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

More tapering for Magna. Jogged two Slate Canyon loops with Eric, then did some tune-up speed. Did a couple of accelerations at 5 K pace to accomodate for the "bio break". First, measured anaerobic threshold by feel. Hit the control 0.5 in 2:42.5, and it felt very very good. I do not recall 5:25 pace feeling that good on that section ever before. Then did a probe for a 5 K pace on the same stretch. 0.5 in 2:32.6, and it felt aggressive - I had to concentrate hard to make it happen. Now this could explain why it is so hard for me to push the 5 K pace - anaerobic threshold is so close, and so inviting, like a soft warm bed at the end of a hard day. What is the solution? Probably not to worry about it, and just keep doing what brings the threshold up. I do not mind developing Alberto Salazar syndrome at all - 57 seconds on a quarter, 4:01 mile, and 13:20 5 K. A slowdown of only 7 seconds per quarter from 400 m sprint to 5 K pace. If I did that, I'd be running my 5 K in 13:51. I do not really need a true 5 K speed development, I am just concerned that the lack of 5 K speed creates a barrier for the threshold. The question is how to avoid this being a barrier, and it is an open question right now. Ran a mile with ankle weights. Later in the morning ran with Benjamin and Jennifer. Jogged a mile with Joseph and Julia in the stroller in the evening. Salt Lake Marathon has put its half-marathon and 5 K back on the circuit. I definitely do not need another marathon at this point, especially in hot conditions. I figured I did not want to run the half either for a number of reasons. However, 5 K sounds good - gives me some 5 K practice, plus hopefully good circuit points with everybody now spread around among three races. So I decided to do it. The Salt Lake Marathon web site says: Not ready to run a marathon? Then get involved in the race by joining thousands of other runners and walkers in the 5K!. Well, that will officially be my reason...

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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