Breaking the Wall

January 25, 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: 151.02 Year: 151.02
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
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 15.6 in 2:06:43. Started with Jeff and Daniel. Matt joined us in the middle. Dropped each training partner off eventually, then ran a bit by myself, and then found Derek Davis and ran with him a bit, then more alone. Miscalculated the turnaround and ended up with extra distance.

The subject of discussion today was Quality X. We concluded that a good portion of it is built during the time in the womb and early childhood.

P.M. 0.7 alone in 5:46, then 1 with Julia in 10:00, 1.5 with Jenny in 13:21, and 2 with Benjamin in 15:27. Went to a missionary training meeting. Half of the audience was Caucasian, but it was conducted in Spanish.

Five Fingers - 186.43 miles. 

Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
From Jon on Fri, May 30, 2008 at 12:18:48

How do you "build" Quality X, as opposed to being just born with it as part of your genes?

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, May 30, 2008 at 12:51:04

It starts in the womb. The mother needs to eat healthy and exercise. Then the child needs to be active in a variety of ways. Ideally, run a mile or two a day, then play active games like tag, play ball games, etc. Also get proper nutrition, regular healthy meals. I think the time will come when we will have scientific proof that a mother's lifestyle during pregnancy + child lifestyle early on has more effect on Quality X than the genes.

From Jon on Fri, May 30, 2008 at 15:17:20

Unscientifically, I could understand that being active as a child could result in being a better athlete (or is it that children who are better athletes/high Quality X are naturally predispositioned to be more active?). I can also picture that a healthy eating mother can help in terms of fetal development. The iffy one is that the mom needs to exercise- the only link I can see there would be if the additional endorphins in the mom's blood somehow plays a roll or something, because I can't picture a parasite (the baby) benefitting from host (mother) exercise other than how it affects what is in the mother's blood.

From Jon on Fri, May 30, 2008 at 15:18:01

Interesting topic, anyways.

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