Breaking the Wall

January 18, 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: 188.26 Year: 188.26
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: 1359.62
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. A repeat of what I did 2 weeks ago. 15 mile run including a 2 mile time trial. Pleased to observe that the time trial went better one week after the marathon that one week before: total time 10:45.7 with the splits of 79, 79, 81, 80.5 (5:19.5), 82.5, 81, 84 (a car was parked in my way in the fishermen parking lot, lost probably a second from the extra distance and the loss of rhythm), 78 (5:26). Two weeks ago the time was 10:50 and the splits were the more or less the same through the first mile, but I lost more time in the second mile. I am happy to note that even post-marathon, I am seeing a slight but noticeable gain in strength.

Next week I hope to succeed in luring Fritz with a post-run breakfast and whatever else he can be lured with and have him pace me through this workout.

As part of the run, ran with the kids. Benjamin and Jenny did 3 (Benjamin had a sore throat), Julia and Joseph 1.5. At the end of my run I did a 0.5 pickup in 2:52.

Green Crocs 1 Miles: 15.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 9.50
From JulieC on Mon, Jun 20, 2011 at 11:53:22 from

Hi Sasha, I am interested to know what your comparison of UVM course is to SGM, TOU, Ogden and the Provo City Marathon. It is not yet on your list for figuring out how you will do in other races based off your race predictor. Which of the marathons would you say UVM is closest too? Thanks Sasha. I am going for Sub Three at SGM and at UVM I never felt like I pushed it at all in fact I ran the last 6.2 miles of it with a friend and I talked the whole time (probably not wise and wouldn't do this at SGM). I ran a 3:09 which included a 54 second potty stop at mile 2.5 and most likely dehydration due to GI issues the whole week and a steroid taper ending the day before the race. I honestly think 3:05 was more what I was trained for but unfortunately the taper week I felt the worse than I had EVER felt in a long time and couldn't even eat or sleep well at all. So during the marathon I just ran it like a training run, never pushing it like I know I can if I felt good. I am hoping I have a great chance of going sub3 in 15 weeks : D.

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