Breaking the Wall

August 13, 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

A.M. Ran with Jeff at Grandview. 26 laps (10.04) in 1:16:49. The foot fussed in the first 2 miles or so, but then the cold grass calmed it down. I exercised caution for most of the run and was moving pretty slow, but in the last lap was tempted by the 1:17 guy (there is always some guy to beat) and picked it up to 6:00 pace in the last 0.3.

Soaked the feet in the Provo River afterwards.

P.M. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:57. Supervised the kids on a bike. Jenny ran 2 in 19:30. Julia 1.5 in 13:48. Benjamin 2 in 16:48. Soaked the feet in the river as Sarah and I read the scriptures. It was 3 Nephi 10 this time.

Bare Feet Miles: 10.04Water Clogs Miles: 0.50
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
From Huans32 on Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 16:23:02 from

So how is things looking health wise coming into the last few days before SG?? No colds or anything that your fighting off I hope??

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 16:25:28 from

No colds. Just a sore foot.

From Huans32 on Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 16:27:19 from

Well good to hear no colds or illness. Hope that foot will not give you to much grief on Sat. I hope you really do well. Does running barefoot help it alot??

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 18:43:38 from

It helps smooth out the form. I believe there are requirements to developing good form:

a) The feet must be able to roam free. So no shoes or minimalistic shoe that allows the foot to land at any angle and in any position that you may want to try.

b) Running must be pain-free. Any reasonable combination of angles at any joints must not produce pain. Otherwise you will likely end up with less efficient form because you will never try the most efficient one. The body will avoid it because of pain.

The best way I know to come close to meeting those two requirements is run barefoot on grass.

From Jennifer Pachev on Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 00:03:42 from

ellohay addyday.

From Kory on Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 00:16:43 from

Good luck my friend in St. George. Let God renew your strength before the race. I really hope you have the race of your life, and the foot does good. I will be praying for you.

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