Breaking the Wall

February 21, 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. 10.1 with Jeff in 1:35:30, 9:27 average. I think that is a PR for me for how slow I've run for that long. And it was not that we were lazy - we actually put in a solid 7:00-7:20 effort most of the way, but the snow was deep, rough, and slippery. However, I remarked to Jeff that the pioneers would have loved to travel in those conditions (balmy 28 F), and especially at our speed. 6+ mph through the snow-covered plains of Nebraska and Wyoming would have been a dream for them.

A.M-2: Ran with Benjamin and Jenny to Computune to pick up VanGoGo. 2.25 miles in 23:21.

P.M. 1 mile with Julia in 13:05. The time speaks for itself - we did quite a bit of treading through the snow and slipping on ice.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 12.35
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From JulieC on Wed, Jan 07, 2009 at 14:04:05

You must have went early am. I went out at 945am and didn't have it as bad as I have lately. The new snowpack actually helped me out this time but some pretty deep areas for a few minutes. But really I was wanting to ask you how in these condition our pace is affected with the sloshing around, the lifting higher of the legs at times and careful footing? Hoping this is making us stronger and faster (which you don't really need, of course) in the long run.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jan 08, 2009 at 14:39:28


The pace varies unpredictably. Sometimes a snow cover looks terrible, but it only slows you down only 10-15 seconds a mile. Other times it may look very manageable, but it may slow you down by 2 minutes a mile or more. I've had days when I go one way at 7:30 pace, then turn around and coming back slow down to 9:00 pace in the same spots in spite of a decent effort to maintain the speed. Nothing appears to have changed from the visual point of view. But something, perhaps temperature or humidity, changed enough to make anything faster than 8:30 impossible in a period as short as 40 minutes.

From JulieC on Thu, Jan 08, 2009 at 15:02:46

Thanks Sasha. Happy Snow/Ice/Slosh running!!! Sorry your putting in all time slow PRs but it isn't about numbers in this weather it is about actually getting out there and running in it.

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