Breaking the Wall

August 11, 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

First day of feeling almost normal. Only a little bit of runny nose and sinus pain. Ran a light tempo with Ted. We went on the standard 5 mile tempo course on the Provo River Trail by Geneva Road. Again, used the Weldon Johnson hit the split but do not look method. It produced interesting results this early in the morning (the tempo started at 5:00 AM). Splits by 0.5 - 3:10 - 3:10 - 3:06 - 3:06 - 3:07 - 3:04 - 3:00 - 2:58 - 2:55 - 2:49. Total time 30:25, first half in 15:39, second half in 14:46, last mile in 5:44. The first two miles felt way too easy cardiovascularly, but there was enough of a neurological stress for me to believe we were going a decent pace. Ted did not push it, so I did not either. Then I began to suspect that we were probably going way too slow, and started pushing it a bit. Then I started breathing.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Then went to see Dr. Jex. He showed an exercise with it he wanted me to do.  I am supposed to lay in a very strange position 6 minutes a day that produces the correct reverse twist for my hips. We'll see what it does.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From wheakory on Wed, Mar 21, 2007 at 14:03:24

What's your threshold pace? That's awesome tempo times. I believe you've got the dedication to be an under 2:20 runner.

From April Larsen on Thu, Mar 22, 2007 at 09:43:10

Thanks for the welcome! That's quite an awesome life story you've got & even more impressive running history. All the best to you in reaching your goals. I've no doubt you'll master them.

From Clay Simmons on Thu, Mar 22, 2007 at 23:03:07

Good work Sasha, you are an inspiration to me. When I feel like not running then I think of your scolding and it gets me out of bed and down the road, keep it up.

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