Breaking the Wall

Minuteman 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: 304.65 Year: 3606.17
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: 1657.61
Brown Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 806.96
Race: Minuteman 5 K (3.107 Miles) 00:17:07, Place overall: 15
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Minuteman 5 K 17:07, 15h place. Same course as the new Draper Days.

Warmed up with Seth and Jeff. At the start was not feeling super-energetic. Part of the problem was warm weather, but only a part. I could blame it on the post-marathon fatigue, but there was not that much of it. Maybe the combination of reduced mileage, the marathon itself, and the tight calf issue brought on the slump. Something was not right, I suppose we will find out if this is just a post marathon slump or something more serious.

First mile was OK, 5:04. 2 seconds slower than Draper Days. I brought the HRM this time. HR climbed up to 168. I was running with Dennis at this point with a whole bunch of guys led by Teren ahead of us. And I knew they were not coming back. I did not feel like I was breathing too hard, but legs started feeling a bit shaky.

On the second mile the legs started to give out, and I backed off. HR dropped to 165-166. Neal Gassmann passed me. I tried to latch on, and was able too, HR climbed to 168, but then the legs started feeling too weak to hold the pace, and I backed off. Danny Oliva passed me, again the same story as with Neal - was able to follow a bit, then legs feel weak, cannot do it. 9:49 at 3 K, 10:33 at 2 miles, 14 seconds slower than Draper Days.

4 K 13:23, now 25 seconds slower than Draper Days. Not good. HR hovers around 166-168. Managed to push it to 172 on the hill. Steve Ashbaker passed me shortly after the hill. Made it to the finish in 17:06.3 on my watch, 17:07 officially. 39 seconds slower than Draper Days!

Jeff ran great - third place with 15:31 in that company, only 17 seconds behind Teren. Seth was second with 15:30 (officially, mistimed, though, his time should have been 15:27), Teren won with 15:14. Alexander Tomas was fourth with 15:33. Some other times that I remember:

Dennis 16:01, Josh Steffen 16:16, Neal Gassmann 16:20, Augustus Grey 16:21, Thatcher 16:48, Steve 16:57.

Ran a long cool down starting out with Jeff, Seth, and Teren, then Jeff turned around early due to time constraints, Seth stopped earlier as well.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:38, 2 with Benjamin in 16:51 with Jenny running the first 1.5 in 12:59 with us.

T4 Racer - 358.06 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
From adamr on Sat, Aug 02, 2008 at 18:39:08

ouch...not too good today.

maybe a bug or something is getting passed around. I felt pretty much like that on my run today as well. not something to make me feel completely sick during the day but enough to make me feel zapped on the run.

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Aug 02, 2008 at 20:02:26

I looked at all of my races this year and noticed a pattern that although I ran course PRs and overall high quality races when it was cold, all of the ones in warm weather without exception have been sub-par. Not that I feel dehydrated or sick when it is warm, but for one reason or another this year I am noticing a greater degree of heat sensitivity in performances. I'll test that theory this week in a workout and in Provo River Half as well.

From Dale on Sat, Aug 02, 2008 at 21:19:00

It's the tough ones that help make us stronger. I know heat definitely does it to me too, but as you said you've also got your calf issues, a recent marathon, etc.....perhaps just the "perfect storm" of issues combined with an off day? I'm sure you'll get to the bottom of it and be back on top in no time.

From adamr on Sun, Aug 03, 2008 at 00:40:00

maybe try some of the methods they are using to prep for beijing as well. can't really hurt.

I can say I wouldn't feel hurt if more summer races started at 6 AM. Some of these 8AM or later races are just begging for the heat to come.

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