Breaking the Wall

February 20, 2019

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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 nine children: Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, William, Stephen, Matthew,  Mary, and Bella.  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: 27.36 Month: 204.98 Year: 525.70
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 120.59
Brown Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1509.03
Brown Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 987.95
Navy Crocs Lifetime Miles: 1205.34
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ted is in Kansas, so ran alone. The weather was warm, 38 degrees, but it was raining. I wanted to do something entertainment-fast, so to keep the entertaining value of the workout I needed a good knee lift. Sarah took the only pair of tights that would have had a good knee lift in the rain. She cannot wear the others, they are too big on her. The others don't, even when it is not raining. I decided it was warm enough for shorts.

After a 10 minute warmup, decided to do a fartlek of 1 minute on 1 minute off, the on minute around 5:20 pace, the off minute around 7:30 until I was tired. Figured it would happen after 16 on minutes. The on minutes gradually progressed from 5:20 to 5:10 pace. I did not track the off pace very thoroughly, but the average pace in the fartlek motion was around 6:00.  Tracked the pace by the dots on the trail. The breathing was elevated but there was no significant muscular fatigue. That made the workout very enjoyable. I was done with 16 on minutes before I knew it. With the clothes being fully soaked the rain started to feel colder, and I wanted to get home fast. So I figured I'd do a few more. Did 4 more on minutes. The pace progressed to 5:00.

Ran a brisk cool down. Total time for 10.1 was 1:02:41, avg. 6:12.38. The  form felt very good - good knee lift, good feeling at the end of the hip extension and push-off phase. I even experienced minor fatigue in the abdominal muscles, which I probably do not use very much normally - they never get tired from running, they are weak unless I work them out with sit-ups and other non-running exercises, and I do not run any better when I make them strong.

P.M. 1.05 with Julia in 10:57, 1.5 with Jenny and Jared running, Benjamin in the double stroller, in 13:09. Jared fell back a bit and finished in 13:25. Then put Jenny and Jared in the stroller, and let Benjamin loose. Another 2 miles in 16:14.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Tom on Fri, Dec 07, 2007 at 21:15:04

Sasha - we're still wanting to come up in the morning at 6:30 for the 10.1 mile run. However if the traffic conditions are bad then we'll probably keep it closer to home. At any rate if we're not there by 6:30 when you're ready to go then don't wait around for us. Thanks.

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