Breaking the Wall

January 17, 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: 24.00 Month: 151.02 Year: 151.02
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1576.28
Neon Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1353.22
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

For those who are wondering - I botched an upgrade on the Fast Running Blog server, and all the devils broke loose. I ended up having to do quite a few boots from the recovery USB drive, and I got really good at typing init=/sbin/init --verbose before I figured out why it was not booting, or rather before I figured out the workaround that would make it boot. We are still not quite out of the woods yet, but at least we are functional enough for me to post this. It may take a couple of days before we are fully operational - given the fact that I need some sleep, and have other responsibilities. In the meantime, report the errors when you run into them.

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2014-06-20 08:01:46
Workout Totals
Total of 12. Benjamin did 9, Joseph and Jacob 2, Julia 3, Jenny 4, William 1, Stephen 0.75. Today was the day of records. I took the little boys to the BYU track. William ran 400 in 1:44.1, Jacob did 800 in 3:00.5, Joseph did it in 2:53.0. Details to follow.
Leg 1
0.374:12.90.11:23.51Warm-up with Benjamin, Jacob, Joseph, William, and Stephen.
Leg 2
0.2481:44.10.6:59.76With Benjamin and William. William opened the first 100 in 25, then did 26, 26, and 27. I was happy with the result. His previous quarter PR was 1:51, but that was at the end of a mile.
Leg 3
0.4963:00.50.6:03.91Benjamin and I paced Jacob. He opened in 42, then became very doubtful and slowed down to 48, but then realizing he would miss his record if he did not get his act together he sped up to 45 and 45 in the kick improving his record by almost 2 seconds. I was very pleased with this recovery.
Leg 4
0.251:48.80.7:15.20Jog with Benjamin.
Leg 5
0.4962:53.00.5:48.79Benjamin helped me pace Joseph. He opened with 42, then became a little doubtful and slowed down to 44, but then he sped up to 43, and though he struggled in the kick (44), he pulled off a PR by one second.
Leg 6
0.53:45.10.7:30.20Jog with Benjamin.
Leg 7
0.756:31.20.8:41.60Jog with Benjamin, Joseph, and Jacob.
Leg 8
0.384:10.20.10:58.42Back to the car with everybody.
Leg 9
5.544:33.50.8:06.09With Benjamin.
Leg 10

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
From RAD on Fri, Jun 20, 2014 at 18:10:58 from

Thanks for all your tireless work keeping the blog up and running!! I was going to continue my marathon catch up last night. My husband was teasing me and kept saying I broke it from blogging too much. I'm glad you were able to restore it and find the work around. Tireless, thankless work. So, know that at least one person is grateful to see the blog back up today!

From Rob Murphy on Sat, Jun 21, 2014 at 08:25:07 from

I'm experiencing FRB withdraw symptoms. Starting to shake uncontrollably and break out in a rash.

From Burt on Sat, Jun 21, 2014 at 10:10:46 from

Rob, I told you not to eat those berries!

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