Breaking the Wall

March 24, 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 nine children: Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, William, Stephen, Matthew,  Mary, and Bella.  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: 164.85 Year: 786.02
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 120.59
Brown Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1509.03
Brown Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 987.95
Navy Crocs Lifetime Miles: 1529.15
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Steve and Chad. I did 20, Chad and Steve turned around at mile marker 9 and joined me later in the tempo at different spots. Steve did the last 7, Chad did the last 2. I did the warmup 10 miles uphill in 1:17:15 if you can call that a warm-up, but I supposed you can because the remaining 10 was a lot faster even adjusting for the grade - 58:34. It was humid and started to get warm. I felt I was struggling with the humidity, but decided to just be bold, give it a good push and deal with the consequences. It hurt, but I was not slowing down. It did help to have Steve around - he kept pressure on me and once in a while would take the lead which provided relief. Then Chad chimed in with 2 miles to go and was helpful as well. Steve started running out of juice with about 0.9 to go, Chad made it to the 0.5 to go mark.

I was happy that I made some inroads against humidity. Hopefully when I run the Rocket City Marathon this year it would not be a bomb like in the last two years. I need to win two battles - against fall-winter germs and against humidity. Also a third one - against getting older. 

With turning 40 I gained a new appreciation for the gospel of Jesus Christ and particularly for His gift of resurrection. Without it the life of a runner is rather sad. It is sad even when he is 20, but the full reality of that misfortune does not come until he is older. Without Christ's resurrection a runner has nothing to look forward to as he ages. He will just keep getting slower and slower likely hitting a few years of not being able to run at all before he dies. And he is going nowhere. With the resurrection of Christ he can look forward to a body that does not need to run because it has a superior mode of transportation - although the closest we can get to it in this life without external mechanisms is running. So he is looking forward to discovering a better way to run once this life is over and once a few things happened on the other side that are necessary before the resurrection.

Relatively few people realize that resurrection is actually a gift to all regardless of their choices here. The path to it is less painful for those that make good choices, and the place they get to go also improves with the choices, but everybody who is here on earth will be able to move in a perfect resurrected body with the VO2 capacity becoming irrelevant due to having a superior source of energy. 

Benjamin did 8 including 2x500 pickups on the road - one downhill, one uphill. Down in 1:32, up in 1:38. Julia did 2, Jenny 4, Joseph 3, William 0.5, Jacob 2. 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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