Breaking the Wall

January 19, 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: 188.26 Year: 188.26
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

Day of rest. Went to church. Had a lesson on faith in Sunday school. Had some thoughts.

What exactly is faith? How does it really work? Faith is a very subtle thing. I would compare it to the TH sound in English. To a foreigner that does not have TH in his native language it may sound like T, S or F, but it is not T, nor S, and not even F, it is TH!

I would also compare it to driving on a narrow road in the fog while being pursued by the Russian mafia. You veer to the right and you hear the rumble on your right. That is how you know you went too far to the right. You veer to the left and you hear the rumble on the left. That is how you  know you went too far to the left. You get scared of crashing and you let the foot off the gas, and the pursuers get dangerously close. So you floor the pedal and you listen for the rumble on your left and on your right. You must have no fear, yet you need to have a sense of balance and constantly adjust your course so you will not leave the bounds that the Lord has given.

I would also compare faith with physical endurance. In a Kenyan village the best way to get around for a boy is to run. So he does whether he wants to or not. Thus he develops a gift of endurance. In America the best way to get around  is to drive. So that same boy while getting to places faster does not develop his gift of endurance quite the same. Instead of using the gift of science and technology to increase his fitness he becomes overly dependent on them and allows his fitness to slack. The blessings of scientific progress and resulting prosperity have become a curse because of our lack of gratitude for them.

Very similar with faith. When the necessities of life are no longer a daily certainty you have to rely on faith in order to survive. Thus a culture of faith develops. People grow up knowing what faith is and having a practical experience with it. It is as natural as saying TH to an native English speaker. With science and technology guaranteeing the necessities of life we become spiritually lazy and do not develop our faith quite the same. We could have used those gifts to create a culture of faith, but instead we become overdependent on them and our faith becomes atrophied. We are not able to see God with our spiritual eyes anymore. We want proof. We cannot tell the difference between right and wrong on our own, or are not even able to acknowledge it when taught by those who see. The little that we see by the Spirit we do not trust. The spiritual vision has become 20/800, God is 20 feet away from us but it looks like it is 800.

So what shall we do then? To develop our physical endurance we run. We defy the norm in a good way. Our friends think we are crazy for getting up every morning and running for an hour or more. Especially since we usually end up at the same place we started. Same needs to happen with faith. The mindset needs to change. We need not to be afraid to act on faith. Stop asking for proof. If deep down you know it is right, do it. If deep down you know it is wrong, do not do it. Learn to trust your inner sense of right and wrong, it atrophies otherwise. There will, of course, be missteps, given that we start with a spiritual vision of 20/800 or worse. But faith is developed by doing things that require it, and overtime that vision will become 20/600, 20/400, so on all the way up to 20/20.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
From Kory on Fri, Nov 06, 2009 at 23:59:09 from

Nice preaching Sasha. Like it says in the book of James "faith without works is dead". We have to believe in God's unseen trust. If we trust we can run 10 miles each day than why can't we trust the spiritual gifts God has put inside us.

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