Breaking the Wall

August 15, 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

Another easy run today. Did most of the mileage in the morning. Ran with George and Eric. Eric decided to run Ogden. He will need to up his mileage to get ready. I keep telling him he needs to run instead of reading the Runners World. Lately George and I also been telling him to get started on the Fast Running Blog so it would haunt him really good like to haunts Steve. He was almost persuaded this morning. Sound almost like Acts 26:28: almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian... Ran 0.5 in 2:40 catching up after my regular pitstop. It was cold. Legs felt strong, but could feel the aerobic turbo engine complaining about the temperature. It finally got going somewhat. Did some very mild and short accelerations to keep the legs from falling asleep. Also, after we dropped Eric off, George felt good and accelerated to 8:00 pace on his own initiative. In the afternoon, and at night, did my "always on the run" miles with a stroller and Joseph, and then Julia in it. Also ran with Benjamin and Jennifer. Felt very strong. The knees felt like they were going higher than they normally do, and the ground felt more like hard rubber than soft cotton. This is a good sign. However, I put more emphasis on what happens in races,tempo runs, and interval workouts in that order. Tomorrow is a tempo run.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Steve Hooper on Sat, Mar 11, 2006 at 12:16:12

Sasha, you said: "The knees felt like they were going higher than they normally do, and the ground felt more like hard rubber than soft cotton. This is a good sign."

After reading the comment above I started thinking when the last time I could really say I felt like that. It's probably been 5 years. I'm not saying that I haven't been in OK shape however, I've been trying to figure out how long it will take me to get "IT" back. I'm thinking no more than 3 months of consistant training and 10-12 lbs of weight loss. I probably won't be quite to the same level I was, but I do think I'll probably be down to 5:30 pace for a 10k. What are your thoughts knowing a little bit about my training in the past and race times?

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