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:

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 16.00 Year: 2314.91
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: 1185.83
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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