Breaking the Wall

August 06, 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: 16.00 Year: 2314.91
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: 1185.83
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Started the morning with a run with Julia. She runs 0.25 a day at about 10-12 minute pace. She has an assignment to beat the 12:00 girl, which she usually accomplishes onces she decides to go. However, she has demonstrated that she has a lot more speed than that - her best time on a quarter is 2:13.

Then went to the Provo River Trail, and did an exploration run to see how far they progressed in connecting it with the Jordan River Trail. Not far at all - it ends only after going North for about a mile.

Still recovering from the cold, took it easy, watch HR closely. Almost normal at 7:00 pace. On the way back, decided to run from mile standard 5 mile tempo turnaround at 6:00 pace for as long as HR was normal and I did not feel sick, or until I reached 2.5 mark. This was going to be my health test.

Hard to shift gears from 7:00 pace to 6:00 right away. First mile in 6:02, also little slippery from the leaves. HR hovering between 146 and 149. A little high, especially for the first mile. 146 is OK, 149 is not. Decided to see how hard I would have to work to run 14:45 for the whole 2.5, which was the time I got for that section on Saturday. Sped up to 5:50 pace on the next half-mile. HR hit 155 right away. The HR and the way it felt showed I was still not quite over the cold. Occasional coughing did not help either. However, I felt much better than on Saturday. Climbed the small hill on the next half (2:59, HR 156-157). Pushed a bit on the last (1:26 HR 160, 1:23 HR 162). 14:45 for the 2.5, right on the money. Jogged for the cooldown, but still stay quite a bit ahead of the 7:00 mile who I passed during the tempo. 1:02:55 for 9.2.

In the afternoon, first ran 0.5 with Benjamin and Abby. Then we extracted Jennifer from her friends house, and ran another mile. Then I announced I was going to run to the car rental to pick up a van for us to go to Milpitas, CA - a business trip for me, vacation for the kids, hard work for Sarah. The kids wanted to come.

So I put Julia in the stroller, and Benjamin and Jennifer consented to the terms of the deal - they had to run there. We did 2.25 miles in 21:38 with a stop after the first 0.5 for me to vote, as the voting station was on the way.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Nick on Tue, Nov 07, 2006 at 22:11:49


How is it then that "you" (hypothetically) improve and lower times if you don't stretch yourself to try and achieve new PR's consistently? I do feel like I try and really make my hard days hurt, but the way I do that is by attempting to break my old best times. How else can you improve as a runner besides doing this on a decently frequent basis?

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