Breaking the Wall

Draper 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: 151.02 Year: 151.02
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1576.28
Neon Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1353.22
Race: Draper Days 5K (3.107 Miles) 00:16:00, Place overall: 6, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Draper Days 5 K, 16:00, 6th place. 23:52, new PR by 1:13, and 96th overall, 4th in 11 and under for Benjamin.

Got up at 5:00 am, took Benjamin with me, and we went to run the Draper Days 5 K. It was hot - about 80 degrees at the start. I felt lazy during the warmup, and did not even feel like striding very much.

Saw Joe Wilson and Dennis Simonaitis in the warmup, and developed a race plan - hang in with them for as long as I can. We hit the first mile (downhill) in 4:45. Joe Bendoski was ahead by about 10 seconds or so, we had Leon Gallegos and Danny Moody with us, and a thick pack within 5 second behind us.

When I saw the split, I knew today would not be a run for time. 4:45 sounds fast, but it is slow for that particular mile. I ran it in 4:33 when I set my PR of 15:37, and I was right there with my competition, not way ahead. That is just the way this course goes: 2% grade down on the first mile, then you gradually roll up for the rest of the race to average a 0.4% drop.

Joe and Dennis kept pushing the pace. I managed to make it to 7:00 into the race, and then I had to let go. I could stay with them fine on the downhill, but as soon as it flattened out it did not take them long to do me in. However, they pulled me a way a bit from a pack of wild beasts, and I really could use that safety buffer.

10:05 (5:20) at mile two. Not bad for the uphill. 9:38 for Joe Bendoski, 9:50 for Dennis and the other Joe. Way too many fast Joes in this race!

At the turn after mile 2 (11:37 into the race), still 4th. However, with Neal Gassman and Tim Stringfellow behind me, this is not a safe position. I made a decision to hang in there with however catches me for as long as I can. At 13:10 into the race Neal finally catches me. I was able to shift gears and go with him. Set a goal for myself to make it to at least 14:00. Made it to 14:05. Now hopefully that would discourage the pursuers. Neal is exceptionally strong on the last mile. Pretty much the only way he can be beaten is if you never see him. So running with him for a minute pulls you away enough to discourage most of the pursuers. Most but not Tim Stringfellow. Being very well aware of that, I try my best to do some semblance of a kick. Too hot, and I am feeling just plain lazy. Almost made it. Tim sprinted past me with a few yards to go. That booted me out of money, but I still got a decent time - 16:00.

Joe Bendoski won with 15:10, then Dennis 15:22, Joe Wilson 15:33, Neal 15:49, and Tim 15:59.

16:36 after the start of the race having finished all the tear-off tag stuff I am headed back to find Benjamin. Met him at 20:37. He ran strong, and finished in 23:52, which is a huge PR. He finally earned his USB cameray. I am very excited for him. Too bad he still has to race 11 year olds, and we have some fast ones around here. This got him 4th in his age division, and booted him out of the awards. So both of us today ran a good time, but got booted out of something.

Did bench press in the evening - 3 sets of 3 with 95 pounds (narrow grip). That felt better than Thursday. Also ran with Jenny and Julia. Benjamin joined us. Deseret News Marathon on Monday.

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