Breaking the Wall

September 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:

Russian champion tries Crocs, commits to racing a marathon in them

Nikolay Chavkin in the video below did 3x1000, first two in Adidas carbon-fiber models, the last one in Crocs. Surprised by the result (2:52, 2:52, 2:50) with the fastest interval done in Crocs, he committed to racing a marathon in Crocs if the video gets 42K likes and 195 comments (for 42 km 195 m, the marathon distance). Nikolay's current marathon PR is 2:14:00. The video was created by a Russian sporting goods store chain. Their moto is "more sports - brighter life", which we think is wonderful, and also deserves a Like. If you want to see a fast marathon in Crocs, go to the video and click the Like button. And make sure to share it with your friends.

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 174.01 Year: 2778.53
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Brown Crocs 4 Lifetime Miles: 1334.06
Amoji 1 Lifetime Miles: 130.19
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff in 1:14:55. Started out slow, then sped up when we realized Jeff was going to be late for work. Last 3 miles at a little under 6:40 pace. Then 2 more Benjamin in 16:47.  We did a mini-speed workout. It was very revealing. I gave Benjamin a target of 6:00 pace for half mile. We did it mid-run without stopping off 9:07 first mile. After a 1:35 first quarter I stopped him, had him jog 200 in 1:12 and then he ran 200 in 41 with the splits of 19 and 22. Then after about 450 meters I had him run 300 to the finish as fast as he could, and he could only do 1:12. I also noticed that he was breathing hard at the end of the quarter.

On Tuesday he could run 1:29 quarter from a standing HR with the idea that he was going the whole mile, but at 9:00 pace after a mile his HR is high enough to not be able to run faster than 1:35 with the idea that he was running only 0.5. This is not normal. Just in August he was able to run 1:16 quarter  in the middle off 9:00 pace.

So that is more evidence for growth-related cardio/aerobic failure. His leg power is fine, more than fine, very good. He can also run 8:00, even 7:30 for a long time without much discomfort. But somewhere around 6:40 is where the problems start. At first I thought it was training related because he did not run a whole lot in the fast range for the last couple of months, but after today's run I am thinking it is more than training. I do not think that it is merely an increase in bone mass without a corresponding increase in heart power. His weight increased by only 4 lb. I think there is something going on the hormonal level, and for reasons we perhaps do not quite understand (if somebody does, I'd like to hear from you) aerobic capacity has to drop quite a bit while the body is growing.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 16:55. Julia ran 1.5 in 12:58. 0.25 with Jacob in 2:29. This is a new PR. He impressed me with the consistency of the splits. 37-38-38-36. This is our family record for the 3 year old division.

Jacob's splits go along with his personality. He is very thorough, balanced, and consistent. When he has a temper tantrum, interestingly enough it is almost always about not being able to fulfill a certain responsibility or perform a certain task that he set his mind on. For example, during our family scripture study he insists on having his scriptures open while he "reads" (really repeating after a reader) his verse.

Ran 0.5 with Joseph in 4:38. Joseph is the goofiest of our kids. He likes pranks and jokes more than others. Unlike Jacob he can be defiant and play power struggles. But he is learning that it is useless and only yields trouble. He seems to have improved a lot in his behavior after he started running consistently. When he runs it is more of a form of play, so we play chasing a guy. 5:00 guy for half a mile, sometimes 4:30.

Later practiced with William. He cannot walk yet, but he can push a walker toy quite well, and seems to like it a lot.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 14.85
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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