Breaking the Wall

August 06, 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. More interesting "coincidences". I put that in quotes because I do not believe in coincidences. God allows circumstances to occur, and none will without His permission. We may not understand the reason, or be able to figure out the pattern, but the pattern is still there, and exists for a reason. He plans and sets up things in subtle ways so the pattern is not obvious, and it requires faith to discern it. Being mortal, I do not yet have enough faith to know all things, but I do have enough to observe the easy patterns that speak to me loudly.

So just right after my breakthrough run yesterday Jeff called me up and said he would be in town for a couple of days. This gave me a chance to test my fitness today. Given the results of my run yesterday, and counting in possible fatigue, I rather optimistically told Jeff to pace me for 16:30 on my standard 3 mile out-and-back tempo course. So he opened with two 81 quarters, and then sped up to 79, 78, 78. The pace felt easier than I anticipated, but still too hard for me to make it to the finish with a 180 turn in the middle and some uphill on the way back. So I told him to back off. After that it was 81, 82, 82.5, 83.5, 84, 84, high 79 to give us 16:13.9 for the run. Quite a bit better than I expected. To put things in perspective, my weekly progression had been 17:16, 17:05, 16:57, 16:52, 16:45 - very small improvement increments. All of a sudden, instead of 5-9 seconds, it is 31 in just one week! Having Jeff around did help a lot, but at the same time, mid-run 78s almost entirely canceled the benefits. I did not tell him to back off earlier because I wanted to dare the devil and see if I could live through a tempo with a few 78s (5:12 pace) thrown in the middle of it. I did for the most part. Mile splits were 5:19 - 5:23.5 - 5:31 . The buzzer was set to a lower tolerance, so it was going off more than yesterday, but I was able to keep it quiet on and off.

Did 3 with Benjamin, 2 with Jenny and Julia, 1 with Joseph and 0.5 with Jacob. Total of 13.5.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 13.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
From steve ash on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 17:24:59 from

Very nice Sasha:)

I talked to a guy who is a Bio-Med engineer and he seems to think that you have something really good there.

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