Breaking the Wall

November 28, 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: 232.17 Year: 3533.69
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: 734.48
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Before I post the workout details from the Fast Running Friend, I feel the need to brag. Benjamin finished his first college course - Psychology 111 via independent study with an A. For this course he had to write a total of 10 papers broken down into two portfolio submissions. I was concerned that being only 14 and with this being the first paper he ever wrote for a class his lack of paper-writing experience combined with some immaturity as a consequence of his age would drag him down, but I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did he get 100% score on both portfolios, his professor commented that his submission was one of the best she ever received.

This makes me think that there is some power or should we say potential in the home schooling method of education that I perhaps was not aware of. Somehow the student is able to go beyond what is actually being taught and develop what I would call an educational Quality X. He develops an increased ability to learn and retain knowledge along with the drive to acquire it. This, of course, will not happen in every home schooling situation. Certain elements need to be in place, and a certain focused effort needs to be put forth. Home grown tomatoes are better than the ones in the store only if the grower takes good care of the garden - otherwise he just gets weeds. But the right place for this educational Quality X development is the home. No external instruction can fully compensate for the lack of it in the home.

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2013-12-30 08:42:50
Workout Totals
Distance Time Pace
12.060 1:40:21.20 8:19.27
Ran 12 miles total. Benjamin did 9, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 1.
Leg 1
Distance Time Pace Comment
3.06 27:02.80. 8:50.33 This part was with Benjamin, Joseph, and Jacob. We first ran 2 on the "big boy" course, dropped Jacob off, and then finished on the "little boy" course.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 2.040 18:02.60 8:50.69 This part was with Jacob, there was some ice.
2 1.020 9:00.20 8:49.61 With Joseph and Benjamin on the "little boy" course. Joseph was struggling with a side ache, that is why it was slow.
Leg 2
Distance Time Pace Comment
6 46:50.80. 7:48.47 This part was with Benjamin. We ran to the 3 mile mark and back.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 3.042 24:52.00 8:10.47 To the 3 mile turnaround, and a little bit back to the start of the mile pickup.
2 0.000 0:00.10 0:00.00 This was probably the result of a double-hit on the split button.
3 1.000 5:34.00 5:34.00 Mile pickup down the Provo Canyon. My bruise was still hurting, but my hip extension range has apparently improved. I graduated from the 5:50 pace, and was able to run 5:34. It still hurt, though, and I could not go any faster. I had to tell Benjamin to slow down a couple of times. He felt quite comfortable at this pace but said he had to work. We did lose some time under the bridge on ice, maybe a couple of seconds.
4 1.958 16:24.70 8:22.91 Back to the house. We got lazy, plus there was ice on the road, plus my bruise discouraged me from keeping the pace sub-8:00.
Leg 3
Distance Time Pace Comment
3 26:27.60. 8:49.20 With Julia.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 3.000 26:27.60 8:49.20  

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.06
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From steve ash on Sun, Jan 05, 2014 at 08:51:16 from

You have really given Benjamin a first class education and especially in the core subjects. The quality X factor is a big one and it's going to put him leaps and bounds above the rest. My youngest son Aaron has been absorbing material at an exponential rate especially in the form of books. I'm really hoping to develop that in the future so that the prodding and pushing that comes with trying to get a high school student to complete their studies does not become necessary. Hopefully..

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