Breaking the Wall

December 03, 2020

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 ViewYear 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: 304.65 Year: 3606.17
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: 806.96
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Jeff slept in. Ran 10.3 in around 1:23 I believe. The trail was not too bad, but it was cold. Jenny ran 2 miles with Sarah, and Julia ran 1.5.

P.M. Took Benjamin to the indoor track at BYU. We ran a warm-up mile in 9:06, then did the next two laps (0.2 each) in 1:11 and 1:16 (2:27 for 0.4). Benjamin was falling off 6:00 pace, so I stopped him after two laps and had him jog two laps, then we went fast again in the last lap and did it in 1:09 (5:45 pace). That gave us 16:24 for 2 miles.

We are not going to the indoor track again. The air is too dusty. Plus I am really suspicious of the curves. Maybe too suspicious, but better safe than sorry. The suspicion is that the curves run too frequently are particularly harmful to a growing youth causing structural imbalances and messing up the form. So we'll just run at whatever speed the roads permit us when we have a lot of snow.

0.5 with Joseph in 5:11. 0.25 with Jacob in 4:15. He really needs different shoes.

Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
From Nevels on Fri, Dec 11, 2009 at 10:39:55 from

We used to have similar concerns when I was running indoor track in high school. We were running on a 200-meter wooden indoor track with banked turns, but the longest event we ran was the 3200m, and the longest possible day allowable for a runner (according to state athletic association rules) was 3200, 1600, 800, and 4x800, for a total of 4 miles, which isn't too bad, but we were always a bit nervous about powering around the turns at full speed over and over again.

I think the only thing we really did to prevent anything was run backwards around the track (occasionally) for the warmup. Of course, we were in high school and "knew" we were invincible and utterly impervious to injury...

From Superfly on Fri, Dec 11, 2009 at 13:15:24 from

5:45 pace is really, really good for Benjamin.

I don't like the turns of a track either. Same injury fears.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Dec 11, 2009 at 13:40:58 from

Clyde - for just one quarter he's gone as fast as 76 (5:04 pace). But in the state championship the leaders opened with a 77 in the 1500 meter race, and the winning time was 5:21 (Benjamin finished 4th in 5:43). So they did sub-5:45 pace for almost a mile. Of course, this is nothing compared to the national record of 4:43.

However, every child develops at a his own rate, and thus performance at the age of 10 is not particularly meaningful. I cannot think of one 10 year old super-star that cracked 28:00 in a 10 K or 3:35 in 1500, or 2:12 in the marathon as an adult. One possible reason is that 10-year-old stars spend too much time on the track and develop biomechanical issues that do not allow them to properly mature. Which is why I am paranoid about taking Benjamin to the track.

From Nevels on Fri, Dec 11, 2009 at 13:44:48 from

I've seen similar trends. I remember a couple of kids who were amazing as, say, 8- or 10-year olds, who came out for XC and track only to plateau well below where they appeared to be capable of running. If memory serves me correctly, neither is running any more, and neither ever really got fast.

Good call, Sasha. Let them enjoy it young so they can push it later...

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
Lone Faithfuls
(need a comment):