Breaking the Wall

January 25, 2021

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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: 266.81 Year: 266.81
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: 1657.61
Brown Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 1438.17
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran 5 miles with Ted in the morning. We caught the 8:00 mile guy and showed him who's the boss. We also found a live runner, but he stayed with us unlike the imaginary 8:00 mile guy. His name is Dave Bell. He has just run 2:43 in Boston, and owns a running store in American Fork (26.2 miles). He will be running with us tomorrow. For the single ladies (do we have any on the blog?), he is not yet married, hot material.

When Ted was done, I asked him to help me figure out the battery contact problem in Zhu (our other car, Ford Escort Wagon 93). He wiggled the cable around and Zhu was happy, it started. Ted is a good guy to know, always prepared, and a quick thinker, knows how to solve problems.

Ran another 1.84 miles. Then Sarah and Adrianne went for their run before it got too hot. Our kids were still asleep, but Adrianne's baby was awake and in the stroller already. So I took the stroller and circled around the block to make it 10 miles. Felt very good, smooth stride. Caught the 7:30 guy for the whole run.

The hamstrings became sore over the weekend. That is very good. My hamstrings are the primary sore muscles only after my best marathons. The only other times it happened that I recall were Top of Utah 2003 (2:27:46), St. George 2003 (2:24:47), and Ogden 2006 (2:30:03). Nevertheless, they feel fine after jogging a mile. There is a little bit of soreness in the shin muscles that flex the ankle (dorsiflexors), that is also a good spot for me to be sore. I recall being sore there a while ago when I would increase my mileage from 30 miles a week to 60. However, this has not happened in over 15 years as I have never been at 30 during that time.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon and evening, and added a little more. Total of 13 for the day.

My recovery from a marathon makes me wonder if perhaps I got to the point where my cardio and muscular fitness exceeds my neural capabilities. Try as I might, I cannot run myself into the ground. If this is right, then I should focus on neural training. I believe a good portion of it actually happens when you run. But at the same time, a good portion happens when you do not run. Beds make champions! I know some things about it, but there is a lot more to learn.


Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Paul Petersen on Tue, May 22, 2007 at 10:06:25

If this is the right guy, then Dave Bell and his running store will be some of our competition at Wasatch Back.

They are seeded at about the same time as us. Pump him for info tomorrow and see what sort of team he has; they may be overseeded.

From Chad on Tue, May 22, 2007 at 11:53:43

Sasha, if you cannot run yourself "into the ground," then you should run consider a step up to the ultra distances at some point. Run all day, run all night. Great for someone with terrific speed and even better endurance.

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