Breaking the Wall

February 24, 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: 155.37 Year: 492.80
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1576.28
Neon Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1353.22
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Total of 14.1. Met Neal on the trail. We did my weird 2100 meter interval from the DI bridge to the Union Pacific bridge. The "dream" target was to average 5:00 pace through it. However, it was cold - 21 F at the start of the run. So that made it difficult. Also, the "dream" target assumed Neal would be able to hold it without problems, but he ended up having some problems today. So it went like this - 75, 74 for the first two quarters. The pace felt fast at first, the air was cold, and I was concerned that I might fade badly. But I got used to it as we went along and my confidence kept increasing. Our next quarter was 77, which was expected due to the tunnel under 820 N. The one after that started feeling easy, and for a good reason because we did it in 76, and it is a nice quarter. Should have been 75 with the same effort. Our mile split was 5:03. Around that point I started feeling comfortable enough to pass Neal. I hesitated some because I was not prepared for him struggling at this pace. So due to this hesitation I ended up with a 200 in 39. I was actually feeling quite good, but not good enough to shift gears from 5:10 to 5:00. So I ended up coasting for the last 300 meters in 58. It would have been a 57, but there was a girl on a skate board blocking the passageway around the barricade that I normally take, so I had to take the other one, which gave me a longer route and also resulted in a loss of badly needed concentration. The time for the "weird interval" was 6:40, which is 18 seconds faster than my previous fastest time this year, and is a 5:05 per mile average. Neal finished it in 6:46. Then we ran some more, and found Jeff Combs. He ran with us, then Neal went home, and Jeff and I went to get the kids.

We ran 0.5 with Jacob, 2 with Jenny (Julia did 1), 1 with Joseph and Benjamin, and 4 more with Benjamin, so he ended up with 5. Jeff turned around and ran home when we had 1 mile left.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.10
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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