Breaking the Wall

Draper 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: 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: Draper Days 5 K (3.107 Miles) 00:17:26, Place overall: 13, Place in age division: 4
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2017-07-15 06:14:37
Workout Totals: Distance7.107Time50:14.50Pace7:04.16
Draper Days 5 K, 17:26 official chip time, the official gun time as we stand is 17:29, but it should be 17:27. 13th overall, 4th master.

There were a couple of issues with gun times. First, for reasons that are clear to Greg (the race director) but not as clear to me even after he sent me a fairly long explanatory email, the timer was knowingly started about 2 seconds before the gun actually fired and not properly adjusted afterwards to account for the discrepancy (to be clear - I understood the need for the early timer start, just not the failure to account for it in the official results). I proposed a technical solution that would correct the gun times to within 0.3s of the true gun time and volunteered to execute it, but Greg has not yet gotten back to me on this.

Another issue with the gun times is that very few runners were able to get to the true starting within 1s of the gun actually being fired due to the wheelchair start confusing. There were some runners pushing handicapped participants in a wheelchair. For some odd reason they did not have a separate start, and started at the front together with everybody else.

So at this point we should probably throw away the gun times, and use chip times. Except for people whose chip did not register, for those we should just subtract two seconds. So I will report the times in this manner.

So based on chip times our family got the following: Dad(44) 17:26, Joseph (12) 18:30 PR, Jacob (10) 19:00 PR, Jenny(16) 20:00 altitude PR, William (8) 21:37 PR, Julia (14) 21:45 PR, Stephen(6) 24:32 Debut, Mom(41) 24:33 second-fastest time ever with the PR (24:19) being set in 2002 when she had given only two births prior.

I consider Sarah's 24:33 after ten kids my most significant coaching accomplishment. The kids have run some good times, they work hard, but I really do not have to do much thinking. They are young and fairly quick naturally, so just any reasonable consistent routine that does not overtrain them at this point will produce decent results. However, with Sarah both of us had to do a lot of learning. Her top 100 m speed is 19 seconds. She does not come from an athletic family and never did any kind of competitive sport in her youth, so pushing herself in a sport to her is a skill she learned after we got married. She started running consistently in 1999 shortly after Benjamin was born, and never stopped with the exception of near-delivery times in the earlier pregnancies, and the first few weeks of recovery after each. Now she runs to the day she delivers.

Sarah and I have been through a lot trying to figure out how to keep her healthy and fit as she kept having children. We could probably write a book about it, and maybe some day we will.

We were 5 seconds short of our 20:50 record. Though all of the kids have gotten faster and run PRs, Mom ran faster, and Dad was only a few seconds slower, replacing Benjamin who is now on a mission with 6 year old Stephen who suffered from a side stitch starting early in the race ended up having too much impact. So maybe next year, I would say barring something unusual definitely next year unless Sarah gets pregnant.

As far as my race goes, I felt some fatigue from OpenWest Capture the Flag which I think cost me 10-15 seconds, most of it in the last mile. That is when I let go of James Moore, and Nan, and then Dennis (with a $20 bill figuratively attached to his back) passed me. Somehow I was able to hold off Sariah (17:29) and Jocelyn (17:31). I think just like me they were also suffering from a hard effort in the first two miles. Nan ran a very strong last mile finishing in 17:04 and even passed Matt Wolpert (17:05) as well as James Moore (17:05). I think Matt and I had similar problems today. He was trying to keep Brad Barton (16:17) in striking distance. I was trying to keep Matt in striking distance.
Leg 1:Distance1.600Time13:14.50Pace8:16.56
Leg 2:Distance4.007Time24:40.30Pace6:09.43
Split 1:Distance3.107Time17:27.40Pace5:37.11
Split 2:Distance0.900Time7:10.30Pace7:58.11
Split 3:Distance0.000Time0:02.60Pace0:00.00
Leg 3:Distance1.500Time12:19.70Pace8:13.13

Camouflage Crocs 2 Miles: 14.11
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Donald Davis on Sun, Jul 23, 2017 at 08:20:33 from

Amazing, you have many coaching successes to be proud of. I'll have to tell my wife the story you have about yours. You guys are really close to your family record!

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