Breaking the Wall

January 21, 2021

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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: 188.26 Year: 188.26
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: 1657.61
Brown Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 1359.62
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Mini-taper for the track meet at BYU (Robison Invitational) tomorrow. Ran easy 7 miles with a couple of tempo pick-ups with Eric in the morning. Had quite a bit of fun running with Benjamin and Jennifer later in the morning. Towards the end, we passed a rather slowly moving excavator. Have you ever had to pass an excavator while pushing a stroller with a 3-year old, and pacing a 7 and a 5 year old at the same time? It was during their kick, so we were going about 7:00 pace by then, and that excavator was coming to us fast. We managed the maneuver, though, and hit 9:01 for the mile.

Ran to the Stake Priesthood Leadership meeting because I was late and also to get some always on the run miles in, and also back to make it somewhat on time to do my hometeaching.

Total of 9.5 for the day.

College track meets are probably as close as it gets to racing in Kenya around here, perhaps even better. If tomorrow's meet is like the others I've seen or heard of, the poor guy who runs 16:40 will finish last get lapped by the winner in front of a crowd. With that time, he'd be able to win probably 75% of all the 5 K around the country, and place somewhere in the top of the pack in others. But in a track meet, there is no pack of joggers to beat, and to make things worse, there are a lot of people watching.

So my goals for the meet. Not to get beat too bad by the college runners, which includes not finishing last, and not getting lapped. If somebody like Bryan Lindsay or Josh Rohatinsky shows up, this could be a challenge. They could do 14:30 even here at altitude. In that case, to avoid being lapped, I would have to run at least 15:45.

I also want to break my track PR of 16:19. I've raced only once on the track before since coming to the US, and it was raining hard that day, and the track was wet. So this should be too big of a challenge, hopefully.

But most of all, I want to be able to run strong and relaxed start to finish, not have any laps slower than 79, kick in 73 or faster, and determine the strengths and weakness my training has given me so far this year.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From SuperFly on Fri, Apr 28, 2006 at 08:01:27

That sounds like a lot of fun. You'll have to give us a good update when it all over. Are you just running as an independant or in the open class?

From Paul Petersen on Fri, Apr 28, 2006 at 12:39:57

Track 5k's hurt more than any other race. Hopefully all your 300m intervals and form drills will pay off during the anaerobic last mile.

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