Breaking the Wall

November 24, 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: 232.17 Year: 3533.69
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: 734.48
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Jacob woke us up at 1:00 AM. Sarah nursed him three times. He was still not happy. I took him downstairs and worked for a while, he fell asleep. But I did not get good sleep last night at all. However, was able to nap for an hour in the late morning right before my run.

Just one run today. Started with 1.05 with Julia in 11:08. Then 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 13:15. Benjamin was getting anxious to chase down the 9:00 guy, so I let him, then made sure Jenny was OK, and caught up to Benjamin. Jenny finished in 13:47.

Then ran 8 easy miles on the Provo River Trail with 2x0.75 pick-ups. First pick-up was into unfriendly cross-winds, ran 3:57. On the second one, ran the same stretch backwards in 3:51.5 with what felt the exact same effort. Most of the cross winds were friendly this time. Total time was 50:55, 6:21.88 avg. The pace felt unusually easy. I did not try to force it at all. When I saw it was fast, I checked and double checked that I was not into the "impress the public" gear - when you think you are running easy, but you really are not. I was rather ru So I decided to just enjoy it while I could instead of artificially slowing it down.

Looks like the respiratory irritation is still well contained - it did not seem to affect the running performance at all. I would be very satisfied if I can keep it this way until Saturday.

For everybody who missed the news - I am tapering for the St. Jude Marathon in Memphis, TN this Saturday.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From JohnK on Wed, Nov 28, 2007 at 09:07:27

Sasha, Good luck to you Saturday. Looking at recent Memphis results (as I'm sure you've done!) I feel you'll be right in there for a top 5 finish and very possibly top 3. I know you can compete with anyone likely to show up! I'll be interested in your general comments on the race and course, as I'm thinking of it for myself for next year.

From ArmyRunner on Wed, Nov 28, 2007 at 20:23:39

Well, Sasha's taper is really starting to kick in because he was so full of energy this morning when I showed up at his house he was doing the Elf Dance. See below link as I could not believe my eyes.

I couldn't resist! Best wishes this weekend Sasha. :-) Sarah, I hope you and the kids get a good laugh out of this as well.

From ArmyRunner on Wed, Nov 28, 2007 at 20:35:37

Ok I don't think the link was right for some reason I will resend.

From ArmyRunner on Wed, Nov 28, 2007 at 20:51:40

No idea who the first two were but here is Sasha lettting it all go!


From marciej on Wed, Nov 28, 2007 at 23:14:11

Good Luck this weekend Sasha,even though Im sure you dont need it. I am excited to read your race report!

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