Breaking the Wall

August 09, 2020

Recent EntriesHomeJoin Fast Running Blog Community!PredictorHealthy RecipesSasha Pachev's RacesFind BlogsMileage BoardTop Ten Excuses for Missing a RunTop Ten Training MistakesDiscussion ForumRace Reports Send A Private MessageWeek ViewMonth ViewYear View
15% off for Fast Running Blog members at St. George Running Center!


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: 16.00 Year: 2314.91
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: 1185.83
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Mini-taper before the Ogden Half-Marathon tomorrow. Ran 3.11 miles with Stuart. Then went for some more. Decided to do a 1.25 tempo for a tune-up/nervous system check. Ran it from the DI bridge to the Union Pacific bridge. Union Pacific, and the fact that it is going to Utah, has a special significance in my life. Back in 1991 I was learning English. My goal was to learn it so well that I could score very high on the verbal section of the SAT test. America for me was a land of opportunity and I wanted to make a statement that I belonged there. I read every book in English that I could get my hands on, which at that time was quite easy - there were not many English books around within my reach. It happened that I got my hands on a book that detailed the history of the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad. I read it start to finish. It was a very tedious reading. But the text contained many uncommon words which were likely to appear on the SAT test. I looked up every one of them along with their synonyms and antonyms, and thoroughly studied usage examples to make sure I knew those words as well as regular common speech English words as if it were my native tongue. 

The railroad construction progressed through the United States, and eventually  Utah was mentioned. Along with that, the book mentioned a religious group that lived in Utah - the Mormons. I felt a desire to learn more about that group. That interested eventually led to my conversion and joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, of which I have now been a faithful member for almost 15 years.

And along with that, reading the railroad book along with my other efforts of similar nature to acquire proficiency in English also paid off. I scored 720 out of 800 on the verbal section of the SAT, which put me in the 99th percentile among mostly native speakers. This was a miracle of hard word magnified by the inspiration and the light of God. Three years earlier I had  no knowledge of English and started by looking up the word "WE" in a dictionary.

So I ran the tempo to the historic bridge, historic for me in 6:47 at a steady pace. The course rolled downward. I wanted to know exactly how much the downhill helped. So shortly after I finished I turned around and ran a quarter backwards putting in the same effort. Got 1:25. Going out it was 1:22. Applying the 2:1 rule for uphill downhill, we take the 3 second difference and split it at the ratio of 2:1. This gives us a 2 second slowdown for the uphill, and a 1 second speedup for the downhill. Thus the flat equivalent of this tempo run is 1:23 quarter, or 5:32 pace on that stretch.

Did some more easy running. Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Total of 10 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From wheakory on Sat, Apr 07, 2007 at 00:23:11

That's quite an accomplishment Sasha. Pocatello exactly has a Union Pacific railroad plant/station running right through the heart of Pocatello. It has created a lot of jobs in Pocatello and has been around ever since I was born.

Nice strong tempo. What time are you training for the Odgen Marathon?

Add Your Comment.
  • Keep it family-safe. No vulgar or profane language. To discourage anonymous comments of cowardly nature, your IP address will be logged and posted next to your comment.
  • Do not respond to another person's comment out of context. If he made the original comment on another page/blog entry, go to that entry and respond there.
  • If all you want to do is contact the blogger and your comment is not connected with this entry and has no relevance to others, send a private message instead.
Only registered users with public blogs are allowed to post comments. Log in with your username and password or create an account and set up a blog.
Debt Reduction Calculator

Featured Announcements
New Kids on the Blog
(need a welcome):
Lone Faithfuls
(need a comment):