Breaking the Wall

August 09, 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: 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. I greeted Jeff with: "Hi, I am Sasha the Duck" this morning as I came out the door wearing my Five Fingers. 3 with Jeff and Hyrum in 25:37, then dropped Hyrum off and finished 6 in 45:44, last mile at marathon pace trying to be honest in 5:40.

One challenge with Five Fingers is getting each toe in its own compartment. But I suppose eventually this becomes natural. I really like having the toes like that when running. And unlike Crocs there is no cushioning in the heel at all, so you have to do a better job of finding inner sources of cushioning.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:49. 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 13:00, another 0.5 with Benjamin to finish 2 in 16:58.

Went to Sarah's ultrasound for the baby. It is a boy. Sarah is due on October 24th. We are going to name the boy William (Bill, Willie Billie Boy).

Five Fingers - 9 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Superfly on Thu, May 15, 2008 at 14:01:05

I just got a pair of Five Fingers from Steve today at the store. I agree it is a challenge to get each toe in it's own compartment. It should be fun to have them and maybe even makes some running improvements.

Are you going to Logan's for the pasta party tomorrow? If not I guess we'll see ya at the start.

From randy on Thu, May 15, 2008 at 20:19:41

thanks, i enjoy reading your running blog, very detailed. hopefully ill learn from it

From ryan on Thu, May 15, 2008 at 23:01:29

what the heck is a five fingers?

From JohnK on Fri, May 16, 2008 at 09:36:36

I'm really wondering how Five Fingers work for most people. My doubts have to do with the fact that everyone has toes of different corresponding sizes (length, especially). My second toes are a bit longer than my first, for example. It seems Five Fingers would work for maybe a third of the population (at most) but for many of us they'd be bad news. Still, I'd be willing to try them!

From wildbull on Fri, May 16, 2008 at 11:21:16

Five finger socks. let me know howyou le them. my toes need all the help they can get! sometimes they get in a fight and they need to be seperated!

From Jill on Fri, May 16, 2008 at 14:47:33

everyone is commenting on five fingers. I am curious to know what they are too but... (Obsessed runners!) I just wanted to say congrats on William!

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, May 16, 2008 at 14:55:33

Jill - thanks. Jill and anybody who wants to know more about Five Fingers. Enter Five Fingers into the search box on the right, click search, then follow the first search result entry. If you are using Firefox with Google Toolbar (you can get it from the button on the right). Highlight Five Fingers with your mouse, right click, Search Google for Five Fingers.

Five Fingers are now available at the St. George Running Center. Highly recommended footwear. I think overtime you can develop a Kenyan/Ethiopian like running form especially if you start young. They make you look like a Fast Running Duck.

From Tom on Fri, May 16, 2008 at 15:02:49

Better a Fast Running Duck than a Fast Running Dork! I may have to try me a pair of those 5 finger thingies.

From Craig on Fri, May 16, 2008 at 15:16:13


Funny you mention the Vibram Five Fingers. I have been scouring Ebay for a couple months trying to get a good deal on a pair, but I couldn't ever find some in my size. I finally bit it and bought some off I would have bought them off the St George Running Center if I had read this earlier.

Anyway, I got the KSO model 'cause I run on dirt trails so much. KSO stands for "keep stuff out" or something, so this model covers your foot. It seems you'd need to wear Injinji socks with these or run bearfoot, right?

From Jill on Fri, May 16, 2008 at 15:41:03

wow! They are crazy looking, but I just bought a pair. If they are too strange for running, I can wear them in the garden. :o) Got them direct from Vibram. Enjoy - thanks for the tip!

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