Breaking the Wall

August 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: 16.00 Year: 2314.91
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: 1185.83
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran alone. Did the 2.5 tempo run. Ran a 4.12 mile warm-up.

Tempo run:

Course: As usual, from Utah Lake gate to Geneva. Slight net uphill, mostly in the last mile.

Total time: 13:46.5

Splits by 0.5: 2:43 - 2:44 - 2:44 - 2:48 - 2:47.

Subjective: At 1 mile felt the legs were moving quick, but not quick enough. Some components of quickness were present, but others were absent. Felt stuck in the 84 second per quarter gear on the last mile. Did not feel too bad, but just could not go any faster. In fact, the pace felt hard from the beginning, but I hoped it was just cold weather, that I would warm up eventually. The run went on, it did not get any harder, but it did not get any easier either.

On the cool down I saw a runner moving at a decent speed, and ran about 0.35 at a tempo pace to catch up. Got to meet him - his name is Drew Johnson. I remembered that I'd run with him once before, and I correctly remembered that he was a math major at BYU. I gave him my standard geek test. He set a record for correctly computing 2i while running - it took him about 100 meters. Then I also discovered that he had served a mission in Korea.

You meet all kinds of people while running in Provo - math geeks, Russian speakers, Italian speakers, Korean speakers. Spanish speakers - well it is almost a given. Most of my training partners over the years have spoken Spanish.

Afterwards, 200 with Jacob in 1:43, 0.34 with Joseph in 4:25 (slow today because his pants were falling down), and 1 with Julia in 10:35.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:52. Jenny joined us for 1.5 in 12:38.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 11.34
Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
From wheakory on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 13:42:20

Great run as always Sasha. What do you recommend has far as training for faster miles this winter. Doing a tempo once a week to keep good form?

From tarzan on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 19:06:47

I like Joseph's mileage. Maybe I could borrow his excuse when I am slow.

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