Breaking the Wall

Layton Classic 10 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:

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Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 26.00 Year: 974.94
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
White Crocs 2 Miles: 68.47Nike Double Stroller Miles: 6.04
Night Sleep Time: 50.00Nap Time: 3.00Total Sleep Time: 53.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest. Went to church.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 10.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2015-09-07 06:59:16
Workout Totals: Distance12.000Time1:33:02.60Pace7:45.22
Usual 12. Kids ran their usual distances. Benjamin and I did some pickups in the canyon - 2x200 + 400. I was happy that I was able to run a quarter in 66.
Leg 1:Distance8.000Time1:02:05.10Pace7:45.64
With Benjamin.
Split 1:Distance4.220Time33:35.80Pace7:57.68
Split 2:Distance0.125Time0:34.40Pace4:35.20
Split 3:Distance0.125Time1:15.00Pace10:00.00
Split 4:Distance0.125Time0:33.10Pace4:24.80
Split 5:Distance0.125Time1:15.10Pace10:00.80
Split 6:Distance0.250Time1:06.00Pace4:24.00
Split 7:Distance3.030Time23:45.70Pace7:50.53
Leg 2:Distance4.000Time30:57.50Pace7:44.38
With Joseph, Jacob, and Jenny. Julia did 1.5 out with us, then ran back. Pushed Mary and Mathew in the stroller.

White Crocs 2 Miles: 12.00
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 - 2015-09-08 06:52:37
Workout Totals: Distance11.740Time1:31:26.10Pace7:47.30
Two runs today. In the AM did 8 with Benjamin, and 2.04 with Joseph and Jacob. Jenny and Julia jogged on their own. William and Stephen rested in anticipation of the cross-country race in the evening.

When we got to the race, we found out it was cancelled due to bad air quality, although by then the air quality was just fine at the Kiwani's Park. But enough people showed up to hold an informal race of sorts. We ran the 2 K course from last week - the marks were still on the ground. Benjamin and I paced Joseph. Sarah paced Stephen. Jenny paced William for about half of the distance, then picked it up.

The times were: Joseph 8:04, Jacob 8:10, Jenny 9:03, Julia 9:07, William 9:39, Stephen 12:06.
Leg 1:Distance8.000Time1:02:03.40Pace7:45.43
With Benjamin. We went to the Murdock Canal Trail due to a lot of smoke coming out of the Provo Canyon.
Leg 2:Distance2.040Time15:47.80Pace7:44.61
Leg 3:Distance0.150Time1:28.30Pace9:48.67
Leg 4:Distance1.550Time12:06.60Pace7:48.77
The race.
Split 1:Distance1.300Time8:04.40Pace6:12.62
Joseph's time.
Split 2:Distance0.000Time0:06.10Pace0:00.00
Jacob's time.
Split 3:Distance0.000Time0:53.20Pace0:00.00
Jenny's time.
Split 4:Distance0.000Time0:04.30Pace0:00.00
Julia's time.
Split 5:Distance0.000Time0:32.20Pace0:00.00
William's time.
Split 6:Distance0.250Time2:26.40Pace9:45.60
Stephen's time. I ran back and ran a little bit with him and Sarah.

White Crocs 2 Miles: 11.74
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2015-09-09 06:56:16
Workout Totals: Distance12.720Time1:34:56.00Pace7:27.80
Benjamin and I did our 3 mile tempo run today again.on our Provo Canyon course. I had a breakthrough workout - first time under 16:00 in almost 2 years, I think, and my second fastest time as a master - 15:53. Splits 5:17, 5:19,5:17. We had tail wind instead of head wind - that did help. On the negative, the fire by the Deer Creek Dam was still burning, so we got a fair amount of smoke. It was bothering me after the first mile - I felt like if I could get more oxygen I would be able to use it.

Jenny, Julia, Joseph, and Jacob ran on their own. I ran with William and Stephen and pushed Mary and Matthew in the stroller.
Leg 1:Distance5.400Time43:01.80Pace7:58.11
Leg 2:Distance3.000Time15:53.60Pace5:17.87
Tempo run.
Leg 3:Distance2.280Time18:42.10Pace8:12.15
Back to the house.
Leg 4:Distance0.000Time0:00.00Pace0:00.00
Wrong button press.
Leg 5:Distance1.020Time8:58.70Pace8:48.14
With William and Stephen.
Leg 6:Distance1.020Time8:19.80Pace8:10.00
With William.

Nike Double Stroller Miles: 2.04White Crocs 2 Miles: 12.72
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 - 2015-09-10 06:45:15
Workout Totals: Distance12.000Time1:32:54.10Pace7:44.51
Usual day - kids ran their usual distances.
Leg 1:Distance8.000Time1:01:56.60Pace7:44.57
With Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance4.000Time30:57.50Pace7:44.38
With Jenny, Julia, Joseph, and Jacob + Mary and Matthew in the stroller.

Nike Double Stroller Miles: 4.00White Crocs 2 Miles: 12.00
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 - 2015-09-11 06:56:53
Workout Totals: Distance10.000Time1:21:57.50Pace8:11.75
Usual day for everybody, except Benjamin and I tapered a little for the 10 K tomorrow.
Leg 1:Distance6.000Time50:07.90Pace8:21.32
With Benjamin - some with Sarah.
Leg 2:Distance4.000Time31:49.60Pace7:57.40
With Jenny, Julia, Joseph, and Jacob - Julia turned around at 1.5 miles.

White Crocs 2 Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
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Race: Layton Classic 10 K (6.214 Miles) 00:36:30, Place overall: 6, Place in age division: 2
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2015-09-12 07:11:03
Workout Totals: Distance10.014Time1:17:21.00Pace7:43.45
Layton Classic 10 K, 36:30, 6th overall, 2nd master, $50. Benjamin got 34:13, 3rd overall, $50. Father and son cash podium hit for the second time this year.

Top finishers:

Anthony Castales 31:35.6
Thomas Worob 32:21.5
Benjamin Pachev 34:13.5
Jon Heslop 35:26.2
Craig Green 36:06.7
Alexander Pachev 36:29.5
Dennis Simonaitis 36:38.2

Graig won the masters. Dennis and I fought over second place after he had caught me.

The course was a slow one - a small drop for three quarters of a mile, then 250 feet of climb over 3 miles, then mostly downhill to the finish - a little climb at the end. Our Course Tool tells me it was about 9 seconds per mile slower than a flat course. I think that is more or less reasonable. Without running the numbers on it I estimated that it was about 1 minute slower than SLC Track Club 10 K.

From the start Anthony and Thomas took off. I told Benjamin to run tactically for place before the start, so he followed the instructions. Jon and Craig were the runners he would have to beat, so he was just going the fastest they wanted to go from the start. The pace was OK for me, so I joined the pack. We hit 5:26 at the mile marker which was painted on the road. Somebody's GPS beeped right before it, so two witnesses that the mark was possibly correct.

Second mile could have been correct as well. The split agrees with the pacing from the Course Tool more or less.

At around 2 K Benjamin almost got lost - I had to yell at him to turn. At around 1.5 miles the hill finally got to me and I had to drop back. Benjamin picked up the pace and strung out the pack - Jon going first after Benjamin, then Craig, then myself.

During the third mile my legs started to cramp from the effort. I felt awkward, like I was doing some kind of a different sport for which I am not trained - biking, swimming, maybe even rowing, but not running. When I got to the top of the hill my breathing and cardio discomfort was well within what I could tolerate but my legs were shaky - not sore, just shaky as if somebody had scared me really bad or as if I had just done a one-time maximum leg press. During the climb Craig built most if not all of our 24 second gap on me, and Dennis caught up.

The split at "3" miles was bogus, so I call that 9.5. But I think mile markers 4 and 5 were in the right place. I did not trust the 4 mile marker split so I did not hit the lap button, but the time was 24:01.

Dennis caught up around 3.5. Fortunately that was the end of uphill and we started going down. In spite of shaky legs I was able to shift gears and run competitively. My plan was to try to shift into a hard downhill gear that he does not have. But no matter what I did he was still with me. I tried easing off, letting him lead, then pushing again - all to no avail.

Finally with about 1 K to go I realized my only hope was the fact that I was 11 years younger. My spine is defective congenially, Dennis' is defective from age - this puts on equal grounds over the distance. But being younger I have more explosive leg power. Realizing that I took my foot off the gas and rested behind him until it was about a quarter to go. Then I gave it all I had - it was not much, and I would have had no hope against a 30 year-old or even Bill Cobler, but it was enough to outkick Dennis.

Benjamin continued to up the effort and increase the gap, and finished in 34:13. His splits were 22:48 at 4 miles, then 5:07 and 5:11, and 1:07 to the finish. Initially he was a bit hesitant to push - after the first mishap he was not confident in his ability to follow the course and kept looking back to make sure he was OK.

Our younger kids ran their usual distances on their own.
Leg 1:Distance1.800Time15:46.70Pace8:45.94
Leg 2:Distance5.214Time36:30.70Pace7:00.16
The race.
Split 1:Distance1.000Time5:26.10Pace5:26.10
Split 2:Distance1.000Time6:10.50Pace6:10.50
Split 3:Distance0.950Time5:44.30Pace6:02.42
Split 4:Distance1.050Time12:11.40Pace11:36.57
Split 5:Distance1.000Time5:46.70Pace5:46.70
Split 6:Distance0.214Time1:11.70Pace5:35.05
Leg 3:Distance3.000Time25:03.60Pace8:21.20

White Crocs 2 Miles: 10.01
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
White Crocs 2 Miles: 68.47Nike Double Stroller Miles: 6.04
Night Sleep Time: 50.00Nap Time: 3.00Total Sleep Time: 53.00
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