Breaking the Wall

January 21, 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: 188.26 Year: 188.26
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: 1359.62
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. A really uneventful easy 10.1 at 5:10 AM alone this morning, most of it in the dark in 1:13:46, avg. 7:18.22. I suppose watching the sunrise was the most interesting event, that, and wondering if perhaps the rustling of the leaves was coming from the wind or from some wild animal in the bushes.

P.M. 1.5 with Jenny in 14:20, 1.05 with Julia in 10:57, 2 with Benjamin in 17:44, 3.6 first by myself, then found a couple of UVSC runners on the trail and joined them for about a mile - 27:13 for the stretch. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Benn on Wed, Nov 07, 2007 at 18:30:43

Hey Sasha! Thanks for the comments and constructive criticism. I just got your message after getting out of the shower, and not to be caught on only having logged 5 miles today, I decided to at least get in another 2 which I did, for 7 for total for today. Wish I had of known ahead of time, because I certainly would have stayed on it, rather than almost "cheating" and having to log another 2 miles separately.

From Scott Zincone on Wed, Nov 07, 2007 at 20:04:38

Me and you both when it comes from the sound of dry leaves blowing across a road in the dark. I always wonder if it is a dog sneaking up on me. That scratching sound and running alone in the dark can really crank up a wild imagination.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Nov 08, 2007 at 12:38:41

Benn - breaking up a run is not cheating. In fact, is is a good way to train. If you have the time to train twice a day, at some point you should. Different coaches have different opinions on that. Daniels says start doing doubles once you get over 50 miles a week. Lydiard says get to 100 miles a week in singles. In my opinion, it depends. I think even if your morning run is as low as 3 miles, it would be beneficial to add another mile or two in the evening. After 8 hours on your rear end or standing and walking it is good to go for an easy shake-out run regardless of how far you've run in the morning.

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