Breaking the Wall

December 01, 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: 304.65 Year: 3606.17
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: 806.96
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Legs felt a little sore in the shin muscles from the marathon, otherwise without the memory of running it, I would not have known I had run it. Today, no soreness whatsoever.

Started the day with a 1 mile jog in street clothes in 6:55. Then in the afternoon we went to see a house near the Provo River Trail. Just like it is promised in Malachi 3 in the Old Testament, The Lord has opened the windows of heaven and poured out so many blessing on us that there is not room enough to receive them. Our Fast Running Kids, who are also homeschooled, are starting to feel crowded in 1060 sq. ft. with Daddy working at home on top of it. So we have put our house up for sale by owner, and are shopping for one in the right location - as close to the Provo River Trail as possible.

I liked the neighborhood. I noticed that more than 50% of the houses in the 200 meter radius had a van parked in the driveway - a tell-tale sign of a stay at home mom with enough kids to need a van. The Fast Running Mommy was concerned about the kids having enough friends - I do not think that would be an issue.

After seeing the house, I went for a run to get a feel for things. Also took Benjamin for part of it. Then picked it up to about 6:40-6:45 pace, ran some on the trail, and then through Provo to the soccer practice. Decided to take a slightly different route and ended up running through downtown Provo. Ran past one of the few bars. The Utah County has a reputation of having the highest number of churches per bar, if I remember right it is 72. That is one reason I like to be in the Utah County.

At the practice ran with Abby and her brother Josh. Then ran back home with Benjamin and Jenny, and then took Julia for her standard quarter mile run. Total of 11 miles for the day.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Zack on Tue, Sep 26, 2006 at 10:00:49

Thanks for the comments. I appreciate the feedback. I am going to do as you reccomend and stick to 5-6 miles a day I am 18 days out. I will admit I am a little oncerned with my last 20 plus mile run being 6 weeks out from my marathon and a half as my longest run 4 weeks out. BUT I will persevere. 1 more cortisone shot the week of the marathon a couple deep tissue massgaes (which are a first for me) and lots of ice & the noght boot hopefully I will get my BQ time. After my marathon I think i will take a 2-4 week break from running and let my heel recover. I will just do lots of spinning & swimming to maintain fitness / maybe some pool running. I probably should not do the cortisone BUT I feel Ii can qualify for Boston and that is goal 1 of 2 that i have set for myself. Next up is to qualify for the Hawaii ironman. I am suigning up for Ironman Florida Nov 2007 in 4 weeks which gives me a year to train and really prepare for this one.... Thanks again

From Zac on Tue, Sep 26, 2006 at 11:50:34

Good luck house hunting! That's a beautiful area and probably the best around for running and biking. Oh, the fly fishing is excellent too.

From Cesar on Tue, Sep 26, 2006 at 18:08:53

Thank you so much Sasha for the warm welcome to your blog, and allowing me to post here. Thank you also for the words of encouragement. Knowing people will see me post or not post is more of a reason to get out there and run. It is very true what you say separates a "fun" runner and a more serious runner. Although, I wouldn't consider myself a serious runner, I'd love to see where my running will take me and what ranks I will reach. Once again thank you Sasha.

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