Breaking the Wall

February 26, 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. 20 miles. Started with Gary and Jeremy. Had a VPB, followed by 500 uphill in 1:44. It felt so easy that I thought I would have no problems going sub-6:00 uphill in the tempo. After 4.5 mile warmup started the tempo, the same as last week. Gary and Jeremy helped me some by joining me for a quarter on every 2 mile stretch. First mile was 5:24, then I relaxed a bit trying to prepare for the uphill and did 5:33 (10:57). When I turned around, there was a surprise. The headwind picked up and it started to rain. So I struggled through the next mile in 6:08 (17:05). Then it was rather odd. I could not feel the headwind anymore, and in all honesty thought I was going around 6:00 or maybe a bit under. But the watch showed different. My next two quarters were 95 and 97. This completely puzzled me. How in the world is this possible? I began thinking all kinds of thoughts - maybe I am just out of shape, getting old, losing strength, etc. Then, all of a sudden, I regained the speed some for no apparent reason - 93, followed by 91 (6:16, 23:21, 12:24 for the two miles uphill) which would have been 90 or 89 if I did not have to break to do a 180 on a wet road. I am wondering if maybe the rain was pounding so hard that I could not feel the wind that came with it, and thus had no idea how strong the gusts were. After turning around I felt I was regaining speed better than last week. My first quarter was 88, then 84, 82, and 83, so 5:37 for the mile (28:58 at 5). I was a bit hestiant to give it a really good push because the road became quite slick from the rain. Also I started to get wet and cold, and that made things difficult. Did 4:07 in the next 0.75, and then tried to kick but could only do 80, so 5:27 for the last mile, 34:25 for 6, and 11:04 for the last 2.

So that was the first half of the run, but the worst part of it was still ahead.  Rejoined with Gary and Jeremy, we ran back to the house, and then ran with the kids. Jenny and Julia did 2, Joseph did 1, the two Jacobs 1. Took Benjamin for 4, and at that point still had 2 left. I really felt like going home away from the rain, but decided to run 2 tempo miles instead. This was quite an adventure as those were hilly wet miles. I call it 2, but it is actually more like 2.04. They are hilly, but I thought I'd be able to run 6:00 pace still. It turned out that I was too cold, too wet, and the road was too slick for that. I only managed 12:56 for that segement. When I got home, I decided to weigh my clothes. 4 lb, so about 3 lb of water.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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