Breaking the Wall

October 15, 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 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: 123.22 Year: 3048.88
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: 33.72
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Our kids have been afflicted with injuries. Nothing super serious, but keeps them from running at 100%. But at least they can still run. Benjamin had a cold and he also sprained his wrist playing tag. Jenny's bones are growing faster than the Achilles tendons, so that makes her ankles hurt.  Julia's stomach was giving her problems. Only Joseph, Jacob, and William were healthy today among the runners. Even Sarah had contractions and had to stop a few times during her run. And, fortunately, I am still healthy. Better be healthy, the marathon is coming up. Just knowing that you could catch a cold right before the marathon is a great teacher of humility. Three months of work can go down the toilet from one accidental exposure to an infection your body fails to find a good response to. That is why Paula Radcliffe once surprised a reporter when he asked her for tips on how to prepare for a marathon - she said: "Wash your hands!" But you can wash them only so much. There are more infections out there than you can possibly kill. The day is 86400 seconds long. In one of those seconds, the infection comes, and you miss it. You can do a multitude of things to keep yourself from getting sick, but you need to realize that ultimately you are at the Lord's mercy.  So you get a lesson in faith and humility. I decided to never take for granted the ability to show up healthy at the start of a race. That moment, before the gun goes off, a prayer of thanks is in order.

So today I ran 12. Benjamin did 3, Jenny and Julia 3, Joseph 2, and Jacob 1.

P.M. 0.5 with William. 


Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From Jake K on Wed, Sep 12, 2012 at 10:26:08 from

Hope the kids get better and you can get to the line healthy in a few days.

I just read this article about chess on Grantland (an ESPN site). Although the central theme of the piece is about cheating, I found it very interesting and thought you might as well...

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Sep 12, 2012 at 12:18:55 from

Jake - thanks, that was an interesting read.

From Scott Ensign on Fri, Sep 14, 2012 at 18:43:35 from

good luck tomorrow!!!

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