Breaking the Wall

Murray Fun 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:

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 291.02 Year: 1935.71
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Neon Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 805.63
Race: Murray Fun Days 5K (3.107 Miles) 00:18:11, Place overall: 12, Place in age division: 5
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2019-07-04 07:00:32
Workout Totals: Distance12.932Time1:36:48.10Pace7:29.13
Murray Fun Days 5K, 18:11, 12th overall, 5th master. Teren won with 15:47, Benjamin was second with 15:58.

Jacob got 18:03, Joseph 18:27, William 19:53, Stephen 22:14.

I was expecting a faster time, but just did not have it today. Possibly I need more uphill training as 5:50 was all I could do in the first mile and it wore me out some, and then the uphill at the start of the third mile was hard as well and I never recovered from it.

Joseph and Jacob were with me in the first mile, then Joseph dropped back, but Jacob pulled ahead. Neither one of them was feeling super great either, but Joseph quite a bit worse than Jacob. Hopefully the race will go better in Draper Days for all three of us, as well as William and Stephen.

Benjamin, on the other hand, outdid my expectations. Based on his workouts, and knowing the course, I was expecting about 16:10-16:20. After seeing him get dropped by Teren and Mark Currell, I thought 16:20 would be very nice and that he would not run 16:30 or slower. However, he found another gear after the first mile, passed Mark shortly after two and even started shaking his fist at Teren finishing only 11 seconds back. His splits were 5:12, 5:10, then with the 3 second adjustment in mile 3 - 5:05, and 31 seconds for the last 0.107 (last mile split includes my adjustments, going off the mark it would have been 5:08 and 28, regardless, 5:03 average for 1.107).

Looking at this I am now wondering if Benjamin is having a hard time feeling what he really has in him as his body has experienced some changes on his mission. There ran 6 miles a day most days with some track workouts which were usually 12x400 with the target of 72 or a 3000 time trial which was usually done in around 9:40, fastest 9:28. One time he pulled off a solo 5000 in 16:14. All of this was getting done with an asterisk that he was budgeting his energy for a 12 hour proselyting day ahead, so he never really pushed the workout like he would have under normal recovery conditions.

I think he is quite a bit stronger than he used to be both physically and mentally, but he does not yet know how to properly use his strength.

But clearly, in retrospect, if he could run the last 1.107 mile segment, which is hilly, at 5:03 pace alone, there was no reason for him to drop back from Teren and Mark in the first mile.

Bonnie paced Stephen for her training run and felt the pace was quite easy. Nevertheless, he was having some mental struggles and could not really get going. Hopefully things will go better for him in Draper Days.
Leg 1:Distance1.925Time15:24.20Pace8:00.10
Leg 2:Distance3.107Time18:11.80Pace5:51.40
Race. 3 mile split is a guess as the marker was in a suspicious location. I adjusted my split by 3 seconds in favor of a more reasonable kick based on the data from Benjamin, Jacob, and myself.
Split 1:Distance1.000Time5:50.80Pace5:50.80
Split 2:Distance1.000Time5:43.90Pace5:43.90
Split 3:Distance1.000Time6:00.30Pace6:00.30
Split 4:Distance0.107Time0:36.80Pace5:43.93
Leg 3:Distance3.900Time32:00.00Pace8:12.31
Leg 4:Distance1.000Time7:56.50Pace7:56.50
With Matthew.
Leg 5:Distance1.000Time7:23.70Pace7:23.70
With Benjamin.
Leg 6:Distance2.000Time15:51.90Pace7:55.95
With Benjamin, Jenny, and Julia - I think.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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