Breaking the Wall

Draper 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:

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: 0.00 Year: 2298.64
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: 1237.96
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Night Sleep Time: 53.00Nap Time: 6.67Total Sleep Time: 59.67
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest. Set some serious recent sleep PRs.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 3.00Total Sleep Time: 12.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. DesNews practice run with Seth and Jeff. Got up at 4:30, picked up Jeff, met Seth at Hoggle Zoo. Drove up to the top of Big Mountain, the boundary of Utah and Morgan counties. Right on the Pioneer trek. Come come ye Saints, No toil, no labor fear, but with joy wend your way. Though hard to you this journey may appear, grace shall be as your day... And should we die before our journey's through, happy day, all is well. We then are free from toil and sorrow too, with the just we shall dwell...

In that spirit we started the run. The plan was to see how Seth's and my legs handle 5:00 pace down 8% grade. I was going to rabbit him running as hard as I could for as long as I could to keep him on pace, after I could not we were going to slow down to my marathon pace. Jeff drove down 3 miles to avoid the 8% down, and also to make it so he would not have to run the whole 16 miles.

Due to the differences in terrain mile splits were all over the place. I did have the Garmin for backup in case we missed the turn in the subdivision or a mile marker. But all the painted marks were visible and we were able to follow the course without problems. Splits are by the painted markers:

4:50, 4:51, 4:48, Jeff joined, 5:10. End of crazy downhill. I am hurting like it is time to sing the 4th verse of Come Come Ye Saints already, but still going. 5:24, 25:03 at 5 miles.

5:51. Now Little Mountain. Seth and Jeff are chatting, I am in pain. We are now definitely in my marathon pace territory, this is too slow for Seth. 6:36 mile and we are not done with the hill. Seth and Jeff are still chatting. I am thinking about those near death experience accounts when the nearly dead person is aware of what is going on in the room, even sees his own body, but cannot communicate. They are talking but I cannot add anything to the conversation. Done with the hill finally, now going down. Next mile in 6:07, then 5:19, and now I feel like I can talk more. Into the subdivision, up, then back down. Next mile in 5:52, 54:49 at 10 miles.

Seth at that point said he got the idea of course and the pace, and wanted to back down. We backed down to about 6:00 pace, but then he and Jeff backed down more, and I wanted to keep it faster than 6:00. So I took off.

5:58 (with some easing off), next two miles in 11:27, 1:12:49 at the half. Last three miles 5:35. 5:37, and 5:49 (with uphill). Total time 1:29:15 for 16 miles, 5:34.7 avg.

Jogged from mile marker 16 to the car and met Seth and Jeff. With that and the warm-up this added another mile.

Felt very energetic in the last 3 miles in spite of the aggressive start and the near death experience up the Little Mountain. Afterwards both Seth and I passed the hop test, no muscle soreness, at least yet.

T4 Racer - 311.03 miles. 

P.M. 1.25 with Benjamin, Jenny, and Julia in 12:46, dropped off Julia at the park, finished 1.5 with Jenny and Benjamin in 14:57. Then ran 3:08 half mile with Benjamin.

Five Fingers - 707.29 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 6.50Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeff and Josse. Did a VPB tempo of about 0.6 at marathon pace. Then we saw Matt and he said he was going to run a 5 mile tempo. So I decided to pace him 2.5 out and however long it took to get back to Jeff and Josse afterwards. We did 6:05, 6:02, then three more quarters in 1:32, 1:32, 180 turn, and 1:29. At that point Matt was 10 seconds behind the 6:00 guy. I admonished Matt to catch him. Do not know if he did, he has not yet posted his workout report. Total time for 10.6 was 1:18:37.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:51, then 2 with Benjamin in 16:46 with Jenny joining for 1.5 in 12:53.

Five Fingers - 720.89 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.25Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.25
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff. Matt joined us for most of it. Total time was 1:19:50. Did 0.4 VPB tempo. 5:40 pace felt very easy, I was surprised it was 5:40, I did not think I was going sub-6:00.

Discussed various subjects from the art of fly swatting to DesNews pacing. We even discussed unsigned vs signed database fields and what happens when you insert a negative number into an unsigned field.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 15:57, Jenny joined for 1.5 in 11:37. 1 with Julia in 9:25. Pushed Jacob in a stroller. 

Five Fingers - 733.99 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.67Total Sleep Time: 8.42
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Easy run with Jeff. 10.1 in 1:17:55. Avg HR 115. Discussed nutrition, thus a lot of nutrition comments by me today.

P.M. 1.06 with Julia in 11:00, 2 with Benjamin in 16:25, Jenny joined for the first 1.75 in 14:38.

Five Fingers - 747.15 miles. 

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.67Total Sleep Time: 8.42
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Easy run with Jeff. 10.1 in 1:16:50. Avg. HR 116. Discussed running form.

Tape worm story. Julia asked a question about mosquitoes and Benjamin explained that mosquitoes carry malaria. Then Jenny had follow up questions about the symptoms of malaria, which Benjamin answered as well. That got his mind on a related subject and he started telling the girls about tape worms, and how there is a kind that causes sleeping sickness when the parasite enters the brain and shuts it down. I did not know about that until Benjamin told me, and was not quite sure if he got his facts right, but after some research I found this:

and realized that Benjamin knew what he was talking about. Maybe a bit off on terminology, he could not remember  the term Trypanosoma brucei, so he called it a tape worm.

So right after we went to bed Jenny comes into our bedroom crying. "I am afraid to go to sleep, because Benjamin told me about the tape worm, and I am afraid that I will not wake up." It took some time to convince her that it was very unlikely that she would get infected with an African parasite.

P.M. Jared was visiting with us. Ted wanted him to run 3 miles. So he, Benjamin, and Julia first ran 1 mile in 8:54. Then we dropped of Julia and picked up Jenny, and ran another 1.5 in 12:53. Jared was not feeling good and ran slower. Benjamin was not feeling good after the run and decided to forgo the remaining 0.5 with Jared. Jared jogged through the remaining 0.5, his total time for 3 miles was 28:26. 

Five Fingers - 760.25 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Race: Draper Days 5K (3.107 Miles) 00:16:28, Place overall: 8
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Draper Days 5 K, 16:28, 8th place. The course has been changed. It is now a loop course with some moderate hills. The grade for most of the course is about 0.5-1%, a short (about 0.1) stretch of 3-4% climb about 2.6 miles into the race, not a spot that is flat - you are either going up or down. Definitely slower than what it used to be.

On the positive side of things, the temperatures were ideal this morning. If felt perfect.

Warmed up with Carol Cabanillas and Carre Joyce. Steve Ashbaker ran by with the ladies he is coaching. He was not in the race, but stopped by for a visit. We chatted a bit. He predicted that I would run 16:26.

Lots of trouble at the start. My plan was to run with Alexander Thomas regardless of how fast he went for as long as I could, then hang for as long as I could with every runner that passed me after that. Seth, Teren, and Stephen Clark were a few seconds ahead, then Alexander, Dennis, and me. I made it to about 0.75. Nate Hornok caught me, I managed to make it to the mile with him. First mile in 5:02. I was pleased. It was a slight up.

Nobody passed me in the second mile. It started out with a downhill stretch, and then it was a slight up. 5:17, pretty much what I hoped to run it.

Right after mile 2 mark Kyle Moffet passed me, and I was able to hang with him to the middle of the uphill at 2.6. Caught a split at 4 K - 12:58. Did the math, realized Steve was going to be right. Pushed myself as hard as I could on the last mile. 15:54 at 3 miles, 5:35. Not spectacular but acceptable.

Kicked at the end, last .107 in 32 seconds. My watch said 16:26, but my official time was 16:28.

Other times: Teren 15:08, Seth 15:26, Stephen 15:33, Alexander 15:36, Nate 15:41, Dennis 16:10, Kyle 16:20, Neal Gassmann 16:34, Thatcher's friend 16:36.

Ran back, paced Alexander Berry for the last 0.15 or so. He finished in 20:37. Then cooled down with Bill Cobler. Then talked with Mark Olsen and he had his timing gate handy. So we did a few sprints measuring top end speed for 10 meters. My best time was 1.42. Bill got 1.38. Breanna got 1.50. Thatcher's friend from Ethiopia whose name starts with a G (I will learn how to say and spell it some day) ran 1.11.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:48, 2 with Benjamin in 16:38. Jenny joined us for 1.5 in 12:36. Her friend Brinley joined us for a little over a mile and the mile that she ran was 8:25.

T4 Racer - 319.73 miles

Five Fingers - 763.25 miles

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.83Total Sleep Time: 7.83
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Night Sleep Time: 53.00Nap Time: 6.67Total Sleep Time: 59.67
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