Breaking the Wall

November 24, 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: 232.17 Year: 3533.69
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: 734.48
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Time to start training for real. I've been in the maintenance mode since St. George. Today was the start. Well, the relay was the start, to a certain extent, but today was the official start of training for real. Got good sleep. Went to the Provo Canyon. Warmed up, then 5x400 alternating down and up. 72.7 down - 78.8 up - 71.3 down - 75.2 up - 72.7 down. Still not used to the pain of a good 400, but that's OK, it takes about 3 weeks for it to come. Jogged up to Nunn's Park, and ran the standard 3 mile tempo in 16:01. Mile splits - 5:19 - 5:21 - 5:21. For some reason the pace started feeling a lot harder and I started losing it after 1.5. But I pushed through it. There was a quarter in 1:22, afterwards, no slower than 1:21. There was a slight head/side wind, maybe it got stronger at that point. The heart rate did what it was supposed to - stay at 163. So that means the nervous system was working fine, I was able to push the heart. However, I was not quite happy with the pace, especially with slowing down, but I am just starting the misery drill, so it is OK for the start. I am possibly underestimating the effects of the head wind. And coming back from a lower elevation is probably also a factor. So probably nothing to worry about.

The tempo run felt miserable enough to where I thought perhaps the additional 400s would be counterproductive for a moment. Then I decided to just go ahead and do my best. I did another set of 5x400. 74.0 down - 77.2 up - 73.0 down - 76.2 up - 69.3 down. Pushed it on the last one, and got a taste of a real 400. The consistent difference of only 3 seconds between up and down shows there was a head wind when running down on that stretch. In still air the difference is 5 seconds. It was also on that stretch where the pace started feeling harder in the tempo run earlier.

Got 12.7 in the workout. Then ran with the kids in the afternoon.


Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From steve ashbaker on Wed, Apr 04, 2007 at 19:39:45

Great workout! These are the type of workouts that I loved to do most with you.

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