Breaking the Wall

July 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: 0.00 Year: 1935.71
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: 805.63
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest. Went to church.  My mind is drawing a blank on the subject of the Sacrament meeting talks. That has been happening more often on things where I should not draw a blank. So either it is a sign of aging (I am 39 after all), or perhaps the mind can actively retain only so many memories, and eventually something has to give. I did remember the Sacrament Hymn, however - O Savior, Thou Who Wearest. I heard it for the first time about 10 years ago, or perhaps that is the first time I paid attention to it enough to learn some about its history. The music is very old, it was written originally by Hans Leo Hassler in the 1500s, then later adapted by Bach. But the words we sing in our church were not written until the 20th century, and the author is Karen Lynn Davidson who taught English at BYU. I have always felt that the words that we sing are the right words for the melody, and I am quite impressed that it took 400 or so years to find them. I am also impressed that those words were found not by some famous poet, but by a humble sister that I might find myself sitting next to in church and not think much of her. Just another member of the congregation. Not quite! To find those right words we needed somebody who had the advantage of the increased understanding of Christ's Atonement which came through modern day revelation, and who also had a literary talent to be able to express it. And that is not all. Without the help of the Holy Ghost those words could not have been written. That hymn from time to time comes to my mind during a hard workout. It is comforting to know that Christ has overcome the hardest thing there is to overcome, and because of that we have the ability to overcome hard things through Him. When that hymns comes to me it is a very special feeling - I feel support from some source invisible to the natural eye, but nevertheless real. It may not speed me up by a minute per mile, I always wanted it to and wondered why it does not, but as I've matured I understood that is not part of the plan. It is not about achieving speed, it is about having a vision to overcome and fly. Whether it is a 6:00, a 5:00, or even a 4:00 mile it is still a pedestrian crawl even compared to a bike much less an angel, but regardless of how slow it is, if you achieve it by looking upward with faith, the Lord sees that you want to fly, and that is what He wants to know.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From steve ash on Sat, Sep 01, 2012 at 21:50:27 from

Well stated Sasha:)

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