Breaking the Wall

January 18, 2021

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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: 188.26 Year: 188.26
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: 1657.61
Brown Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 1359.62
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Today was Jacob's last chance to break 7:30 before turning 6. So we did a time trial on the track.We drove to the track so that Jacob would not have to run too much for his warm-up. A little kid needs only maybe a quarter mile jog, no more, before a mile time trial, and he does need to do strides. Joseph, Jenny, and Benjamin were assisting in addition to myself. Aside from bragging rights a personal Palm Pilot was at stake. Yes, I know Palm Pilots are old, but my income, while good and sufficient for our needs, does not yet allow us to provide more expensive devices for a 6 year old even if they earn them. In the meantime, Palm Pilot can be used to read the scriptures, to play chess, and to learn about various mathematical functions on the calculator among other things. Jacob was quite excited about the prospective of owning his first electronic gadget. 

The first lap was 1:52, just as planned. On the second lap I became concerned because we did it in 1:55 with me having to keep asking Jacob to give me a low five.  So Joseph, Benjamin, and I explained to Jacob in no uncertain terms that he needed to speed up. His natural tendency to obey came handy, and he sped up completely on faith believing that even if he thought he could not do it, if Joseph, Benjamin, and I thought that he could, then he could. His third lap was 1:50. This dropped Jenny - she said she was not feeling good. We do need some instruction that when you are helping your little brother in a time trial, even if you do not feel good, you should just push through it and keep the pace. But it was not the time for this type of instruction as we were trying to get Jacob to do another lap in 1:50, which would give him 7:30 for the mile. He hesitated some, hitting the next 200 in 57, so now he needed a 53. Then he got going and hit 26 for the next 100. Now he had it in the bag, more or less, but a 5 year old kid never has it in the bag. He can always panic and slip to some out of character pace, and lose the precious bird that was already in his hand. So in the last 100 I started clapping out the rhythm and saying ta-ta-ta, as Benjamin and Joseph kept cheering. His last 100 was 24, and he finished the full mile (not just 1600!)  in 7:27.8. I ordered the Palm Pilot as soon as I got to the computer.

Jenny, Benjamin, and Joseph ran back to the house (about 1 mile), while I drove Jacob. Afterwards, Joseph and Jenny ran another mile with me, and I ran 2 more with Julia, and 3 more alone with a pickup in the last 1.5 in 8:36 - this gave me the total of 8. Benjamin ran 6.

P.M. 0.5 with William. 

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 10.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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