Breaking the Wall

May 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 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: 149.44 Year: 1460.80
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: 2133.34
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Started the run with Scott, his friend Reed, Chad, and Matt Poulsen. I had not seen Matt since he graduated from BYU, so it was nice to see him again and running. Matt was a 14:04 5000 meter runner back in the day. The group gradually thinned out as people reached their target turnaround points. By the end of the first 10 it was just me and Scott. We ran a tempo on the way back. It was much nicer to do this run with a partner. This run is one miserable run. It is hard to find somebody who is fit enough, up for the pain that day, and has a schedule that works out, but finally I was in luck. Scott and I traded leads with shifts of about 0.5 miles for the first 7 miles. The pace had been around 5:33 or so on average up to that point. Finally the pace and the heat started to get to me, and I had to draft. With about 2 miles to go we gradually pulled up to Reed, who was doing a tempo run of his own, and he was able to join us for about a mile, which we did in 5:37. The last mile was uphill, and more exposed to the sun. I struggled on it, so it was 6:03. Total time for the last 10 was 55:54, which is my new record in this workout. Total time for 20 was 2:10:01.

Benjamin did 6, Jenny, Julia, and Joseph 2, Jacob 1.

P.M. 0.3 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 20.30
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
From jeffmc on Wed, Jul 11, 2012 at 09:19:37 from

I was looking at Benjamin's blog and I noticed his 400 pr is only 1:09. That concerns me a bit, because if he wants to really get to another level a 1:09 will not cut it. To put it in perspective, at the same age he is now I ran a 5:10 1600 and 1 year later I ran 4:57 and about 64 for 400 (I'm fuzzy on the 400 time, but that is pretty close and at best it was maybe a 62).

From what I can see Benjamin appears to be developing on a curve similar to where I was at that age (just with better aerobic development), and if he stays on that curve his sprint speed is not going to be good enough long term. It is just a thought I had, but I think that improving his 400 speed may help to improve his times at longer distances (800, mile, etc). Plus, it is hard to run 60-61 second laps for 3+ miles if you can barely break 60 for 1 lap

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Jul 11, 2012 at 11:17:31 from

Jeff - I imagine he is quite a bit faster than 69 right now. He ran the first lap of 800 in 70, and then after that he had a 73. His best 100 is 14.8. His 69 comes from a workout he did with me about a year ago. I imagine he has about a 64 in him at this point with no specific 400 training, and maybe with three weeks specific training he will run 60-61.

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