Breaking the Wall

February 16, 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: 81.04 Year: 418.47
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: 1353.22
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Total of 12.3. Most with the kids. Benjamin did 7.3. We ran a little bit with James Tracy, a BYU steeplechaser. We had to catch him. When we I said - there is a 90% chance that you have served an LDS mission. I was basing my estimate on my perception of the Utah County demographic and on his running speed and form. Do not ask me how that works, but over the years running in Utah County to my memory I've never encountered a young man over 21 with good running form moving at a good pace that had not served an LDS mission, and I made sure to ask everybody who I had a chance to talk to for long enough. Although Utah County has a large number of return missionaries, by far not every young man 21 and older had served one. Just among those whose parents are active in the Church the rate is only around 40%. But for one reason or another I only find return missionaries among the ones that are running and can keep up with me.

Turned out he had served a mission - in San Antonio, TX speaking English and Spanish, 2009 to 2011. Then I asked him if he had found his new companion without delay. Sure enough he had - got married last November. November is a good month to get married - that is when Sarah and I did. In fact, I do not think there is a bad month to get married - the best one is always the current or the soonest you can arrange it, I think, if you are not married yet.

 Jenny and Julia did 3, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5.


Green Crocs 4 Miles: 12.30
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
From Jake K on Thu, Jan 03, 2013 at 20:02:35 from

Man, good thing you haven't been around the days that Fritz and I come down to run in Utah county, or your streak would end! :-)

From Rob Murphy on Thu, Jan 03, 2013 at 20:38:08 from

When I was 21 I was serving my country in the U.S. Army. I attribute my speed and good running form to the fear of a Drill Sergeant putting his boot up my posterior.

I should say what precious little remains of my speed.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jan 03, 2013 at 21:34:39 from

Jake - I am counting only meeting the people I did not know before or that did not come here for a race. Actually, you and Fritz visiting the Utah County for a training run is more of an anomaly possibly introduced by the blog changing the patterns of "deer traffic". So you are foreign deer that has been introduced through an artificial deer mingling program. Due to the small size of this population so far I have been able to identify the visiting deer and separate it from the local. The law I have observed still holds - the male deer native to the Utah County 21 years and older is a return missionary.

Speaking of identifying deer, one time I identified Joe Bendowski by his footprints on the snow.

From Jake K on Thu, Jan 03, 2013 at 21:40:32 from

Well I do thank you very much for creating such an excellent deer migration system :-)

From Fritz on Thu, Jan 03, 2013 at 22:00:28 from

Nobody said I had good form so Jake might still be one of the few anomalies created by this artificial deer mingling program.

What's odd is that many of my friends served missions and they are really slow.

From Tara on Thu, Jan 03, 2013 at 22:35:27 from

Huh. Not sure what to say...but nice running with your family today, Sasha! That always inspires me.

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