Breaking the Wall

August 20, 2019

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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: 173.50 Year: 2475.51
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs Lifetime Miles: 2133.34
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1360.04
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Easy 6 with Ted in 44:27.

Our 11th wedding anniversary today. The plan is to go up to Salt Lake, drop off the kids at Sarah's sister's house, then go on a date to the Jordan River Temple. Then a flight to Memphis, TN tomorrow. Sarah told our story in her blog entry for today. To add to that, the LDS missionary handbook says "When you are transferred to a new area, find your new companion without delay". I came to BYU in 1993, then went on a two year LDS mission. Usually somebody residing in Provo gets called to some far away place like Japan, Russia, or Latin America. I was called to serve in the Salt Lake City Mission, only 50 miles north. Missionaries get transferred every couple of months or so from one area to another. So when I was finished in 1996, and came to Provo, it felt like another transfer. Having prayed to know the will of the Lord first, I decided it was not good for man to be alone, and proceeded to find my new companion without delay. The good news was that this time the companion could be a woman, and I already knew which woman it was going to be. So I called Sarah's grandma, and eventually tracked her down.

We went for a walk by the Provo Temple. This was a good place to go for a walk. Latter-Day Saints get not only married but also sealed for time and eternity in our temples. Marriage to us is a matter of an eternal covenant. To us, just seeing a temple makes us think of marriage and invites a special spirit into our thoughts. So while we were there I felt a gentle nudge of the Spirit to lay out the matter straight and ask Sarah to marry me. I did not have a ring, nor did I have money to buy one, but I did not worry about it too much. The right woman would marry me without a ring, she'd be able to see past that, and if she cannot, she is not the right woman. Sarah said she had to think. Two weeks later she gave me a test - I had to change her niece's diaper. This was the first diaper I've ever changed, I was clumsy (still am), but I passed based on the sincerity of the effort. So she said yes, and we were married two months later.

P.M. Kids run. We are staying at the Sarah's sister's house for the night. Her kids wanted to run as well. To keep things simple, we just went to the Benion Jr. High track and ran around it. I ran 2 miles with Benjamin in 15:58. He kept speeding up gradually with every lap during the run. Was impressed with his last quarter in 1:41 even though this was a dirt track partially covered with snow.
Girls ran on their own and slacked off a bit on pace, but were disciplined in covering the distance with no direct supervision except for Julia stopping occasionally to pick up some snow. Julia ran a mile in 11:08, including those odd stops. Jenny ran 1.5 in 15:50.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Michelle on Thu, Nov 29, 2007 at 11:07:03

Happy anninversary to you both, and good luck on the race! It will be a nice little get a way to celebrate the anniversary!!!

From Dustin on Thu, Nov 29, 2007 at 11:09:50

Congrats Sasha and Sarah and good luck with the marathon.

From Bonnie on Thu, Nov 29, 2007 at 11:15:01

I can see sincerity of effort in all that you do Sasha - but the first diaper picture will be in my mind for a long time.

Have a wonderful day! Happy Anniversary to the whole family!


From Tom on Thu, Nov 29, 2007 at 11:21:58

Happy anniversary Sasha and Sarah! I loved hearing a bit about your beginnings together and "diaper test" thing was hilarious.

From superfly on Thu, Nov 29, 2007 at 11:26:37

Congrats on a happy marriage! Have a good, safe trip out to the race and good luck. Go do it for the blog!

From Mik'L on Thu, Nov 29, 2007 at 11:33:49

Happy Anniversary and good luck this weekend! Enjoyed both versions of the story!

From wheakory on Thu, Nov 29, 2007 at 11:36:42

Happy anniversary that's a great story, and your commitment to the Lord is even better.

Nice seeing you take your runs easy leading up to the Marathon this weekend.

From andee on Thu, Nov 29, 2007 at 11:37:09

Happy Anniversary! Good luck on your race.

From Kim on Thu, Nov 29, 2007 at 11:48:02

Congratulations! One of the things I love about this blog is that the guys on here aren't afraid to share their feelings about love, life, religion, ect. It is very uplifting in many areas, not just running!

From Ian on Thu, Nov 29, 2007 at 12:20:20

Happy Anniversary to you both and good luck for Memphis.

From Shauna on Thu, Nov 29, 2007 at 12:24:04

I loved hearing the engagement/wedding story! Congratulations to you both, and good luck in your race!

From Jamie on Thu, Nov 29, 2007 at 12:28:53

Wonderful story...Happy Anniversary! You and Sasha are such a great example.

Hope things go better than expected. You have a heart of gold; thanks for opening your "head" up to the rest of us and sharing your experiences and thoughts.

"Show 'em what you can do! The sight of your beautiful fam-i-ly brings out the TIGER in you! GRRRRRRRRRRRR...your an animal! (Is that some great cheese, or what?) Good luck, we'll be thinking about you.

(You didn't think I had a sense of humor, but that's because I've been panting like a dog whenever running with you and talk has been minimal.)

From josse on Thu, Nov 29, 2007 at 13:46:21

Happy Anniversary! as I told Sarah I think it is so wonderful to see two people so dedicated to each other these days. Go get them at the marathon, you will be in our thought and prayers. Thanks for the on going support.

From Jody on Thu, Nov 29, 2007 at 16:17:06

Happy Anniversary!! Good luck this weekend!!

From Cam on Thu, Nov 29, 2007 at 16:45:44

Good luck Sasha! Happy anniversary...I am writing patent on training for specific races using a treadmill...and decided to check in on you.

From will on Thu, Nov 29, 2007 at 20:13:39

Sasha - great "how did you meet" story, your strong faith is an inspiration. May the running muse look kindly upon your efforts this Saturday!

From Cody on Thu, Nov 29, 2007 at 21:48:14

Happy Anniversary! Make us proud on saturday!

From James on Thu, Nov 29, 2007 at 22:43:18

I hope your anniversary was good and that you did something nice with your wife besides run. Good luck on Saturday!

From Clay on Thu, Nov 29, 2007 at 23:34:26

Happy anniversary Sasha & Sarah, my Mom and Dad just celebrated thier 50th wedding anniversary this year so you guys are well on your way to that milestone... My Mom and Dad said it flies by after your 10th anniversary, so enjoy every second!!!

Good luck this weekend too Sasha.

From Logan on Fri, Nov 30, 2007 at 00:37:07

Congrats on the wedding anniversary and tear it up this weekend!

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