Breaking the Wall

January 18, 2021

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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: 188.26 Year: 188.26
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: 1657.61
Brown Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 1359.62
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Happy New Year to everyone. My New Years resolution is the same as always. Do my best every single day of the year, and start working on my shortcomings immediately as soon as I know what it is I should do better without waiting for the next year to start. I suppose you can say in the Spirit of the later part of Alma 34 which admonishes us to not procrastinate the day of your repentance. 

It was 5F at the start of the run, very slipper, and on top of that the trail is closed at the intersection with I-15 and I really did not feel like visiting Geneva road today to cross it. I felt tempted to run just 10 and call it a day, but I knew better than that. So I did the full 20 as planned. Benjamin was kind enough to run 4 with me instead of his usual 3, and he even kept up a good pace - 30:43 for 4 miles in spite of the slippage. Jenny and Julia ran 2, Joseph did 1, and Jacob did 0.5. I managed to run the last 10 miles at sub-7:00 average. 

Gold Crocs 2 Miles: 20.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From seeaprilrun on Sat, Jan 01, 2011 at 19:43:26 from

Happy New Year Sasha! Thanks for this blog and your words of advice. If you had never said something on my blog I would have never tried like I try now to pursue bigger goals! The thought wouldn't have crossed my mind. I'm a billion times healthier than ever and have learned and am learning so so much!

From Eric Day on Mon, Jan 03, 2011 at 11:59:02 from

Happy New Year!

From Tom on Mon, Jan 03, 2011 at 12:50:14 from

Happy New Year Sasha!

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 21:14:30 from

Julie: I think you've done something right this year. Your mileage has been solid, and you have run a marathon PR on a course that is not dog slow, but is not St. George either. Your time at Painter's half puts you in the shooting range for sub-3:00 in St. George in terms of speed.

I think the best thing you can do is maintain a reasonable amount of mileage (60-70 a week), with occasional speed work and particular focus on running the last 5 miles of your long run at sub-7:00 pace. St. George is probably at least 4 minutes faster than UVM for your time range. I consider UVM, Salt Lake, and Ogden to be equal under ideal racing conditions, but St. George much faster. How much really depends on how efficient you are at using the downhill, and the extra oxygen as most of the race is at a lower elevation.

So the key from now on is not do anything crazy. Just train consistently, do your best to recover, cut down the training some but not altogether when life cuts down recovery, and do not worry about sub-3:00. Let it come naturally.

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