Breaking the Wall

August 07, 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

Ran in the Provo Canyon. Forgot The Toy (Garmin 305). Warmed up from the Canyon View Park to the Nunns Park, then ran the standard 3 mile tempo downhill in 16:11. Mile splits - 5:25 - 5:22 - 5:24. There was a small headwind, and it was raining.

I also felt the lack of sleep. Jacob and Sarah somehow got stung by a wasp. The commotion woke me up at 4:40 am, and I did not feel like going back to bed especially since I did have a lot of things to do. So by 11 am I felt more like a nap than a tempo run, but more like a tempo run than just an easy run, or I would have taken a nap during the run otherwise. I wish I had brought The Toy to measure the heart rate. Based on the breathing, I think I had a hard time getting the heart to work. I would periodically speed up to a 1:19 - 1:20 quarter, and not have the mental energy to sustain the pace.

Once I was finished with the tempo, I started jogging to make it 10 miles total for the run. After a mile I realized that this would be quite a drag. So I ran a tempo 1.5 uphill in 8:44 passing a runner that was going at a decent pace in the process. Then jogged a bit more and reached the turnaround point between the Canyon Glen and Nunns Parks. On the way back I met with the runner I passed earlier and asked him how far he was going. He had only 0.5 more to go before his turn around, so I decided it would be better to run 3 miles with a friend than 2 alone. The runner's name was Scott. He had just run the St. George Marathon in 3:22. I invited him to join the Fast Running Blog crowd.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. In the evening did bench press 3x[5x105].

Cheston remarked that I already started training hard. Actually, this phase of my training is what I call active recovery - 60-70 miles a week, occasional tempo runs, no long runs, occasional races. This gives me a mental and a physical break to be ready to hit it hard in January or February - 80-90 miles a week, long tempos, hard tempos, interval work, race as often as I can. I believe a race is the best speed workout.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Nick on Tue, Oct 17, 2006 at 17:14:54

Hey Sasha,

Thanks for the comments in my blog. I have already ran six days straight, so do you think I should just persevere and keep on running or take a day off? Oh, my average time for the 400 meter speed workouts today were 68 seconds. The amount of turning on this track seemed to make it harder to run fast. I don't know if this was just mental, though.

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