Breaking the Wall

January 20, 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. Woke up from a dream with the hope it was more than just a dream. In the dream I was told that if I got normal flexibility in my thoracic spine I would run a 2:10 marathon. I was also told the chance of success was 5%. When I heard 5% I remember feeling very happy because 5% is significantly above zero, and even thinking that even if the fix was not quite 100% I could still be in the range of 2:12 which still is 7 minutes faster than the Trial's Qualifier. But the chances would naturally improve now that the fix did not have to be quite so perfect.

There was a reason I had that dream. I have been working on the thoracic flexibility in the last week. Looking back at 2007, I am wondering if the reason I had the breakthrough was not the mileage after all, but the improved thoracic flexibility from the spinal correction treatment/exercises.Back then I undertook a full course of Pettibon treatment, which involved thoracic flexibility work among many other things.

I single out thoracic flexibility at the point for a number of reasons. First, that was the stiffest area of the spine during the Pettibon evaluations and treatment. In fact, the cervical curve did not improve until we were able to loosen the thoracic grip. Second, thoracic stiffness causes the center of gravity to move backwards making running more energy demanding. Third, that is where Jeff sees the stiffness when we run.

So I'll keep working on it and we'll let the time tell if there is any merit to the idea.

Jeff slept in, so I ran alone. 6 miles in 41:57. Passed Sarah with about 0.43 to go, then turned around, ran back to her, ended up with 6.25 miles.Then she took Jenny on a run for 2 miles.

P.M. 0.5 with Joseph and Benjamin in 5:11. 1 more with Julia and Benjamin in 9:21.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 7.75
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
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