Breaking the Wall

January 17, 2021

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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: 146.77 Year: 146.77
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: 1276.97
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. It snowed today. I ran 2 miles, then plowed the trail, then ran with the kids. By the time I was done I was at 15 miles. Benjamin did 8, Jenny 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5. I did a pickup for 0.5 at 5:40 pace.

My training right now is not optimal. Some of it due to having a new baby at our house. Some due to the kids being at a point where I feel they need more individual attention during their runs which ends up slowing me down for all runs except Benjamin's, having to take more breaks waiting for each kid to get ready, and changing the route which affects the workout. But it is all worth it. I have spent a good amount of time working on my own fitness. Now is the time to work on theirs. Some time in the future there will be a time to work on mine again. Now the goal is to not lose much fitness and do my best to forestall the aging process.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 15.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From Rob Murphy on Mon, Mar 25, 2013 at 17:53:12 from

This will be good for you Sasha. You have trained hard and raced consistently for many years. If your goal is to be successful and healthy in the coming decades, you have exactly the right attitude.

Very few runners can sustain the same level of intense dedication consistently from their teens or twenties into their forties. There has to be a lull somewhere to allow you to recharge.

From Rob Murphy on Mon, Mar 25, 2013 at 18:06:23 from

Oh, and for what it's worth, My son was born when I was 41and I've found that having young kids when you are in your 40s is a great way to, as you say, forestall the aging process.

From Tara on Mon, Mar 25, 2013 at 18:17:45 from

Good for you Sasha. I always feel selfish focusing on my own fitness rather than helping my kids explore their own. You're a good example.

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