Breaking the Wall

Law Day 5 K

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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: 154.81 Year: 1799.09
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Brown Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 2191.97
Brown Crocs 4 Lifetime Miles: 595.71
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.50Saucony Type A Miles: 32.85Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 24.10
Night Sleep Time: 55.92Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 55.92
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest. Went to church. Daniel spoke in the Sacrament meeting. He told a story of one stake president interviewing one of the brothers in his stake. "Suppose you were asked to give up the deed to your house, would you do that?" "No problem"." What about all of your stocks, bonds, and saving?" "No problem." "What about the expensive things that your wife cherishes?" "No problem." "What about your horse?" "No, I would not give up my horse!" "Why?" "Because I actually do have a horse!"

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Ted and Jeff. Had a post VPB tempo - 0.5 in 2:50.  Dropped Ted off after 6, then ran 2.5 more with Jeff. We ran the last mile fast. The idea was to fall asleep burning fats during the run, then speed up without waking up the carb-burning beast. Well, this time we blew it big time with two quarters in 83, and then 77. That was like putting rooster right next to the beast's ear. After that Jeff kept going, while I eased off a bit. He did 76,77 for a 5:13 mile, I did 82,85 for 5:27. Then 2 more with Benjamin in 15:48. Did explosions during Benjamin's run.

P.M. 1.5 with Julia in 14:44, faster than the policeman. We have a friend that is trying to get a job as a policeman and he needs to be able to run 1.5 miles in 15:00. So any time Julia breaks 15:00 I tell her she ran fast enough to be a police officer. 2 with Jenny in 17:59.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeff. We did a brisk warmup (by our standards) at 7:30 pace for 2.12 miles. Then we ran The Interval. The Interval has been modified to include a mile warmup to get into the rhythm. So we started at 0.5 mark of the Fast Running Blog 5 Miler Course and ran towards the start, then did a 180 and ran to the 2.5 mark. First mile was 5:45, then 5:19, and then 5:12 with the quarters of 79,79,78,76. Total time was 16:16.8. Felt very strong, very much in control of the pace even when it got fast. It felt good to blow by the 5:30 guy in the last mile and put 14 seconds on him after being 15 seconds behind one mile into it.

After the lion stopped roaring, ran a nice cool-down to make 10 miles total. Then added 2 mile with Benjamin in 17:34.

P.M. 2.25 from Computune with Jenny and Julia in 22:42.

Saucony Type A Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M.  Ran with Jeff and Ted. Dropped Ted off at 6, then did 4 more. The river overflowed and there was quite a bit of water under some bridges. Five Fingers dry out a lot quicker than regular shoes with socks. Did the Fat Mile at the end in 6:00. Fat Mile is a new term I've just invented. You lull your body into burning fats by running a slow pace first for a while, and then you speed up hoping you are still burning fats and can teach your body to rely on fats at a faster pace.Total time was 1:13:36.

Afterwards, 2 more with Benjamin in 17:36.

P.M. 2  with Jenny in 19:04. Julia ran the first 1.5 with us in 14:34, faster than the policeman again.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.67Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.67
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeff. Adam joined us for a little bit on the trail as well. Did The Good Rhythm Tempo on the Fast Running Blog 5 Miler For Frugality And Against Obesity course.

5 Miles in 27:57.5. Splits: 5:42, 5:33, 5:39 (14:04 half way), 5:34, 5:29. First mile was a warm-up, second pushed it, in the third started feeling tense, so figured I had pushed too hard, eased off, found a relaxed rhythm again, then pushed in the last `1.5 with the quarters of 83,81,84(up), 83, 85, 77. In the next two last quarter I had to get around a couple with two strollers. I figured there would be no way they'd figure out how to get out of the way in time, so I went around the best way I could, which was not great. So I lost the rhythm and concentration at that point. However, this was compensated by Adam appearing out of nowhere to pace me in the last quarter. So bad luck was compensated by good luck. That is usually the case, overtime luck is neutral, however, effort is not.

Jogged back to Jeff, we jogged some more, then ran the Fat Mile in 6:00. His was probably fatter than mine since I had just finished a hard tempo and had my carb-burning beast alive and ready for more. A new application of the scripture from 2 Nephi 9 "Let your soul delight in fatness".

From the experience today I am beginning to wonder if my "neural fatigue" is really adrenal glands underperforming. Is there such a thing as "adrenal wall" - wearing out the adrenal glands from 15 miles of hard running and then slowing down not on fuel but on the lack of adrenaline to use the fuel?

P.M. 2.25 with Benjamin and Jenny to Computune in 21:34. 1.5 with Julia in 15:49.


Saucony Type A Miles: 10.35
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeff. 10.1 in 1:18:34. Did explosions. Also, did a fat 0.5 in 3:01 in the middle, and another fat mile in 6:14 at the end. Had a hard time getting the fat feeling probably due to the explosions earlier. So I learned that the fat pick-up does not work in combination with explosions. Of course, it does not. Explosions stir up the adrenal glands, you will have a hard time forcing yourself to run on fat after that. So I need to choose whether to do explosions or the fat pickups. I think I'll still keep doing the explosions and do fat pickups just to keep Jeff company.

Later 2 with Benjamin in  17:34

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 19:34. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 15:12.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 12.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
Race: Law Day 5 K (3.107 Miles) 00:17:23, Place overall: 7
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran the Law Day 5 K, 17:23.6 officially, 7th place. 17:21 on my watch. Everybody had about a 2 second difference between the watch and the official time, so I assume the time was started a little early. Not surprising because nobody could hear the "Go" command and we just assumed that it happened and started running.

The course is a beast, first half uphill, second half downhill back to the start, but with a whole lot of sharp turns. To make things worse, it rained almost like in the days of Noah, not a good day to race on the hills, either up or down, and especially to try to turn at high speeds.

Three years ago this was still a race easily winnable in 17:42 with the second place not in sight. But the times have changed, and I think they have changed for the better. Some law firms are really interested in winning this race as a team, and every year things have been getting progressively competitive. So this year Chad recruited Jeff and I to run for his team to help him keep his job. I said earlier on the forum that the reason the Kenyans beat Americans is this. A Kenyan boy is doomed to poverty if he does not get serious about his running. An American boy is doomed to poverty if he does. I would say if at least ten law firms in every city the size of Salt Lake viewed competitive racing seriously enough to put together a team to represent them in a competition, I would take back the second half of my original statement, and the Kenyans would not be beating us anymore. So far there have been only two, and only in Salt Lake, but let's reward them with a link to boost their Google rankings:  Manning Curtis Bradshaw & Bednar and Olson Shaner.

So the teams were:

Manning Curtis Bradshaw & Bednar : Jeff McClellan, Josh Steffen, me, Emily Bates (winner of Moab Half in 1:22, 17:22 5 K at sea level), and Aimee Larkin (2:46 St. George marathoner).

Olson Shaner : Teren Jameson,  Thatcher Olsen, lost sheep Neal Ferrin, Sue Nielsen (she almost chicked me in Draper Days 2003 running 16:20 vs mine 16:06), and Emily Jameson.

I did not feel the greatest going into the race, and ran accordingly. Nevertheless, our bacon was saved with great performances by Jeff, Josh, and our Emily, and a couple of relative underperformances by Olson Shaner. We ended up winning cumulatively by 3 seconds. One nice thing about a team race is that when you have a bummer your teammates can pick up the slack.

I got dropped by everybody pretty much from the gun and ran in fear of being chicked hoping not to let the team down too much. First mile was uphill, and I ran it in 5:43. I still could see Jeff trying to hang on to Teren, and wondering if today may be the day he would beat him. This would be a stretch, though, as Jeff had only two weeks from his marathon, and he does not recover that fast yet.

At the start of the second mile I saw  Teren gap Jeff, but Jeff was still fighting. I wished I was not having as much of a bummer so I could be a little bit closer to watch. I like the story of Elijah and Elisha in the Old Testament in 2 Kings :

And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.

And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.

The way I apply this to running. Once you begin to see a faster runner finish that you could not see before, you are making progress. That is the first step to receiving his power, and maybe even a double portion of it.

2 K split was 7:28. Ouch. Talk about running slow up that hill. Trying to stay positive and reel in Andrew Hansen. Maybe Thatcher and Neal after that. Timed the gaps at the turn shortly before 3 K - 9:43 for Thatcher and Neal, 9:49 for Andrew, 9:59 for me. Telling myself to use Andrew as a magnet to get the fastest possible time.

3 K in 10:58, 2 miles in 11:36. One of those would have had to be off, there was a turn in between those marks, and not a whole lot of downhill.

4 K in 14:06. Downhill. Starting to feel better. Thinking the race is not going as much down to pot as I originally imagined after that first mile.

3 miles in 16:47. Trying to stay in touch with Andrew, but just too wet, and too many turns.

Finish: Teren 15:53, Jeff 16:09, Josh 16:32, Thatcher 16:50, Neal 17:06, Andrew 17:08. Full results at Milliseconds Website.

Afterwards ran a cool-down with Jeff, and then went to Benjamin's chess tournament right there at the University of Utah, very convenient. Because I was going to be out of the home for a long time I did not want to run full 20 miles. So I ended up with 10.5 miles for this run.

I found out that kid chess in Utah is a whole lot more competitive than running. In the state cross country championship they had only about 25-30 runners in the entire Bantum division. In chess they had 70 players in just the 4th grade. Most of them rated, which means they had played in tournaments before. Benjamin was one of the few non-rated players. He played very well winning 3 games, drawing once,and losing twice. I was impressed that over several hours of playing he never lost a piece in a blunder. Both times he lost the opponent had to earn it winning on pawns at the end.  The ethnic diversity was also interesting. A whole lot of Oriental kids, also a lot of Latinos. Both times he lost he played Orientals. He ended up taking 20th place out 70 players. For a comparison, in Cross Country he took 6th racing kids a year older and taking a wrong turn.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:58. Jenny and Julia ran their usual distances with Sarah.

Saucony Type A Miles: 10.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.50Saucony Type A Miles: 32.85Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 24.10
Night Sleep Time: 55.92Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 55.92
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