Breaking the Wall

November 27, 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: 232.17 Year: 3533.69
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: 734.48
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 6 with Tyler and Derek, then 6 more alone. Was originally planning on 6x1 mile but did not get good sleep last night because of itching. Did not want to stress the weakened nervous system, so canceled the workout. But it must have been doing as bad as I thought. Towards the end of the run I started feeling edgy and picked it up to 6:00 pace for about 0.7 to calm down the neighing horses. Then I felt like another pickup and decided to do a tempo quarter. Hit in 82, still felt energetic, did another one in 81. The second one was rather obstructed - I had to go under a bridge, uphill around a corner, then a 90 degree turn and some rough road. Then with about 0.2 to go I was itching to do a stride. Once I started the stride it felt good so I decided to keep that pace to the end. This gave me an 86 quarter in spite of running slow in the beginning. Nevertheless, I still think not doing the mile workout was a good idea. Those neighing horses are often just on the surface. You push for a few miles hard, they stop neighing, and you feel flat. Save the energy for another day.

Total time for 12 was 1:29:26.

While I was itching last night and could not get to sleep I decided to call my dad in Russia. We had a good talk. We talked about many things including the perceptions Russians have of the United States. While talking to him a thought hit me. America has two faces. A beautiful face of service and an ugly face of greed. Our ability to get along with other nations depends on which one of those faces they are able to see. As a teenager I found myself on the side of America because I was able to see that face of service. The time was right and God's blessing was there. However, not everybody will live in that time and will have the same blessing. A sure way to improve our ability to get along is to completely get rid of the ugly face of greed. We must do in on an individual level. We must decide today to control our appetites, serve with all of our hearts, and do so consistently, without exceptions, excuses, or skipping. If we do that, everybody, not just select few, it will have an effect of solving most foreign policy issues naturally without even trying. If we do not, we deserve all of the problems, and it would not be right for us to expect those problems to be solved until we are committed to changing ourselves.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:52, 0.5 with Benjamin in 4:09. Then 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny. We found a potential running partner on the trail - Tyler Carr. He turned out to be a Russian speaker as well, so he and I chatted mostly in Russian. Benjamin needed to go the bathroom towards the end of the run, so he picked it up. This gave him 12:43 for 1.5 and 16:52 for 2 miles total. Jenny and I finished 1.5 in 12:53. Ran another mile with Tyler. Pushed Jacob in the stroller.

Five Fingers - 1314.52 miles

Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
From Clay on Tue, Sep 09, 2008 at 15:35:55

The only problem with your 2 faces theory is that the extremist Islamic world and I am talking about the minority of Islamic people want nothing but to kill us, regardless of which face we are wearing... It would be a wonderful world if that where the case Sasha, and I applaud your reasoning but when your dealing with people that only know death and destruction your avenues are very limited:-D

Keep up the good training, it was good to see you out in front last Saturday in Spanish Fork, your pace looked effortless...

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Sep 09, 2008 at 17:16:46

Clay - I do not know much about what is going on in the minds of the Islam extremists and how they get to that point. But I can tell you something about how the Soviet system brainwashed their youths to be ready to fight America any second and give their lives to kill an American. While there would definitely be a lot of culture and circumstance specific differences I expect that there will be a lot of general direction parallels. One thing people perhaps do not understand is that the Soviet propaganda have never reported anything that was not true to the fact. They simply scoured American media stories and translated/reprinted only the ones that fit their agenda. And, to our shame, there were way too many that did. The bigger that ugly face gets the less distortion is required on the side of America's foes to create a picture that would raise a youth to be a foe as well. Regardless of how restricted or free of a society you are in, there is always a certain culture/society specific maximum distortion level K_d that will go past the recipients unnoticed. Depending on our own conduct, for every society there is a minimum value of distortion K_a that will be sufficient to antagonize that group or nation against us. So if K_d < K_a, the group becomes our friend - the propaganda just cannot twist the facts enough and fool their people. If K_d > K_a, a combination of things works against us, some of which we can control and others we cannot. One that we can control is our own behavior. When we have chosen to serve, K_a increases. More distortion is needed to make us look as bad as before the change. When we have chosen to be selfish, K_a decreases - less distortion is required to make us look equally bad. In certain societies and cultures there might be nothing we can do to make K_a > K_d. For Satan himself, for example, K_a is 0 and it does not change no matter what you do. He hates you no matter what you do, and he wants you in hell. But we know that such individuals are not allowed to be born, they can only influence those who live on Earth. Most people living today would have a reasonable K_a in response to a sincere effort to live a clean life and serve on behalf of every American. Even the most closed and prejudiced societies would have a difficult time setting up a K_d that would be high enough to cover it.

From tyler on Tue, Sep 09, 2008 at 17:40:36

The thing that I like about your post, Sasha, is that it puts responsibility back into the hands of individuals. I think we get too used to blaming scapegoats for the problems in our country, when it begins with each one of us.

From Clay on Tue, Sep 09, 2008 at 18:48:51

Sasha, They are the way they are because they are raised that way, they are taught to hate, period. I need you to put your comment into laymen terms, because I don't know the point you were trying to make. Which is my problem by the way, I am a meat and potatoes kind of guy, sorry. But I do agree that it starts with each individual on how we act and then how that affects other people, and in a perfect world that would work, but unfortunately we do not live in a perfect world, yet;-(

From hmmm on Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 22:09:37

In response to Clay:

We seem too quick to look at Islamic extremism without looking at Christian extremist who have the same goals, wipe out anyone who does not believe the way they do. Single biggest loss of life outside of 9/11, was Oklahoma city - 2 christian whites - extremism in all forms is dangerous and Islam certainly does not have a corner on that market. I certainly do not agree with terrorist ideology, but we should strongly look at the circumstances that makes someone willing to take not only someone else's life but their own life as well. We have infiltrated their most holy lands and exploited all of their natural resources to feed our own greed. We have established military bases on their land and in places they consider to be the founding of their religion. We have established our presence on a permanent basis when we promised only a temporary commitment. Would we be complacent if a foreign entity established a permanent military presence in our homeland. We need to ask what our responsibility has been to create this kind of environment, not to mention what role we played in creating islamic extremism in order to defeat our own enemies!

From Clay on Thu, Sep 11, 2008 at 12:51:01

In response to hmmm;

They attacked us on 911 we didn't attack them, and I agree with you on the extremists Christians as well, but like I said it is still hard to reason with someone who is going to kill you no matter what. I believe that we are a noble nation and that we try to do good and that our intentions are good. I don't know what you are talking about as far as the bases our concerned, but they are there under good intentions too, like protecting the free people in the region... We as nation have not created the terrorists that is a lame Idealog, that's like saying are actions in the early 30's created Nazism!

From hmmmm on Thu, Sep 11, 2008 at 13:26:25

I love a good discussion and your points are well taken. I would argue that the bases are certainly not built with good intention or to protect the rights and freedoms of the citizens of those countries. Saudi Arabia has one of the worst records in the world on human rights yet we maintain a strong military presence there. It is in our best interest to make sure the government of Saudi Arabia stays in place, any change would surely mean no more oil for us. Remember 15 of the 19 terrorist came from Saudi Arabia. In regards to Nazism, it was not the policies in the 1930's that led to the rise of Nazi Germany, it was the policies post WWI that created the conditions in Germany that led to the rise of Nazism. Germany was punished after WWI, the people placed in deplorable conditions, and the nation straddled with an impossible debt. Under those conditions, people will rise and follow anyone who offers them hope!! The western nations learned after WWII not to repeat those actions - thus the Marshall Plan, to rebuild our former enemies so they would not have the desire to attack again.

I would agree that it is near to impossible to reason with someone who intent is to kill, but the conditions that allow these people to thrive are what need to change.

From Clay on Thu, Sep 11, 2008 at 13:33:05

Ya it's always good to discuss things, and wouldn't it be great if we could change peoples thinking in some of these nations that don't really understand our nation. I think miss information is the evilest form of propaganda around, ah in a perfect world...

Have a good one.

From running for peace on Thu, Sep 11, 2008 at 19:02:27

--Sasha Great points!--Thank you!! And I will apologize for continuing this discussion which should probably take place elsewhere on the forum, but...

--Tyler & --Hmmmm Good points as well!

--Clay - why don't you start with yourself and change your thinking!! You are the one full of evil misinformation, and propaganda. Why don't you study and understand the history of the Middle East first of all, before you make pretentious judgments and blame them. Nothing justifies what we have done to Iraq and their people! Over 1,255,026 Iraqi Casualties since the war began, and Over 100,00 American military casualties. This is not an act of a Noble Nation! ***"An Eye for and Eye makes the whole world blind"!!!!***

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Sep 11, 2008 at 19:33:21

No problem with political discussion on the blog.

Do not have much to say about Middle East as I am not from there and do not quite understand the situation. However, I do have some idea of how different actions of Americans influence the public opinion of America among Russians living in Russia. Which in turn influences Russian politics towards America.

The core problem is that the average Russian perceives Americans as a group of greedy flakes that exist for the sole purpose of perpetual entertainment and are not given to much thought. Those living in the US would probably admit that while such perception is oversimplified it is by far not unfounded. There are other problems as well, but in my opinion if we could address the core one those others would eventually disappear. And the good news that the fix for the core one is 90% in our hands. It is much easier to change the perceptions once you have fixed the reality.

From Clay on Fri, Sep 12, 2008 at 11:46:08

Running for peace:

You are not nice young man, your information is wrong, 100,000 of our military killed, your nuts! You need to stay off the Far left websites! I have never said that an eye for an eye is right, I said that it is hard to reason with someone who only wants to kill you. And the ones that want to kill us are the minority. So you basically think that America is an evil nation right? And I never once blamed the middle east or the muslims there it is a small minority that are causing the problem the rest are good people!

Maybe you need to look at yourself and change your thinking and quit accusing me of being evil.

Sasha and Tyler you both made good points, and I respect your point of view.

Running for peace you don't even know me and you are making snap judgements about me, you are whats wrong with American!

From running for peace on Sat, Sep 13, 2008 at 13:45:33


I find it fascinating you assume I'm a leftist nut and not a nice young man, when in fact, I am a non-partisan intelligent nice young female.

Good Luck to you, keep believing that the US does not spread propaganda and the actions of the US government are always done with noble intentions. I leave you with this quote from conservative jounalist Charley Reese: "The truth is that neither British nor American imperialism was or is idealistic. It has always been driven by economic or strategic interests."

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