Breaking the Wall

July 08, 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

A.M. Slippery roads but not as bad as in the last few days. 1.75 with Sarah in 19:36, then 14.2 alone on the trail in 1:45:47, 7:26.97 average. Much better than the recent Ded Moroz chases.

Got a punching bag yesterday. A little family history about a punching bag. My great-uncle, whose name incidentally is Sasha Pachev as well, lived in a small village near Sukhumi, a town in Abkhazia on the shore of the Black Sea. He had a son. When he went to school at the age of 7 he was getting beat up by older kids. Uncle Sasha solved the problem by getting him a punching bag. Soon enough his son was not getting beat up anymore.

We do have a different purpose for the punching bag, though. I want to see if hitting it might activate my arm muscles, which I hope in turn will result in the improvements in the nervous system in general. It is good for Benjamin as well as he happens to be exceptionally feisty some days.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:44. Jenny joined for the first 1.5 in 13:12. 1 with Julia in 10:48. We saw the BYU team. Somehow all those good looking young men got Julia, who is only 5, thinking about dating. She said to me: "Daddy, what did you do when you were a teenager?" I replied that  I ran. She clarified: "No, that is not what I mean. What kind of girls liked you?"  

Then we went to the Hobble Creek Canyon. The kids were sledding, and I cross-country skied 3 miles. The road was very rough the entire way, however there were a couple of good spots in the parking lot and around it, which gave me a chance to discover that I could skate at a good speed with my new poles. The entire time I did not realize that my old poles were too short. So I never got a good push off from the arms. I just thought my arms were too weak. With the new poles I could skate up a 3% grade and feel strong, while with the old ones I felt like I was going to stall even on a 1% down. I think now I am beginning to understand why I beat everybody in my school, and even in my district, but then got beat by some ridiculous amount in the Moscow championship. In the school and in the district everybody was skiing on whatever they happened to have. In the city championship I was racing serious skiers that had proper gear.

One day I should go to Soldier Hollow and see what I can do a well-groomed course with my new poles.

Ran random errands for 0.4 miles. Afterwards we went to vote. We spent 2 hours in line. Our friends watched our kids. We considered going home to avoid the socks/hand-written Russian dictation punishment for missing the bed-time curfew, but figured that fulfilling our civic duty was a noble exception. We ended up being only 5 minutes late.

Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
From Brent on Tue, Feb 05, 2008 at 22:26:53

Father winter? Time for his departure, shall I say, we have had enough of the frozen tundra.

B of BS Rools out

From Adam RW on Tue, Feb 05, 2008 at 22:27:33

The bag will also be great stress releaver. I used to use one after all my weight lifting in high school. It made the trip to UT but is sitting in the garage I just need to find a place to put it up.

From Lybi on Wed, Feb 06, 2008 at 13:33:36

Sasha, did you see my comment from yesterday? Please advise, I will comply...

Let us know how that punching bag works out for Benjamin--we've got three little tykes who are also quite feisty.

From crumpyb1 on Wed, Feb 06, 2008 at 19:53:18

Sasha, there is a wonderful (at least 4 mile) cross-country skiing course a half a mile from my apartment. Grab Sarah, your kids, and your skis and come visit!

From Kyle on Wed, Feb 06, 2008 at 20:49:58

Thanks for the advice! I'll try those 3 milers in the morning. With more help like this, I actually might have a chance this season. Thanks!

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