Breaking the Wall

July 09, 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

Benjamin and Jenny ran in the Harrington Memorial 5 K today in American Fork on the American Fork 5K course. Ted and his son James came over early in the morning. Ted tried to replace the battery connectors on Zhu (our Ford Escort Wagon), but turned out I got the wrong kind. So the job was postponed until after the race.

We did some easy running before the race. Then Ted paced Benjamin, while James and I paced Jenny. Benjamin ran a new PR of 22:49, an improvement of 29 seconds. His mile splits were 6:59 (down), 8:11 (up), and 7:00 (down). He was second in the 10 and under division losing to his arch-rival Alexander Barry by 26 seconds, who also ran a great race after just running Magna 5 K in 21:57.

Jenny also ran a PR of 26:27. Her first mile was 8:38, followed by 9:24 uphill. That is when she started passing people. On the last mile she unleashed her furious Jenny kick and ran 7:41 passing a good number of people. She almost got Alexander Barry's father but did not quite have the juice on the last 100 meters after essentially having sprinted the entire mile.

Steve joined us for some more miles. We began discussing how much slower this course was than Magna. To provide some data for the debate I decided to run the course at a steady marathon pace effort. Steve joined me. We ran the splits of 5:27 - 6:07 - 5:38 and the final time of 17:51. Steve thought we had eased off much on the last mile, and he may have been right as I was probably getting slightly dehydrated with the temperatures getting into the 80s. But at the same time Ted was jogging up ahead of us, and this may have been triggering his greyhound instinct. One thing for sure is that we have put in at least 5:47 flat effort into the first two miles - we reached the two mile mark in 11:35 which is located above the start. At the end Steve and I agreed the course was comparable to Heart of Holladay.

Stopped by at Checkers on the way back, got the right kind of connector, and Ted finished the job on Zhu. Zhu is now very happy, and so are Sarah and I. We do not have to lift up the hood and wiggle the connection every time we want to start it any more.

Ran with Julia plus a tiny bit more to make it 13 for the day. In the evening had a barbeque at Ted's.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Lybi on Mon, May 28, 2007 at 18:48:34

Sasha, thanks for the feedback on my really keeps me going. Wow! Benjamin and Jenny--what a race. I can't believe your 6 year-old just beat me! The sky is the limit for these young champions!

From Jon on Mon, May 28, 2007 at 19:15:11


I just changed the format of my blog (from fast/slow to just total miles) and it deleted all my old workouts. Is there a way to get these back?

From wheakory on Tue, May 29, 2007 at 16:45:00

Nice running Sasha, and your kids too. What a great way to enjoy Memorial day.

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