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. Even though I was feeling better, I knew my immune system was still weak. 10 miles is no big deal to me normally, but it does borrow some against the immune system, and if starts out low, it could put it on the verge of bankruptcy, so to speak. So I ran only 6 with Jeff in 44:35. Then when we finished Sarah was getting out for her last mile, and she talked me into running it with her. I talked Jeff into running the first 0.5 before he would speed up to his normal pace. Sarah and Jeff were occupied with a conversation about making carob cakes, and that allowed Jeff to trick her into running the first half in 4:36 instead of the promised 5:15. Then on the way back I bribed Sarah to keep the fast pace with the promise of prompt help with the laundry immediately after. So we ended up with a more normal 9:18 mile instead of the desired 10:30 which I thought was too slow to begin with.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 15:48. He demonstrated signs of being alive. After the warm-up mile in 8:57 we ran a hard 0.5 in 2:52 with the splits of 85,87. This actually happens to be Benjamin's PR for the half. I was very pleased to see that because lately he's not been able to keep 6:00 for longer than 600 meters on a good day.

Then 350 meters later after getting his description of the effort I wanted to see how much he had left in the tank and told him to run the last quarter as close to 90 as possible with the idea that if he was totally blowing up I'd stop him early. He ran a 91, and I was very pleased with that as well. This gives us hopes for a sub-6:00 mile in the Thanksgiving race, which has a realistic shot of winning. Last year 6:10 won (Jacob Blackburn), but this year if Aiden Troutner shows up and runs a normal race the winning time would be around 5:45, maybe even sub-5:40. Joshua Blackburn would probably run it a little under 6:00, which I think Benjamin could match if he has as good of a day as he did today.

What I find peculiar, though, is the great fluctuations in endurance from day to day. I wonder if it is somehow related to the hormones participating in the maturation process.

0.5 with Julia and Joseph in 4:50.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 9.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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