Breaking the Wall

July 08, 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: 51.55 Year: 2011.51
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: 881.43
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with the usual gang. We had a late start, and I needed to be back early enough because we were headed to the Draper Temple Open House. So we just ran 10.1 brisk, more of a tempo pace for Mary Ann. We started with a 7:30 mile, then progressed to about 6:30-6:40 pace with occasional bursts to 6:25. Then I took a VPB and caught up hitting a quarter in 81. I was happy about that. Mary Ann started struggling with about 2 miles to go. With 1.5 left she decided to back off and jog in, and Jeff and I went ahead. We picked it up to 6:00 pace, and then did 87 and 80 for the last two quarters, which gave us 5:47 for the last mile. I was happy I was able to do it because I could not do it last Saturday.

Total time for 10.1 was 1:05:56.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 15:06 including explosions. His explosions were my explosions as well because I was pushing William in a stroller. He ran the last mile quick as well - 6:44. So that made it a brisk day for me. Then 2 with Jenny in 18:30, Julia ran the first mile with us in 9:20.

Analysed recent Mary Ann's crashes, and then it dawned on me - no fuel, she has not been eating enough. Asked her in detail about what she's been eating, sure enough, I was right. So we had her over for dinner and I used the opportunity to teach her how to eat. I loaded her plate with a large serving of mashed potatoes and told her to eat all of it. She did after some encouragement. Then I realized why girls get injured so much when they try high mileage. At 30 mpw a girl can survive off a mouse/bird diet. At 70 mpw she is going to have all kinds of problems if she does not start eating more - persistent fuel shortage, sore muscles, stress fractures, and who knows what else. Girls are often hesitant to eat like pigs, especially in our culture of slim models and the fear of being called fat, so often they do not even though they very much should.

For a guy it is a bit different. His base metabolism is high enough so he is already eating OK even if he runs only 30 mpw. He can up it to 70 with a lot fewer problems without a change in eating habits. Although, of course, he still should start eating more, it is just not as drastic of a change as it is for a girl. Plus the culture does not tell him he needs to eat less, so there is no pressure that way.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Robert on Fri, Mar 13, 2009 at 16:55:14 from

I agree with you on the runner's diet. Seems like injury issues have their foundation in sleep and/or nutrition. I'm learning that the body can withstand a lot if those things are in order.

From Sue on Fri, Mar 13, 2009 at 19:37:00 from

So can I start chowing down yet at 50 mpw? :)

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Mar 16, 2009 at 17:04:53 from


You should be eating an abundance of healthy foods at any mileage. As the mileage increases, though, this becomes more and more critical. Some people, especially girls, say they cannot run more than 30 mpw or they get injured. And to a certain extent it is true. A junk food diet coupled with poor sleep can take you only that far. More resilient runners can go as far as 90 mpw, usually guys in their early 20s, not many girls though. A skinny girl with naturally frail bones often does not make it past 30 mpw. The limit can be pushed up a lot further with proper diet and sleep, though.

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
New Kids on the Blog
(need a welcome):
Lone Faithfuls
(need a comment):