Breaking the Wall

January 19, 2021

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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: 188.26 Year: 188.26
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: 1657.61
Brown Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 1359.62
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. This week was supposed to be a taper for the Rocket City Marathon. Now with the illness things are a little different. I need to do the impossible. Allow the body to heal. Avoid losing fitness more than I already have and try to recover what I have lost. At the same time try to build a glycogen store and some freshness in the legs. Do not get a second round of sickness. Be ready to race on Saturday.

I was pondering those issues on Saturday night while I lay there with 102 F fever and considered dropping out of the race. Then I heard a voice in my mind that let me know the Lord wanted me to run the marathon and do my best. I hoped that it was just a voice of delirium from the fever, but I had heard that voice enough to know the difference. Plus the impression remained once the fever was gone.

I have made some progress since Saturday night. I know how to take those fevers down. It returned in the middle of the night and I kicked it waking up with a nice 97.7 F temperature in the morning and feeling ready to run.

I prayed to know how far I should run, and felt that I should run 10 with a 1 mile pickup to access the damage. So I ran with the kids first. Jacob did 0.5, Jenny and Julia 1, Joseph 1, and Benjamin 5. During Benjamin's run I did the pickup. He stayed back as he is still not 100%. I did the mile in 5:37, then turned around and ran back to Benjamin maintaining the same effort. This gave me about 1.15 of tempo running. The pace felt interesting. The legs could handle it, and were not giving in. However, I noticed that the breathing was quite labored. This gave me an idea . The problem could be caused by the drop in the red cell count. I figured it would be difficult to have the best of both worlds - high white cell count, and high red cell count at the same time. So if white go up, the red would go down. So I decided to add some iron supplementation to help the recovery.

After running with Benjamin I added about 2.85 more to make the total 10. What is interesting is that I was volunteering 6:30-6:40 pace without thinking about it, and at that pace I was not bothered by breathing.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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