Breaking the Wall

September 21, 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: 90.98 Year: 2713.79
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: 22.05
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeremy for the first 10 miles at about 8:00 pace uphill to about 1 mile mark of the Provo River 10 miler. Did one post-VPB pickup. Then ran a tempo on the way back. Felt cautious in the first three miles or so and hit almost identical splits on ad hoc markers compared to last week. My body was for some reason reluctant to go faster, even though I was not breathing very hard. I decided to put in a bit more mental effort into the pace, and found another gear. The pace got into 5:30 - 5:35 range, it took concentration to maintain it, but my heart felt strong, and I did not feel like I was low on fuel. Around mile 17 into the run I passed the BYU guys who were going about 6:10 or so. I asked them to pull me at 5:40 for 1.5 miles. Some of them made excuses that the pace was faster than what they were planning on doing. Others did not respond. I continued running alone. That was disappointing, I could have used their help. I did not understand that at all. 5:40 pace for them is a brisk jog, they race 10,000 meters at 4:50 or so. It is good even for a middle distance guy to do at least a little bit of marathon pace zone running in the middle of a long run even the day after a hard track workout, and is more than just good for a 10,000 meter guy.  Was everybody so tired from the Friday workout that not one person had the ability to spontaneously go 5:40 mid-run for a little bit? If so 6:10 was way too fast for a recovery run then. This is hard for me to understand. I have gone many times back to pace the people I knew and the people I didn't immediately after a hard race, and sometimes the pace surprised me and required significant effort, but it was still good because it challenged me to work past the point where I thought I was done while helping somebody else. I believe in reaching out to people in every reasonable way that presents itself, and when you do your body and your mind become stronger. 

Nevertheless, I was able to do OK without company. My last uphill mile was 5:53, and the total time for the last 10 miles was 56:43, which was 1:30 faster than last week, all over the last 7 miles. 

Benjamin ran 5 miles, Jenny and Julia 1, Joseph and Jacob ran 1 with Sarah.

After the run watched the General Conference. Some talks that stood out to me in the Saturday sessions. Elder Packer's mention that it is better to not be able to have children than to have the ability and not have them by choice. Elder Holland's message to the men of the Church "arise from the dust and be men", and Elder Bednar's account of his father who was not a member of the Church at the time yet attended every meeting saying: "Why is it that those who believe they hold the restored priesthood need to be coaxed to do their duty?" Overall I felt nourished by the talks and the hymns, and felt it was very well worth the 6 hours that it took even after a hard run.


Green Crocs 3 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
From steve ash on Thu, Apr 05, 2012 at 17:49:47 from

It is what it is Sasha.. Perhaps they just didn't want to help as it appears to be unfortunately. Don't let it bother you though. I hope after I get to 70 plus mpw maybe then I can help you out:)

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