Breaking the Wall

February 20, 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: 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
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Legs still sore this morning, so I biked my 10.04 course. For a change, took off the Jones counter and wore tights instead of my regular street pants the night before. This made quite a bit of a difference. I rode the course in 39:05. First half in 19:12, second in 19:53. That includes a number of slow downs due to sharp turns, getting through a construction zone, and going around pedestrians on the trail. When there were no obstacles, I was going 3:30 mile pace (around 17mph) fairly comfortably. This is on a 30lb mountain bike that is not in great condition - the main problem is that the frame is too short and the saddle does not get up high enough. The chain is also rubbing some against the gear shifting lever and on top of that you cannot go into the highest gears, but on that trail I did not feel the need - the position of the seat relative to the pedals would not allow me to put forth enough power for a higher gear anyway. However, when I got up, I finally started feeling right, except there was no seat underneath me. And, of course, no clips.

Would anybody familiar with biking venture to predict how fast I might be able to go on a nice road bike with everything in proper condition? And what rank this would earn me in a bike race. Ted suggested at one point that my quads might be better suited for biking than running, and in theory that could be a reasonable idea - in running you are pretty much stuck with your biomechanics, while in biking there are a lot of things you can change - the size of the bike, gears, etc, so if you have raw power, it should be easier to find a way to use it. But theory is very different from practice.

 Ran 0.5 with Julia in the afternoon, and then 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in the evening. The leg pain is gradually going away, but is still making me run funny. But at least I feel like screaming only half the regular volume. You can see why the prize money at DesNews attracts so little competition relative to other marathons. My legs are not even sore after any other marathon, and this one brings me to this!

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Scott Zincone on Fri, Jul 27, 2007 at 00:01:30

Sasha -

I am not qualified enough to answer your cycling questions. But I can say it is fun to ride every so often just for a change of pace. And you can still get in a good workout in the process. And screaming down a big hill is always good for a big dose of adrenaline.

From "D" Ence on Fri, Jul 27, 2007 at 00:09:50

Sasha, glad to hear the legs are recovering some from the marathon. Regarding your biking questions Steve Olsen does quite a bit of biking and could probably answer some of your questions. Like Ted suggested your quad muscles are very strong, so it would be interesting to see how well you could compete in an endurance bike race using a decent road bike.

From Maria on Fri, Jul 27, 2007 at 08:45:42

Sasha - another update from Alexander Gladkov's friends: they have finally set up a Paypal account! How do you get that Paypal Logo button that says "Paypal Donate" and takes people directly to your payment page? I assume you have to configure your custom payment page, but where is that HTML snippet that would give you the logo to put on your site? They just listed the email address of the recipient - it works, but you have to login to Paypal first and then go to Send Money. It would be nice if they can put a visual aid on their site that would take people to Paypal directly.

There was also an article about Galdkov's situation in Ukranian newspaper 2 days ago, and apparently, his condition is getting worse and worse:

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Jul 27, 2007 at 12:57:20

Maria - they sure try to make it difficult. I just tried to send a payment, and got the error message from PayPal about recipients with accounts in Russia not being able to receive funds.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Jul 27, 2007 at 13:04:58

I just read the article. It is in Russian. Here is one thing that impressed me - they asked him if he would not have gone into the sport had he known about his condition, and he says, no way, I cannot imagine my life without the sport. He is also getting married on September 1.

From Maria on Fri, Jul 27, 2007 at 13:07:32

Thanks for trying, Sasha! I was just linking my other account to Paypal so I can send a payment too. Arrgghh...I guess they need to find a person in US who can collect the funds and then make one lump sum bank transfer to them. Very cumbersome, but that just shows how CIS countries are not integrated into the "global" world yet! I'll let them know...

From Steve Olsen on Fri, Jul 27, 2007 at 13:54:43

Great race this week. My quads are not too bad, but I have some horrible blisters that have slowed me down some. As far as the bike question, there are many variables when it comes to calculating your speed. Based on the information you provided, I would say you could pick up 5 to 7 miles per hour in speed on a flat road with an average road bike. Any speed above 20 miles per hour riding alone on a flat road is pretty good. It's a great way to cross train, but it can pull your focus from running if your not careful. At least it does for me. I was going to ask you what your Garmin recorded for distance at the Marathon. I have asked a few people and everyone is reporting about 26.41 or so.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Jul 27, 2007 at 14:09:48

Steve - thanks for the info. My Garmin lost signal at around 16. However, for a while it was right on with the race mile markers. You can easily pick up as much as half a mile extra distance on the DesNews course if you are sloppy on the tangents.

From adam on Fri, Jul 27, 2007 at 23:29:54

sasha- hopefully you get this before tomorrow. I have been sick all day since getting back from the run. I will have to see how I'm feeling tomorrow, so I won't meet up.

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