Breaking the Wall

September 23, 2019

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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: 146.13 Year: 2768.94
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1576.28
Neon Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 22.05
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Had an interesting night last night. For some reason, could not go into a deep sleep for a while. Felt like it had something to do with running in the heat in the afternoon. Finally got up, ate a snack of fruit, bread, honey, and EmergenC drink, and laid down. Then went into power mode sleep - dremt about sleeping for 18 hours. When I woke up, most of the symptoms of heat exposure appeared to have been gone.

In the morning, jogged 8 miles starting out at 8:00 pace, and finishing at around 7:00.

Then went to the temple, came back, ran with the kids. Later in the afternoon took Benjamin and Jenny to the soccer practice. Julia went along for the ride. Parked the stroller at the soccer field and cruised around getting the rest of the miles in at about 7:30 pace. It was hot, about 85 degrees. Total of 15 miles for the day.

Benjamin scored two goals during the practice play. I think his coordination has improved quite a bit relative to his peers since last year. Last year he was about average in handling the ball, but his endurance permitted him to be all over the field in the midst of action. This time it seems like it is not just the endurance any more. I am very happy with this development. I have plenty of endurance, but very little explosive strength and coordination. In order to be a world-class marathoner, endurance is not enough - you have to have the speed to maintain to begin with. No matter how much endurance you've got, you cannot run 26 4:50 miles if 4:50 is all you can do all out. So if Benjamin can have my endurance, and unlike myself right now a very good speed to go along, we will see some good results.

This also raises an interesting question. My speed/explosive strength has never been exceptional, but it went from better than average at the age of 11 (60 meters in 9.6), to below average at the age of 17 (200 meters in 27.5). I hope that somewhere deep down there is an untapped speed potential that perhaps I will be able to unlock if I press the right buttons.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Nick Miller on Thu, Aug 10, 2006 at 09:45:33

Hey Sasha,

Is it possible to do speed workouts without a track? I am up in the mountains and have no available way to measure exact distance (besides gmap pedometer), so I am unsure of how to go about doing speed workouts.


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