Breaking the Wall

August 12, 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

Ran with Scott and Jeff this morning. Easy run with a 1.5 mile tempo. Ran 1.5 in 8:12. The intention was go the marathon pace, and some of it felt like marathon pace, but some was too aggressive for that category, more of a surge during a marathon. Kicked with 100 to go with Scott's help in 17, that brought the average under 5:30 pace. With about 200 to go Jeff almost got bitten by a dog on a leash that was longer than the dog's power of self-control, so he swerved to avoid it, I in turn swerved to avoid him with a maneuver that was more appropriate for basketball than distance running, but we all recovered graciously. I find that with three guys running a fast pace on that trail things sometimes get interesting. I can just imagine the BYU cross country team running a tempo. Finished 8 miles in 54:59.

Ran 0.5 with Julia in the afternoon. Everybody else was sick. Discovered the lack of zip lock bags during clean-up after dinner. Put Jacob and Joseph in the stroller, and ran to Reams and back, this was 0.9. 

Was supposed to pick up Nick at the airport today, but he was not able to get on a flight. He'll try again tomorrow. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Nick on Thu, Jul 19, 2007 at 23:24:22

Ahhh! I'm so sorry for today and all of the confusion. It has been a total catastrophe. I will see what happens tommorrow, but once again, almost all of the flights look full. On top of that, my bags are still in SLC. I thought that they checked if the person was on the plane before they loaded their baggage, but apparently I am sorely mistaken. I will get to the bottom of this whole endeavor tonight, hopefully to give it another try tommorrow. I can't really think of much more that could have acted against me. In all actuality, I would have been much better off just staying at home with my luggage. Anyways, I will try my best to work things out and make it out to Draper Days (which I have already registered for). I am sorry for the confusion.

From Lybi on Fri, Jul 20, 2007 at 13:41:17

Addictive Behavior?!?! Were it not for the fact that I know you are a super nice guy I might bristle a little at that. Although deep down I know you are right... Grrrr. Darn you! :)

PS You've been running so well lately! Great job. I can't wait to see how your Draper Days thingy goes. Do you attribute your recent success more to the higher mileage, or the good sleep? Maybe it is both--you are able to run higher mileage bc of the great sleep? Anyway good luck tomorrow.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Jul 20, 2007 at 14:20:50

Both sleep and mileage are important. I compare mileage to going to work, while sleep is like depositing your paycheck. Without mileage, sleep is like hanging out at the bank begging the teller to up the balance on your account without anything to show for it. Without sleep, mileage is like working hard but putting your paycheck on a shelf and letting it expire time and again.

From Maria on Fri, Jul 20, 2007 at 14:56:49

This is a very good analogy, Sasha! I'm not too bad in the sleep depatment, but I certainly could do much better with mileage.

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