Breaking the Wall

August 04, 2020

Recent EntriesHomeJoin Fast Running Blog Community!PredictorHealthy RecipesSasha Pachev's RacesFind BlogsMileage BoardTop Ten Excuses for Missing a RunTop Ten Training MistakesDiscussion ForumRace Reports Send A Private MessageWeek ViewMonth ViewYear View
15% off for Fast Running Blog members at St. George Running Center!


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: 16.00 Year: 2314.91
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: 1185.83
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Tempo run in the Provo Canyon. Standard 3 miles downhill from Nunns Park to the mouth of the Provo Canyon. I do those for a dual purpose. To maintain a level of fitness while taking a break, and to monitor the effects of the break as well as the Pettibon spinal correction. Reduced digestion/appetite loss issues were mitigated but still present, so I thought 16:15 would be a good goal. I went through the first 1000 meters in 3:26 feeling unmotivated partially due to the headwind. HR was 150,I was not breathing hard, but felt mentally sluggish. I decided to push hard enough to get the HR past 160 and see what pace that will bring. Hit the mile in 5:24, then 2 miles in 10:44. HR climbed to 162, right where I wanted it to be. With the looming possibility of sub-16:00, I pushed a little harder. Got HR to a steady 166 with the peak of 168 on the last half mile. Last mile was 5:14 with the total time of 15:58. Felt some small improvements in the form. Could be just a natural fluctuation, but my hope is that is more of a step towards a permanent improvement. Cooled down to make the total 10 miles. As expected, HR was elevated by about 5 bpm at any pace during the cooldown. Came home and ran with the kids. Benjamin took a nice spill at the end, took too long to get up feeling sorry for himself, got passed by Jenny, and missed catching her finishing 2 seconds behind. I reminded him to learn from Lasse Viren. Also, recognized our donors on the Fast Running Blog Fund Page. Thanks to them and everybody else for contributing to the growth of the Fast Running Blog!

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Superfly on Tue, Oct 24, 2006 at 12:40:21


All of us here in St.George are very interested in getting a new "Toy". Is this modle you have the top of the line? On a scale of 1-10 how helpful is something like this in your training? I never wear a watch in my day to day training. Is something like this going to give me an information overload. Is it bulky feeling while running?

I've looked at online reviews, but a review from you would be a little more helpful.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Oct 24, 2006 at 14:28:22

Clyde - The Toy is very helpful in the following situations: exploring new courses, pacing yourself in the dark on known courses when you cannot see your marks, monitoring and recording heart rate and its relationship to running speed, and pacing yourself during a race, particularly on courses with no mile marks. You can control the info overload by telling it to display only what you are intrested in. I have it display ellapsed time, current HR, and distance. You also can set up several screens and switch from one to the other with the push of a button.

Do not use current running speed - it is essentially worthless. However, what I found works exceptionally well for a GPS is auto-split every quarter. 99% of the time it is reliable enough to be useful. I regularly monitor it against the previously measured and trusted quarters on the courses I run. Each individual quarter can be a couple of seconds off, but the errors compensate for each other and the net result is exceptionally accurate. If you auto-split every mile, you will be off by no more than 3 seconds per mile unless something unusual happens.

The Toy so far has never confessed to losing a signal, although on one occasion it acted like it had. It was one isolated quarter, though, and it lost about 0.04 mile of distance. Otherwise, it is exceptionally accurate for a toy - St. George measured to be 26.23 and all of my mile splits were within 5 seconds of the actual mile marks. It works well in the Provo Canyon, and under cloud cover.

So far I've been very impressed with the HR reading robustness. The HR monitors I've used in the past have inevitably erred into the ranges of impossible (both high and low) at least for a few minutes almost on every one of my runs. With the exception of reading somebody else's signal during the warmup and for the first 5 miles of St. George, The Toy so far has never given me an HR reading that was not consistent with my perception of what it should have been.

The Toy is very light and compact. My arms are not very strong, but I never feel like carrying it is a burden.

Garmin 305 is the top of the line in the GPS division of toys.

However, if you asked me if I would spend $267 out of my own pocket on it if I had lost this one, the answer would be no. I love having The Toy when it is there, but it is not worth that much to me. If I had to buy it with real money, I might be willing to pay $60 for it, which actually says a lot because I am not a big spender. Feeding my family while staying out of debt is more important.

From Superfly on Tue, Oct 24, 2006 at 15:19:44

Thanks for the review. I need one. Although it might have to come from Santa.

From steve hooper on Tue, Oct 24, 2006 at 17:56:44

Hey Sasha,

I thought you might find this article interesting.

From steve hooper on Tue, Oct 24, 2006 at 20:53:26

Hey Sasha,

I thought you might find this article interesting.

From ArmyRunner on Wed, Oct 25, 2006 at 09:01:53

I have the Forerunner 205. The only difference is that mine does not have the heart rate function. I have never been a big user of heart a heart rate monitor and already had a Polar so I just went with the 205 for the GPS functions. I agree with all of Sasha's comments on accuracy as well. It has been an awesome toy for measuring runs and also letting me know my splits. The new technology is great. The watch is actually pretty small and light as well. I do not even notice it on my wrist. Considering the price of buying a GPS it may be a little expensive but all the good toys in life are. It is also alot faster at finding satellites than any other GPS I have ever used. It only takes 2-3 minutes on average to align and be ready to run. I am glad I bought mine.

From Cheston on Wed, Oct 25, 2006 at 13:27:12

I love reading you reviews, I can't believe how technical you are about every second your running. With a goal like yours you need to be. I'm starting to carry my toy with me a little more now.

From Evan on Wed, Oct 25, 2006 at 16:18:52

I've had a bunch of different Garmins (e-trex, vista, III-plus, FR201 FR305). I've had several Polars and a Timex GPS. I've also used bicycle mounted distance/speed/cadence devices. The Garmin FR305 is the best so far, the FR201 was good too but it didn't have USB, HRM, and wasn't as accurate. The instantaneous pace jumps around a little, just use lap pace. I really like it on trails. I think I paid about $270 in March at Discount Electronic web-site.

Use it with SportTracks, great maps/ graphs and log book, track your shoes, bike. It's very cool.

Add Your Comment.
  • Keep it family-safe. No vulgar or profane language. To discourage anonymous comments of cowardly nature, your IP address will be logged and posted next to your comment.
  • Do not respond to another person's comment out of context. If he made the original comment on another page/blog entry, go to that entry and respond there.
  • If all you want to do is contact the blogger and your comment is not connected with this entry and has no relevance to others, send a private message instead.
Only registered users with public blogs are allowed to post comments. Log in with your username and password or create an account and set up a blog.
Debt Reduction Calculator

Featured Announcements
New Kids on the Blog
(need a welcome):