Breaking the Wall

Murray Fun 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 nine children: Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, William, Stephen, Matthew,  Mary, and Bella.  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: 27.36 Month: 204.98 Year: 525.70
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 120.59
Brown Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1509.03
Brown Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 987.95
Navy Crocs Lifetime Miles: 1221.84
Race: Murray Fun Days 5 K (3.107 Miles) 00:17:43, Place overall: 7, Place in age division: 2
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2015-07-04 07:21:36
Workout Totals: Distance15.907Time2:00:58.00Pace7:36.28
Murray Fun Days 5K, 17:43, 7th overall, 2nd master, $75.

Benjamin ran 16:39, 4th overall. Top finishers: Anthony Costales 15:27, Teren Jameson 15:39, Garek Bielaczyc 15:44, then Benjamin 16:39, Graig Green 16:45, Albert Wint 16:52, then myself 17:43, Mark Payne 17:49, Dan Crooker 17:52.

A bummer race for Benjamin. He earned the distinction of being the first out-of-money finisher across the finish line which was not sweetened by a fast time. Part of it was the conditions, part of it that he just does not run well in the heat when it is also humid, part that he ran for 2 miles in the no man's land, and part might still be the lingering fatigue from the trip to Texas and maybe still some fatigue from the Utah Valley Half. Hopefully he will do better in Draper Days.

The temperature at the start according to Wunderground was 76 F with 39% humidity. I could feel as early as the first quarter that it was unusually warm and humid, and realized I needed to adjust my goals and run more conservatively in the early part of the race. Not surprisingly the top 10 times were rather slow today.

Splits - 5:38, 11:12(5:34), then 6:31 to the finish - 5:53 pace. In the first mile, which is uphill, I made my way through the early fast starters, and eventually settled behind Mark. But I did not recognize him from behind, and thought maybe it was Matt Harmer or just his look alike. Today ended up being a day of visual errors, fortunately they only affected my race without costing me money or even the open position, and did not happen while I was driving.

At around 2 K mark after we had made a turn around, Mark's son who was going in the opposite direction cheered his dad and blew his dad's cover. All of a sudden I realized that the guy in front of me was Mark. I think it actually played in my favor to not know who I was racing early on because it helped me keep the pace more conservative which was necessary under the weather conditions. But now I knew that if I wanted money I had to move, I did. I was able to gap Mark a little bit, and I started closing on the runners in front of me. I could see Benjamin, and this was disturbing me, because I was not supposed to see him that close. I knew he was not having a good race, and it made it hard for me to race myself. I would give to him my good race any time if I could.

Around 2 miles I passed a runner I did not recognize, and then one more who ended up being Dan. This put me into 7th overall and 2nd master after Craig. Then with about half mile to go there came my second visual gaffe. I approached the turn into the park and started doubting if it was the right place. This allowed Mark to catch up. He yelled at me, and I figured out it was indeed the right place. This gave me some adrenaline to get going, and I opened up a gap on Mark again. I ran scared all the way to the finish and kept my position.

Benjamin had a bit of drama with Craig. Craig caught up to him around 2 miles, he tried to latch on, but fell back. Then with about 1 K to go Benjamin grabbed some water at the aid station and got refreshed. The cool-off allowed him to turn on his normal speed, he passed Craig back, and ended up 6 seconds ahead at the finish.

Today was significant because I was able to upgrade my pay in the last mile. I think this is the first time since I became a master. I usually do not have much left by the time I get to the last mile, and that has been particularly noticeable recently.
Leg 1:Distance2.100Time17:47.30Pace8:28.24
Warm-up with Benjamin and Steve Ashbaker.
Leg 2:Distance3.107Time17:43.10Pace5:42.16
The race.
Leg 3:Distance5.700Time48:58.40Pace8:35.51
Cool down with Benjamin. Steve joined us for part of it.
Leg 4:Distance5.000Time36:29.20Pace7:17.84
More miles alone after I got home.

White Crocs 2 Miles: 15.90
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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