Breaking the Wall

August 10, 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: 88.07 Year: 2386.98
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: 1257.89
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Did a workout with Benjamin. His workout was 4x400 in the canyon with the target of 64 with 400 recovery jog. I did what I could. In the first one he ran 64.0. I ran 300 in 49.7 as I felt needed some warmup. Then he ran 64.8 - I got 66.8, followed by 64.5 for him and 66.7 for me. In the last one he had an extra gear while I lost one - 62.6 for him, 68.1 for me. His workout went very well, exactly as planned. In the meantime I am realized that something has happened to me over the last 3 years - I've lost the little speed that I had. The question is if it is from the loss of coordination, loss of power, or spinal deterioration. Loss of coordination/loss of power can be addressed, spinal deterioration is more hopeless. In any case, what I think I need to do is switch to 200s when doing workouts with Benjamin and try to learn to run them relaxed while not getting dropped. Once I can run those relaxed I can move to longer distances.

Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1. I did another 1.5 total of pickups at around 5:40 pace. Total of 12 for me.

William announced that he wanted to do a time trial, so we did it on his "little boy" course - an out and back mile with markers every quarter that I measured with a wheel - a small grade up in the first half, and then returning on an equivalent grade down. His splits were 2:09, 2:10, 2:07, and 1:59 - total time 8:25.2, new PR by 8 seconds. Now we can say that in our family if your mile PR is slower than 8:30 you have to wear a diaper. Stephen will ruin that when he potty-trains, though, but not for long we hope.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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