Breaking the Wall

January 26, 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: 252.01 Year: 252.01
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
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Celebrated my 39th birthday by pacing Chad through the Uneventful Provo River Half-Marathon, or in other words we drove up to the start and Chad did a time trial. The target was 6:00 whenever possible, and I was thinking it would be nice if we got a low 1:20, or maybe even a little under. In fact I was thinking that after we had finished the first half.  But then I moved up front and for an experiment decided to see how Chad would handle 5:52 pace. He groaned, but was not falling back. So we did my 3 mile tempo stretch in 17:34 and caught up to the 6:00 guy who slipped away from us during the uphill/headwind detour earlier. Then we held on to 6:00 or around that in the last mile. The finishing time was 1:18:42.

During the run I felt sluggish. The pace did not feel like a jog, I felt I had to concentrate. In fact, until we got to the headwind, we were running side by side and I made zero effort to push the pace letting Chad take the initiative. Even when I moved forward once we hit the headwind, I could tell I was going too slow at first as Chad kept running into me. However, around 3 miles, and around 8 I had to make a VPB stop, falling back by about 30 seconds each time and both times caught up in a little over half mile with what felt like my own half-marathon race pace effort. So I did have another gear, but for one reason or another was very reluctant to shift into it. Maybe it was psychological. I told myself - you are pacing a 1:18 half that will likely deteriorate into 1:20 later on, and my body refused to work any harder than it had to. 

Overall, I think this sluggishness on my part ended up being a plus because it happened to hit Chad's fitness level right on the dot and he ended up with a 4 minute + PR.

We jogged to make the total 20. During the cooldown we met Benjamin and he joined us. He ran the total of 8 miles, having run 1 mile with Joseph, and 1 mile with Jacob earlier. Jenny and Julia ran 2 miles. 

Green Crocs 3 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
From Chad Robinson on Mon, Apr 23, 2012 at 15:47:44 from

Thanks again Sasha,I really appreciate it. It's funny because I was thinking pretty much the same thing (of whether or not I was going to be able to hang on) at about Bridal Veil Falls.

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