Breaking the Wall

July 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: 110.88 Year: 2082.97
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs Lifetime Miles: 2133.34
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 914.70
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Uneventful 15.1 in 2:00:00. First 10.1 with Ted and Jeff. The events were the heat wave of 29 degrees, and a very slippery trail on the last 5 miles which slowed me down to 8:40 pace in a lot of places.

P.M. A heat wave has come - 39 F! 1.5 with Benjamin, Jenny, and Jared in 13:20. Jared was a bit behind with 13:37. Had an adventure with a couple of feisty dogs that got off their leashes. Told the kids to run ahead. Stopped and chased one dog until it started running away from us, but then it resumed the bad behavior once I started going in the planned direction. Finally decided to stop and throw a snowball at it. Being able to hit the dog with a snowball gave me a boost of confidence in my throwing skills (I've always been a very much below average thrower), and it also convinced the dog that I meant business, and it ran back to its owner. On the way back, I armed the kids with snowballs just in case, but both dogs were very timidly hiding behind their owners this time. Added another 0.5 with Benjamin and Jared in 4:29.

Then 1.05 with Sarah around the block in 11:27. Pushed Jacob and Joseph in the double stroller up to this point. Left the stroller at home, and added 2 more in 15:28. Julia ran 1.05 with Sarah.

Night Sleep Time: 0.11Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.11
From Jon on Fri, Jan 25, 2008 at 13:34:26

Looks like slippery trails hit all of us, sometimes.

From wheakory on Fri, Jan 25, 2008 at 13:57:35

Sasha, have you tried to go run somewhere else where its not so slippery? Sometimes I'll drive to a certain spot in town where I know the roads or path is clear. But it's always nice to be able to run back to your house without having to drive anywhere.

Nice run as usual. It was a heat wave for me today too. It was 10 degrees much warmer than the last few below zero runs.

From adam on Fri, Jan 25, 2008 at 17:21:59

The DI tunnel is pretty bad (alot of black ice and very dark). I'm guessing that and the wood bridges were part of your last five miles?

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Jan 25, 2008 at 17:26:27

Adam - I went the other way. The problem was mostly the snow getting slick.

From Scott Zincone on Sat, Jan 26, 2008 at 08:01:54

Hitting a moving target with a snowball is no easy feat. Especially since you had been running. Maybe you could start a new type of biathlon. Running, then snowball throwing at targets.

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