Breaking the Wall

December 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: 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

Helped All One People with their annual 5 K this morning. This time it was in Riverton on the Jordan River Trail. In the past, Karl Jarvis handled measuring the course, so things went smoothly. This year Karl could not do it, and this caused a bit of confusion. I showed up one hour before the race was supposed to start, and the course had not yet been prepared. So I took my wheel and started measuring out the course. Ran 2.5 K out. The trail ended after a bit over a mile, but it was too late to make any changes. So I went into the neighborhood. I had no choice but take that course up a couple of nasty hills. I said to myself: "What are you doing to your 7 year old son?". To make things worse, the connecting plate on the wheel broke, but it was still functional enough to finish course measurement. I double-checked the segment and the mile marks with The Toy, found them in agreement, and called it good. Not ideal, but that was the best I could do in 30 minutes under the circumstances. Set up the laptop to do the timing, recruited a volunteer to run the laptop, recruited another to collect tags at the end, and headed to the start to pace Benjamin. It was a cold morning. Not good for him. Cold air gives him breathing problems at sub-8:15 pace. However, it was a small (30 people), and very non-competitive race. Most of the field had breathing problems at that pace too, though probably for a different reason. Benjamin ran 25:06 finishing 5th. It was the first time in his life he finished that high in an adult race. The winning time was 23:11. I think he would have had a good shot at the overall win with warmer air. I finished timing the race, and then we went home. Still had some miles to do. Warmed up 2 miles, then ran a tempo on the Slate Canyon Loop (2.11). Did not have high expectations - not a lot of sleep this week, and felt more like taking a nap than running before the start. Figured anything sub-12 would be good. Started out with 1:23 quarter , then 1:21, 1:21 (all slightly rolling). HR now got to 159. Up the hill quarter in 1:28. The Toy was off at first, but got auto-fixed by the mile, almost (real mile 5:33, toy 5:34). HR at 162 on the climb (3% grade). Then the next quarter is 5% grade, I do not have a mark, The Toy said 1:35, HR at 165. A little more, and over the hill, now down. HR dropped to 149. It is very hard to shift gears when you are done climbing and start going down. I need to account for this effect when I work on the profile -based predictor. So I trusted the reading and pressed extra hard. With 0.5 to go (9:01) I saw that I could get 11:40 with a decent effort. So I kept a steady pressure. HR back up to 157. Next quarter (real) in 1:13. Then I realized that I had a good shot at my PR for the loop. I needed a 1:18, which is not too big of a deal, except it is up a 2.5% grade. Shifted gears, got HR to 174, got 1:18, and 11:32.8 for the loop, new PR. Also, new record for max HR in the last 3 years. Cooled down 0.5, also ran with Jenny and Julia in the evening. The new HR PR is some food for thought. After all, there is a way I could get my HR above 170, and who knows if 174 is really my true max. Then why is it so hard to run in 163-165 range? Now this actually correlates quite well with my observation that doing 20x400 once a week for a month breaks me out of a 5:40 pace tempo run rut. Seems like pushing the heart to the limit breaks a wall of some kind. Any cardio experts out there to explain what is going on? Another observation. I felt very strong running the hill in both directions, although I have been only running fast downhill in the last two months. Last year, I have been training uphill quite a bit around this time, and was not running well uphill or downhill afterwards.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Cheston on Sat, Oct 28, 2006 at 20:34:14

Thanks, nice week yourself. Your kids sound like they have caught the running bug. My 6 year old did her first mile and 5k race this year. All she can think about is getting a metal (she got one in the 5k).

Question, is it wise to do one long run a week this far out from a marathon? (one year), and if so, once I ramp up to 20 miles per long run is it wise to do one every week?

From Paul Petersen on Mon, Oct 30, 2006 at 13:09:07

What do you think of the proposed 2007 LDR schedule? Winter races!

I'm excited about the prospect having the Ogden training series on the schedule. Driving to Salt Lake for every week adds up when you're coming from Logan!

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Oct 30, 2006 at 15:36:26


My philosophy on the long run: Run long enough every day so you will not need it. When doing a longer run, run fast so you do not need to go as long. Do not run long just to run long, but run long if you can run fast and feel good.

I believe last year has been my best marathon year so far. Aside from racing marathons, I never once did 20 miles or more in one run , although I did have a few days when I logged a bit over 20 altogether. However, I had very few days shorter than 13 miles, and whenever I went 15 or more, there was usually a 10 or more miles of marathon race effort or faster running in the middle.

Paul - I like everything about the new circuit schedule except having to travel to Ogden and back 5 more times than I planned. I actually feel it is unfairly skewed in my favor, looks almost like I bribed the LDR committee so I could win again. My strength is to be able to race consistently through the entire season. So a long season suits me quite well. However, I anticipate other runners may not like it, and some races may get dropped.

From Paul Petersen on Mon, Oct 30, 2006 at 16:17:56

Do you have any idea if they are planning on raising the max number of races that score points? It has been 7 the last few years, but it seems that it should be higher this year if the "racing season" is that much longer.

From cheston on Tue, Oct 31, 2006 at 15:55:48


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