Breaking the Wall

July 12, 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: 51.55 Year: 2011.51
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: 881.43
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest. Went to church. Had recently returned missionaries speak in the Sacrament meeting again. We get those quite often in this ward, I think recently it's been almost every other week. One talk mentioned a 9-year-old girl in Zambia who is the only member of the Church in her family that walked to church alone for an hour each Sunday. I think there is an aspect to the missionary program of the Church that does not get frequent enough attention. Those who are in the church take it for granted, those who are not are not close enough to the Church to be aware of it. There are thousands of young men and women that would not otherwise even know where countries like Zambia are that end up dedicating two years of their lives to serving in those countries learning the language and becoming intimately familiar with their culture. Their parents and grandparents would not otherwise know where those countries are. I understand that we are not unique in sending missionaries to other countries. Where we are unique is that we send them by assignment for two years and expect them to learn the language. We also expect them to do more than just preach the good word. They are expected to figure out what they need to do to convince people to make significant changes in their lifestyle. Anybody who has served a mission will know the difference between telling people to do better and seeing through to make sure they actually do better. You cannot get away with a superficial approach. If you do not immerse yourself into what the people you are working with live you will not succeed.

When I lived in Russia I happened to run into an influx of foreign, mostly American, missionaries when things opened up. However, it was not until I had met the LDS missionaries that I found somebody who has some depth behind them. They were the ones that were not afraid to invest their skin into the matter, so to speak. This was definitely a plus. While the message alone was convincing enough for me, to observe the messenger living up to the message made it even easier to believe.

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
From Rob Murphy on Sat, Apr 28, 2012 at 13:05:01 from

Interesting perspective.

In the Baptist church I grew up in missionary work was viewed as a lifetime calling. Missionaries from our church would spend twenty years or more in one country sometimes serving into their seventies, living in Third World conditions and earning little pay. These people always seemed to have plenty of "depth" to me.

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Apr 28, 2012 at 17:28:08 from


There were not enough of them to make it to Russia and meet me. I believe this is more than a chance or line-up of circumstances. Out of one thousand church members, how many can you send to a third-world country to do missionary work as a life time calling in a sustainable manner so you could do it for years generation after generation? So as far as other churches are concerned I ended up meeting mostly young men and women who said they believed but lacked the depth to back up their story. They expected me to believe because the Bible says so - obviously having not given thought to the fact that it is difficult for somebody who grew up without it to take the Bible at face value without any further witness.

It is my opinion that a Christian church that has ever seriously tried to solve the problem of how you convince somebody with no Christian background that Christ is our Savior on a global scale, tracked the results, seriously analysed what worked and what did not - would have a whole lot more respect of the Book of Mormon and the testimony of Joseph Smith. Even if they did not accept the witness itself, they would at least recognize the need for having a reliable and believable modern day witness of Christ that they could present to somebody who was not ready to accept the Bible alone. Instead, time and again, we hear - why the Book of Mormon, why Joseph Smith, isn't the Bible enough? - which to me reveals the lack of depth.

From steve ash on Sat, Apr 28, 2012 at 17:44:57 from

"By their fruits ye shall know them"..

I think there is more than one path my friend:) IMHO.

From steve ash on Sat, Apr 28, 2012 at 18:06:07 from

I have met different people from different churches and they all had depth in their conviction and in their works. It always came down to the individual. Some of the most Christian people I have witnessed were not Mormon.. However you could still feel the love of Christ coming from them.

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