Breaking the Wall

August 07, 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. Ran 10.25 in 1:19:49. Met Jeff on the trail. After about 8 miles we did a 0.75 pickup in 4:21 up about 0.5-1% grade along the river from the 500 N bridge to 800 N bridge. There was hardly any snow on the trail.

Jenny ran 2.5 with Sarah. 

P.M. 2 with Benjamin. We took advantage of decent weather and ran a mile time trial. The goal was to try to break 6:00. We went through the quarter in 1:29, then 1:51 at 500. Then Benjamin started to fade. I kept the 6:00 pace to encourage him, and went through 0.5 in 2:59. But he was falling behind, so I stopped and waited. We hit 0.75 in 4:46. I yelled at him not to give up and do a good job in the last quarter. He regrouped some and ran a 1:34 closing quarter to finish in 6:20.

I think the barrier for him is mental. He does not yet fully believe that he can maintain 6:00 pace for the whole mile, so when it start to hurt he starts sandbagging. We discussed ways to try to break it. One idea is to open with an 85 quarter, which will make it hurt so bad that slowing down to 90 will appear like a jog. He liked the idea, so we might try it in a week if the weather permits.

1.5 with Julia in 12:57. We saw the BYU team. I told them they were fast. She asked me if they could run a one minute mile. I explained to her that one minute mile cannot currently be done on foot by a human.

0.5 with Joseph in 4:40. 0.25 with Jacob in 2:52. 

Water Clogs 2 Miles: 14.50
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From seeaprilrun on Sun, Jan 10, 2010 at 21:59:58 from

I totally agree with your assessment of Benjamin's mental hang up. I think the fast opening will work well for him.

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