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

Eventful Sunday. Sore quads from yesterday, but that was to be expected. In fact, the level of soreness exactly according to the plan. Still makes chasing kids difficult.

Jacob was being fussy in the sacrament meeting, so Sarah told me to take him out. He calmed down while I was carrying him, so I just sat down on a back row. I tried to pay attention to the talks, they were good, but I missed the second talk almost entirely due to a special spiritual experience with the code name of Lehi's dream. The problem is that I cannot sleep past 6 AM any more. But I do very well later in the morning :-)

Taught a class in Sunday school, and then Sarah reminded me that Benjamin had a talk in Primary, and we totally spaced it out, and he was not prepared. So I went to fix that. His talk went OK aside from the fact that he did not think so and hid behind a chair after he finished it. Some interesting behavior from a guy that can average 6:50 pace in a 5 K. He also can boast being spoon fed at breakfast the day after he broke the 8:00 mile (he was a month away from his 6th birthday then). I suppose we all progress at different rates in different areas.

Got a good nap in the afternoon.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00
From James W on Mon, Jun 09, 2008 at 14:45:36

I think I had a little "Lehi's Dream" spiritual experience of my own in priesthood yesterday - unfortunately I was holding my pocket pc at the time and accidentally dropped it (how embarrasing). Luckily for me, it was protected by a metal rhinoskin case . . . interestingly, just after that experience, I actually had some insights to add to the lesson . . .

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Jun 09, 2008 at 14:52:36

I used to embarrass Sarah by trying to add insights to the class discussion during my Lehi's dream when we were taking a humanities class together at BYU.

From James W on Mon, Jun 09, 2008 at 14:58:11

Don't get me started on embarrasing situations - one time I fell asleep during sacrament meeting when Lybi and I were either going out or engaged (I don't remember which) when the sacrament was being passed, and woke up with a start, kicking the chair in front of me. The people in front of us started laughing so hard they dropped the sacrament tray . . .

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Jun 09, 2008 at 15:02:43

I am always concerned that the sacrament tray is going to get dropped one day when it gets to us with all the children doing odd movements. So far it has not yet happened.

From MichelleL on Mon, Jun 09, 2008 at 15:09:58

Paul calls it "Closing my eyes, so I can concentrate on the talk." Now that I lead music in sacrament meeting he gets to wrestle the three boys instead. Some callings help the spouse grow!

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Jun 09, 2008 at 15:27:33

Some men are hopeless. Sarah is the ward organist, but I can still fall asleep while sitting with all five children. Maybe I should post on the Bragging Board that I can handle five children nine and under in church alone in my sleep :-)

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