Breaking the Wall

July 05, 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: 0.00 Year: 1935.71
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: 805.63
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeff at 6:00 AM. I asked my body what it thought about the crazy Australian carbo-load technique when you run all out for 3 minutes a day or two before the race. It said it would at least not be harmful. I also had a positive experience at TOU running anaerobically for a portion of my VO2 max test 16 hours before the race, and then carbo-loading right away. So I decided to give it a shot. Jeff decided to go along with me.

We warmed up 2 miles, and then went for it on a slight rolling up section of the trail from 0.625 mark of the Provo River 5 Mile Tempo to the start (probably a second longer than a true 1000). The plan was to run somewhere around 3:00, a little faster OK, a little slower OK too as long as it hurt enough, a lot faster OK as well if the speed was there, but that would have been an unexpected bonus for me - my focus has been the marathon, and it has been a while since I ran a sub-1:15 quarter on something flat, much less rolling.

It was dark, so we did not get all of our splits. First quarter was 1:10, and I felt it. I backed off a bit, Jeff kept the pace to the end. I was 1:46 at 600 (really 0.375), and finished in 3:02.8. Jeff got 2:55. It did not hurt as bad as an all out 1000 should, but I just could not go any faster. Once the anaerobic bear attacked me, I had no anaerobic defense. My body said, let's go slower and longer. That is good, I'll need to go slower and longer on Saturday.

Cooled down to my house, started carbo-loading right away.

P.M. Ran 2 miles with the kids. First one with all three running in 11:43, then put Julia in the double stroller, 15:56 at 1.5, put Jenny in the stroller, caught up to Benjamin, we finished 2 miles in 19:39. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Kt on Thu, Oct 04, 2007 at 17:16:11

I have not figured this whole replie thing out yet.

So to answer your question in case I did it wrong the first time. I cross train alot because I have not done anything for about two months and so I am easing into working out again. I get shin splints really easy but if I take my time cross training first I don't get them as much.

My other issue is I have 7 kids. I know people are saying get them out there with me. Well they are 8 mths, 2 3yrs olds, 2 4 yr olds, a 7 yr old and a 10 yr old who is more like a 5 yr old. She has had 23 brain surgeries and is not all there. Last time I took her on a walk with me she had a sezuire hit her face on the side walk put her teeth through her lip and some stranger had to drive us home.

I have a vip pass at golds and so I get an hour and a half of free day care everyday for all my kids.

When I am in better shape I alternate running on the treadmill and if I get a chance I will go out and run my dog.

My blog name is not meant to be negative. It is very hard for me to fit any workout in at all with all these kids. Three are foster kids that I am addopting at this point but they have regular dentist appointment doctor app, parental visits and therapy.

So this is the one thing I do for myself and alot of days it feels very selfish.

O I am also pre diabetic and right now my sugars are to high my toes go numb and I get dizzy so I am watching my carbs until that goes away. I do have medication that I can use to control it but the medication makes me feel so sick I would not be doing anything active.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Oct 04, 2007 at 17:51:27


Regarding the proper way to reply - the reply to a comment should be posted in the same place where the original comment was. This allows others to follow the discussion and participate in it. When you get a comment, just click on the link in the e-mail notification, it will take you straight to the place where it was posted, and that is the right place to reply. Everybody participating in the discussion will get a reply notification in the e-mail if they have properly identified themselves when posting their comments (at least once).

Cross-training is a good idea if you have a history of shin splints. Elliptical is the best for it. Try to mix in very little running on a daily basis, though, maybe a mile, and make sure keep the pace very easy. Injuries are much more often caused by the intensity than the just the volume.

Regarding the diet - try to keep it healthy and balanced. Just staying away from junk and a eating a good balance of natural unprocessed foods will take you a long way. After that, some individual adaptations could do even more.

Regarding the idea of feeling selfish when you train. It is quite the opposite. You set an example of discipline, hard work, and following through on a drive to accomplish for your children. When you feed them, you give them fish. When they see you work, they learn how to fish.

Just some interesting statistics for your curiosity. Most of the readers of Marathon and Beyond are marathon runners themselves, many are serious. From their demographic data, about 40% of them are making $100K/year or more. Why? Through running they have developed the work ethic, the discipline, the mental fortitude, the habit to keep pressing when things are hard, and they are able to pursue professions that require such traits. Many of such professions pay very well due to the law of supply and demand - there are relatively few individuals out there who have those qualities, and thus, few who could prepare themselves for that job.

The best way to teach your children to be something is to be that around them. Those values are some of the best things you can give your children. Thus running is not a selfish act at all, it is a great way to teach.

From kt on Thu, Oct 04, 2007 at 18:06:45

So is this where I reply?

Maybe I should have my husband take up running, and reading Marathon and beyond. So he can make more money?

(He could use some motivation) He is a hard worker tho.

I can see my 7 year old learning from me trying to be fit and healthy but my other kids do not understand yet. To them it is time away from them and they don't like it. They like the day care at the gym but when I leave my house alone to go run they all cry.

From Clay on Thu, Oct 04, 2007 at 23:11:34

Good luck on Saturday Sasha, you are in my thought and prayers.

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