Breaking the Wall

August 13, 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: 88.07 Year: 2386.98
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: 1257.89
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted in the morning. Dropped him off at 6.5, then went on for more. Decided to do a short tempo to feel the waters. Ran 1.25 in 6:42 from the DI bridge to the railroad bridge on the trail. It is a slight down, about 0.5 %, but it does roll. Heart rate eventually climbed to 159. Legs felt strong, I felt I was getting a lot of power in my stride.

Ran with the kids in the evening. Got the GMap plotting feature in the course tool to the point where I could make it public. Check it out. Lots of little and not so little things are still lacking, but at least you do not have to go to GMap Pedometer and do the GPX dance to upload your course. One step at a time we'll get there.

The new feature helped me discover an interesting problem in Google Maps. There appears to be a shift or a small discrepancy between what you see, and the coordinates Google Maps API gives you. Here is my evidence for it - I clicked around the parking lot where the Provo River Trail intersects the Geneva road to get an idea of what the actual elevation of it is. I figured, I am getting averages of 30 meter squares from the US Geo service. Well, the parking lot is big enough, and it is nearly perfectly flat, you should not be getting any variation more than 1 foot or so. Well, the elevation data I am getting shows there is a 10 foot deep hollow right in the middle of the parking lot, which matches the width of the adjacent Provo River. When you click on the Provo River, there is no drop in the elevation, and it actually happens to be above the hollow of the parking lot. I am still not quite sure what to do about it. Paul, any ideas?

I do have a friend who is a runner who works for Provo City, and does survey measurements. Maybe I should have him stop by and get the actual coordinates of some easily identifiable point in that parking lot, then file a bug reports to Google Maps.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From wheakory on Sat, Mar 24, 2007 at 23:16:08

Sasha what type of course do you do your tempo runs on? All flat, uphill, downhill.

Your running is out right impressive. Your heart rate for that pace is excellent.

From Breanna on Sun, Mar 25, 2007 at 09:14:56

Sasha, Is there anyway to make your blog week start on Monday instead of Sunday?

From Paul Petersen on Sun, Mar 25, 2007 at 10:48:25

Sasha: is that coordinate shift consistent everywhere? It could be that the USGS DEM is offset or there is some coordinate system projection issue. Pretty common. Welcome to the world of geographic information...

We can talk about it in PHX. I'm really interested in how the API works in general, and I'm hoping you can teach me a few things.

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