Breaking the Wall

January 21, 2021

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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: 188.26 Year: 188.26
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: 1359.62
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Provo Canyon Tempo Run with Ted. Standard 3 miles down from Nunns to the mouth of the canyon. Feeling a bit of a cold. Woke up a couple of times at night to perform the flush routine - bathroom, and then replensh the fluids and electrolytes with EmergenC. However, the damage so far seems to be isolated to the throat and the nose, the rest of the body is performing fine. The HRM on The Toy was not cooperating today. I think the air was too dry, and it was too cold for me to work up a good sweat. Ted suggested a special gel. I might give it a try in the future.

Ted's calves were tight, and he was not sure if he'd be able to finish the tempo run, but he decided to give it a shot. To make things interesting, we gave him a 30 second head start. I watched him take off wondering how in the world I'd ever catch him.

Decided to learn from my Monday experience, and run the first two miles without forcing it. Just use the intuitive feeling of what pace was appropriate for the cardiovascular performance limit imposed by the cold conditions, and patiently wait for the cardio system to become fully engaged before trying to push it.

First mile in 5:21. Ted's calf tightened up, he backed off, I caught him right after 1.5. As I was passing him, two deer crossed the road right in front of us. Second mile in 5:18. Now I think I am ready. Pushed it a bit harder, ran 1:18 - 1:18 - 1:19 - 1:17 for 5:12 on the last mile. HRM started working at the end, showed 163-164 peaking at 166 at the end. The last 100 meters is actually about 0.5% grade up, so you have to push it just to keep the pace.

Ted finished in 17:10 without working too hard.

Ran with the kids in the evening. Also worked out with weights - bench press 3x5x105lb.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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