Breaking the Wall

Desert News 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: 51.55 Year: 2011.51
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: 881.43
Race: Desert News 10 K (6.214 Miles) 00:34:14, Place overall: 35, Place in age division: 2
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Desnews 10 K, 34:14, 35th overall, 2nd master. Jason Lynch won with 28:58, then Josh Collins 29:30, Nico Montanez 29:38, Mike Hardy 29:51, Travis Fuller 29:57. Masters winner was Iain Hunter with 31:48. Dave Taylor was right behind me with 34:22. Womens top 4 was Taylor Ward 33:22, Rachael Young 34:33, Polina Carlson 34:40, and Rena Elmer (new married name, she is better know as Chesser) 35:03.

Overall very strong field.

I jumped in the race to get a good hard workout before the trip to Kansas for USATF JO Nationals. The race was not on the circuit and there was nothing special for the masters, but I still wanted to get the legs moving.

We did a tricky driving maneuver this morning. I drove my daughter Jenny and Polina to the start. Then Jenny drove to the finish. Then Sarah came in the van with the rest of the kids (except for Benjamin). Then I drove the family to Denver (our stop at the Winzenz house en route to Kansas) while Polina drove our car back to our house where she is staying for the week.

Splits by the mile: 5:04, 5:11, 5:32, 5:31, 5:36, and the rest of it in 7:20 which is 6:02 pace. The last mile is actually a visibly small but significant uphill while the rest of it is downhill of varing degree. I was wondering why the last mile was so slow, and even wondered if perhaps mile marker 5 was misplaced, but then I remembered that I did more or less the same mile going the other way in 4:50 at the start of the Salt Lake City 5 K a few years ago, and it all made sense.

From the start I watched Taylor Ward take off with Rachael and Rena going after her. Rachael and Rena paid for it later. So did David Taylor. I caught up to David first around 2.7 or so on the uphill. He was able to latch on, however. Then as we caught up to Rena I could tell she was not in the same shape as she was last year and struggling from the fast start.  When I race I normally just race. But this time I decided to do something different. I figured I am old, I have done enough of my own racing. So I slowed down and invited her to draft. She tried for about a quarter, but was not up to it. I figured at this point she would not be catching the women ahead of her, so I started racing again. Dave pulled ahead in the meantime, but I was able to catch him again around 4.3 or so.

Then I pulled ahead following a runner in front of me and we passed Rachael. I saw the Trax train that was suspiciously moving forward lookng like it really did not want to wait for the runners to pass. Fortunately it waited for us. Unfortunately it did not wait for the runners behind us. So Rena and Polina along with a few others ended up losing a few seconds waiting for it to pass.

James Moore passed me around 5.2 but I was able to latch on. Unfortunately not for long. I lost contact around 5.6. He ended up with 34:01.

Ran a cool-down with Jenny and Polina, and another 0.5 with Matthew in Denver. Kids overall ran shorter distances tapering for the Nationals.



Camouflage Crocs 2 Miles: 10.71
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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