Breaking the Wall

January 29, 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: 252.01 Year: 252.01
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1576.28
Neon Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1353.22
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Travelling back from Milpitas, CA to Provo. Hit the chains required area on the mountain pass on I-80 near Truckee, CA. It put us behind a bit, but it could have been worse. We did not have enough cash with us. The chain installer looked at us, then said, "you, guys, look honest" and agreed to take our out of state check.

Ran about 3.3 in Verdi, NV during a stop. Then a little more in Elko, NV.

Passed 4 prison areas in Nevada. One of them was ironically called Independence Valley. That brought back some memories of serving in a church calling in a juvenile detention center. One time I was doing a presentation on how obeying the Word of Wisdom helps you be a better runner. Trying to make a point, I said: "How fast can you run when you are drunk?". One of the inmates responded, apparently speaking from experience: "You think you can do a good quarter, but then you try and it does not work. Then you've got cops all over you."

Another time I observed them playing a video game where they had to run away from the cops (state-provided video game, curiously enough). They were driving pretty wild in it. Trying to bring some sense into them, I remarked that if they drove like that in real life they get their tires spiked. One of the guys answered, again apparently speaking from experience and with an apparent scoff at my ignorance: "They do not spike in the city!"

Got home, unpacked, ran with the kids. Then returned the rental car, and ran back. Had the HRM with me this time. Coughing like crazy. HR at 140-144 at any pace, even 7:30. Speeding up does not increase it. Not feeling good. Cut the run short to 3.25 miles to make the total 8.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Mike on Tue, Nov 14, 2006 at 06:49:22

Sasha, go to the doctor. He can give you something to stop the cough.

This has happened to me after a cold. Basically the passages in my lungs narrow when I try to breathe hard. Anything slow feels okay but as soon as I start to run faster I break into coughing fits. My doctor gives me an inhaler that calms it down and after a few days I am fine.

Good luck.

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