Breaking the Wall

April 08, 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: 916.90
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: 1679.47
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Easy run, total of 10. First 6 with Jeff and Adam in 47:55. Dropped them off, another 4 in 27:02. Total of 1:14:57 for 10 miles.

P.M. 2 miles with Benjamin in 16:27, 1.05 with Julia in 10:58, and 1.5 with Jenny in 13:42. Considering jumping into St. Jude Marathon in Memphis, TN on December 1 - this would be a nice get-away trip for Sarah and I. Figured if we are going to do one, we may just as well try to get as much of it paid for by somebody. Wrote an e-mail to the race director to see what kind of perks they can give a 2:23 US guy.  

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Paul Petersen on Wed, Oct 10, 2007 at 23:23:09

I hope you get some love from the race director. Keep us posted.

From adam on Wed, Oct 10, 2007 at 23:49:26

Huntsville Rocket City Marathon might be one to look into as well. Dennis Simonaitis ran a 2:22 down there in 2003. The last few years the winner has floated around in that area, so they may be looking for someone. It's not as pretty as Memphis though.

From ashman on Thu, Oct 11, 2007 at 09:06:14

Forget Rocket City, the cutoff was Nov 6, 2006.

From Brent on Thu, Oct 11, 2007 at 11:51:28

Sasha, the cross training is a good idea. I think that I have the cause of my injury, hamstring solved with some good excercise ball routine. I think that I can work up to 60 to 65 miles a week with maybe the 3rd week dropping back to 50 for a break then back up. Good luck on your next marathon, it seems that you are already hot on the trail.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Oct 11, 2007 at 12:00:25

Huntsville, AL is a pain to get to. They are too small to cover travel costs for anybody, the airfare to Huntsville is outrageous, and otherwise it is a 3.5 hour drive from Atlanta which makes it not a fun trip. But it is a great marathon if you live within a driving distance from it.

From Jon on Thu, Oct 11, 2007 at 12:42:36

I visit Huntsville all the time for work- the drive is only 2 hours from Nashville.

From Mike B on Thu, Oct 11, 2007 at 13:28:45

Sasha, for St. Jude, they consider 2:30 Elite and will probably comp the entry fee. If it doesn't work out that you stay with me, I think they also have some other limited complimentary lodging.

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