Breaking the Wall

July 07, 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

Easy run with Ted at our standard 4:45 AM time. The pace was not fast enough for long enough to test the form/spine spring. However, I did hit a quarter in 1:38 at the end that felt easy.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Warmer weather and less inversion. Benjamin and Jenny ran faster. Benjamin ran the last 0.5 in 3:45 rather comfortably. I think he is ready for another sub-7:00 mile attempt. We will probably try on Thursday if the weather is good.

The Fast Running Blog is overdue for a number of improvements.  We have added a few more runners to the point where even I find the current blog navigational system inadequate, and that is bad - I can use a very rudimentary user interface and be happy. I have had plans to do a predictor with GPX course uploads, or even better - a plotter like Also, need to find a way to place the Google ads better - in a way that is not annoying, but effective for generating click-throughs. The click through rate on the Fast Running Blog pages has not been very good - I hope mostly because the pages have been too interesting to read to leave them. Just need to find the time to code it all up.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Kory Wheatley on Tue, Jan 30, 2007 at 01:33:33

Upgrades alway take a lot of time and planning. You've done a wonderful job with what's available now.

Question: What shoes do you wear in your training and what shoes do you wear in the Marathon's you've ran?

I'm really thinking about going with a real light shoe in my next few marathons.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Jan 30, 2007 at 09:23:16


I wear whatever I can get for free. Given a choice I use a sturdy shoe for no other reason that it lasts a long time. I've put about 3000 miles on a pair of New Balance Off Road and they are still in decent condition by my standards (no holes). Ted just brought me two pairs of his shoes he did not want to use - Nike Zm Air and Adidas adiPRENE, both very light, about 8 ounces, and I've been running in them as well. For racing a marathon ( as well as any other distance), I've recently been using Saucony CRM S, also a light shoe. Thanks for asking, it made me look up and document which shoes I was actually using.

However, for you I would recommend going by what your body is telling you. Everybody is different as far as shoes are concerned, and I am an anomaly. I believe most runners would get injured fairly quickly if they tried to put their feet in my shoes and run the same kind of mileage.

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