Breaking the Wall

July 08, 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

Set my alarm clock way to 4:45 on accident. It went off, and surprisingly I could not go back to sleep. So I got up, read the scriptures, did the Pettibon exercises, and then added a new feature to the blog. You can now mark an entry as a race report, and enter some race parameters in separate fields. Will work on making the race report listing next. In the mean time, you can start marking your entries in the past as race reports and filling in the details.

Also, did some infrastructure changes to make it easier to separate the application logic from the HTML (installed and configured the Smarty template engine). Wow, we are getting fancy.

Afterwards, went for an easy run. Warmed up, then ran a tempo mile in 5:37. The Toy (aka Garmin 305) was off by a second, and said it was 5:36. I had it on auto-lap every quarter, and it was getting them very accurately being almost in perfect agreement with my wheel measurements. Very impressive. I think I'll keep that setting in St. George - I would love to get my quarter splits in a marathon.

The Toy showed HR of 153-155 with the max of 158. I am very impressed with the HR reliability of The Toy so far - no bad readings yet. It was warmer today when I ran. Yesterday it rained. I felt very good on the tempo mile.

Ran with Julia in the afternoon, and with the rest of the kids, including our neighbor kids Abby and Hannah in the evening. It rained pretty hard, and I got thoroughly wet. But it was a warm rain, and it felt more like a nice shower.

Got our third donation to the Fast Running Blog fund from PayPal. So far two unnamed donors (in case they want to remain anonymous - do you guys want to be named on the donor page?), and three donations totalling $40. Wow, we are growing. I have restructured my business a bit to be able to have more time to develop FBR, so hopefully we will see more features this month.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From James on Fri, Oct 06, 2006 at 12:04:13


Love the new race report functionality - although I haven't run a race, I checked it out and it looks awesome. Good luck at SGM - I hope you get your qualifier. I hope to make it back to the SGM in a year or two.

From Nick Miller on Fri, Oct 06, 2006 at 12:52:11

Hey Sasha, good luck tommorrow in the race! It's goning to hurt, but I bet you can break your previous PR if you run the right race.

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