Breaking the Wall

July 09, 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: 51.55 Year: 2011.51
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: 881.43
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest. Went to church. We had good talks and lessons. The talks in the Sacrament meeting were on missionary work. The lesson in Sunday School was on agency. One brother shared a funny missionary story. They visited a man who claimed affiliation with the Southern Baptist Church. The discussion turned to the doctrine of salvation by grace and the role of works. The LDS missionaries stated that faith without works was dead. The man said it was false, grace alone was sufficient with no works required. The missionaries showed him a passage in his Bible (James 1:17-20) that backed up their point. The man got angry and ripped that page out of his Bible.

Interestingly enough, the lesson in the Elder's Quorum was on anger. The teacher shared an experience he had trying to control his anger when his computer got infected with a virus when his wife clicked on a box that said the computer was infected and offered to download and run a "cleaning tool", which "cleaning tool" was in fact a virus. One brother, a black convert from New York, raised his hand and said - "That's nothing, a friend of mine had a similar problem with his computer, and he got so angry that he smashed his $1000 laptop in pieces!"

Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
From Kory on Mon, Jan 25, 2010 at 18:47:38 from

Sasha - it's amazing how we can little things bother us. If we give it to God then our burden is light. Good teaching.

From jtshad on Tue, Jan 26, 2010 at 15:48:42 from

I think you mean to reference James 2:17-20 for your scripture on works and faith. However, Ephesians 2:8-9 states the following: "8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it." The scriptures also say in 1 Corithians 13:2 that "if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing." So too, your faith is demonstrated by your love which is also reflected in your deeds. So we can take from this that your deeds are manifestations of the faith and love you have in Christ, but as James states in that same passage "I show my faith through my good deeds", therefore deeds are not a requirement for salvation but a choice you make in love to demonstrate your faith. It also shows that the depth of the scriptures is sometimes beyond our full understanding, but it we are agreeing that doing good for the world and loving others is what we are called to do, we are on the right track.

From Kory on Tue, Jan 26, 2010 at 17:29:44 from

Great comments Jeff and scriptures. We need not to think "carnally minded" but "spiritually minded" this helps having faith in God if your thinking of heavenly things.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Jan 26, 2010 at 17:36:50 from

Jeff - correct. Works are a practical measurement of your faith. The presence of works does not guarantee that you have the faith, but their absence shows the lack of faith. In the end, of course, it is the faith that saves us. But not just the profession of faith.

Faith and works are in a mutual supportive feedback relationship. Faith pushes one to do good. Doing good in turn nourishes your faith. On the other hand, failure to follow your faith and do good leads to the faith becoming weaker.

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