Breaking the Wall

October 18, 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: 123.22 Year: 3048.88
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: 33.72
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2015-01-24 07:42:34
Workout Totals: Distance13.500Time1:43:49.20Pace7:41.42
Total of 13.5. Cut it short due to scheduling and to avoid too much stress on the body on a busy day while the infection is circulating in the house. Chad joined me and Benjamin for 12 miles today. Benjamin did 12, Jenny 3, Julia and Jacob 1 (sore throat), William 1 (recovering), Stephen 0.5. Sarah is holding on, ran 2 miles today.

Benjamin and I did a 3 mile tempo down the canyon in 16:27.9. The original plan was 5:40 pace, but I felt a bit stronger than that and asked Benjamin to pull me faster.

Joseph made some good improvements. At 9 am he improved his time on the 200 meter course from 3:23 last night to 2:45, and at 12 pm he got 2:14 - this time he occasionally had some semblance of running and felt he actually got some exercise out of it. To say that he has a resilient spirit would be an understatement.
Leg 1:Distance5.700Time47:38.70Pace8:21.53
Warm-up with Chad, and Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance3.000Time16:27.90Pace5:29.30
With Benjamin. Mile splits were all 5:29, but it was not even pace. Benjamin kept speeding up to 5:15, then slowing down to 5:40. I started faltering in the last 200 meters - felt like my heart skipped a bit and just could not deliver the blood volume that I wanted it to give me. Possibly a weakness due to the stress of the last week. I had something like this before in 2002 which scared me quite a bit back then, and then minor incidents here and there after that but it did not scare me anymore because I knew what it was and what to do about it.
Leg 3:Distance3.300Time27:28.80Pace8:19.64
Cool-down to the house with Chad and Benjamin.
Leg 4:Distance1.000Time8:44.40Pace8:44.40
With Julia and Jacob.
Leg 5:Distance0.500Time3:29.40Pace6:58.80

White Crocs 1 Miles: 13.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From steve ash on Sat, Jan 24, 2015 at 21:22:32 from

I remember that time. Are you feeling better now?

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Jan 24, 2015 at 22:30:11 from

Steve - I am OK. It was no big deal, I just lost 2 seconds in the last 200 of the tempo run.

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