Breaking the Wall

August 14, 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: 88.07 Year: 2386.98
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: 1257.89
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Legs, mainly quads were to sore to run productively this morning, although I could have forced it, and a year ago actually did when they hurt worse. This time I decided to wait until the evening. In the evening, they were slightly better. I ran a mile in 9:17 with Jenny and pushing Jacob in the stroller. The pain was bearable, but I still felt running more would not have been productive, so I decided to do some biking instead. So I rode my standard 10.04 course. 28:07 on the way out, but I made a few stops and did not stop the watch, 22:33 on the way back. My bike has some issues with gears, the frame is too short for me, and it is a 30lb mountain bike. It also took me about 8.5 miles to figure out that if you stand up and pedal really hard for a bit, then you can sit down and just coast, and you end up going a lot faster with the same effort. So I was going about 4:20-4:30 pace most of the way. At the end, once I figured out the trick, I hit the last quarter that had 2 90 degree turns in 62. So I figure two miles of biking is about a mile of running, so I'll count this ride as 5 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From wheakory on Thu, Jul 26, 2007 at 01:27:28

I've got a 30lb mountain bike and the effort is definitely difficult compared to a standard road bike. God has blessed you with your running skills and there's better PR's to come for you. Good Job in the Marathon.

From Wildbull on Thu, Jul 26, 2007 at 15:55:09

I hope so shasa, because i feel so slow now! I think i am still recovering from the half.

From Mike K on Thu, Jul 26, 2007 at 16:25:23

You were smart to bike today. I think there are two parts to soreness: soreness from running hard and soreness from impacting the ground. You won't loose any fitness in two or three days but you can beat your body up pretty good if you push it too early.

What is your next race?

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jul 26, 2007 at 16:38:46

Mike - my next race is Provo River Half. My next tapered race is Top of Utah. I think most of the soreness is from the pounding. Based on the HR readings prior to the time when my HRM quit (mile 16), energy utilization wise most of the race was a jog. I had my HR around 156-158 during the 2 flatter East Canyon miles with the Kenyans, 158-160 going up the Little Mountain, and around 155 trying to discourage Peter Vail from pursuing me. Other than that, HR never cracked 152. For a comparison, when I ran St. George last year, it was fairly consistent around 157, and I felt the difference in the breathing as well. I thought that putting in a lesser cardiovascular effort would help reduce the impact, but it did not. Compared to last year, my legs gave out just the same in the last 6 miles, I am almost as sore, just a little better, but still DesNews style of soreness for me.

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