Breaking the Wall

January 25, 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: 266.81 Year: 266.81
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: 1438.17
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Paced Benjamin to a new PR of 23:18 in a 5 K over by the Rock Canyon - first place in 11 and under, 22nd overall out of about 60 mostly adults. He got a ribbon for his award and a huge clock in a raffle (shouldn't it be the other way around - get a small thing in a raffle, and a big one for the achievement?). But, regardless, the effort ended up being properly rewarded.

The course had a net drop of 150 feet, but included a couple of climbs of 100 feet. Mike Vick won with 16:32. After pacing Benjamin, ran a tempo on the course in 17:27. I felt like I had put about a 17:10 effort into it.

The course was measured with my wheel and using my chart. However, I was not there when it got measured. It suspiciously started exactly where the organizers wanted to start it, and ended exactly where they wanted to end it. gmap-pedometer shows that distance as 3.08. There were no mile marks. I think I'll remeasure it next week to be sure.

In the afternoon, ran with the kids. Benjamin was up for anothe r run and did a mile in 9:01 without breaking a sweat.

Ran some with the Fast Running Mommy at the end of her run. She ran two miles in 22:13 gradually speeding up. Last quarter was 2:27.

Also ran back from the Priesthood Session of the General Confernce. Good messages. Got me thinking deep.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Nick Miller on Mon, Oct 02, 2006 at 12:23:29

Hey Sasha,

In response to your question about the course, it was purely gravel and rock. There was a very steep hill that you needed to climb twice, too. This is referred to (by the CU team and the announcers) as one of the toughest 8k courses in the country.

From on Mon, Oct 02, 2006 at 14:54:09

I haven't run a certified 5K in a long time. I ran 5 & 10K races in the late 1980s. If I remember correctly, my PR on the 5K was just under 18 minutes. I never broke 17-minutes, I remember that. I think I could have knocked 60 seconds off my U of U time with a little practice at the 5K distance. I was just kind-of getting settled into the pace by the finish line. That U of U was a pretty fun race, the frats, and rugby team, soccer team, alumni, etc. were there dressed out in school colors. They had a U of U trivia contest. The kids got their faces painted. It was fun, too bad I can't say the same about the game.

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