Breaking the Wall

July 04, 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: 291.02 Year: 1935.71
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: 805.63
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 20 miles total. Did the first 10.25 with the kids. First, did my 3.5 with Jenny and Julia running 3. I did the tempo mile in 5:36. Then 0.5 with Jacob and 1 with Joseph. Then 5.25 with Benjamin. He did a couple of pickups to catch runners in front of us which gave me 0.5 of tempo. Then I weighed myself at 142.4 lb and went on to finish the rest of the run. I decided to do a mild tempo - 5 miles targeting 86 quarters, or 5:44 per mile. I started the tempo after having run about 13.4 miles total for the run, and did it of the Fast Running Blog 5 miler course. The start was very sluggish - 89 followed by 87 after I had given myself a kick in the rear. After that I was awake, found the groove, and started gradually eating away at the  4 seconds I had lost. My split at the turnaround was 14:22, 2 seconds behind pace, so I gained 2 seconds, but then I lost them on the turnaround. I got mad about that, found the rhythm again after a couple of quarters, and was within 1 second of the pace with a mile to go. The pace up to that point felt good, but to go faster required a visit into a different dimension. Even though I say the pace felt good, it is all relative. I was in another dimension already. I do not realize these things until I see a passerby on the road. When he enters the area of my peripheral vision, he disappears. Somehow I am able to concentrate to the point of turning it off. Yes, it takes that much concentration for me to run sub-6:00. 

Once I had only a mile to go, I finally found the courage to visit that other dimension. I did the last mile in 5:34, which gave me 28:31.6 for the tempo. I jogged some more, and with 0.5 left I decided to test my fuel levels. They were better than last week. I ran 90 and 87 quarters - 2:57 for 0.5, 5:54 pace average, and I felt that I had another gear yet. So it was not bad at all. After the run I weighed at 141.6 lb. So that is the difference for me - 138.6 lb resulted in 93, 93 for the last two quarters with no other gear available.

P.M. 2 miles. Did another fuel test in the last mile - got 5:42. First quarter was 89, then I kicked into gear, and did 86, 84, 83. Felt strong.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 22.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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