Breaking the Wall

August 09, 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. Started the run with a warmup and a 5 mile tempo on the Fast Running Blog course. It was a new experience because I wore my form correction buzzer on the armband for the first time in a tempo. The first mile was good - 5:40, then I held the pace to 1.5 and all of a sudden started fading - the legs felt dead. The buzzer was going off once every few steps, so the form was not perfect, but it never is. I normally would focus on just pushing when I feel like this, but this time I decided to focus on keeping the buzzer quiet. It was an odd experience as I was not running any slower than I normally would when feeling like this, except it was rather easy. I just could not figure out how to speed up. So my second mile was 5:44, then 5:53, and 5:52. In the last 0.5 I finally figured out how to speed up without tripping the buzzer, and ran the last two quarters in 86 and 81, which gave me 5:43 for the last mile and 28:51 for the tempo. It was an odd experience because I finished quite fresh in spite of losing the pace and being unable to go faster. 

I originally planned to cut the long run short if there were problems in the tempo, but I felt that I should go full 20, and run a short tempo at the end of it to see what would happening. So I came home, did the kids runs - 3 with Benjamin, 1 with Joseph, 0.5 with Jacob and 2 with Jenny and Julia, and then ran a 4 mile tempo to finish the 20. The course was not the best, especially the first 2 miles because they are a slight uphill with turns and tunnels. When you run those downhill, the downhill still does not quite make up for the mess, so when you run them uphill you get a double hit. So I did 6:02, 6:08, then turned around and stepped on the gas a little because I now did not have any fear of crashing on fuel. The last two miles were 5:52 and 5:50, and felt quite easy, but I could not go faster without tripping the buzzer.

I guess the buzzer shows that I am like an old car. When it goes 55 you cannot tell it is old. But when you get it up to 75, it starts rattling. I suppose today the magic pace was 5:50 - I could coast just fine at 5:50 forever, but trying to go faster resulted in bad form, so it was not sustainable.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 20.20
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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