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. Repeat of last week more or less, except I ran 13 miles total and did 2x400 towards the end of the run. The 3 mile tempo went like this: 5:37 - 5:44 - 5:44 -  total 17:05.8. Last quarter was 84. Pretty much an identical repeat of last week except it was 3 seconds per mile faster. I'll take those 3 seconds. It also felt more manageable, even though I still slowed down after the first mile. The legs still were feeling weak in the last mile. The problem likely was low glycogen from the long run on Saturday. I ran with the kids - Benjamin did 3, Jenny and Julia 2, Joseph 1, and Jacob 0.5. In the last 1.5 I did 2x400 - 75.2 (rolling), 74.5 (down). I could really tell in those quarter that the legs were fatiguing fast and were in slow motion. A quick quarter surprisingly is a great test of fuel levels. Even though you theoretically have plenty of glycogen to run a fast quarter at almost any time, when the levels dip below a critical threshold there is some negative feedback mechanism that reduces the muscle activity to protect the supplies. So if we know the runner well enough we can check the muscle glycogen quite reliably without muscle biopsy by just running a quick quarter. If anybody has doubts about that, try this - warm up, do a few strides, and run a quick quarter. Then go out at the pace you optimistically hope to be able to finish the marathon in. After about 90 minutes it will become unsustainable. As soon as that happens, run a quarter all out and be done. Compare the times of the quarters. The second one will probably be about 10 seconds slower than the first. Now, rest a week, and try the same pace, except run your all out quarter after 45 minutes. It will probably be only 5 seconds slower than the first. You will see that the quarter speed very much correlates with the fuel levels.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 13.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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