Breaking the Wall

Draper Days 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:

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
White Crocs 2 Miles: 12.27White Crocs 1 Miles: 16.26
Night Sleep Time: 19.50Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 21.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest. Went to church.

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2015-07-13 07:43:52
Workout Totals: Distance12.270Time1:37:51.80Pace7:58.55
Today William did a mile time trial on the track at Orem High and went sub-7:00 for the first time - 6:58.2. As of today, he is not yet 6 years and 9 months old. This is the youngest age at which any of our children broke 7:00. Jacob, now our second youngest to break 7:00 did it about a month prior to turning 7 - so William is about two months ahead of Jacob at this point.

Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, and I paced him. He opened with 1:38 high, then ran 1:44 high (3:23 at 800, 800 PR), 1:47 (5:10), and closed in 1:45. The balance went to the 9.34 meter tax.

A short while later he volunteered to run another mile with the bigger kids on the little boy course, and did it in 7:50 with the last quarter in 1:43.

Otherwise everybody did their usual distances, except Benjamin was the one to run with Stephen pushing Mary and Matthew in the stroller.
Leg 1:Distance0.300Time2:35.30Pace8:37.67
A short warm-up with the gang.
Leg 2:Distance1.000Time6:58.20Pace6:58.20
William's time trial. New PR by 11 seconds and first time under 7:00.
Leg 3:Distance0.120Time1:10.90Pace9:50.83
Short cool-down back to the car.
Leg 4:Distance1.750Time15:33.00Pace8:53.14
With Jenny, Julia, Joseph, and Jacob.
Leg 5:Distance1.000Time7:50.80Pace7:50.80
With William. Jenny, Jacob, Joseph, and Benjamin ran ahead.
Leg 6:Distance2.100Time17:02.60Pace8:06.95
With Benjamin to the Orem High track and back to retrieve William's precious rock that he dropped on the track during the time trial.
Leg 7:Distance6.000Time46:41.00Pace7:46.83
More distance with Benjamin.

White Crocs 2 Miles: 12.27
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2015-07-14 07:22:22
Workout Totals: Distance13.650Time1:50:39.20Pace8:06.39
Today we paced Sarah through a fast mile on the track in 7:37. It was not completely all out, but it was faster than a 5 K effort. In addition to myself we had Jenny, Julia, Joseph, and Jacob.

Otherwise, I did 13.5+ total, Sarah did 5, kids ran their usual distances.
Leg 1:Distance1.100Time10:22.10Pace9:25.55
Warm-up to the track.
Leg 2:Distance1.000Time7:37.20Pace7:37.20
Sarah's mile - splits 1:53, 1:54, 1:54, 1:53 - the balance went towards the 9.34 meter tax.
Leg 3:Distance1.000Time8:53.30Pace8:53.30
Back to the house.
Leg 4:Distance1.000Time7:29.90Pace7:29.90
With Joseph and Jacob on the little boy course. Joseph was a couple of seconds ahead. His last quarter was 88, Jacob ran 90.
Leg 5:Distance1.550Time12:22.80Pace7:59.23
Ran out to meet Benjamin and William, came back with them.
Leg 6:Distance8.000Time1:03:53.90Pace7:59.24
With Benjamin.

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 - 2015-07-15 07:40:16
Workout Totals: Distance12.050Time1:33:14.90Pace7:44.31
Today Benjamin and I joined Timpanogos High team for a workout, which was what they called a "2 mile push" down the canyon. Benjamin ran 9:41 with the splits of 4:48, 4:53 - this is a small PR for him, by 1 seconds. I ran 10:26 with the splits of 5:06, 5:20. Benjamin and Joe Benson, Jodi Benson's son ended up dropping everybody after the first mile. Joe gapped Benjamin by about a second over the last quarter or so. I started out with the second pack, but they fell back in the second mile. I gained a bit on the stragglers from the first pack, but did not catch any. By the time we were done with the warm-up it was already 8:50 am, so it started to get warm. I think I handled the combination of long warm-up and warmer day better than Benjamin, and definitely better than the high schoolers. The front pack had guys with 3200 PRs in the 9:20 range at altitude on the track, today they got dropped going downhill at 20+ their PR. The second pack had PRs in the 9:50-10:10 range, I think. I would be lucky to run 10:40 on the track right now, and they got dropped. I think for them it was mostly the 5 mile warm-up.

The other kids ran on their own and did their usual distances.
Leg 1:Distance5.000Time41:29.90Pace8:17.98
Long warm-up.
Leg 2:Distance2.000Time10:26.10Pace5:13.05
The 2 mile push down the canyon.
Leg 3:Distance2.950Time24:45.50Pace8:23.56
Back to the house with Benjamin.
Leg 4:Distance2.100Time16:33.40Pace7:53.05
More to get the car.

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 - 2015-07-16 07:20:12
Workout Totals: Distance13.040Time1:48:53.30Pace8:21.02
Today Stephen set a new mile record. I told him at the start of the run he needed to earn a trip to Jamba Juice if he wanted to join the family on Saturday. His Jamba Juice standard now is sub-9:00. He ended up running 8:30.4 on the little boy course (out and back) with the splits of 2:10,2:14,2:07,1:59.

Otherwise it was a usual day, except Jenny, Joseph and Jacob ran reduced mileage tapering for Draper Days - only 3. Julia did 3 as well, William 2, Benjamin 10.

Sarah had some serious tightness in the piriformis and hamstring today, and was not able to run at first. I massaged it out, and she was able to get through 2.5 miles, but then it tightened up again, and she walked home. I massaged it out and scraped it at night, which made us stay up late.
Leg 1:Distance3.000Time24:46.80Pace8:15.60
With Joseph, Jacob, Julia, and Jenny.
Leg 2:Distance2.040Time17:31.00Pace8:35.20
With Benjamin and William.
Leg 3:Distance1.000Time8:30.40Pace8:30.40
Stephen's mile record. Benjamin helped me pace.
Leg 4:Distance7.000Time58:05.10Pace8:17.87
With Benjamin.

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 - 2015-07-17 07:37:42
Workout Totals: Distance12.080Time1:39:10.00Pace8:12.55
Usual run for me today. Kids tapered for Draper Days - Jenny, Julia, Joseph, and Jacob did 2, William 1. Stephen ran his usual 1, Benjamin did 6.

Benjamin and I did a pickup for 1 mile on the more flat part - rolling down - in 5:24. I also did a pickup for 0.51 rolling down from the house in 2:48. Did not like how I felt. Did not have the same strength as two days ago. It was not too bad, but the magic was gone. I felt Probably from the lack of sleep. The good news is hopefully if I can get some sleep it will come back.

Sarah at the start of her run could not run due to the same tightness. I massaged it out, and she was able to run 3 miles without much pain. Later in the evening I massaged it out and scraped it again.
Leg 1:Distance2.040Time17:08.40Pace8:24.12
With Jenny, Julia, Joseph, and Jacob.
Leg 2:Distance3.000Time25:50.00Pace8:36.67
Did a pickup to catch up to Sarah, then ran with her to be available to massage as needed.
Split 1:Distance0.510Time2:48.40Pace5:30.20
Split 2:Distance2.490Time23:01.60Pace9:14.86
Leg 3:Distance1.000Time9:11.30Pace9:11.30
With Stephen.
Leg 4:Distance2.000Time16:48.30Pace8:24.15
With Benjamin.
Leg 5:Distance1.000Time5:24.10Pace5:24.10
Pickup with Benjamin. The dog made this about 1-2 seconds slower. Benjamin kicked it.
Leg 6:Distance1.000Time8:51.70Pace8:51.70
To the house with Benjamin.
Leg 7:Distance2.040Time15:56.20Pace7:48.73

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Race: Draper Days 5 K (3.107 Miles) 00:17:22, Place overall: 13, Place in age division: 4
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2015-07-18 06:23:04
Workout Totals: Distance16.257Time2:01:03.80Pace7:26.81
Ran Draper Days 5 K in 17:22, 13th overall, 4th master. Got beat by Graig Green (16:41), Dan Crooker (around 17:10), and Mark Payne (17:21), but held off Dennis. Mile splits were 5:31 (up), 5:26 (down), 5:52(up), and 33 for the kick. Saw 2 K split in 6:46, and 4 K in 13:49. Ran with Dan for the first mile, then fell back, but had a couple of high schoolers to run with, so I was never alone. Mark and Dennis caught me around 4 K mark, then Mark stepped forward and I sat on him. Tried to outkick him, but just did not have the juice today.

Top five overall was Garek - officially 14:56 on his watch 14:53 who had a breakthrough race, Anthony Costales officially 15:36 but from Garek's race report it appears that he was sub-15:00, my son Benjamin 15:58, Neil Anderson 16:10, and Fritz Van De Kamp 16:25.

My race was an interesting experience. I know where that one second I needed today to get prize money went, and I am happy it went that way. Sarah had muscle tightness that required some attention for the last two nights. She was very concerned that she would not be able to run at all in the race. This would have been a disappointment to us because we had a rather ambitious goal of sub-21:00 average with 8 people - a 39-year-old mother of nine with a nursing baby, 42-year-old father of nine, and then boys ages 16,10,8,and 6 and girls ages 14 and 12. So we prayed and we worked - I lost some sleep massaging and scraping Sarah. Not that much really, but enough to lose a second in the kick. But Sarah on the other hand was able to run 24:58, her second fastest 5 K ever as far as I can recall. She had no muscle pain during the race. That more than made up for me anything that I lost, and taught me an important lesson. It was a perfect learning experience.

We made our family goal of sub-21:00 average. Benjamin (16) 15:58, me (42) 17:22, Joseph (10) 19:48 (first time under 20:00!), Jacob (8) 20:07 (huge PR), Jenny (14) 22:14 (new PR), Julia (12) 23:04, William (6) 23:15 (quite a surprise), and Sarah 24:58. This gives us the average of 20:50.75 or 6:42.56 per mile! This was quite a miracle - nobody had a bummer race and there were several breakthroughs. If you ever tried to have zero bummers on one day in a group of eight of our demographic you would know what I am talking about - somebody will get sick, somebody will get injured, somebody would have a mental breakdown. I am completely amazed at how everything worked out according to the plan and consider it to be an answer to our prayers.
Leg 1:Distance1.000Time8:08.80Pace8:08.80
Leg 2:Distance4.007Time24:56.50Pace6:13.47
My race + running back to meet Sarah.
Split 1:Distance3.107Time17:24.80Pace5:36.27
The race. Hit the button a bit late, I think.
Split 2:Distance0.900Time7:31.70Pace8:21.89
Back with Benjamin to meet William and Sarah. Benjamin ran with William, I ran with Sarah.
Leg 3:Distance3.100Time26:02.20Pace8:23.94
More distance after the race. A little bit with Joseph, Jacob, and William. The rest with Benjamin.
Leg 4:Distance1.000Time9:49.90Pace9:49.90
With Benjamin and Stephen.
Leg 5:Distance3.150Time24:10.80Pace7:40.57
With Benjamin.
Leg 6:Distance4.000Time27:55.60Pace6:58.90

White Crocs 1 Miles: 16.26
Night Sleep Time: 5.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 5.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
White Crocs 2 Miles: 12.27White Crocs 1 Miles: 16.26
Night Sleep Time: 19.50Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 21.50
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