Breaking the Wall

Law Days Run

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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: 154.81 Year: 1799.09
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Brown Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 2191.97
Brown Crocs 4 Lifetime Miles: 595.71
Race: Law Days Run (3.107 Miles) 00:17:35, Place overall: 7
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A,M. Raced in the Law Days 5 K - 17:35, 7th place. This was the annual team race. I ran for Chad's law firm Curtis, Manning, and Bradshaw. In the past we have been able to win, but this year our team was not as strong, and we were racing Olsen Shaner headed by Teren, Jamal, and Seth Wold. So we lost. My 17:35 did not help either. Fritz ran decent for the course (16:40), which was longer than it was last year, but not sufficiently long to justify a loss of 1:08 for me compared to last year. Teren won with 15:33, which is probably comparable to his 14:52 last year. The logic goes like this - he ran Provo City Half this year about 55 seconds slower than Jeff did last year, and he beat Jeff last year by 3 seconds in the 5 K. Adjusting for the fact that he probably is better trained for the 5 K than for the half marathon, it is reasonable to suppose that if he is losing to Jeff by 55 seconds in the half, he would have been on par with him in a 5 K. So if we are to use Teren as a benchmark, this means I performed about 30 seconds worse this year than last year. It was better than the worst I expected, as I have struggled to run good times in my workouts lately. Especially after seeing the splits at 1 mile (5:48), and 2 miles (11:50). I do not know if those markers were right, but by the time I got to 2 miles, I thought, hills or not (the course is very hilly), I am about to run a very embarrassing time. I hoped that a) the marker was off and b) the downhill in the last mile would help. It was probably a combination of both. My split at the 3 mile marker was 16:48, but then it took me 47 seconds to get from there to the finish. So either the marker was off or the course was long. Andrew Hansen outkicked me on the home stretch, although I tried hard to hold him off. Jamal was second with around 15:58, then Seth with around 16:25, Fritz 16:40, and Oliver from Westminister College in 17:24.

The entire race I felt in a daze, it hurt, but I felt more like a spectator than a participant. I suppose we would run really fast if the spectators got to feel our pain instead. And running would have even fewer spectators than it does now. The good news is that I never really felt weak and done, just could not quite kick into gear. What is odd is my throat was hurting afterwards like it does after a hard mile race. I had not felt that way in a while. Fritz and I went for a long cooldown afterwards, and meandered to East High Track. Then we did a test to evaluate the quality of our 5 K effort. 800 meters at what I perceived was my 5 K race effort I had just run at. This gave us 2:36.6, so about 5:15 mile pace.  Fritz said it felt easier than his 5 K effort. So if we adjust a bit for the short length of the interval, and compensate for the wind (there was a significant wind that was a factor) and post-race fatigue, I think it is fair to say that I would have run a track 5 K in still air in 16:40. So whatever length that course was, we can probably say that it was 55 seconds slower than track in ideal conditions.

Green Crocs 1 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
From Rob Murphy on Mon, May 16, 2011 at 13:43:07 from

Good to see you back Sasha. I have to say, I've missed your presence on starting lines recently. Of course I don't see you after that.

From fiddy on Wed, May 25, 2011 at 15:42:56 from

You should know that the Provo Half was long this year, too. When will you be racing again?

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