Breaking the Wall

January 25, 2021

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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: 266.81 Year: 266.81
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: 1438.17
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Woke up at 2 AM, head fuzzy, feeling chills. Thought it would go away, it did not. Decided not to run at all this morning. Maybe will do the kids runs if they are feeling good tonight, or maybe just a couple of miles of jogging otherwise. It is the same virus that my kids have gotten. No mucus, no cough, no major fever, but the chest gets very tight so it is painful to breathe. It feels like some nerves are getting irritated. Drinking lots of fluids, staying mostly in bed. Our bishop came and gave me a blessing.

P.M. After spending most of the day in bed decided to go for a brief shake-out. It went better than expected. At first my chest was hurting like crazy and I could not breathe. Started out at slower than 9:00 and for a while it felt like this was the limit. Then I learned how to manage the pain, and sped up to bit slower than 8:00. Hit the first mile in 8:26, then headed back. Learned to manage the pain even better, and noticed that my legs were actually just as strong as they were before I got sick, I just was not getting enough oxygen because breathing was so painful. My body told me it would be OK to push through the pain a little bit. I eventually progressed to 7:12 pace for the last 0.75, and finished 2 miles in 15:50. Never thought I'd be so excited about running 2 miles at sub-8:00 pace. I am learning to count my blessings.

It also helped me realize how tough my kids are being able to run through this breathing pain. Being an adult, and having experienced a lot in 23 years of running, I still had to reach into the depths of my mental toughness to be able to go.

Benjamin and Julia ran 1.05 with Sarah today. Jenny took a break, she is still suffering from the same chest problem. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Paul Petersen on Sat, Sep 29, 2007 at 14:29:02

Hit the garlic!! Emergen-C! Get better!

From Scott Browning on Sat, Sep 29, 2007 at 14:30:04

Have some Garlic and get healthy soon!!

From James on Sat, Sep 29, 2007 at 14:44:31

It is a bugger to be sick! I have been trying to get better for four weeks now. Hope it is only a one day thing.

From Lybi on Sat, Sep 29, 2007 at 15:03:55

Oh Sasha! I've never seen you so sick that you don't run. Good good good decision. Your body is not going to know what to do with all this extra energy, so I AM CONFIDENT you will recover super fast. In fact, this is going to give you a great taper. Someone, I think it was Clyde, said he often runs his very best just coming out of a sickness. Probably because the legs are so fresh.

Eucalyptus oil is supposed to help breathing complaints. Good luck, feel better soon!

From josse on Sat, Sep 29, 2007 at 16:38:01

I have heard that too, that you run great after you have been sick, I think it was Hawk. His idea is that your white bloode cells are higher so you run better, mmmmm. I don't know if that is true but it could be and if you think it is so it may as well be. Mind power, use it to get better and run the best marathon of you life.

From adam on Sat, Sep 29, 2007 at 20:09:17


When I was training down south I used to run daily with a Baptist minister. He would race most weekends, and clocked a 2:48 marathon at close to 46 years old. When I asked him how he kept going so well for so many years, he would always respond, "You got to trust in the Lord". Get better, and go after your best time ever.

From MichelleL on Sat, Sep 29, 2007 at 22:19:08

I swear by Zicam, but it is most effective the earlier you take it. I'll put you in my prayers!

From Katie on Sun, Sep 30, 2007 at 11:03:54

I thought you needed a little more rest anyway.

How are you feeling today?

From JohnK on Sun, Sep 30, 2007 at 13:40:04

Get well, soon!

From Dave Holt on Mon, Oct 01, 2007 at 09:47:39

Get feeling better.

From The Entire Blog on Mon, Oct 01, 2007 at 11:50:07

Get Well Soon Sasha!!!

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Oct 01, 2007 at 12:18:55

Thanks everybody! I am feeling much better today, see the details in today's entry.

From Bonnie on Mon, Oct 01, 2007 at 12:45:39


I am so sorry to hear about your illness. I have always had very good results using "sudafed non-drying sinus" (blue pills). It does not have psuedonephrine hcl (stuff that makes you hyper), and clears up congestion (chest, head, and nose) really well.

Take it easy and I hope you feel better soon!

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