Breaking the Wall

August 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: 173.50 Year: 2475.51
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs Lifetime Miles: 2133.34
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1360.04
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Had some good rest yesterday. Went to the USA Track and Field Meeting. Got to visit with Demetrio Cabanillas, Bill Cobler, Ericksons, Eric Peterson, and a few others. This was good for the mind, as my work lately has been quite boring. I am in the middle of re-writing a fairly messy piece of code for a client that computes a large number of sales statistics for a hotel reservation system. That alone would cause a severe central nervous system fatigue!

In any case, today I wanted to measure what that rest, both physical and mental did for me. So I went to the same spot as yesterday, and ran the same course. Since I am running in the Provo River Half-Marathon tomorrow, I decided to keep the tempo down to 2.5. This would give me enough of an idea of what is going on as most of the problems happen between miles 1 and 2 for me. Again, the goal was to maintain 5:30 pace for as long as possible.

Warmed up, did 4x100 with ankle weights 19.0 - 18.8 - 18.8 - 18.8.

Quarter splits for the tempo run - 1:21 - 1:19 - 1:21 - 1:22 (5:23) - 1:23 - 1:23 - 1:25 - 1:25 (5:36) - 1:25 - 1:25 (13:49.9 for 2.5). Much better than yesterday, but still not quite there. However, the rest did me some good.

Again, the same pattern, except at higher speeds - 5:23 felt right, and then something quit. However, it did not quit so bad - I was still going 5:40 steady.

Let's see what happens tomorrow in the race.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Nick Miller on Sat, Aug 12, 2006 at 09:31:00

Good luck in the race!

From brent on Sun, Aug 13, 2006 at 13:23:19

Shasha, congradulations on winning the Provo half yesterday.

From Mike Kirk on Mon, Aug 14, 2006 at 10:41:17

How did the race go?

I'm still traveling. I can run at about 80% of my normal schedule when I'm not at home. Currently I'm in Portland OR. The trails are great and a few days ago I could see my breath on my morning run. I hope all is well there.


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