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

Sleep-in day. Ran at 5:30 AM. Tempo run with Ted. Took care of the potential bio-break problems in advance. The road conditions were better than on Tuesday - enough dry spots on the first mile to make much faster than normal. After that, only occasional snow patches. However, you did have to swerve around quite a bit to hit the dry spots on the first mile.

Splits by 0.5 - 2:53, 2:56 (5:49), 2:50 (8:38), next quarter in 1:26. After that, I saw we were behind the 5:40 guy by 9 seconds and went after him. Next quarter in 1:20 (2:46, 5:36, 11:24), then 1:22, 1:22, last 0.5 in 2:44, last mile in 5:30, total time 14:08, new inversion/cold/clothes/early morning season record. Ted finished at a steady 5:44 pace in 14:22. The pace felt relaxed for the first 1.75, after that it felt like a slow 10 K/fast half-marathon, which I am happy about.

On the way back I knew better than try to persuade Ted to run another tempo with me. Inversion has been hitting him harder than me, and he has developed a cough. So I ran it solo. Decided to cruise at a marathon pace. Ran 5:50 pace for the first 1.5 fairly relaxed, then picked up a bit to compensate for the uphill and the upcoming snow. Overcompensated a bit and ran the last mile in 5:44. Total time 14:29. First 1.5 felt like a true marathon pace just hanging out with the guys getting to know them. 5:44 on the last mile felt like a move try to break somebody. This is good news - this is how those speeds felt in shorts, 50 degree weather, and no inversion leading up to Ogden last year.

I felt some bounce in my legs, more efficient stride. I hope it is the Curt's contraption exercises kicking in, not just a fluke. We'll have to wait and see where that goes.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Lots of inversion. Did some more exercises on Curt's contraption, and then tug-of-war with the kids.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Marquette on Mon, Feb 19, 2007 at 20:37:28

I hope you don't mind if I ask a question. Months ago you mentioned starting the Pettibon System. My 15 year old daughter has 32 degree scoliosis and I am considering the Pettibon System. What has been your experience? How often was your initial treatment? What was the cost per visit?

From Marquette on Mon, Feb 19, 2007 at 20:38:20

I hope you don't mind if I ask a question. Months ago you mentioned starting the Pettibon System. My 15 year old daughter has 32 degree scoliosis and I am considering the Pettibon System. What has been your experience? How often was your initial treatment? What was the cost per visit?

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Feb 20, 2007 at 13:04:20


My initial treatment involved 3 visits a week. Then down to 2 after about two months, then two months later down to 1. My chiropractor charged me a flat fee for the whole year, which came down to about $3000.

My problem is a bit different, and perhaps not as well researched. I am a competitive runner with the world-class endurance, but average biomechanics, which I believe stems from the average health of the spine (average as defined by the standard of our sedentary culture, which really means not very good). I am trying to move from average to exceptional, which relatively few people try. So there is a lot of trial and error. It took my chiropractic 6 months, for example, to discover that I needed a shoulder weight for the head weights to be effective.

I've seen some independent studies showing the effectiveness of Pettibon method for treating scoliosis. I think a Pettibon chiropractic treating scoliosis would be in a more familiar area, and the results would show quicker.

From Marquette on Fri, Feb 23, 2007 at 08:03:24

Sasha, Thank you so much for answering my question. It is really hard to find people who have benefitted from Pettibon and are independent of the chiropractors sites. My daughter will need head, shoulder and hip weights and a Boston brace for 12-18 months. The cost in Michigan runs about $6,000. I just wanted independent opinions from Pettibon patients before I actually spent that kind of money. Thanks again and good luck to you.

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