Breaking the Wall

January 24, 2021

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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: 225.16 Year: 225.16
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: 1359.62
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeff and Tyler. Jeff was running easy because is running in Sound to Narrows and wants to be reasonably fresh. Tyler and I did a tempo run. The plan was to measure how long Tyler can handle 5:40 pace going up to 7.5 miles but no more. I wore Five Fingers, which made 5:40 pace a challenge for me as well.

We warmed up 3.88. The warmup was brisk. We put over a minute on the 8:00 guy. This is brisk by our new boltun standards. I think Tyler was the pace pushing element. If you leave Jeff and me alone, and we are talking, the pace can be easily slower than 8:00 until we realize we need to get home in time.

Went through the first 200 in 43, it felt brisk, and I said to myself - done with 1/60th of the run. Then after a quarter I said, done with 1/30th, and that felt better. First mile in 5:38, then 5:39. Felt hard. Lost concentration before the turnaround, and lost all of the lead on the 5:40 guy. 14:10 at 2.5. OK, done with 1/3, that sounds a lot better. Pushed the gas pedal to get back on pace, overdid it a bit, started hitting 1:23 quarters. Tyler seemed to be OK, so I figured we'd just keep the pace. 16:58 at 3 miles (5:41), 22:31 at 4 (5:33). Wow, almost done, and I am feeling stronger than I was earlier. I think the increasing proximity of the finish was progressively cheering me up. Noticed that if I tense the ankle and the glut I get a very good push off without making the feet hurt.

At 4.5 Tyler started feeling tired and said he only wanted to do 5. I said more. He said 6. I said 6.25. He said OK. We hit 5 in 28:13 (5:42), then did a 180 and were 33:57 at 6 (5:44), and finished 6.25 in 35:22, that would be 35:09 for the 10 K, which is a PR for Tyler. I set all kinds of Five Finger PRs as well - I think all distances 1 mile through 10 K.

Found Jeff on the trail afterwards, cooled down together. Dropped Tyler off 12.75 into the run, he threw up shortly after stopping, first time he threw up after a run. He is now a proud member of the elite Clyde/Logan vomit on the run club. Jeff and I ran loops around the block to add extra distance. I ended up with 15.2 for the run.

P.M - 1 with Julia in 9:52, 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 12:54, 2.5 alone in 18:39. 

Five Fingers - 357.47 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.25Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.25
From James on Thu, Jun 12, 2008 at 16:04:12

I love my Five Fingers on the grass but I don't think I could handle them on the road like you do. And not for a 6 mile tempo run!

From jtshad on Thu, Jun 12, 2008 at 16:29:44

Yeah, but Tyler didn't scare people like Clyde did...unless he tried to get you?

From wheakory on Thu, Jun 12, 2008 at 16:42:43

I tempo run in five fingers on the road that's impressive Sasha. Way to be good coach and push Tyler to achieve a great run.

From JeffC on Fri, Jun 13, 2008 at 11:06:45

I think I know the reason why I am slow to improve my times....I have never puked during or after a run....must not be running hard enough...:)

From Logan on Fri, Jun 13, 2008 at 11:16:48

I didn't know that we now have a vomit on the run club. We should have t-shirts made up!

From Lybi on Fri, Jun 13, 2008 at 15:27:32

Interesting what you said about tensing your ankle and your gluts running fast in Five Fingers. One of the biggest differences I've noticed running barefoot is that the gluts are more active in the push-off stage. Well, good--it's a darn big muscle. About time it did something other than just make it hard to find jeans that fit.

Poor Tyler, but good for him! That's a really nice PR.

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