Breaking the Wall

January 26, 2021

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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: 266.81 Year: 266.81
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: 1657.61
Brown Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 1438.17
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Salt Lake Track Club 15 K. 51:13, 3rd place.

Steve Ashbaker and I had a plan to go out at 5:30 pace and alternate leads every 2 minutes until the 10 K mark, then get into a race. We made it through the first 1 K in 3:19, then 5:23 for the mile, 6:40 at the 2 K, 10:04 at 3 K. It was my turn to lead. By that time only Alexander Thomas was ahead of us, and he was close enough to make it tempting to catch him. I picked it up a bit, and pulled up hoping that both of us could draft for while instead of trading leads. I also had secret hopes to sustain 5:20 pace for the whole race. Unfortunately Steve was not feeling that great, and the little surge dropped him. I tried to follow Alexander, but he picked up the pace shortly after I caught him and lost me for good. Additionally, it seems like my cardiovascular system was working better than my legs - a pick up to sub 5:20 pace even for a short while caused a cramp in the quads. This has happened before. Well, I'll have to figure out how to fix this. 2 miles in 10:44, 4 K in 13:23, 3 miles 16:19, 5 K 16:56.

Shortly before mile 4 I hear "good job, guys" from an aid station. That means there is somebody else catching me. I've heard this before, too, and at a very bad place - 0.75 miles away from the finish of the Ogden Marathon last year. Paul Peterson was the $250 that ran past me to take third. That was alright though and I suppose I deserved it - I've done nasty things to him before. I have been the $250 that went past him at mile 22, $1000 that ran away from the start after staying the night at his house, and $1000 that took off at the half-marathon mark. Paul is a great guy and we are good friends.

Has Steve regrouped after the surge? No it is Mike Kirk, and he is having a very good day. I try to go with him, and for a while it looks like I can handle it. 4 miles in 21:48, turnaround in 25:30, supposedly 5 miles in 27:09, supposedly 6 miles in 33:02, 10 K in 34:05. Mike has dropped me shortly after 5 miles, and is gradually pulling away. I try to hold my ground, but he is doing better. If only I could relax my quads a bit... 12 K in 40:59. I am trying to stay as close as possible to the 5:30 pace. 13 K in 44:24. Now try to get close to 5:20 for the last mile. 14 K in 47:52. I shift gears after mile 9 for the kick, and manage 3:21 for the last 1 K to finish in 51:13. 50:40 for Mike, 49:27 for Alexander Thomas. Steve finishes a disappointing 7th in 52:38. But I am sure he will soon have a much better race. This one was a fluke for him.

With the warm up, cooldown, and the "always on the run" miles, and the kids runs, total mileage for the day is 15.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Eric on Mon, Feb 27, 2006 at 12:39:36

Nice race! Thanks for your comments on my blog last week. You have a nice site here...I will check out your older posts.

Take care.

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