Breaking the Wall

August 08, 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: 16.00 Year: 2314.91
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: 1185.83
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Kids ran a little warm-up on their own before the cross-country meet. Benjamin did 3, Jenny 1, Joseph 1. Others rested. I did 12.25 total with 4x800 down the Provo Canyon with 800 recovery. The goal was to run around 2:30 for each. I did better than expected. 2:27.9 (73.1, 74.8), 2:26.3 (72.7, 73.6), 2:26.6 (72.7, 73.9), and 2:22.9 (72.1, 70.8). The splits reflect the nature of the course - the first quarter was a nice steady downhill with a little uphill bump at the end, while the second began with the continuation of the bump, then relatively flat 100 meters or so, then a short abrupt downhill, then more or less flat for 100 meters or so, and then 100 meters of mild uphill.

In the last one I tried to have a visual imagine of Lasse Viren's long kick, his resilience, his quiet confidence that no matter what he would win, and it did help - the legs just moved through the fatigue and I ran quite a bit better than I thought I would. The visual image is relatively easy to bring up, but it is not easy to translate it into speed - it takes some practice. That is why we do intervals and tempo runs. I do not know what went through Viren's mind when he was kicking, but I like to imagine it was the tune of Finlandia/Be Still My Soul. It very well could have been, but even if it was not, it communicates the message very well, and it is the tune I am familiar with from church. When I am able to catch the spirit of it I can find a few extra seconds per mile in me at the end of a hard workout.

P.M. Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, and William raced in the Kiwani's Park 3 K cross-country meet. Benjamin won overall with 10:56. He says he got confused on the course, because it was new, and added some distance. Second place, Spencer Jarvis finished in 11:38. Grant was not there. Benjamin says he was feeling weak, weaker than in the 2 K. I am not surprised - it is about time to be reaping the fruit of the reduced mileage from his sickness. Unfortunately, this race is not very indicative of how out of commission he was, so we will do a little evaluation run on Thursday to see where he is at.

Joseph had a decent race winning the 8 and under division in 13:53. This is the first time he went under 14:00 in a cross-country 3 K. Jenny was having issues with her back from bending over a lot during the cleanup on Saturday, and ran 14:34 taking 4th place in the 13-14 age division. Jacob was having issues with breathing again, but still managed 14:39 taking second in the age division after Joseph. Julia's piriformis was better, but the reduction in training affected her fitness, and she could only manage 15:09 - good enough for 3rd in the 11-12 age division. William ran a gutsy race - 3K is quite a distance for a 4-year-old - but he was not afraid to jump in and go fast, and was rewarded with a decent time - 18:40 which was good enough for 6th place in the 8 and under age division.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.25
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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