Breaking the Wall

September 15, 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

Got up early in the morning, woke up Benjamin, put him in the stroller, and ran to the BYU Football Stadium. The BYU ROTC were doing a 2 mile time trial around the big parking lot. Benjamin wanted to race the cadets. Some of them are out of his reach (11 minutes), while others run 14 minutes or slower. The course turned out to be a little longer, 2.10 on my Garmin 305, Ted said it was closer to 2.05, and adjusted the times of the cadets by 15 seconds. Benjamin ended up running 14:43, 14:28 with the adjustment, and beat a few cadets, about 25% by my count. It was raining, and somewhat windy. The course also has some up and down, maybe 0.5% grade. So I was very happy with Benjamin's accomplishment. Many cadets were surprised to see an 8 year old kid running with them and holding his ground.

Pushed Benjamin back in the stroller. It started raining. Dropped him off at home, and went for some more to make a total of 10. It started raining harder, and I was soaked. Then a little bit of hail. To give me a taste of Boston, I suppose. Whenever it hails, I think of Helaman 5:12 in the Book of Mormon, which in summary says if we build on the foundation of Jesus Christ, the hailstorms of life will not bring us down.

Had an interesting dream about Craig Lawson. Some of you may remember him. He ran for BYU, with 28:35 PR in the 10,000. Then he ran some afterwards, was in the 2000 marathon Trials, finished 13th with 2:19 in very hot conditions. He, Dennis Simonaitis, Brandon Rhoads, and Larry Smithee ruled the roads in Utah races around that time. Then as it often happens, life got too busy. He disappeared from the running scene. So in the dream he decided to start running competitively again. I told him he had a 2:10 potential, and he was very happy because somehow he knew I would never say somebody has a potential when I do not clearly see it. When I woke up I agreed with my dream assessment. Craig indeed does have a 2:10 potential if he had not yet irrepairably messed up his spine from the extra weight and hours of sitting. It is rather unfortunate that we value a decent but in the big scheme of things average and replaceable accountant, programmer, or salesman much more than we value a superb, one of a kind runner. I find it rather ironic that a society that fails to invest in things of spiritual nature such as art, music, or sports, ends up chasing the material things and never finds them. Yet a nation that invests into those finer matters does a lot better materially.

Watched the Boston Marathon, or rather, followed it on the Internet. Was very impressed with how Clyde and Dave ran in terrible conditions(2:37 and 2:40). Congratulations to both of them. It did not come without some serious blood. Look at their blogs, all the training they've done. Both had to be treated for hypothermia after they've finished. We had two more bloggers that broke 3:00 - Kenny B (2:49), and Kory (2:57). Andy B had a good race too - a PR effort, missed PR by 6 seconds (3:06:06). Again not without blood, look at their blogs. So far the biggest success of the bloggers has been the 1-2-3 punch in the Ogden Half Marathon against some serious competition and with exceptional times. Now Clyde broke the top 100 in Boston for us. I hope the day will come when we can do 1-2-3 punch in Boston. Right now it is a dream. Martin Luther King had a dream, it appeared impossible but it became reality. I've had dreams that appeared impossible but became reality. I have a dream. Today Clyde, Dave, Kenny, Kory, and Andy brought it one step closer.

Added another 3.4 in the evening pushing Jacob in the stroller and with Benjamin on a bike.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Scott Browning on Tue, Apr 17, 2007 at 01:07:27

Well said Sasha!! Much of your writing is indeed an inspiration. I think I speak for many runners, you have done great things for many people - Thanks.

From ashman on Tue, Apr 17, 2007 at 10:00:08

Echo that for sure...

From Chad on Tue, Apr 17, 2007 at 19:32:22

That's a top 5 entry, Sasha.

From wheakory on Wed, Apr 18, 2007 at 19:40:36

Thanks Sasha your help is much appreciated for my attempt in Boston. I did PR and get under 3 like I wanted, but I could have done so much better.

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