Breaking the Wall

August 04, 2020

Recent EntriesHomeJoin Fast Running Blog Community!PredictorHealthy RecipesSasha Pachev's RacesFind BlogsMileage BoardTop Ten Excuses for Missing a RunTop Ten Training MistakesDiscussion ForumRace Reports Send A Private MessageWeek ViewMonth ViewYear View
15% off for Fast Running Blog members at St. George Running Center!


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: 16.00 Year: 2314.91
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: 1185.83
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 20 miles with Jeff. The original plan was 10 easy out to Bridal Veil Falls, then hard back. However, when I saw and felt all the rocks on the University Avenue stretch from Wyview to Wills, I suggested a change of plans. Start at the Will's and run hard for 10 miles, then jog, then maybe run hard at the end if feeling good. That would give us about 5.8 uphill and into a headwind out, and 4.2 downhill with a tailwind back.

So we started out sluggish. The uphill was not too bad, and there was no headwind yet, but we slugged along through the first mile in 6:05, and it did not feel like a jog, not a good sign. The next mile we picked up the effort, but we ran into some obstactles. First, the trail was dug up at the intercection with the Orem Center street, so we had to take a detour that probably cost us 4 seconds, and then the head wind picked up. So that mile was 6:05 as well. Jeff stepped on the gas and I tucked behind as we battled more headwind. With the increased effort the pace became a little under 6:00.

Then as we entered the Provo Canyon the head wind eased off for just a quarter and we were able to see what our effort was worth. We did a quarter in 85, 5:40 pace. Jeff was surprised, I was not. Then we had a mile at around 6:00 average, and then the headwind picked up and the uphill got steeper and we started to see 1:32 quarters. HR was 154. 30:13 at 5 miles.  Right after that the headwind increased more. We ran a 1:39 quarter and passed a couple of nicely equipped bikers as if they were standing still. Finally we reached the turnaround. On the way back we were going first 5:50, then 5:45, then 5:40, and my HR was not breaking 145. We were gradually closing on the 6:00 guy. At 7.5 we were 2 seconds behind (45:02). Then I told Jeff the pace was easy enough for me that he could pick it up. Earlier on the uphill I had to tell him to ease off. So we did the next 0.5 in 2:53, not a whole lot of pick up. Then I said I wanted to break 59:00, so we would have to hit 84 quarters, and then kick. Our next mile was 5:28, followed by the closing mile in 5:14. Those were down 1% grade with tailwind. Total time for 10 was 58:37. HR maxed out at 159.

It was an interesting experience to hit the gas pedal hard when you still have 6 miles to go. Very good for mental conditioning.

When we started jogging I thought I was done with fast running for the day. Then 2 miles later I asked Jeff if he wanted to run the last 2.5 at 6:00 pace. He said just the last mile. So we jogged eventually speeding up to sub-7:00 pace, and then ran the last mile in 5:54. HR got up to only 152 even thought it started to get warm and I had no water or anything for that matter during the whole run. Total time for 20 was 2:14:39.

Even thought I felt decent in the last mile and could have gone longer, when I got into the house I was mentally done. I asked Sarah for some cherries in Russian using diminitive words. Then I remembered that Russians start using diminitives when they are very tired. Diminitives do not exist in English, but for a rough idea, instead of say "cherry" you'd say "cute little cherry". One time I took my friend who was out of shape for a 12.5 mile run. He was a tough guy. When in half decent shape he could take me out for a tempo and make me speak in diminitives afterwards. 11.3 100, 1:57 800, 4:10 1500, and 16:08 5000. He did not train very consistently, thus much faster in shorter distances. His father was from Ghana, but his mother was Russian. Being the only black kid among the Russians he dealt with the challenge by never showing any signs of weakness. His fists were connected to very well coordinated explosive muscle fibers, so nobody dared insult him to his face. Needless to say, he did not use a whole lot of diminitives in his speech. However, after that run he was literally a different person. He was not talking like himself. I had never heard that many diminitives come out of his mouth.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin and Jenny in 17:53. Julia ran the first 0.5 with us in 4:46. She ran a mile in the morning with Sarah.


Five Fingers 2 Miles: 20.00Bare Feet Miles: 2.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
From Matt on Mon, Jul 20, 2009 at 14:51:21 from


I missed you at the Draper Days 5k running any races soon.

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Jul 20, 2009 at 15:02:07 from

Matt - I am running DesNews 10 K.

From Matt on Mon, Jul 20, 2009 at 15:12:31 from

Good to know. That may be all the encouragement I need to sign up the registration has been sitting on my desk.

Add Your Comment.
  • Keep it family-safe. No vulgar or profane language. To discourage anonymous comments of cowardly nature, your IP address will be logged and posted next to your comment.
  • Do not respond to another person's comment out of context. If he made the original comment on another page/blog entry, go to that entry and respond there.
  • If all you want to do is contact the blogger and your comment is not connected with this entry and has no relevance to others, send a private message instead.
Only registered users with public blogs are allowed to post comments. Log in with your username and password or create an account and set up a blog.
Debt Reduction Calculator

Featured Announcements
New Kids on the Blog
(need a welcome):
Lone Faithfuls
(need a comment):