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

Today was my first day of the experiment. The idea is to raise the aerobic power since I am not that good at running anaerobically in shorter races, and it is not possible in longer races anyway. Lydiard says anaerobic work interferes with aerobic development. I have always taken it with a grain of salt, but I have never really given the idea a fair try. In the past, my idea of aerobic development was jogging at 7:00 pace, occasionally picking it up to 6:30. Well, I can still jog at 7:00 pace, and even through in a mini-tempo on a recovery day in between anaerobic speed workouts. But if I removed them, I could do much more - run 6-8 miles a day at my marathon race pace. That would really push the aerobic system. We'll see how that works.

Went to the Provo Canyon. Warmed up a mile. Put on ankle weights and did 4x100 alternating up and down - up 19.6, down 18.2, up 19.0, down 17.7. Now the form started feeling good. I think the mistake I made in the past week was to only jog with ankle weights - I am now realizing they are most effective when you sprint in them.

Then ran 8 miles at marathon pace effort up and down the canyon being very careful to not feel anaerobic even when going up. The average pace up was 6:07, average pace down 5:38. However, the run involved 3 180 turns, and I had a hard time shifting gears after running uphill. So once I got going the downhill pace was 5:32-5:34. Total time 46:59.

Did some always on the run miles during the day. Ran with the kids. Jennifer made Benjamin work today by running an 8:34 mile with the last 0.5 in 3:44. Then we ran to pick cherries. It is a race against the birds. We managed to get our share.

If anybody knows a good source of locally grown fruit/vegetables here in Provo/Orem or within a 20 mile radius or so, please leave a comment or send me an e-mail through the feedback form. We eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, and are just barely learning to garden. I am aware of Strattons and Allreds, but I would really like to get to know a few farmers or just people with big gardens with stuff to sell on a regular basis.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Chad Derum on Tue, Jun 13, 2006 at 09:10:09

Sasha; good luck with the "experiment."

As for sources of locally grown vegetables, I am not aware of anything in the Provo/Orem area. However, this year my wife and I bought a share in a community supported agriculture (CSA) project where we paid a fixed amount in the spring (like $250) and then every week during the Summer we'll pick up a bag of a variety of produce from an organic farm up in Kaysville (Borski Farms). The pick up point is near our house in SLC. Here's a link about the CSA's: There is also the Farmers Market at Pioneer Park every Saturday morning. I don't know if there is a Farmer's Market in Utah County. Seems like there should be. I hope you find something that works.


From Paul Petersen on Tue, Jun 13, 2006 at 09:10:43

I'm sure Provo must have some sort of weekly gardeners market. Might want to check into that. Logan has one every Saturday, and there's a lot of locally grown foods sold there for a cheap price.

From Mike Kirk on Tue, Jun 13, 2006 at 13:18:27

I went to the SLC farmers market last saturday with the kids. There were slim picking this early in the season. I did buy some locally produced cheese and 26 oz of dried cherries for $12. I would rather spend my money there instead of Costco.

The SL Trib ran an article a few weeks ago with a list of farmers markets.

What do you know about the Sandy Classic? I see the store is a sponsor so I assume that Glen has a few comps.

Bob became a first time dad Monday morning. Mom and baby are fine but Bob could choke a few incompetent nurses.

From Mike Kirk on Tue, Jun 13, 2006 at 18:05:39

Here are the locations of two farmers' markets near you. I got these from the Trib article on Tuesday June 6th.


Where: Parking Lot at 500 West and 100 South

When: Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; June 3 to Oct. 28

Contact: Tom Parker, 801-377-1859


Where: Thanksgiving Point, 3003 North Thanksgiving Way

When: Fridays, 3 to 7 p.m.; Aug. 4 to Oct. 6

Contact: 801-768-2300 or

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