Breaking the Wall

July 23, 2019

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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: 217.33 Year: 2189.42
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs Lifetime Miles: 2133.34
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1034.77
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Travel day. Drove from Cypress,TX to Los Lunas,NM with a detour to Fredricksburg,TX. Missed a head-on collision by a few minutes  - the police was there, the ambulance not yet. Could not find anything in the news about the accident - it happened in the afternoon around 1 pm CST on Highway 290 2.7 miles east of the I-10 W junction between Fredricksburg, TX and Junction,TX. There was a large house moving semi-truck involved, and a red sports car - we could not see anything else. We could not get passed it and took a 30 mile detour. Right as we turned around we saw the ambulance.

Got in 7 miles. Joseph and Jacob did 4, William 2, Stephen 1, Julia 1, Jenny 2, Sarah 1, Benjamin 7. Over 1000 miles in one day with 9 kids. Quite an eventful day.

White Crocs 1 Miles: 7.00
Night Sleep Time: 5.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 5.00
From Rob Murphy on Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 18:27:36 from

We could never make 1,600 miles in a day. First of all, I feel like it wrecks my body, and, secondly, I can't drive past a historic site without stopping and delivering a lecture.

From steve ash on Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 18:44:02 from

Wow.. God was definitely watching over you and the family.

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 21:21:15 from


I did not quite get it right with the distances - it was 1600+ miles over two days, the first day was 1000+, the second 600+. I have done 1300 miles in one day before, though, with three kids - that was harder. I-10 in Texas is a good road, speed limit is 80 most of the way - this made the trip easier.

If you ever feel like giving our kids a lecture around a historic site somewhere not too far away, we will be happy to take you with us on a short trip.

Steve - the night before we left I considered how far we were going and how much could possibly go wrong, and I prayed for a fairly long time asking the Lord for special protection. A thought came to me - if you drive all the way and nothing happens that you are aware of, you will quickly forget that you have been protected. How would you like to know you have been protected? Then I thought - I do not want too near of a miss. After we got home, I felt I had received as much of a witnesses as one possibly could without jeopardizing the development of the faith - I would compare it to getting a 25 mph tailwind while running - if it was more than that, you would go faster, but it would take away the chance from your muscles to perform the work that is needed for them to grow.

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