Breaking the Wall

July 13, 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: 51.55 Year: 2011.51
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: 881.43
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Big group this morning again at 5:15. Ted, Jeff, and Adam joined me. We did a fairly brisk warm-up putting more than a minute lead on the 8:00 mile guy in 3.62 miles. Then it was time for the 2 mile tempo at marathon pace. I was still feeling mild chest pain when breathing deep, so this would be a good almost non-invasive test of true health (the one on Saturday will be rather invasive). It was dark, this made it difficult to feel the pace, or check the splits. I managed to get some, though. First mile was 5:29, second 5:30 (with the uphill), total time 10:59.

The chest pain interfered with the sense of rhythm and perception of effort. I could not tell if this was my true marathon pace or not. I did feel the heart rate rise a bit too high towards the end, like as if it got hotter. This may have had something to do with being slightly overdressed, or may still be the lingering effects of the illness. Legs felt a little flaky, not necessarily weak, but when I tell them to run marathon pace, they are talking to me saying, what is marathon pace, and how long exactly is the marathon?

Cooled down to make the total 7 for the run.

P.M. 2 miles with the kids. First with Benjamin, Jenny, and Julia running, and the empty double stroller in 10:54. Then put Julia in the stroller. 15:15 at 1.5, put Jenny in the stroller, chased Benjamin down, was not easy, he was going 6:40 pace. Last 0.5 in 3:20 for Benjamin, probably around 3:15 for me, total time 18:35.

Attacked the remnants of the chest pain with cheyenne pepper, horseradish, and garlic. Sucked garlic all day long like candy. Preliminary results appear good.

Benjamin played his final soccer game. His team won again 4-0. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Michael on Wed, Oct 03, 2007 at 11:03:32

Good luck to you Sasha at Saint George. Hope you get the best run ever and Olympic qualifying time. Hope youre feeling better and if any lingering illness, you can relax and block it out. You can do it!

From adam on Wed, Oct 03, 2007 at 12:00:20

Sorry I miss you this morning. It probably doesn't matter much now, but I still haven't found anyone to that can do a VO2 max test for you. I asked all around, but no one had their act together.

Good luck though on the run. I'm looking forward to the picture of you on the start line in November and/or the one of you running with a broken Meb in the background.

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