Breaking the Wall

January 19, 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: 188.26 Year: 188.26
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: 1359.62
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Started the morning with a 1 mile jog. Later in the afternoon went with Sarah, the kids, and Steve Ashbaker to the South Fork of the Provo Canyon. The kids went sledding. Steve and I did the tempo run. 2.5 mile warmup, and then 3.23 miles from the start of Provo River Half-Marathon to the magic guard rail start in Vivian Park. That road gets ploughed very well, even during the heaviest snow storms. I am revealing the best kept tempo run during winter secret of the Utah County. Steve and I took turns leading a minute at a time. Steve is a great training partner. He always brings a doze of adrenaline to the workouts that I normally lack and is generous about sharing it with me. This keeps the pace fast. We got some nasty headwind and snow on the first repetion. Steve was very aggressive. At one point, he passed me to take his turn with such a zeal that he opened up a gap. I considered for a few seconds letting him go, but then realized he did not know where the finish was. So I shifted gears, and caught up to him. We ended up hitting the first one in 16:28. Steve was disappointed. All this effort for a 5:30 pace on a downhill course? I told him I normally do my tempo runs in those conditions in about 17:40, and it is not easy. He looked even more puzzled. He did not realize it was 3.23 miles, not 3, and the pace was actually about 5:07. There was another thing he did not realize - we were doing another repetition. We jogged back up, and agreed to go a little slower on the second one. This time, there was less headwind, and the sun came out. The pace felt very nice, very relaxed. We ran it in 16:51, an average of about 5:14. Not bad at all. Sarah picked us up at the Vivian park. 12.5 miles for the whole run. Ran with Benjamin and Jennifer in the evening, and did a little bit more of "always on the run" jogging to hit a total of 16 miles for the day. For some reason felt extra thirsty during lunch and dinner, and experienced a very pleasant feeling of freshness, fitness, and strength in the body. I think it is a good sign.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From MikeBro on Tue, Mar 14, 2006 at 08:20:27

Sasha -- In looking at your daily notes (nice detail), I see one or more 1-mile jogs each day. What are these for? Do you try to go no longer than a certain length of time between runs? Thanks, Mike.

From Steve Hooper on Tue, Mar 14, 2006 at 12:24:37

Sasha is "Always On The Run"!

From Steve Hooper on Tue, Mar 14, 2006 at 12:25:43

Nice work out by the way. Great way to start off the week.

From Dallen on Tue, Mar 14, 2006 at 18:13:06

Personally I never really liked that stretch of road. If I remember right there are parts that are steep enough that I felt almost out of control. But it is fast.

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