Breaking the Wall

July 09, 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: 51.55 Year: 2011.51
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: 881.43
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Same run as yesterday with Ted in the morning. Ran the same tempo mile. A bit more cautious today, did it in 5:40 with the quarters of 1:25, 1:25, 1:24, and 1:26. HR maxed out at 146, but got there a lot faster. The effort felt harder in a way, but that does not worry me. 

Ran with the kids in the evening. Benjamin ran in the Hershey Track Meet. There was a strong headwind that made his 100 m slow - 20.82. Then about a couple of minutes later he demolished his almost year old 400 meter PR running 1:32.44. He also threw a softball 46.8 feet, or about 14 meters. This does not tell me much, though. Can anybody tell me how throwing a softball compares to throwing a tennis ball?

Ted's son James ran 800 in 2:39, and then 400 in 72 winning both events. Danielle Menlove was there, and thoroughly embarrassed the boys in both 800 (2:29) and 1600 (5:23). Interestingly enough, her 1600 meter PR is 4:54, she's run 1500 in 4:34 and won the Nationals in her age division. She is 13 years old. I remember how two years ago she won the Salt Lake Classic 5 K overall passing Michelle Simonaitis on the last mile. We do not need to go to Kenya to find some running talent.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From wheakory on Fri, May 18, 2007 at 01:13:31

Throwing softball your grip is going to be better because of the different material and you can actually get a better accurate throw. Where throwing a tennis ball, of course, is much lighter but the grip isn't as good and if you try to throw it hard it's going to go more towards the ground, because of how it forms in your hand. I was an allstar baseball/softball player back in my younger days. I played softball for 15 straight years until last year, I quit to dedicate my time in running.

I'm not sure if I answered your question.

From James on Fri, May 18, 2007 at 01:48:32


Good luck in Ogden - do you have a goal for the marathon there (time, place, etc.)?

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, May 18, 2007 at 14:23:51

Kory - thanks for the softball info. Do you think an 8 year old kid would through a softball further than a tennis ball? I suppose I could just have Benjamin through a tennis ball sometime and find out myself.

James - my goals for a marathon are always fuzzy. I plan only the first half. My plan is to run it between 1:13:30 and 1:14:15 assuming the conditions are good. Place is even more difficult to have a goal for. It depends on who shows up and how well they run that day.

A very popular mistake among runners is to try to plan the last 6 miles anywhere beyond the determination to run your guts out regardless of how slow you may be going by then, how bad you are hurting, and how negative your thoughts may get.

From christi on Fri, May 18, 2007 at 15:19:31

Sasha- Thanks for your input, I always love your tips. I am struggling to find a balance between running and cross training. Good point about weight being a side affect of healthy eating & training. Best wishes for Ogden Marathon tomorrow!

From Scott Browning on Fri, May 18, 2007 at 16:01:22

First and foremost - good luck this weekend!! The softball might be a bit big for his hand which could effect the mechanics of the throw. I would be inclined to believe he might throw the tennis ball a bit further at this age.

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