Breaking the Wall

September 18, 2019

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 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: 90.98 Year: 2713.79
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1576.28
Neon Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 22.05
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. An odd dream. Dreamed that President Obama was a chess piece, either a black knight or a bishop, positioned on c4, and protected by a pawn on d5. With the white king castled on the queen side the Obama piece  was causing a lot of trouble for the opponent controlling a lot of critical squares. The white could not chase him out with pawns. Then the white moved the pawn to  e4 attacking the Obama protector, the protector took the pawn and was not protecting anymore. Then a heavy piece, either a rook or a queen chased Obama out.  

Ran with Jeff. We were planning on going 6, but ended up adding 0.25 to go to the bathroom. We were in a critical spot and a critical situation, and too far away from virtual opportunities, so after a quick cost-to-benefit analysis we decided to take a detour. Ran a fat mile in 5:48.

2 more with Benjamin in 17:19. We practiced 6:00 again, it went better this time. I mis-paced Benjamin in the first quarter with a 94, but then we made up in the second in 88, total time for 0.5 was 3:02.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:27. Julia ran the first 1.5 in 14:05. Julia was feeling not quite well at the start, or at least she claimed she did. So we told her she did not have to run, but if she was too sick to run, she was too sick to go swimming later in the evening. So she said she'd try running to see how she felt. About half a mile into it she said she did not feel good enough to keep going. I told her fine, you can stop now but then you cannot go swimming. She stopped anyway, stood for a few seconds, then changed her mind, caught up to us and finished the run without problems.

Five Fingers 2 Miles: 10.25
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From Burt on Wed, Jun 10, 2009 at 12:42:48 from

Maybe the heavy piece was Jon Voight.

From Kory on Wed, Jun 10, 2009 at 17:00:10 from

Can you explain your Fat mile training. To me its a mile depleted by carbs, and running on the inter-fat muscle.

From Neil on Wed, Jun 10, 2009 at 18:00:38 from

If the "heavy piece" was a Rook then I'm going with Limbaugh; and I'm tempted to go with Barney Frank (currently harassing the President over the release of the detainee photos) if it was a Queen.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jun 11, 2009 at 15:15:03 from


I believe the decision of which fuel you are going to use and in which proportion is ultimately controlled by the current hormonal state of the body. Thus by altering that state it is possible to use more fats even though plenty of carbs are available, and the other way around - keep on burning carbs even though you are running out of them. From this comes an idea - learn to control the hormonal state of the body with the mind while running at speeds close marathon race pace.

So you could be going, let's say 5:50-6:00 pace. If you are all worked up and excited, you will be burning carbs more. If you can almost fall asleep, that will shift the metabolism to fats. So we run easy for a while to fall sound asleep. Then we run fast while still asleep, and try not to wake up. The hope is that doing it every day for a mile or two will help remember the feeling and reproduce it in a race.

From Kory on Thu, Jun 11, 2009 at 16:10:17 from

Sasha that is an excellent training idea. Because there are times where I can fall asleep and run that speed with no problem. I did this yesterday on my pre-race mp miles.

Thanks for the explanation and good training tip.

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