Breaking the Wall

July 21, 2019

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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: 217.33 Year: 2189.42
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs Lifetime Miles: 2133.34
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1034.77
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Big Workout with Ted at 6:00 AM. Woke up, was still feeling a bit funny. So I was not sure if this would affect my running or not. Yesterday at slower speeds it did not, but a 5 mile tempo has a tendency to explore and reveal hidden problems.

Ted came wearing shorts and announced his car reported the temperature of 20 F. That was the last thing I wanted to hear because if it was true, I would have to wear pants in addition to gloves and jacket. So I went downstairs to my computer to check the temperature. It was 29.2 F at the airport. This was right on the edge of the shorts/pants threshold for me, but I was so happy that I could wear shorts.

The warm up was slow, took us 2.5 to catch the 8:00 guy, but I heard the horses neighing. Hit 6.22 in 47:24, and started the tempo. Ted took the first quarter, a bit too hard, at first I thought I was just not warmed up, but then I saw 40 for the first 200 and told him we were going 5:20. So he backed off. We went through the first mile in 5:31 showing about equal degree of pace initiative during our quarter stints. Then Ted's ankle started to give out, and he started to lose steam. He did a 1:25 quarter, I did not want them to be slower than 1:24, so I picked it up on my turn and overcorrected to 1:21. Then Ted took his in 1:25 (uphill), which was fine with me, and I did mine in 1:24 which is still a bit uphill and rolling. This gave us 5:35 for the next mile. Then Ted did 1:26, it was a bit slow, but I did not feel like correcting it too hard with Ted being obviously not 100% already, the pending 180 turn and the goal of running 5:20 pace average on the way back. So I did mine in 1:24 again, 13:56 at 2.5, avg. 5:34.4.

On the way back, I was able to kick into gear right away. The first quarter was 1:21, then a steady stream of 1:20s with one downhill one in 1:19 up to the 4 mile mark. 3rd mile was 5:31, 4th in 5:19. The first quarter of the last mile had some leaves. I also lost concentration going through the gates, and wondering if I should try to hit the stop button on my watch with the gloves on, or if I should just not worry about it and simply look when I cross the line. Then I started to get worried about the overall time being messed up. I caught myself quickly enough, but this slowed me down to a 1:21 quarter. I learned that when running 5:20s little things begin to matter - your mind must be void of vain worries or you lose the momentum.

Repented on the next quarter and ran it in 1:20 again. Picked it up with 0.5 to go, ran it in 2:35. Last mile in 5:16, last 2.5 in 13:16 (avg. 5:18.4), incidentally a PR for that stretch, total time 27:12, avg. 5:26.4, only 24 seconds slower than all-time PR which was done in 60 degrees, only 3 mile warm-up, trading quarters with Jeff, the intention to run fast all the way, and a mildly positive split. I suppose this means I am mostly over the mini-illness of yesterday, but sure did give me some serious concern at first.

Talked to the farmer with the dog while waiting for Ted. His named turned out to be Harold, and the dog's name is Eeah (or however you spell it). Told him he was our farmer with the dog, and the dog's name for us is really Bingo.

Cooled down the last 3.88 in 28:18, avg. 7:17.63, total time for 15.1 1:42:54, avg. 6:48.84.

P.M. The Lost Sheep Stu decided to call me today. I told him he was officially a Lost Sheep. He said he wanted to go for a run. We ran 4 miles in 31:53. He committed to changing his Lost Sheep status. Encourage him through the new Private Message feature if he does not re-appear on the blog tomorrow. Then ran 1.05 with Julia in 11:16, and 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 13:56. Benjamin drifted off at the end and finished in 13:51. Benjamin is tapering for Regions.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From sarah on Thu, Nov 15, 2007 at 19:21:02

I don't know if I've ever even posted on your blog honey. That's so cool that you found out the farmer's name....did he laugh?

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Nov 15, 2007 at 22:29:35

Yes, he did!

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