Breaking the Wall

October 22, 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: 163.70 Year: 3089.36
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. Splits the run into two because of a chess tournament. So did 12 with Gary including the standard Saturday 6 mile tempo - 2 down, 2 up, 2 back down. The wind had record strength today and the splits showed it: 5:27, 5:32 (10:59), 6:31, 6:44 (13:15), 5:29, 5:21 (10:50). Gary stayed with me through the first mile. This is great progress for him. Once you can run a full mile at a good pace, the upper rungs of the ladder move within reach. Then he blocked the wind for me for about 600 meters on the way back, which is a good part of the reason the mile was 6:31 instead of 6:44, and stayed with me through a half in 2:42 in the last 2 miles. I felt I experienced a positive development in the form in the last mile. The hamstrings were working and were getting tired. That is good for me, as mine tend to be idle while the quads fatigue and become the limiting factor. But when the hamstring works the quad has to relax. 

Jenny and Julia ran 2. Afterwards, I took Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, and Joseph to a church chess tournament. Among all the stakes of Orem there were enough chess players that they got around to organizing one. Benjamin and I played in the advanced division, while Jenny, Julia, and Joseph were in the intermediate. The games were rather informal, no time control. Benjamin played 7 games and won all, although he did have close calls in a couple. Jenny played 7, won 6, lost one. Julia had the same score. I saw the end of one of them, and was pleased to observe that she was able to win the exchange (rook for a knight), then stop the opponents pawns that threatened to queen, then queen her own pawn, capture the knight with a fork, and then mate with the king and the queen. She remembered all the things I've taught her in her seventh game. Joseph won 1 game and lost 3, I think. I drew two games, and won 2.

P.M.  Total of 8. 1 with Jacob, 1 with Joseph. Tobler boys joined us. Then 6 with Benjamin. We discussed the chess games the entire time. There were 11 games to review. It took up most of the 6 miles. But we still showed the 8:00 guy who's the boss in spite of the brutal canyon wind.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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