Breaking the Wall

December 01, 2020

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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: 304.65 Year: 3606.17
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: 806.96
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 10 miles in 1:15:55 with Jeff. Hyrum joined us for the first 3 in 24:39. Actually my time was a bit faster as I did a VPB and did not stop my watch at around 2.5. After two more VPBs and some minor sweating my weight went down to 146 lb at the end of my run from 152 lb last night. It was rather wet and chilly this morning. The positive way to interpret the weight change is that I do not need a fuel belt.

Finally taper time, and I am looking forward to it but not too much anticipation, which is a good sign. I suspect one week is the optimum taper length for me. We'll find out in Ogden.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:23, 2 with Benjamin in 16:51, Jenny joined us for the first 1.5 in 13:09.

T4 Racer -  37.7 miles.


Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.75
From Jon on Mon, May 12, 2008 at 12:41:57

What sort of mileage will you be doing in your taper?

From josse on Mon, May 12, 2008 at 14:29:41

Are you up to pacing me for a 2 mile tempo @ about a 6:30 pace tomorrow?

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, May 12, 2008 at 14:47:09

Jon - probably about 70 including the marathon. Josse - yes that would work.

From cgbooth23 on Mon, May 12, 2008 at 16:10:28

So for someone who has run 7 marathons, but this is the first time I have trained on schedule, and I am shooting for under 3:30, and have been averaging around 40/week for last 4-5 weeks, what do you suggest on tapering?? I felt fatigued last week and got 39 miles, but did a hard spin class and Pilates!

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, May 12, 2008 at 16:31:08

cgbooth123 - I would recommend training through the race. Do not taper at all. Start the race tired, this will keep you from going out too fast. The fatigue will also keep you from getting too antsy before which will allow to end up with more fuel in the tank at the start. When you get too excited you do not store the fuel as well. So the calm from the extra mileage could very well make up for the fuel you spend doing it.

Do not target any particular time. With only a few weeks of 40 and no significant training earlier expect trouble at the end. Treat it as a training run, and then go for a time goal once you've put in a few months of solid training in your next marathon (St. George?).

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