Breaking the Wall

August 15, 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: 88.07 Year: 2386.98
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: 1257.89
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeff and Mary Ann. Josse and Carolyn came as well, but they ran without us because Jeff slept in and was late. Mary Ann and I waited for Jeff.

Did a new variation of our workout. Wanted to see how Jeff handles 4:40 pace off tempoing at 5:20 for a bit over a mile. Also, wanted to experience some pain trying to hold 4:40 pace myself in those circumstances.

So we paced Mary Ann at 5:20 pace to failure. She started falling back after 0.75. I yelled at her, this slowed us down to an 83 quarter, so we were 5:23 at the mile, she was a second or so behind. Then Jeff and I sped up to 5:20 pace, while Mary Ann finished 1.25 in 6:47. Our split at 1.25 was 6:43. Then was the moment of ultimate pain for me. I felt I reached the limit of my leg strength. I stayed with Jeff for about 300 meters, and stopped at 1.5 with the quarter split of 71, and total time of 7:54. Jeff had a hard time with 4:40 pace himself, and slowed down to 75s finishing 2 miles in 10:23. That is interesting. I am thinking neuromuscular failure. Aerobic would have produced 70, 73, 77, not 70, 75, 75. A high end failure, not many people would think of slowing down to 5:00 at altitude in winter clothes as a failure, but for our goals it is a failure nevertheless.

Then we ran into some horses on the trail. They had escaped from the farm. Police was trying to round them up. On the way back the police was gone, so I assume everything went well.

Total distance was 11.35 miles.

P.M. 2 with Jenny in 18:47, Julia ran the first 1.5 with us in 14:12. 2 with Benjamin in 17:15.

Saucony Type A Miles: 11.35
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From Jon on Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 09:52:29 from

Sasha- I will be in Provo Sat morning and would like to do a long run with a group. Do you know when/where any groups will meet?

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 13:14:45 from


We might be going for a long run, if we are it is going to be at 7:00 AM at my house - 339 N 1120 W. We are torn between Running with Leopards and a long run in Provo. A 5 K would be nice for speed test, and we could run the rest of the long run in the Emigration Canyon. At the same time, I already have a good idea of everybody's speed, the course is downhill, so the test is not going to be that good, Mary Ann really needs a solid long tempo, and Jeff and I could use one as well. You cannot do those well in conjunction with a 5 K. Plus travel time, wait for the race to start time, etc. So if Jeff gets a comp, we will go, otherwise we'll stay in Provo and do the long run.

I will let you know either way.

From Jon on Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 13:29:02 from

Ok, I'll wait to hear from you. If you do the 5k, do you know of anyone else in Provo who will be doing a 20 miler?

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