Breaking the Wall

August 10, 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: 88.07 Year: 2386.98
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: 1257.89
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Felt since I was still not 100% recovered from the marathon, I needed to do something mild today. Decided to try Tinman 1 mile easy/1 mile marathon pace long run. I absolutely cannot stand a 20 mile run at an easy pace. It takes forever, and I feel more tired afterwards than if I run at least half of it at marathon pace. And I have not had good results with those slow runs in the past.

Started with Ted and Jeff from the finish of the Provo River 10 miler (Riverwoods), and ran up to the start and back. Forgot The Toy, so decided to do the mile pickups by the Hawk's marks when they were there, otherwise just go roughly by time. Started out with a jog, took about half a mile before we started breaking 8:00. Ran the first tempo mile up 0.5% grade into a headwind in 5:58. Before the start of the second, Jeff and I had to make a pit stop. Ted went ahead at an easy pace. It took us a bit too long, and we fell further behind than could be covered with one tempo mile. We did the first tempo mile into a headwind and up about 1.5% grade in 6:06.

After that, there was still no sight of Ted, so we kept going at the same effort further up. After about another mile, we still could not even see Ted. So we eased off thinking that perhaps we might have missed him somehow. Then a couple of minutes later we passed some runners and asked them if Ted had passed them. They told us he was about 200 yards ahead, so we picked up again. It took us about 0.8 at about 6:00 pace to finally catch him. Ran with him until his turnaround - 7 miles, and then started the tempo. By that time we were going up South Fork. Jeff had to be to work early, so he turned around at 7.5. I figured a tempo effort up that grade would be about 7:00 mile, so I decide to go for 7 minutes. However, after the 7 minutes were up I did not feel like losing the momentum, and decided to go another 2 minutes to make the total tempo mileage on the odometer around 5 before the turnaround.

Hit the turnaround in 1:09:17 - not bad for 800 feet of climb with only half done at a tempo effort. On the way back, decided to make my tempos a bit longer to get the whole run over with quicker. Figured I'd do the stretch from the start to Vivian Park (3.23) and the standard 3 mile tempo from Nuns to the mouth of the canyon. Felt sluggish starting out, but after two miles got into a good rhythm. Finished the 3.23 stretch in 18:16, which is around 5:40 average.

Jogged from Vivian Park to Nuns at around 6:40 pace. Then started the second tempo. First two miles were sluggish again - both in 5:44. I felt a bit low on fuel. However, when I reached a little deeper, I was able to find more. The third mile was 5:37, giving me 17:05 for the 3 mile stretch. Then I could not bear the thought of dragging along for another mile at 6:40 pace. It would have felt like hitting a construction zone at the end of a 15 hour drive. So I decided to keep the tempo effort to the end. It was actually a bit more than a mile, but I timed a mile stretch on the trail in 5:34. Total time for the whole thing was 2:09:11, ran the Provo River 10 miler coming back in 59:54.

Ran 2.5 in the afternoon by myself in 18:14, then 2 miles with Benjamin in 17:07 (Jenny ran the first in 9:11, then rode in the stroller along with Jacob). Another 0.5 with Julia in 5:42.


Felt good, on the second run could not really tell I had done the first.

Benjamin looked great on the last 0.5. At 7:30 pace he looked like he was out for a stroll - very relaxed stride.


Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From sarah on Sat, Aug 04, 2007 at 23:45:48

Myskhke privet ya tebya loobloo!!!!

From bc on Mon, Aug 06, 2007 at 01:06:18

Sasha, I was just showing Demetrio the blog pages and the mileage board. He said he use to keep track of weekly average miles, can we add this ? It would be helpful to see what we are averaging weekly for the whole year. When we go up and down based on our races it shows highs and lows but keeping track of an average for the year would be helpful.


From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Aug 06, 2007 at 11:30:53

Bill - good idea, I'll add that in the next couple of weeks. I also need to fix the updating bug - for the first week of the month, it shows last month values in this month column for the people who have not updated the blog since last month.

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