Breaking the Wall

September 16, 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: 90.98 Year: 2713.79
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1576.28
Neon Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 22.05
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Early morning run with Ted at 5:00 am - 10.04 in 1:14:33. James joined us for the first three miles. We got him through his 2 mile tempo at sub-7:00 pace using the locomotive sandwich method - Ted was the pace setter locomotive, and I ran behind creating the threat of a trailing locomotive that will run you over if you slow down. Few 12 year old boys will get up that early to run period, and even fewer would be able to run sub-7:00 for two miles. We also barely missed a skunk.

In the evening first ran 1.52 with Jenny running, Benjamin on a bike, and Jacob and Joseph in the stroller to the swing in 13:40. Then met Sarah and Julia at the swing, left Benjamin and Jenny with them, and ran 3.5 in 25:00 with Jacob and Joseph in the stroller. Then ran 2.02 in 16:19 with Benjamin running, and Jacob and Julia in the stroller. Julia ran 0.5 with Sarah earlier, then rode in the stroller the rest of the way to the swing. Total of 7.04 in 54:59, with more than half done with the kids, and all of it with the double stroller.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Christi on Thu, Aug 09, 2007 at 10:22:50

I'm glad I was able to supply you with some good material for your article "Top Ten Excuses for Missing a Run" ! Seriously though, great ideas on avoiding these pitfalls. Thanks again for all your work setting up and maintaining this blog- its been an amazing help to me.

From David on Fri, Aug 10, 2007 at 11:28:14

Sasha --

This is a blog question rather than a comment on your workout. I'm unable to load Paul's blog this week. All the others I read are no problem, Paul's ('Welcome to Aneorbia') crashes my browser (Mozilla Firefox on a Mac) every time. Any idea what's wrong? Just wanted to bring that to your attention.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Aug 10, 2007 at 12:52:45


The problem is probably in the Javascript that Paul added to his blog. The users can now put fancy stuff on the side, and I guess his turned out to be too fancy for your browser. One thing you can do is upgrade to the latest version of Firefox or try Safari instead.

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