Breaking the Wall

Week starting Oct 19, 2008

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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
Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 16.05Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 30.10
Night Sleep Time: 52.50Nap Time: 7.00Total Sleep Time: 59.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest.

Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 10.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 10.1 alone in 1:16:43. Did 8x100 around 18-19 seconds in the middle. Felt fresher, but this could be deceptive as I never went long enough fast enough to really test. But today was not the day to test, the day is tomorrow when I am going to run 2.5 tempo.

Five Fingers holes on the right shoe are slightly bigger, I think, but my skin over the holes is getting rougher as well. Last week, I felt blister pain in the hole area after the runs. Today it was just a minor irritation. The left shoe is still intact, although the sole is getting thinner. So far no performance improvements from running in Five Fingers. But I like the feel of it. And it helps preserve the socks. Training in Five Fingers - the Ultimate Blister Protection!

P.M. Jacob did 200 in 2:01. 1 mile with Julia in 8:49. She did a progressive negative split: 2:30, 2:15, 2:09 and 1:55. 2.03 with Benjamin and Jenny to the library via scenic route in 18:03. 

Five Fingers - 1557.57 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 10.1 alone. Did a 2.5 mile tempo after 6.2 miles of easy running. Again had a hard time running 5:30 pace. First quarter was 83, and it felt hard. Bad hard, not "I am going to warm into it", but rather, "I do not know if I can maintain it". Pretty much exact duplicate of last week's tempo with splits differing by no more than a second at every point, and the total time being 0.7 slower.

Total time - 13:51.9. Splits by 0.5: 2:45, 2:46, 2:46, 2:48, 2:46.

Tried to kick in the last quarter, but there was zero kick. Could not speed up above pace. Legs felt sour. Could not make myself breath energetically no matter how hard I tried.

Afterwards took Jacob for 200 in 1:51.

P.M. Fast Running Van had a problem with the brakes. Took it to Computune. Ran back with Benjamin , and Jenny - 2.25 in 19:58. 1 with Julia in 10:03. Decided to give my body a chance to take a nap, and it did. Felt very good after the nap. 0.34 with Joseph in 4:18.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 9.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran 8 with Jeff, then added 2 to finish off 10. Total time was 1:14:28. Was feeling energetic, especially for the dark conditions. Decided to test the effects of yesterday's nap. The plan was to run a tempo 0.5. We got to 0.5 and I was concerned about being able to see the mark, so we went further to 1 K. Felt very good. The time was 3:20. The stride felt good - wide, relaxed, powerful. Felt like I could run like this for a while. A positive change from yesterday.

A.M - 2: Took Jacob for 200 in 1:48. 1 with Julia in 9:43. 2 with Benjamin in 15:06. Pushed Jacob in the stroller. Jenny ran the first 1.5 in 11:46.

P.M. Took another nap.

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 8.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Derek. He went 7, I did 10. Did 4x400 in the middle with 200 rest. 75.1, 73.5, 73.2, 72.6. The last one was uphill (1% grade). Felt much better than a week ago, but the times did not reflect it. I was not sure if this was due to colder temperatures and leaves on the ground, or due to no change in fitness. I wondered for a few miles, then was tired of wondering and decided to run a tempo mile from DI bridge to where I get off the trail. It has a slight net downhill, but it does roll enough to make it fair. Did the splits of 84, 82, 82, and 78 for the total of 5:26. First quarter was up, second was flat, third was net down, but you had to go under 800 N bridge and the last one was a steady 0.5% down. Felt strong, did not want to stop.

A.M -2 : Took the Fast Running Van to Computune to investigate the ABS light. Ran back with Benjamin and Jenny. 2.25 miles in 19:50. Ran into a girl that had served a mission in Rostov-na-Donu in Russia.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:54, 0.34 with Joseph in 4:09. Jacob woke up from a nap and was crying and being difficult. I asked him if he wanted to go for a run. He calmed down, and went. He ran 2:00 for 200. Got points for this from Sarah.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 9.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Sarah woke up with contractions around 2:00 AM. We figured it was real labor, called the midwife, called Luz, she came and got the kids, and filled the inflatable pool. After some work on Sarah's part, William Alexander Pachev was born at 4:34 AM this morning. Birth weight - 8 lb 8 oz, height 19 inches.

Jeff got a special privilege from being my running partner this morning. He was the first non-family/non-midwife person to see William. That's his PR for the youngest person he's ever seen. Then we went for a run with a stop at Luz's house to drop off the soy milk for the kids' breakfast. Jacob is allergic to cow's milk. Then Sarah called me on the cell phone and said she was bleeding. So we ran back. Checked on her, she said she was still not feeling good, so we went around the block with the plan to check on her once a mile. She called again after a mile, and this time she had a strong contraction, passed out a couple of large clots, stood up too fast and nearly passed out, and got really scared. So I stayed with her. Her midwife came, gave her some medicine, she is now taking a nap, and William is taking one as well right next to me.



P.M. Jacob ran 200 in 2:17, ran 0.34 with Joseph in 4:19, 1 with Julia in 9:34, 1.5 with Jenny in 13:17, 2 with Benjamin in 17:52. The blog now has the long awaited shoe manager. 

Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 6.05
Night Sleep Time: 4.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeff. We did a total of 10 miles in 1:14:26 with a couple of breaks in the middle to check on Sarah and to change Jacob's diaper. Then 1 with Julia in 8:42.

A.M-2.  200 with Jacob in 1:51 (not counting towards mileage), 0.34 with Joseph in 3:56, 2 with Benjamin in 17:32 with Jenny running the last 1.5 in 13:07.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Vibram Five Fingers Miles: 16.05Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 30.10
Night Sleep Time: 52.50Nap Time: 7.00Total Sleep Time: 59.50
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