Breaking the Wall

August 12, 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: 88.07 Year: 2386.98
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: 1257.89
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted early in the morning. Ran 8 miles at about 7:30 average. It seems that our pace depends on whether we can find a good conversational topic. If we do, it is 7:30, otherwise it is 7:00. We found one today - discussed high school training, the importance of base mileage before doing speed work, how most high schoolers have it backwards, what would happen if fast black kids of West African (as opposed to East African) decent trained for distances, etc. Then we saw a skunk. Stopped to let him disappear. His tail was up and he was ready to strike. Finally the skunk was gone. We discussed the skunk for a little while, after that there was nothing to talk about.

To create a conversation topic we did a half mile pick-up. We ran the first quarter in 1;25, then Ted decided to get me going, and we ran the last quarter in 1:15. Legs felt strong. This gave us something to talk about for the rest of the run.

Ran with the kids in the evening. Took Benjamin to his Team Provo Practice. On the way back stopped at the grocery store (Maceys) to get some food. I figured the last 1.8 miles I was carrying about 150lb of weight in the stroller. Fortunately most of the way home was either flat or 0.5% grade down. Was able to go about 7:10 pace on the way down comfortably. Scared an oversized lady under a bridge - got going, could not stop, and there was not a lot of room to pass her.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Lybi on Thu, May 10, 2007 at 02:01:19

Little (big) old ladies beware! You never know when a Russian athlete will appear out of nowhere and take you out with 150+ lbs. of stroller and offspring. If that doesn't get her motivated to loose weight, I don't know what will . . .

From Ryan Woods on Thu, May 10, 2007 at 12:52:06

1500m race in nashville tn

From christi on Thu, May 10, 2007 at 16:46:36

Hi Sasha- thanks for the feedback regarding diet. I'm going to check out the healthy food ideas you sent me. I know my problem is eating out too much- its become a lifestyle that needs to change!

From ashman on Thu, May 10, 2007 at 22:59:39

I trained with a kid from Ghana at UVSC he was just flat out fast at any distance...

From James on Fri, May 11, 2007 at 00:29:17


Was it Marjeed Abudu?

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