Breaking the Wall

Law Day 5 K

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 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: 81.04 Year: 418.47
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: 1353.22
Race: Law Day 5 K (3.107 Miles) 00:17:09, Place overall: 5
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Law Day 5 K 17:09.4, officially 4th, fitness wise 4th as well, 5th if you use a non-chip way of determining who cross the finish line first. Details below.

Jeff and I volunteered to run for Chad's law firm's (Manning Curtis Bradshaw & Bednar) team. Let me use this chance to put a plug for them. Aside from my own AskSasha.Com one man show that has been sponsoring the Fast Running Blog and my 120 mile weeks and a few small business owners that have donated to the Fast Running Blog I have never dealt a non-running business that was so supportive of competitive running. If you are in need of legal services (I understand they specialize in business law and commercial litigation), I would recommend visiting their website. My impression of them is that they are the type of people that care to excel and are willing to put their money where their mouth is.

Chad took us for a tour of the course. for a warm up. It was well marked except one spot. And that was the very spot when I would get lost later.

Our team consisted of Jeff, Josh Steffen, his wife Megan Call, and Johanna Nielson in addition to myself. We were racing BJ Christensen, Grant Rotunda (Westminister College), BJ's brother Ed, and two women I do not remember the names of. The course was a beast - uphill for the first 1.7 miles, some of it very steep, lots of turns, which really hurt once you got going downhill as you could not use that speed very well. Also the downhill was in short bursts.

Knowing Jeff's increased level of fitness we had hopes that he'd be able to neutralize BJ's advantage if not beat him outright. Jeff and I took it fairly easy early on to keep him from starting out too fast. About half mile into the race we used a flatter section to come up on Josh, Grant, and Ed. We hit the 1 K mark in 3:24. Not bad for the uphill. Shortly before the mile mark there was a short downhill section. I felt good, so I moved up and pushed the pace to give Jeff a break and get him going at the same time before the major uphill. First mile was 5:26.

Ed and Grant dropped back, Jeff and Josh pulled ahead. I tried to take it easy on the uphill, but still managed to get myself into some serious leg fatigue. Jeff dropped Josh but could not quite close on BJ. Josh had a 7 second gap on me around 3 K mark. 2 K in 7:00, 3 K in 10:29. I guess there was more uphill there than I realized. We started going downhill shortly before 3 K, but I had a hard time shifting gears, and the turns were really messing with my rhythm. 3 miles in 11:16. I started screaming like a wild animal to get myself going. Interesting that I could and actually found it helpful. It tells me that it was not the breathing that was limiting my speed.

I think the 4th kilometer was too long, and I do have an idea why. Up to that point it followed the certified route. Then it could not follow the certified route any longer because of construction on the U of U campus. I hit the 4 K mark in 13:54. This gives me 3:25 for a downhill kilometer. I'd be willing to believe to a point it except the next one with about the same amount of downhill was 3:15 including the additional 10 seconds from getting lost, so really more like 3:05, and I am quite certain it was not that much faster. I would guess we added about 10 seconds going around the construction.

Shortly after the 4 K mark I approached a confusing spot. Because of fatigue and the high speed I did not see the chalk-written arrow on the road showing which way to go, and also due to fatigue I was disoriented and did not remember which way the course was supposed to go. I eased off trying to figure out what to do, then headed the wrong way, then saw no cones or anything and stopped. Then the volunteers yelled at me and showed me the way, and during that time Grant passed me and gapped me by a couple of seconds. I closed the gap in about 0.2 or so, and then passed him. I think I was able to gap him by another second or so right before the final turn. Then I said I am not going to give him even one tenth of a second on the kick and just floored it. But he kicked as well and edged me out at the finish line. However, my leg with the chip crossed the line 0.1 of a second before his did. So he outleaned me but I outchipped him. Since there was no difference between 4th and 5th, and for the team purposes we had won either way, it did not matter.

We got $20 gift certificates to the Salt Lake Running Company for our team win. 

Went for some more miles with the team, and then later on with just Jeff and Chad. We ran to Liberty Park and did a 3 mile tempo in 17:28 with the splits of 6:00 - 5:51 - 5:37 by Chad's  Garmin. Ran  back, total of 17.5 for the run.

P.M. 2.15 with Benjamin in 17:27, about 1 mile with Julia by time (11:00), 1.65 with Jenny in 14:21.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Chad on Sun, May 04, 2008 at 23:43:41

Thanks for running for our team, Sasha, and for the nice plug for the firm. Also, thanks for dragging me through 3 more tempo miles in the park. I think they were actually very helpful.

From Christi on Mon, May 05, 2008 at 19:42:19

Hi Sasha- Sounds like a fun race! Thanks for your comments on my Hurricane Half. You tell me the things that are hard for me to hear about consistency, etc. But I appreciate it! It plants the seeds I need planted to get in the shape I want to be in.

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):