Breaking the Wall

August 05, 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

Easy run with Ted in the morning. Started out asleep as usual, eventually warmed up to 6:50 pace. HR at 6:50 pace towards the end of the run was 129-131, just what it should have been. Did 10.04 in 1:11:24. Felt very good.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Benjamin started out asleep, 10:00 mile pace according to him felt like he had led shoes on. Then he felt better and better, and on the last mile ran 7:58. His comment was that 8:00 pace felt like walking.  

Magna 5 K tomorrow. The tempo on Thursday gave a hint that the spinal correction might be starting to work. However, I can still explain away the results with a mere increase in aerobic endurance from mileage.  My course PR is 15:31 (2005). Last year I ran 15:35 with  a strong headwind for the first  1.8 miles. I will have two adjustment excuses tomorrow - a marathon a week ago, and training through the race with an 80 mile week, already 66 miles on the odometer before the start of the race. However, they are excuses. This was the first marathon of the year and on a non-Desnews course. I've had a whole week to recover from it. In 2003 a week after finishing my fifth marathon with four done in a period of less than 3 months + a few 26.2 mile long runs in between them  with the slowest being 2:52 for additional punishment I could still run a half in a low 1:13 thinking I was running the full and then keep going and run another half in 1:24. So I really have no excuse for a 5 K.

If I go under 15:00, I'd say the spinal correction is working for sure.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From James in Sunny AZ on Fri, May 25, 2007 at 23:15:49

Good luck tomorrow, Sasha! Question - with the training I have put in so far, do you think I would be ready for the Provo River Trail 10 miler on June 16? Our family will be in Utah that entire week, and will be heading back from Snowbird that Saturday. Obviously, I would be running it more as a training run than a race.

From sarah on Fri, May 25, 2007 at 23:51:32

From sarah on Fri, May 25, 2007 at 23:52:11

whoops....messed up on the one above..don't laugh at me or I won't wish you good luck...good luck sweetie

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