Breaking the Wall

August 11, 2020

Recent EntriesHomeJoin Fast Running Blog Community!PredictorHealthy RecipesSasha Pachev's RacesFind BlogsMileage BoardTop Ten Excuses for Missing a RunTop Ten Training MistakesDiscussion ForumRace Reports Send A Private MessageWeek ViewMonth ViewYear View
15% off for Fast Running Blog members at St. George Running Center!


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: 88.07 Year: 2386.98
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: 1257.89
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran in the Provo Canyon this morning. Warm-up a mile with a couple of strides, a mile with ankle weights, then jogged up to the Canyon Glen Park. Started 5 mile tempo run there, 2.5 down, then 2.5 back up. The goal was to go 5 miles at an aggressive marathon pace. Frequent running at race pace prior to the race helps me relax and feel confident when I am actually racing.

Moderate tailwind for the first 2.5 miles. 5:33 - 5:28. Then a half in 2:47 with 13:48 at the turnaround. Feeling very good. When the mind turns off, the pace is 1:24 per quarter. When it engages, it becomes 1:21-1:22. This probably means the true marathon pace is 1:25 per quarter (5:40 per mile) on that grade (1 %) and with this tailwind. Turned around, now moderate headwind instead of a moderate tailwind. Hard to shift gears after the 180 turnaround, and the wind is not helping at all. I hit a quarter in 1:33, then finally was able ease into a slightly sub-6:00 pace. Next half in 3:02 (5:49 mile), then 5:55, and the last mile in 5:53. Total time 28:38. Quads cramped up a bit on the climb towards the end. Cooled down back to the car. Total of 10.5 for the workout.

During the day, ran with Benjamin and Jennifer, and a little bit on my own. Total mileage 13 for the day. Taper time for Ogden.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Zack on Tue, May 02, 2006 at 07:57:39


Thanks for the push. Unfortunatley I did not get the msg until this A.M. I intend on getting in 4-5 this evening. EZ miles I am in a marathon relay (Flying Pigs) I am running the 6.9 mile portion Sunday. My goal is to run 7:15's for the distance or right at 50 minutes. I am ramping up for Oct 15th Columbus Marathon Where my goal is to B.Q. I have lots of work to do but I will do it. Thanks again for the push...

Add Your Comment.
  • Keep it family-safe. No vulgar or profane language. To discourage anonymous comments of cowardly nature, your IP address will be logged and posted next to your comment.
  • Do not respond to another person's comment out of context. If he made the original comment on another page/blog entry, go to that entry and respond there.
  • If all you want to do is contact the blogger and your comment is not connected with this entry and has no relevance to others, send a private message instead.
Only registered users with public blogs are allowed to post comments. Log in with your username and password or create an account and set up a blog.
Debt Reduction Calculator

Featured Announcements
New Kids on the Blog
(need a welcome):
Lone Faithfuls
(need a comment):