Breaking the Wall

November 27, 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: 232.17 Year: 3533.69
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: 734.48
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran in the morning, 12 hours after the track meet on the Provo River Trail by Geneva road. Warmed up, then a mile with ankle weigths, some more jogging, and started the tempo run. Figured 5 miles a marathon pace would be a good idea, since I ran hard only 12 hours ago, and a marathon is coming up in a week. Gradually warmed into a good aggressive marathon pace, and hit 2 miles in 11:14. Then 14:02 at the turnaround (2.5). Felt very relaxed at that pace, although I could tell that I had run a 5 K some time not too long ago. But at 5:37 pace it did not bother me very much. 3 miles in 16:51, and I decided to run the last two hard for fun to see if I could do it faster than in yesterday's 5 K. I sure did - 10:58, and 27:49 total. In the 5 K, it was 11:11. Interestingly enough, I ran the last 5 K of this tempo run in about 17:10, only 19 seconds slower than a race 12 hours earlier! Looks like I am starting to suffer from the Mike Kirk syndrome - racing all distances from 5 K to the marathon at almost the same pace. Of course, as Paul has pointed out, the wind can really knock you out of rhythm in a track race, and make you run a lot slower than any logic would suggest is possible. But still, the whole thing does sound rather funny. Got home, and took Benjamin and Jennifer for a run. It was another big records day for Jennifer. We hit the first half mile in 4:50. Then she sped up to almost 8:00 pace, and kept saying it was not fast enough. So we picked it up even more. Hit the next quarter in 1:59. Then Benjamin decided to start a kick, and Jennifer decided to not let him escape. So that gave us the last quarter in 1:46, and 8:35 for the mile. Last half was 3:45. This shows that Jennifer should be able to break 8:00 on the mile without too much difficulty if she went out hard from the start. Did some more "always on the run" miles - 13 for the day.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Superfly on Sun, Apr 30, 2006 at 19:36:24

Sasha I am running a half marathon this coming Saturday in Hurricane. Based on my blogs and a goal to run as fast as possible on Saturday what do you think this weeks running log should look like? How much should I taper? When should I start? I appriciate any "coaching" help you have to offer as my online running coach.

From Robert on Sun, Oct 01, 2006 at 08:42:27

HiSasha,It' was a pleasure reading your blog. it's very informative for all level of runners. I have been trying to get a hold of Delfino for the past few years. I know him from MJC when I was coaching high school in modesto. Can you ask him what is the best way I can get a hold if him. How was the general conference this week? I will try to attend or watch it. Well thanks again and keep up the good work.Uman72001atyahoo

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Oct 03, 2006 at 10:20:14


I've met Delfino only once which was at the race mentioned in the blog entry where you commented. He told me he was headed back to California soon. That is all I know. He also had a friend named Ivan with him from El Salvador, apparently also a U of U student. Ivan might now more, if you could find a way to get in tough with him.

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