Breaking the Wall

August 14, 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: 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 Nick. This morning all of my watches were not functional. Suunto T4 died - probably dead battery. Garmin 305 refused to boot. So I had Nick tell me the splits.

We did a warm-up, 15 mile tempo, then a cool-down. Total of 20 miles.

I think Nick accidentally stopped his watch during the first quarter, so I am going to add 7 seconds to adjust for that to the relevant splits and total time.

Total time - 1:27:10 (5:48.67 avg).

Splits by 2.5 (yes we did it on the standard course, 6 times on the same stretch of the trail from Geneva to the Utah Lake turnaround):

14:33 - 14:29 - 14:05 - 14:25 - 14:28 - 15:10

Subjective: At first it felt hard. Then I tucked behind Nick and he mesmerized me with his rhythm. He picked up the pace, and I was able to handle it. We were going faster than 5:40 and it did not feel unbearable. Then around 8 miles into it I started struggling and asked Nick to back off. Was able to hold around 5:45 pace for a while until 11. Then I started losing it. Nick took off at 12.5 and closed with 13:42 last 2.5. After he took off I did not have any splits. I felt that I was sprinting, but at the same time I could tell my legs were moving slow. But there was nothing I could do.

Overall happy with the tempo. I think it is the fastest non-aided 15 mile tempo I've ever run in training. Now if only those 2.5 mile splits were 5 K splits :-)

P.M. 1 mile with Julia, no time taken due to the lack of functional timing equipment. Then tried the Garmin and it booted. Ran 2 miles with Benjamin and Jared in 17:05. Jenny ran the first 1.5 in 12:31. 200 with Jacob, 0.34 with Joseph.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From Phoenix on Sat, Nov 15, 2008 at 20:26:33

Nice job on the record tempo. IMHO, to train your central governor to reset its neuro-fatigue/-inhibition point, its essential to shut things down when it becomes apparent you are entering neuro-failure. But, accelerate briefly before doing so and then perform a manual shut-down before the auto shut-down happens. Training the nervous system to increase output when failure is just starting will increase your ability to perform manual overide in races. In contrast, continuing to push while slowing down only reinforces the inhibitor's dominance over the manual will.

From britta on Sun, Nov 16, 2008 at 23:10:04

What makes a run aided or non-aided?

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 13:36:53


Non-aided means no net downhill or being propelled by a tailwind.

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):
Lone Faithfuls
(need a comment):