Breaking the Wall

June 20, 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: 208.73 Year: 1853.01
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: 714.43
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Total of 13.6. Ran with Dave Taylor. We did the 3 mile tempo from Nunn's Park to the mouth of the canyon. The purpose was to evaluate what's up with Dave's fast starts. So I told him to just start like he would in a half-marathon, and then we'll see what happens. The deal was that if he was going sub-5:00 I would slow him down, but otherwise we'll just let the pace he chose stand. In the first 100 meters the pace was sub-5:00, which resulted in a warning, and a slightly slower pace afterwards. We got to the first mile in 5:09. I tucked behind him hanging on for dear life and wondering what would happen if he kept it all the way. On one hand the prospect of breaking 15:30 sounded exciting. On the other hand, the pain of was was not so. I felt that if I could just find the right spot behind him that minimized air resistance I could perhaps run around 15:30 today, but I would need that magic spot.

At the start of the second mile the pace eased to 5:20, and finally became manageable. After 2000 it dropped off to 5:28, but I was in no hurry to step up and help with the pace because I wanted to rest from that 5:09. Our split at 1.5 was 7:51. That quarter in 82 gave me enough of a break, though, that I felt ready to step up and pull Dave for the rest of the tempo at 5:20 if needed. I made an effort to shift gears and get back to 5:20, but I saw that Dave was dropping back, so I corrected to around 5:30-5:35, which I did not mind too much. We hit 2 miles in 10:37 (5:28), then 13:23 at 2.5, and 16:09.9 at the finish with the last mile in 5:32.

Dave and I had opposite experiences in this run. He felt the first mile was easy and then it got progressively harder. I felt that the first mile was hard, and then it got progressively easier. My partial explanation of that is that he has been running only 40 miles a week so his aerobic conditioning is lacking. So he runs the right pace from the gun, but he just cannot hold it. We will work on fixing that, though. Our next workout will be even 5:20 pace for all three miles. In between, I recommended that Dave should run 8 miles a day at an easy pace.

We ran the cool-down to our house, and then I ran with some of the kids. Jacob did 1, Joseph 3, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Benjamin 8, William 1.

After I ate breakfast and got the kids going on their math practice, my body asked for a nap, and I obliged. Felt much better after a nap.

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 13.60
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
From Dave Taylor on Tue, May 14, 2013 at 16:24:22 from

Loved the run, looking forward to next Tues. Maybe I have a kick then :)

From Bam on Wed, May 15, 2013 at 06:12:16 from

Dave, I think Sasha has it bang on! If you listen to him, you'll see huge gains.

From Dave Taylor on Wed, May 15, 2013 at 07:24:50 from

I have to agree, after the 8 easy this morning I am definitely going to do it again tomorrow. This could be fun!

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