Breaking the Wall

July 16, 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

Provo Canyon with Brad and Ted in the early morning. The great thing about Ted is you can ( he will) get him (you)

Warm-up from Canyon View Park to Nunns Park, then the standard 3 mile tempo downhill. Got more sleep (whole 6.5 hours) than last time, and it showed. Remembered to bring The Toy. Ran in the dark. Quarter mile auto-splits helped, but they were a bit off.

The Toy showed 3.03 for the length of the run which I did in 15:59. I always subtract a second because back a few years ago the trail was slightly changed near the Canyon Glen Park to add about a second. I want the times to be comparable. So according to the protocol, the time was 15:58. According to The Toy, I hit 3 miles in 15:49. Ted's Toy measured it as 3.01. However, around 1.5 I had to swing out to pass two runners that were going about 8:30, which could have added a bit. With the speed difference of about 5 mph, and in the dark, it was not easy, not a lot of time to think.

The pace was even through most of the run, but at the end I wanted to make sure I was under 16:00 and sped up. The Toy said I ran the last quarter in 1:14, but I think it was actually 1:17 - I managed to catch my split with a true quarter to go. HR stayed at around 158-160 after the first mile, and climbed to 168 on the last quarter.

In the afternoon, Benjamin, Jennifer, and Julia ran in the Provo District Cross-Country Championship in the 3rd grade division. There was no home school team, so they ran for Provost. I believe Jenny and Julia ended up being the only girls representing Provost in the 3rd grade division.

Julia (4 years old) ran very well - 5:10 for 0.5 mile, and she managed to pass some 3rd graders. Jennifer (6 years old) ran a decent 3:57 for 12th. Benjamin was not having a good day due to his stomach problems. Sarah, myself, and Benjamin have caught some food digestion bug - Benjamin and Sarah have it pretty bad, and I just do not feel like eating very much. Nevertheless Benjamin did his best under the circumstances and pulled off 13th place out of 52 3rd graders (a year or two older than him) with 3:37.

I ran along with Julia, then with Benjamin, and then with Abby who finished 12th in the 4th grade girls 0.75 mile with 6:39.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Nick on Fri, Oct 20, 2006 at 17:50:04

Hey Sasha,

About your comment in my blog; Sometimes I do feel a bit tired, but I usually end up running the same pace as I usually would. For example: I ran two tempo runs today. I felt ok, nothing special, but I managed to nearly out-perform my previous best time. I think that sometimes I may feel a bit tired, but I still have the ability to run my goal pace when I feel this way.

From Cheston on Fri, Oct 20, 2006 at 18:15:27

I tried to send this earlier, but it was returned two days later undelivered


My first half was right around 1:24:30. I don't even remember

looking down at my 20 mile split. I have a Garmin 201 but I haven't

figured out how to do split on it. I've had it for 2 years now, I guess

it's time I sit down and figure out how to work all the functions.

All I know, it that my seconds half was a lot faster. If I'm going to

get serious, I need to start recording my splits.


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