Breaking the Wall

August 13, 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: 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

Tempo run on the standard 5 mile course on the Provo River Trail at 4:45 AM. Warmed up with Ted - he started from BYU. He was feeling tired, so I ran the tempo alone. Due to the early hour and the lack of sleep I had a hard time warming into pace and pushing myself. It is a strange feeling when it happens. Subjectively, you feel like you are working and cannot go any faster. But HR readings are low, and the pace matches it. With that in mind, I adjusted my expectations. My goal was to hit somewhere between 28:20 and 29:00 minutes.

First quarter was 1:28, and I felt lazy. Then sped up to 1:27, still sleepy and lazy. Then did 1:25, and settled into a steady 1:25 per quarter pace. Mile in 5:43, next mile in 5:41, 14:15 at the turnaround(2:51). I felt like I was working hard, but HR was around 148-149. For a while, I thought The Toy was wrong, but it was too consistent to be wrong. Plus the early hour effect should have been contributing something.

A bit of a struggle with the rhythm after the 180 turn, then recovered. To test the measurements, I decided to pick up the pace to see what happens. 17:05 at 2 miles (5:41,2:50). I settled into a steady 1:23 per quarter pace. HR got up to 157. Unfortunately, as soon as I did, I had an urgent need for a bio-break. Trying not to break the rhythm I did it as quick as I could, HR dropped to 143. When I got going again, I had a hard time finding that magic rhythm. 22:42 at 4 miles, 5:37. Uphill quarter in 1:26, the next one in 1:25. Now it is time to get down to business and catch the 5:40 guy. But I am too sleepy to deal with as much pain as it takes, next quarter in 1:25 again. Now it is really time to get serious. Ran the last quarter in 1:20, had to dodge a construction cone at the end - they are building a new bridge around Geneva road and things are quite a mess right now. HR went up to 162.  Last mile in 5:37, total time 28:18, last 2.5 in 14:03, good negative split.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon.


Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Superfly on Thu, Mar 01, 2007 at 10:30:13

Sounds good. I'll call you Friday evening to get all the details.

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