Breaking the Wall

August 08, 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: 16.00 Year: 2314.91
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: 1185.83
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Today was my last run as a young man. I am turning 40 tomorrow and will become a master. Started the run late today due to the ward cleanup that did not finish until after 10:30 AM. But it was actually good because it was raining earlier, but then it stopped. So I did 3 with Joseph and Jenny, then 1 with Jacob, 2 with Sarah, and 0.5 with William. Benjamin did 8 and Julia did 2 at grandparent's house. After I was done with the slow portion of the run I decided to do something that I have not felt I was ready for in a long time but it seemed to just be falling into my plate given a relatively slow pace in the first 6.5 and the need to finish the run in some reasonable time. Well, the pace was not that slow - Jenny and Joseph averaged under 8:20 on a hilly course , Jacob ran 8:00 pace on the same hilly course, Sarah averaged sub-10:00 and so did William. But it still justified an extra effort in the remaining 13.5 of the long run. So I decided to run 6.75 out from the house into the Provo Canyon, and then back. This not a happy course for a tempo run for sure, and the distance was long. So I said fight for sub-6:00 average, but realize it might not happen and do not get depressed if so.

Fortunately, I somehow managed to dip under 6:00 average finishing the run in 1:20:58. My split for my 3 mile Provo Canyon course going up was 18:02. At the turnaround my time was 40;53. With that I was getting quite encouraged about gapping the 6:00 guy by a minute on the way back, but I forgot about two things. One, it was 1 pm already, and the wind had turned around becoming an odd cross wind which was friendlier when you ran up than  when you ran down. Two, running 6:00 pace up the canyon took some juice out of me. So coming back I was running sub-6:00, but only marginally. The 3 mile stretch down was only 17:41. Nevertheless, it was enough to build enough gap before the final half mile uphill that I did not lose it all, and ended up 2 seconds ahead of my virtual nemesis.

I am quite encouraged by this run. Whenever I can hold sub-6:00 for 13 or longer at the end of a 20 miler even on a flat course with no wind, that is a big positive, but it is particularly positive when there is no net elevation drop, there is a lot of climbing, and we add head wind into the picture. I attribute the success to my recent discovery of vertical leg press which I have been doing faithfully 3 times a week.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
From Tom on Sat, Apr 20, 2013 at 18:22:55 from

Welcome to Master-hood!

From Jon on Sat, Apr 20, 2013 at 18:29:08 from

Happy birthday tomorrow

From Rob Murphy on Sat, Apr 20, 2013 at 18:36:30 from

I've got nine years of old man running under my belt. It's awesome!

From Dave Taylor on Sat, Apr 20, 2013 at 18:37:05 from

Uh Oh You will be hard to beat. Oh well, I'll just hit it harder. After all, I get faster while everyone else gets older :)

From Burt on Sun, Apr 21, 2013 at 22:51:59 from

Well, shoot. I came here to wish you a happy birthday, but it looks like the cat's already out of the bag. Happy birthday anyway.

From steve ash on Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 07:27:05 from

Happy Birthday Sasha! Welcome to the old boys club:)

From jtshad on Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 07:34:59 from

Happy birthday and welcome to the Master's circuit. A face and fun group of guys at this age and level.

From Bonnie on Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 07:41:53 from

Happy birthday, Sasha, welcome to the masters class!

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