Breaking the Wall

Murray Fun Days 5K

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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:

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Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 60.05 Year: 1638.67
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 640.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 450.37
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Brown Crocs 4 Lifetime Miles: 1334.06
Amoji 1 Lifetime Miles: 732.60
Amoji 2 Lifetime Miles: 436.69
Amoji 3 Lifetime Miles: 380.67
Lopsie Sports Sandals Lifetime Miles: 818.02
Lopsie Sports Sandals 2 Lifetime Miles: 637.27
Iprome Garden Clogs Lifetime Miles: 346.18
Beslip Garden Clogs Lifetime Miles: 488.26
Joybees 1 Lifetime Miles: 1035.60
Madctoc Clogs Lifetime Miles: 698.29
Blue Crocs Lifetime Miles: 1164.32
Kimisant Black Clogs Lifetime Miles: 720.62
Black Crocs 2023 Lifetime Miles: 1312.70
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 61.65
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest. Went to church.

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

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2019-07-01 08:20:53
Workout Totals: Distance12.125Time1:35:12.80Pace7:51.16
Easy runs. Total of 12. Usual distances.
Leg 1:Distance1.000Time7:43.20Pace7:43.20
With Matthew.
Leg 2:Distance4.000Time31:43.90Pace7:55.98
With Benjamin, Jacob, William, and Stephen.
Leg 3:Distance4.000Time31:14.60Pace7:48.65
With Benjamin and Joseph.
Leg 4:Distance2.000Time15:31.00Pace7:45.50
With Benjamin, Joseph, Jacob, and Jenny.
Leg 5:Distance0.125Time1:13.70Pace9:49.60
With Bella.
Leg 6:Distance1.000Time7:46.40Pace7:46.40
With Benjamin and Julia.

Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 12.12
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2019-07-02 08:33:01
Workout Totals: Distance12.000Time1:32:16.40Pace7:41.37
Easy runs. Total of 12. Only 4 miles for Joseph and Jacob - a bit of tapering for Murray Fun Days.
Leg 1:Distance1.000Time7:29.70Pace7:29.70
With Matthew.
Leg 2:Distance4.000Time31:03.90Pace7:45.98
With Joseph, Jacob, William, Stephen, and Benjamin.
Leg 3:Distance4.000Time29:57.10Pace7:29.27
With Benjamin.
Leg 4:Distance3.000Time23:45.70Pace7:55.23
With Benjamin.

Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2019-07-03 08:30:48
Workout Totals: Distance9.000Time1:10:47.90Pace7:51.99
Total of 9. A bit of taper before Murray Fun Days tomorrow. Benjamin did 8 (6+2), Joseph and Jacob 3, William and Stephen 2, Matthew 1, Jenny 4 (I think), and Julia 4 as well (I think).
Leg 1:Distance1.000Time7:43.80Pace7:43.80
With Matthew.
Leg 2:Distance3.000Time23:57.40Pace7:59.13
With Benjamin and Jacob. Part with William and Stephen.
Leg 3:Distance3.000Time23:36.70Pace7:52.23
With Benjamin and Joseph.
Leg 4:Distance2.000Time15:30.00Pace7:45.00
With Benjamin.

Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 9.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Race: Murray Fun Days 5K (3.107 Miles) 00:18:11, Place overall: 12, Place in age division: 5
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2019-07-04 07:00:32
Workout Totals: Distance12.932Time1:36:48.10Pace7:29.13
Murray Fun Days 5K, 18:11, 12th overall, 5th master. Teren won with 15:47, Benjamin was second with 15:58.

Jacob got 18:03, Joseph 18:27, William 19:53, Stephen 22:14.

I was expecting a faster time, but just did not have it today. Possibly I need more uphill training as 5:50 was all I could do in the first mile and it wore me out some, and then the uphill at the start of the third mile was hard as well and I never recovered from it.

Joseph and Jacob were with me in the first mile, then Joseph dropped back, but Jacob pulled ahead. Neither one of them was feeling super great either, but Joseph quite a bit worse than Jacob. Hopefully the race will go better in Draper Days for all three of us, as well as William and Stephen.

Benjamin, on the other hand, outdid my expectations. Based on his workouts, and knowing the course, I was expecting about 16:10-16:20. After seeing him get dropped by Teren and Mark Currell, I thought 16:20 would be very nice and that he would not run 16:30 or slower. However, he found another gear after the first mile, passed Mark shortly after two and even started shaking his fist at Teren finishing only 11 seconds back. His splits were 5:12, 5:10, then with the 3 second adjustment in mile 3 - 5:05, and 31 seconds for the last 0.107 (last mile split includes my adjustments, going off the mark it would have been 5:08 and 28, regardless, 5:03 average for 1.107).

Looking at this I am now wondering if Benjamin is having a hard time feeling what he really has in him as his body has experienced some changes on his mission. There ran 6 miles a day most days with some track workouts which were usually 12x400 with the target of 72 or a 3000 time trial which was usually done in around 9:40, fastest 9:28. One time he pulled off a solo 5000 in 16:14. All of this was getting done with an asterisk that he was budgeting his energy for a 12 hour proselyting day ahead, so he never really pushed the workout like he would have under normal recovery conditions.

I think he is quite a bit stronger than he used to be both physically and mentally, but he does not yet know how to properly use his strength.

But clearly, in retrospect, if he could run the last 1.107 mile segment, which is hilly, at 5:03 pace alone, there was no reason for him to drop back from Teren and Mark in the first mile.

Bonnie paced Stephen for her training run and felt the pace was quite easy. Nevertheless, he was having some mental struggles and could not really get going. Hopefully things will go better for him in Draper Days.
Leg 1:Distance1.925Time15:24.20Pace8:00.10
Leg 2:Distance3.107Time18:11.80Pace5:51.40
Race. 3 mile split is a guess as the marker was in a suspicious location. I adjusted my split by 3 seconds in favor of a more reasonable kick based on the data from Benjamin, Jacob, and myself.
Split 1:Distance1.000Time5:50.80Pace5:50.80
Split 2:Distance1.000Time5:43.90Pace5:43.90
Split 3:Distance1.000Time6:00.30Pace6:00.30
Split 4:Distance0.107Time0:36.80Pace5:43.93
Leg 3:Distance3.900Time32:00.00Pace8:12.31
Leg 4:Distance1.000Time7:56.50Pace7:56.50
With Matthew.
Leg 5:Distance1.000Time7:23.70Pace7:23.70
With Benjamin.
Leg 6:Distance2.000Time15:51.90Pace7:55.95
With Benjamin, Jenny, and Julia - I think.

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

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2019-07-05 08:22:13
Workout Totals: Distance12.000Time1:33:42.10Pace7:48.51
Easy runs for everybody, total of 12 for me. Usual distances for everybody, I believe. Matthew ran a big boy course PR trying to show off to our friend Preston who is 16. Preston is athletic, but not a runner. So the pace was hard for him, which our 6 year old Matthew did not fail to notice.
Leg 1:Distance1.000Time7:21.70Pace7:21.70
With Matthew and Preston on the big boy course. Preston ran ahead at the end and finished in 7:16.
Leg 2:Distance4.000Time31:48.80Pace7:57.20
With Jacob, Benjamin, William, and Stephen.
Leg 3:Distance4.000Time31:38.90Pace7:54.73
With Benjamin and Joseph.
Leg 4:Distance2.000Time15:59.20Pace7:59.60
With Joseph and Jacob.
Leg 5:Distance1.000Time6:53.50Pace6:53.50

Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2019-07-06 07:35:54
Workout Totals: Distance16.528Time1:59:24.10Pace7:13.45
Total of about 16. Did 2x3 miles, first on a loop course in the canyon in 17:35.9, second in 16:55.6 down the canyon. However, split this into AM and PM runs because Benjamin was not feeling good in the morning. He has always had some issues with his nervous system, but I think they got more pronounced after his mission, which was greatly visible today. So in the AM he paced me through a 3 mile tempo going 0.75 uphill, 1.5 down, and then 0.75 back up. The target was 90s on the way up, 84s on the way down. So on the way up we were OK - 4:28. On the way back down, he was not hitting the pace - we got only 8:33, 85 average, but I figured I would need the energy once we turned around, so I did not ask him to up it. Then we turned around, his assignment was to run 75s uphill for the last 0.75, and he just was not himself - could only do 4:19 averaging about 86. At that point, I had Joseph and Jacob take over and pull me, so I ran that stretch in 4:34. I was happy with my finish time, and was rather perplexed - the course was quite a bit slower than Murray Fun Days, and yet I ran the same pace, which means I should have been good 10-15 seconds faster in the race that I was on Thursday.

We originally planned on doing another 3 mile tempo down the canyon afterwards, but Benjamin was just not feeling up to it - even at my pace. So we decided to postpone it until the evening after Benjamin had had a chance to take a nap.

When we got home I added 2 miles with the kids. We had a visitor - Adam Moody. Matthew decided to show off and ran a course PR on the big boy course in 7:07.8.

A nap followed by a date with a girl produced a miraculous transformation in Benjamin. In the evening he paced me for the first 2 miles at 5:39,5:39 and then shifted gears and started going in the last mile. His assignment was to break 5:00 if he felt up to it, and if he really felt up to it, break 4:50. As I watched him disappear into oblivion I timed his first quarter of the last mile and saw 70. I had to do a double take - is that the boy that struggled to run 5:40 pace earlier this morning? So I finished my last mile in 5:37 (16:55 for 3), and asked him if his last mile was 4:45. Turns out it was 4:40 - so his total time was 15:58.
Leg 1:Distance1.478Time11:49.30Pace7:59.91
Warm-up with Joseph, Jacob, and Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance3.000Time17:35.90Pace5:51.97
Loop-course 3 mile canyon tempo.
Leg 3:Distance2.100Time17:35.40Pace8:22.57
Cool-down with Benjamin.
Leg 4:Distance1.000Time7:07.80Pace7:07.80
With Stephen, William, and Matthew on the big boy course. Adam start with us but fell back and finished in 7:32.
Leg 5:Distance1.000Time7:25.70Pace7:25.70
With Adam on the big boy course. William started with us, but then ran ahead and finished in around 6:30.
Leg 6:Distance2.300Time19:09.80Pace8:19.91
Warm-up with Benjamin.
Leg 7:Distance3.000Time16:55.60Pace5:38.53
3 mile tempo down the canyon, first 2 with Benjamin.
Leg 8:Distance2.650Time21:44.60Pace8:12.30
Cool-down with Benjamin.

Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 16.53
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 61.65
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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