little extra, and fast, and without holding a hand. That did not faze him.

To my great surprise he pulled it off! First lap in 2:19, then 2:26 setting 800 PR of 4:45 en route, then 2:25, and 2:24 for the last lap with the balance going towards the 9.34 meter tax.
Leg 7:Distance0.124Time1:25.20Pace11:27.10
400 meter time trial with Julia. She lacked energy. I gave her instructions to eat more nuts, raisins, and other iron-rich foods, as well as try to take naps in the afternoon. For a heuristic iron test, I told her to run a quarter every day in the middle of her regular run targeting 95 and see how it feels. If she feels out of breath, eat/sleep with more diligence.
Leg 8:Distance1.000Time7:27.50Pace7:27.50
William's mile time trial. His goal was to beat Jacob's 5 year old record of 7:34. William was only 3 days away from his birthday, so this was his chance. I knew he had the physical ability, but finding the mental grit at that age, and especially some someone with William's personality can be hard. But he pulled it off.

He opened with 1:47 in spite of tripping and falling 200 meters into it and losing a couple of seconds. Second lap in 1:52, then 1:51, and 1:54. With a little bit more mental toughness this would have been sub-7:20, but 7:27 is still an excellent result - this is our 5 and under family record.
Leg 9:Distance0.120Time1:08.20Pace9:28.33
Short cool-down with the little boys to the car. Julia, Joseph, and Jacob ran home.

Black Crocs Miles: 12.80
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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