Breaking the Wall

August 10, 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

Got up at 4:45 am to run with Ted. 4.5 hours of sleep. Last night the offer and our acceptance of it brought way too much excitement into the house. Need to make up on sleep in the upcoming days.

Ran easy sleepy pace for 4 miles. Then decided to chase the 7:30 mile guy. He had only 2 miles to go and we were 1:05 behind. Sped up to 7:00 pace. Then I remembered that I was supposed to run a tempo mile at marathon race pace. That helped with the chase. We ran the mile in 5:40 and finished in 43:47, leaving the 7:30 guy in the dust. He said it was not fair that we went by him so fast, and built such a huge lead in a little over half a mile.

The start felt hard, but then it felt easier and easier as we went on. The whole mile was done at an even pace.

Got a training toy/tool from Wasatch Running using my in-store credit - Garmin 305. Learning to use it.

Ran with the kids. Benjamin pushed my heart rate to 145 as sped up to 6:40 pace, and I was pushing Jenny and Joseph in the stroller.

The blog has picked up some traffic thanks to the increased number of bloggers. We are having days with 1300-1400 page impressions a day. The advertising revenues are going up - still not much to pay me a salary to work on the blog full time ($2-$3 a day), but better than before, and it does add up.

Got some good ideas from Chad and Zack Case on improvements to the blog. My next project is to implement the race reports feature - you will be able to mark an entry as a race report, and it will be published in a special section.

In the mean time - if you want to help the site get more traffic - some ideas - include your blog web address in your e-mail signature, be more prolific in your entries as the time allows, mention people and places by name as much as you can and as is appropriate (this will give us more hits from Google searches), and invite your running partners to blog along with you if they are not doing it already. Soon enough you might end up with a free full-time coach/blog programmer, and maybe even more than one. Our revenues per page will increase dramatically once we hit 1 million a month. Right now we are headed for about 30,000-35,000 a month.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Chad on Tue, Oct 03, 2006 at 22:09:23

Sasha--one blog suggestion before I forget; it would be helpful to have the text field for entering blogs be a bit larger, so that it is possible to see more than one paragraph at a time.

I hope the blog traffic continues to increase.

From Paul Petersen on Wed, Oct 04, 2006 at 12:05:02

Sasha, it's been cool to see the blog grow. One idea for further growth is to sponsor races. You can get on t-shirts, in goodie bags, and better yet, your link on race websites. Perhaps we can join forces and develop a series of online race pace calculators (similar to my TOU matrix) using my mapping and profiles and your programming ability. Intellectual property is a good sponsorship "donation" that doesn't cost any capital. Just a thought.

A few blog ideas for the future: 1)make it easier to add italics, bold, and hyperlinks. I realize this can be done with .html, but making an easy text interface would be the next step; 2)a forum/message board would be cool, and could bring in more people to the blog. I realize that there are already a lot of running message boards out there, but you may find a way to make it more unique, or better; 3)an interactive race calendar. Blogger could check off what races they are going to run, and then see what other bloggers are doing. It would be a good way of knowing what other people are doing, and if we will see them at upcoming races. It may even influence which races we do.

From Brent on Thu, Oct 05, 2006 at 10:00:54

Sasha, good luck at St. George.

From Steve Hooper on Thu, Oct 05, 2006 at 10:02:37

Hey Sasha,

Congrats on selling your home. That was quick! Looking forward to seeing you on Friday.

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