Breaking the Wall

Salt Lake Track Club 5 K

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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: 110.88 Year: 2082.97
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs Lifetime Miles: 2133.34
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 914.70
Race: Salt Lake Track Club 5 K (3.107 Miles) 00:17:22, Place overall: 21, Place in age division: 3
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2014-01-25 09:21:14
Workout Totals
Distance Time Pace
16.034 2:09:11.20 8:03.42
Ran in the SLC Track Club 5 K. Got 17:22, was third master. This was the most competitive 5 K I've ever run in. With my time, which was not great, but not too slow either I got 21st place. Riley won with 15:06. I think there were 8 people under 16:00. Jake was pushed down to 5th with 15:33. So 5:00 pace for a 5K at 4300 feet of altitude was good only for 5th in a local race in a city of about a million. That is good. We have more good runners and they are racing. Benjamin struggled with the consequences of the stomach bug he caught over the last week, but managed to run 16:52, good enough for 14th overall. This is quite remarkable given that yesterday morning he was so sick he could not run 8:00 pace. Details below. Benjamin did 8.5, Jenny 2, Julia 1.5, Joseph and Jacob 3, William 1, Stephen 0.5 - his first half mile. I do not think I've ever had a non-potty-trained kid run that far.
Leg 1
Distance Time Pace Comment
3.207 26:39.90. 8:18.88 Warm-up with Steve Ashbaker. Benjamin joined us for part of it.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 0.900 7:34.10 8:24.56 Warm-up.
2 0.107 0:32.90 5:07.48 Stride from marker 9 of the 15 K to marker 6 of the 10 K. Thus the precise distance.
3 2.200 18:32.90 8:25.86 Warm-up continues. Colin and Josh E from the blog joined us. Right before the start I felt something in my stomach like it lacked the ability to digest and thought it was a good idea that it was relatively empty.
Leg 2
Distance Time Pace Comment
3.107 17:22.90. 5:35.66 The race.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 1.000 5:23.70 5:23.70 It actually felt relatively easy. I though I might be able to dip under 17:00. I could tell that Benjamin was struggling. I knew he saw his split at 1000, which was 3:20, tried to speed up, but did not disappear into the distance and was still only a couple of seconds ahead of me at the mile.
2 1.000 5:40.20 5:40.20 I started struggling in this mile. All of a sudden the leg strength was gone. I noticed the split of 8:29 at the turnaround - Benjamin had 8:24, and 10:16 at 3 K. Benjamin had 10:52 at 2 miles, and I could tell he was suffering.
3 1.107 6:19.00 5:42.37 Did not hit the split button at mile 3, but saw that it was 16:47, so 5:43 for the mile. Got passed by Colin and Dennis Simonaitis - tried to latch on, but lacked the strength. Dennis bumped me from second to third in the masters. Walter was ahead and I was gradually coming up on him, but could not quite get him. Dennis ended up winning the masters with 17:04, Walter was second with 17:11. At this point I felt I did not have another gear so I was just coasting to the finish. Was pleased to see Benjamin open the gap and finish in 16:52.
Leg 3
Distance Time Pace Comment
4.15 35:47.90. 8:37.57 Cool-down with Steve Ashbaker and Benjamin. Steve struggled today also dealing with the consequences of a recent illness, but his was different - just plain flu, not stomach. But he still managed 17:45.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 4.150 35:47.90 8:37.57  
Leg 4
Distance Time Pace Comment
0.5 6:23.80. 12:47.60 At home with Stephen. This was his first half mile. I think he could have gone much faster but he was wearing the pants that were falling off. Will fix that oversight next time.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 0.500 6:23.80 12:47.60  
Leg 5
Distance Time Pace Comment
3 26:35.90. 8:51.97 With Joseph and Jacob. They were finally healthy enough to run 3 miles.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 3.000 26:35.90 8:51.97  
Leg 6
Distance Time Pace Comment
1 7:10.00. 7:10.00 Alone.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 1.000 7:10.00 7:10.00  
Leg 7
Distance Time Pace Comment
1.07 9:10.80. 8:34.77 With William.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 1.070 9:10.80 8:34.77  

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 16.03
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
From RileyCook on Sat, Jan 25, 2014 at 16:30:38 from

Congrats on the top-3 master's finish Sasha, and a good race for Benjamin as well.

You're right this was a very deep field. I thought Draper Days was pretty deep last summer, but I think this may have beaten it.

From Glory in the long run on Sat, Jan 25, 2014 at 18:41:21 from

Sasha, thanks so much for always writing an interesting report, and for being innovative and tech savvy, and for making this blog. Peace my friend.

From CollinAnderson on Sat, Jan 25, 2014 at 18:51:00 from

Good race today. You guys ran well for having been sick this week! See you at the 10k.

From Matt Poulsen on Sat, Jan 25, 2014 at 19:05:49 from

Nice job today, Sasha.

From scottkeate on Sun, Jan 26, 2014 at 00:14:48 from

Nice job, Sasha! It was a strong field today. Pretty cool to experience so many fast folks in a cold, January 5K.

From Jake K on Sun, Jan 26, 2014 at 20:30:00 from

It's definitely a good sign when 15:30 is OFF the podium. It should be that way with all the talent we have in this area. Going to be a fun year!

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