Breaking the Wall

January 25, 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: 151.02 Year: 151.02
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1576.28
Neon Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1353.22
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran the Salt Lake 10 miler from the East Canyon Gate to the This is The Place Monument by the Hogle Zoo. Got 2nd place with 52:12. The first two miles gain 300 feet, then the rest is a gradual 1500 foot drop. I hit the first mile in 5:15. My teammate Bob Thompson and Delfino Arevalo were ahead a bit. Delfino had 5:07, while Bob 5:10. I did not expect it to be so fast going uphill, but it hurt bad enough for me to believe the mark was accurate. The grade increased on the next mile. I did 6:17, and Bob and Delfino opened up another 5 seconds on me. I liked the next mile a lot better. We reached the top of the Little Mountain, and started going down. Nice grade. 5:06. Believe it or not, Bob and Delfino still opened up some more distance. I should have expected it of Delfino - he is a 29:02 10 K runner, and although somewhat out of shape, should be able to go sub-5:00 pace on this type of grade no problem. But I had never seen Bob run like this. Another mile - 4:54, then 4:57, 5:09, and 5:08. I like the pace, but not the sight of Bob and Delfino moving away further. All of a sudden Bob stopped at mile 7 and started walking. Still not sure what happened to him - probably an injury. Next mile, 5:23. It flattened out a bit. Then the downhill resumed in full force - 5:08, and 4:55 for the last mile. Delfino got 49:47. Not sure what to think of this performance. I felt good all the way, but at the same time, I felt that if I'd put the hammer down, my form would get worse, and I would just be working harder to run the same or even slower pace. Overall, I would describe this run as enjoyable. I liked the feedback I was receiving from my muscles as I went down the hill. I also liked being able to shift gears quickly after running hard on the uphill. My quads did tense up a bit during the climb, but I was able to relax them quickly. Did some more always on the run, and ran with Benjamin and Jennifer. Also ran a mile with ankle weights. Total mileage - 16.5 for the day. Jennifer set a record on the last half-mile - 4:02, and on the last quarter - 1:49, as well as on the last 100 - 25. She sure made Benjamin work. Good for him. He needs it.

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