Breaking the Wall

November 29, 2020

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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: 244.22 Year: 3545.74
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: 734.48
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 10.2 with Jeff in 1:12:01.The temperature was 14 F.

The plan was to run hard (86 quarter, 5:44 mile) pace in the middle at time until I felt stale, then a refreshing jog, then repeat. However, I ended up feeling better today than I thought I would. So I did not start feeling stale until we were almost at the end of the marked segment (2 miles into the run), and even then I was not feeling too bad, so we went the whole 2.5 in 14:08 (5:39 average). The quarter splits varied from 88 to 83, and there was only one in 88, next to last one. I was able to pick it up to 83 in the last quarter.

Then we jogged some, and on the way back I felt like a quick mile. The first quarter felt easy. Too easy. For a good reason too, as we did it  in 89. Oops. Jeff hit the gas pedal, and I was able to follow OK. We ran the next 0.75 in 4:04 to give us 5:33 for the mile. That felt hard, but at the same time not stale. I was able to relax and coast.

As usual, due to several VPBs and Jeff getting to my house a bit late, he was running late for work. So we picked it up a bit at the end. Our last quarter was 90.

It felt good to be half way back to being myself. In fact, remove the darkness, warm up the air (I vote for the global warming to come to Provo!), take off some clothes, and that 2.5 will be around 13:40 with the same effort. Now heal up the foot ( I am still feeling it, in fact I cannot run at all if I lean against a wall and try to push it because of the pain in the left heel), and that 13:40 will be 13:20. Which is more long the lines of healthy me.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 18:27. Joseph ran the first 0.5 with us in 5:10. Julia ran the last 1.5 in 13:17. 0.25 with Jacob in around 3:00.

Airwalk Clogs Miles: 12.45
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From neumannator on Thu, Dec 03, 2009 at 18:48:17 from

I got the same problem(can't run at all when i push against a wall)even without the pain. Ya i know i am a shootneek, i couldn't resist.

From Paul on Thu, Dec 03, 2009 at 19:07:32 from

That's why Sasha's blog is titled, "Breaking the Wall".

From Kory on Sat, Dec 05, 2009 at 01:21:16 from

Sasha with you could break the wall and run before I want what your eating. :-) I hope the foot gets better along with mine. Sounds like we need to have faith and trust in the Lord.

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