Breaking the Wall

Law 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:

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 81.04 Year: 418.47
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1576.28
Neon Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1353.22
Race: Law Days 5 K (3.107 Miles) 00:16:27, Place overall: 6
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Law Days 5 K. It used to be a rather non-eventful run as far as competition is concerned. Until law firms got somewhat serious about recruiting top local runners for their speed teams. Chad's law firm, Curtis, Manning, and Bradshaw put together two teams this year. Things were serious enough to where I did not make the A team and had to be sent to B. For a good reason. Our A team had Jeff, Paul, and Josh Stephen for men, Lindsey Dunkley and Emily Bates.  They were well matched by Olsen Shaner - Teren, Nate Hornok, Albert Wint, Sue Nielsen, and Devra Vierkant. 

I warmed up with Jeff and Paul. We ran the course in 22:13. The course had been changed, and looked good. The kilometer marks were present and all reasonable. The hills have been shortened, and the course appeared definitely faster than it used to be. The weather was perfect.

I set five goals at the start of the race, and am happy to report that I met all of them. They were to break 17:00 equivalent of the old course, not to get chicked (Lindsey),  not to get lawyered (Andrew Hansen) , be the first fluent Russian speaker across the finish line (in other words beat Albert), and be within reasonable distance from Josh.

I realized in my pre-race pickups that I was not ready to run a 5 K like a 5 K and decided to think of it as a 10-15 K race figuring that the excitement of the race plus knowing in the back of my mind that I was going only 5 K would fix the pace in the right direction naturally.

1 K 3:19 - Uphill, sharp turns. At the start I figured Lindsey will naturally hit the right pace for the first quarter, so I just ran right next to her. If it was a male competitor I would just draft, but I wanted to be a gentleman. Plus she is so small that unless you are 5'2 you do not get a whole lot of benefit of drafting behind her.  Then Andrew made a move, and I just got on his tail. I fell back a bit trying to relax, but then Andrew slowed down a bit and I reeled him back in,

2 K 6:49 (3:30) - Most uphill of the race. Andrew went into a gutter at around 1.3 K mark. I did not want to go there with him. That encouraged me to make the passing move. He wanted to stay in the gutter. He was apparently struggling some. He could have latched on and kept me from dropping him, but he would have had to come out of the cutter to keep meaningful contact.  Took a split at the mile. It was 5:21. Timed Albert, it was 5:14.

3 K 10:05 (3:16) - Downhill with some uphill. Surged to close the gap with Albert, then rested behind him until the start of the hill (around 2.6 K), then sensed he was losing it a bit and made a passing move.

4 K 13:20 (3:15) - Downhill, but lots of turns. Had to ask volunteers where to go a couple of times. Josh is starting to come back.

5 K 16:27 (3:07) - downhill, steeper. Decided the best way to hold off the people behind me is to focus on closing the gap with Josh. It worked.

Jeff had a great race and was still with Teren in the kick, then just lost the kick finish second. This is a breakthrough race for him.

Final times (unofficial): Teren 14:52, Jeff 14:55, Paul 15:17, Nate 15:20, Josh 16:13, me 16:27, Andrew 16:31, Albert 16:33, Lindsey 16:39.

I think our A team won.

There is a suspicion the course was a bit short. Albert's GPS showed it as 3.03. I would be willing to believe that the GPS was off but the times while right for a normal course are a bit too fast for so much uphill and turns. But I would say it is roughly comparable to something like Heart of Holladay or Murray Fun Days.

Did a long cool down with Jeff afterwards, ended up with 16 miles, and then went to the zoo with the family. Saw Paul, Stacy and their son Seth there.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 15:40. Last quarter in 87. Jenny and Julia ran 2 miles with Sarah. I rollerbladed along.

Eva Clogs Black Miles: 16.00Eva Clugs Blue Miles: 3.75
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
From Tom on Sat, May 15, 2010 at 23:57:23 from

Nice job Sasha. It's always nice when you can hit all your goals.

From Burt on Sun, May 16, 2010 at 00:53:00 from

Way to meet your goals. Wow, Lindsay is fast!

From Walter on Sun, May 16, 2010 at 01:27:23 from

Man that was a fast race! Way to run there! Sounds like a fun time you all had.

From Lindsey Dunkley on Sun, May 16, 2010 at 02:21:44 from

Great job today! Thanks for inviting me, it was a fun race...definitely competitive. Funny that your goal was to not get beat by me, mine was to chick you :) I was close, but just couldn't quite pull it off. Seriously though, thanks and good job!

From Burt on Sun, May 16, 2010 at 02:26:31 from

Sorry for spelling your name wrong LinsdEy.

From Paul on Sun, May 16, 2010 at 15:24:58 from

Good job. I can't believe you saw all those km markers. Was this a clog PR?

From Seth on Mon, May 17, 2010 at 12:21:29 from

Great run, that's some speed for the end of an 85 mile week!

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