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. Jacob's 7th birthday is on Sunday. We have a tradition of sorts if the weather is good and suitable for the mile record and if the child is young enough for me to be able to pace it (Benjamin has already graduated from that) to try to set one while the integer part of his age is still one year less. So Jacob did a mile time trial today at the Orem High track with Joseph being a front running helper.

I wanted to see how he would handle 6:40 pace. I botched it a little with a 1:38 first lap, but he responded cheerfully and followed me. In the second lap I sensed that he was starting to have a small difficulty breathing. I gave him his inhaler before the start of the run, but I think the dust from the small particles evaporating from the hot track was perhaps too much for him. It was even bothering me some. I eased off the pace to 1:43 for the next lap and we hit 800 in 3:21. Then Jacob's breathing problem got worse and I eased off the pace even more - next lap in 1:46. He was able to hold it together for the last lap repeating 1:46 and finishing the mile in a new PR of 6:55.1 improving his time by 2.7 seconds. The balance of 2 seconds went towards the 9.34 meters extra on top of the 4 laps. Joseph ran 6:53 and felt quite comfortable.

Even though this was only a small improvement, I was quite happy. Based on how Jacob handled the opening lap I knew that he had at least 6:45 in him if he could control his breathing. Also, from the trivia perspective - while still officially 6 and with all of the baby teeth still in place (although one of them is currently loose), he is now a 6:55 miler. After watching the race in Eugine and studying results of the USATF regionals I realized that sub-7:00 mile at the age of 6 is perhaps not exceptionally unique. But it is unique in our family. Jacob so far has shown most talent of all of our children. The key is to properly guide him through the development so he will not lose it.

Then I ran with the other children. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 0.5.  I did some pickups including a 100 uphill at 6% grade in 18.8.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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