Breaking the Wall

July 07, 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: 51.55 Year: 2011.51
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: 881.43
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 10.1 with Jeff in 1:19:55 at 5:10 AM. Aerobic hibernation. The Crocs have made past the 50 additional miles demise point predicted by Josse on Sunday. Still no hole. And they weigh only 3.9 ounces. Vibram Five Fingers weigh 6.2!

Crocs - 379.3 miles.

P.M. 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 12:56, 0.5 more with Benjamin in 3:42 (16:38 at 2 miles), 1 with Julia in 10:40, and 7 mostly alone (a couple of miles with Derek who I found on the trail running home from work) in 50:56. Did a couple of pickups.

Crocs - 389.3 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 6.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.75
From Bonnie on Wed, Apr 09, 2008 at 16:51:42

hi Sasha, I was thinking about one of the discussions from your blog last night - the medical insurance one (I laughed at the tie with 5K time - I would hate that since I would have to pay more, not necessarily because I don't work hard, but I suspect I really don't have any talent). This our month to change providers if we would like and I learned last night that the U actually gives us up to $40/month off of our premium if we belong to a program that keeps track of health indicators (cholesterol, HDL, etc.). When I was at Vanderbilt they did this too ...

On the one hand it is great that more employers are doing this, on the other hand it doesn't help those of you that don't have the benefit of large company policies (which means that none of us pay more as we get older since employers absorb these types of costs).

Anyway - I like your aerobic hibernation idea - I think this is why you can function at such a high level for so much of the time!


From josse on Wed, Apr 09, 2008 at 16:55:05

Ok, ok another 75 miles.

From Jon on Wed, Apr 09, 2008 at 17:05:23

Josse, with those additional 75 miles, the crocs are approaching the 500 mile mark where many people retire normal running shoes. The question is if Sasha will run 5000 miles on the crocs like he does on some of his shoes.

From josse on Wed, Apr 09, 2008 at 17:07:38

He better get out the shoe goo if he does.

From Scott Zincone on Thu, Apr 10, 2008 at 01:15:52

Economically speaking, how much money per mile are the Crocs so far?

From Lybi on Thu, Apr 10, 2008 at 01:34:13

Those crocs weigh less and less after each long run, I'm sure.

Scott, wouldn't it just be about a penny per mile? If they make it to 500 miles it will be exact.

An $80 pair of shoes that were retired after 400 miles would be $.20 a mile. 20X more expensive! But an $80 pair that lasts 4,000 miles is only $.02 a mile, right? So the crocs are cheaper by about half.

From Scott Zincone on Thu, Apr 10, 2008 at 01:40:32

From what I have read of Sasha's high mileage on a pair of shoes, he will probably get to 1000 on these Crocs. This reminds me of that chewing gum commercial where the flavor lasts so long nobody ever buys anymore and they go out of business unless somebody chews a second piece.

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