Breaking the Wall

February 23, 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: 155.37 Year: 492.80
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: 1353.22
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Dustin and Mary Ann. Decided to wear tights to see if they will make a difference in the speed workout. Warmed up for 3 miles. Mary Ann had a tight hamstring, so she just jogged. Dustin did the workout with me.

Workout on the trail, usual spot.

We started with 3x400: 68.4, 70.7, 69.8. Took 400 recovery.  Dustin was a step ahead on the first one, even on the second, and a step behind on the third. Then 4x200: 32.1, 32.0, 31.6, 31.0. 200 recovery. Dustin was a step ahead on all.

The workout went a lot better than on Tuesday. What was different: Dustin's presence, wearing tights, and hanging upside down on the inversion table before the run.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:21, 2 with Benjamin in 17:07. Jenny ran the first 1.5 in 13:09.

Read on the news in a headline that the total amount of American debt was down for the first time since 1952. The headline made it sound like Americans were starting to be serious about getting out of debt. Decided to read the article to see what was up and was laughing for the rest of the day, and still laughing. The cause of the reduced debt was an increase in foreclosures. Mind-boggling, but true nevertheless. When you lose a house, you also lose the debt.

Along the same lines, there is an ad as you drive east on Center street in Orem from the I-15 exit. It says: "Live debt free! 801-BANKRUPT".  And recently I got the following in the mail, kept me laughing for a few days, and I am still not over it: "Title loans. Any make, year, or model. Go from 0 to $5000 in 20 seconds!" I could not believe it. Somebody is spending time and money to advertise something as idiotic as going into $5K of debt in 20 seconds, that fast!

I was have a conversation about religion with a friend in 2002. He asked me: "So what is your prophet telling you to do now?".  The first thing that came to my mind was to get out of debt. My friend was rather skeptical and wondered what was so special about that. Valueable advice often comes in the form of an invitation to wash yourself in the Jordan river seven times. We are tempted to disregard it as being too simple. Yet this inspired simplicity can make a big difference, and I have seen it so in this case.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
From Matt on Fri, Dec 12, 2008 at 23:04:20


What is the inversion table. I mean I can kind of guess but is it homemade or something you bought. Blood rushes to the head makes you feel a little more alive? The debt advertising would be a little more funny if it didn't work. "There is a sucker born every minute" PT Barnum.

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Dec 13, 2008 at 14:19:51


The inversion table allows you to hang upside down. This is good for your spine. I have the cheapest one I could find on the market, and it works fine.

From paul on Sat, Dec 13, 2008 at 14:39:54

Sasha - did you get your inversion table online? Do you have the link?

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Dec 13, 2008 at 15:49:45


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