Breaking the Wall

August 06, 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: 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

A.M. 10 by myself, 2 with Jenny, everybody else was sick. I got a new job moving from Percona to Linkedin, but not really moving anywhere as I still work out of my house. I will be doing custom MySQL development. Most people will find what triggered the move rather odd. Percona insisted that I go to Cancun for 7 days for a company meeting. I was willing to go for 3 days figuring I like my colleagues, but not enough to leave my family for 7 days to hang out with them. Percona insisted that I stay for full 7. At the same time, my friend who is now at Linkedin has been asking me to help him find somebody to work on a MySQL project. So I figured, maybe it is time to move jobs.  Yes, I know, most people will actually look for ways to stay longer at a job that gives them essentially a free vacation in Cancun, but not me.

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
From Tom on Fri, Feb 04, 2011 at 10:28:36 from

Congrats on the new job Sasha!

From Rob on Fri, Feb 04, 2011 at 15:19:22 from

May 1st 2009, I was running on the hotel treadmill in Cancun and will forever remember that as the day I mentally changed from a guy who jogs on the hotel treadmill, to a runner. Something sparked in me that day that changed my total mind set and way of life. Hopefully I can keep it up forever.

Anyway, I would have taken the Cancun option, especially if you could have taken the kids to see some Pyramids. But congrats on the new job, Linkedin is the perfect DBA job.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Feb 08, 2011 at 20:52:52 from

Rob - I had a similar mental breakthrough experience on July 5th, 1999. It happened in Provo during the Freedom Run 10 K at mile marker 2 which back then was right over by the MTC on 900 East. I heard a police siren, and it was loud. It was coming from the lead car. I realized that I was the closest to the lead car this far into a race like this than ever before. I looked at my watch, it said 10:10. I looked at the company I was with - it had a lot of people that normally dropped me this far in the race. I thought to myself - what have you done, you are in a lion's den! Then I thought again - that's OK, you belong, you are a baby lion! And after that I trained and raced with a vision.

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