Breaking the Wall

August 05, 2020

Recent EntriesHomeJoin Fast Running Blog Community!PredictorHealthy RecipesSasha Pachev's RacesFind BlogsMileage BoardTop Ten Excuses for Missing a RunTop Ten Training MistakesDiscussion ForumRace Reports Send A Private MessageWeek ViewMonth ViewYear View
15% off for Fast Running Blog members at St. George Running Center!


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: 16.00 Year: 2314.91
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: 1185.83
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Made up on lost sleep. We had a Stake Conference. A couple of interesting moments. First, there is a Latino brother on our High Council whose first name is Angel, and whose middle name in Moroni. So while they were sustaining the officers, they went through the entire High Council, and finally got to him. Every member of the High Council stood up as his name was being announced. Finally they got to Angel Moroni, and to make things more interesting, for one reason or another he could not be there, so his seat was empty.

Then there was a talk on the Articles of Faith. A story was mentioned (probably from around 40 years ago) of how a man was traveling on a bus from New York to San Francisco, and in Salt Lake City a little girl sat right next to him. He saw a sign on the highway that said "Visit the Mormon Sunday School", and asked the girl to tell her what Mormons believed. She recited all 13 articles of faith, and discussed each one. The man was impressed, and looked up the missionaries at his first opportunity. He ended up getting baptized.

I thought about how the times have changed. The girl reminded me of my daughter Jenny. First, I would not trust Jenny to go alone on a bus even for a short trip, and, unfortunately, if for some reason she had to and there was no other alternative, I would definitely tell her not to talk to any men. Second, when I drove on I-80 from SLC to San Francisco a couple of years ago I do not recall seeing signs inviting you to visit the Mormon Sunday School. Instead, there are plenty of signs inviting you to gamble in Wendover, followed by several signs later on once you pass Wendover telling you not to pick up hitchhikers because you are near a correctional facility. Ironically, the correctional facility is located in a place called Independence Valley.  

Later in the evening we went to Jeff and Kimia's house for dinner. After dinner we found some good use for his wedding present - Cooties, which is a game for children ages 3-6 where you have to assemble strange insect-looking six-legged creatures. I thought this would be a great manual dexterity/eye-hand coordination test. So we tested everybody on the task of attaching all 6 legs. Results:

Jeff - 9.96 seconds - tried many times, most of the time was around 11 seconds.

Kimia - 12.1 on the second try

Sarah - 14.? on the first and only try

me - 14.65 on my best attempt. I've tried many times, and most of the time got 18.

Benjamin - 15.2 in his best attempt. In all others he got too nervous and was taking longer than 20 seconds.

I would be interested to see what others can do. 

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 11.00
From Jon on Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 15:30:01

It doesn't look like you should petition for a reduction in health care insurance costs based on dexterity...

From Lybi on Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 10:19:11

Funny! Brother Angel, some parents are so brave. I met a lady who had always wanted to name her 1st daughter "Liberty," but then she married a guy with the last name "Bell."

Add Your Comment.
  • Keep it family-safe. No vulgar or profane language. To discourage anonymous comments of cowardly nature, your IP address will be logged and posted next to your comment.
  • Do not respond to another person's comment out of context. If he made the original comment on another page/blog entry, go to that entry and respond there.
  • If all you want to do is contact the blogger and your comment is not connected with this entry and has no relevance to others, send a private message instead.
Only registered users with public blogs are allowed to post comments. Log in with your username and password or create an account and set up a blog.
Debt Reduction Calculator

Featured Announcements
New Kids on the Blog
(need a welcome):