Breaking the Wall

March 28, 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: 105.07 Year: 744.57
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: 1679.47
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted at 4:50 AM. 10.05 miles at 7:44 pace, average HR 113, new record. On the first quarter which we did in 2:18 it did not crack 100 - only 98, but the pace felt fast. I take it as an indicator of aerobic fitness gain, if 9:00 pace feels fast in the first few minutes of the run while the heart rate is low. The engine is taking its time to warm up, the stronger the engine, the longer it needs. Added another 3.5 in the afternoon running with the kids and some more.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From braden on Wed, Apr 18, 2007 at 22:21:17

I did built up too fast after I fractured my toe. I ended up pulling my I.T. band so, I'm trying to take it easy, but there is the salt lake city half marathon, that I want to run and track races too.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Apr 18, 2007 at 22:43:22


Salt Lake Half-Marathon will be around next year (maybe, if not there will be lots of other half-marathons). Track races will be around next month, etc. Do not allow the urgency of the race preparation affect your training. This is not school, cramming before a test does not work.

From steve ashbaker on Thu, Apr 19, 2007 at 08:28:14

Yes, Sasha is absolutely right. Just take it easy and listen to your body. Focus on the shorter distances like 5k, but run them later when your injuries have cleared up.

From Tim on Thu, Apr 19, 2007 at 10:55:45

You asked how my training was going. It's okay. I need to log in my experience here but blogging isn't something I'm used to doing so I don't think of it often.

I have started to run a bit faster just to see how my body would react. I've always just ran at a comfortable pace- never really pushed my pace. For the last week I've been speeding up a bit to see how my body would react and surprisingly I think I could have been running a bit fast this whole time. It's been encouraging. I'm runing the Country music marathon (the half) next week so I'll be wanting to see how I do then. I think that's going to give me a good idea of the work ahead to hit my goal for the marathon in the fall.

Thanks for checking up. I'll be sure and blog some of my progress.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Apr 19, 2007 at 13:37:32

Tim - most of the value of this blog is in having a daily record of your training. Seeing what you do on a day by day basis gives us the ability to offer very specific advice. It will also give you a chance to go back later and see a big picture of your training. The entries do not have to be long - just put in how many miles you ran, and one or two sentences about how you felt. You do not even have to do it every day - you can put in three entries twice a week, for example.

The upcoming half-marathon will be a good test of your fitness, and will give you an idea of how you should train from there to reach your goal of qualifying for Boston.

From Lybi on Thu, Apr 19, 2007 at 16:56:07

Thanks for the encouragement! This whole accountability thing is really working for me. Plus it's so fun to get feedback from all these amazing runners.

About the keys--I moved every piece of furniture in the family room (including the sofa) and no keys. :( I still have to check under the crib in the baby's room and I will continue to keep an eye out. I'll let you know if I find anything.

From Lybi on Thu, Apr 19, 2007 at 20:27:20

Sasha--I found your keys!!! They were behind the dresser in the kids' room. Yeah! We will priority mail 'em out in a padded envelope tomorrow morning.

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