Breaking the Wall

July 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: 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 Ted in the morning. Woke up at 2:45 am, and could not sleep because of the stomach nausea feeling. No throwing up, but not much appetite. Stayed awake until it was time to go, read the scriptures, got some work done, did my Pettibon exercises.

Was originally planning on the same tempo run as Thursday, but decided to back off the pace a bit due to the low fuel condition. This might actually have been a good training - you feel like you are at about mile 15 of a marathon energy wise, but your legs are fresh. Stayed with Ted to help him run fast. Actually felt good for the condition.

It was dark. The Toy gave quarter splits, which helped. We started out at 5:25 pace, I was able to see the true two mile split (10:59). Ted was very strong up to about 1.7, and then started losing it a bit. We ran the last mile in 5:38 for the total of 16:37. So Ted improved his time by over a minute in the last two months.

HR stayed around 150-152 for most of the run except for climbing to 158 briefly during the kick at the end. Interestingly enough, that is where I had it during the second half of St. George.

Ted said he would race when he broke 16:30 on our tempo run. He almost made it. I teased him that he slowed down on purpose at the end so he would not have to race. I think he will not be able to get out of it next week. I'll make sure to stay with him all the way to encourage it. Or who knows - the way he's been progressing he might just go ahead and drop me altogether.

Afterwards, went to the BYU Homecoming races. Benjamin and Jenny ran the cross-country half mile. The course was hilly, and the grass was covered with ice. So that made for slow times. Benjamin ran a heroic race. He was still suffering from the stomach flu, so I told him to run it just to finish. His age division was again very tough - 7-9, and he is 7. He managed 3:48 which was good enough for 2nd. Jenny ran a good race finishing in 4:08, 2nd in 5-6.

Afterwards, ran the 5 K pacing Ted's son James, who is 12. Ted could not do it himself because he was in charge of the parade. James ran a good race finishing in 22:59 on a hilly course around campus. Josh McAdams won in 15:02, very good time for that course.

During the race, I did a lot of motivational talking and instruction. With Benjamin, I try to hold back a bit, he is only 7. He actually runs better when I am rather quiet, just there. James is 12, his dad is a tough army guy, so I figured I could do a little more. One girl running by wondered aloud how I could talk so much while racing.

Ran with Julia and Hannah in the evening.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From ArmyRunner on Sat, Oct 21, 2006 at 22:06:37

Thanks for running with James. That was his best time on a not so fast course.

From Brent on Sun, Oct 22, 2006 at 10:34:31

Yes, most people are too tired to talk during a race. I often wonder if people are talking, cannot they run faster. Running with your kids is great. I have had two sons run the St. George marathon with me once. I am curious on how you are going to approach the winter running months?

From Mike on Sun, Oct 22, 2006 at 16:22:30


I'm booked for the next two weeks with family stuff. Amy is working next Saturday and we are going to look at a job in New Mexico the following weekend. I should be back up to long run speed (hopefully) after that so we should plan on something then.


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