Breaking the Wall

June 20, 2021

Recent EntriesHomeJoin Fast Running Blog Community!PredictorHealthy RecipesSasha Pachev's RacesFind BlogsMileage BoardTop Ten Excuses for Missing a RunTop Ten Training MistakesDiscussion ForumRace Reports Send A Private MessageWeek ViewMonth ViewYear View
15% off for Fast Running Blog members at St. George Running Center!


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: 154.81 Year: 1799.09
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Brown Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 2191.97
Brown Crocs 4 Lifetime Miles: 595.71
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Discovered that Clyde was in town from his blog. Called him and invited him to run with us. He was without wheels so I picked him up at his hotel. We started early and ran 6 miles before meeting Ted and Jeff. The trail was mostly clear with occasional snow/ice patches.

We started slow, 8:47 for the first mile. Then gradually sped up to 8:00. Half way through I realized we were not going to make it on time unless we sped up to 6:00 pace, so we did. Clyde was cold at first, then he got feisty, and hit a quarter in 1:23. That hurt. I missed the time on the next one, but it was probably just as fast. But it hurt less. On the last quarter before my house Clyde pushed the pace again, and we ran a quarter in 1:21 with three 90 degree turns, one on ice. That hurt as well.

We waited for Jeff then decided he was not going to make it and started without him. Clyde and Ted mostly chatted about wrestling, and I just listened. Which was just fine as the pace quickly progressed into the low 7:00 range. Even though I can race a marathon at 1:20 per mile faster than that on the same terrain, I do not enjoy conversations at 7:00 pace, I cannot maintain it without focus, and it is hard to focus on the pace and the conversation at the same time. Then about 2.5 miles away from my house I hit a VPB, and this gave Jeff a chance to catch up. Turned out he had a hard time clearing off his car windows.

Dropped Ted off 12 miles into the run at his 6 mile mark. Went for another 4 with Clyde and Jeff. Clyde needed to be back by 8:00. So we gradually picked up the pace to around 6:20 range. It took just as much effort at 7:00 earlier - both felt hard. Then I noticed we were on track to catch the 7:00 guy for the whole run. With 0.25 to go I announced that we needed to close 9 seconds. I did not realize that Clyde was bad at math. All we needed to do was continue at 6:20 pace. Clyde picked it up to 5:20 instead. Then with 100 to go he shifted gears again. We ended up running the last 100 in 18 seconds, which included a 90 degree turn on ice. Our last quarter was 1:18.5, and we beat the 7:00 guy by 17 seconds. Our time for 16 miles was 1:51:43.

P.M. 2 miles with Benjamin in 15:25, 1.5 with Jenny in 13:20, 1 with Julia to her friend's house via a scenic route in 11:01, 0.35 from the friend's house alone, back to the friends house later (0.25) to pick Julia up. 

Night Sleep Time: 6.75Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
From MichelleL on Fri, Feb 15, 2008 at 23:08:05

No need to knock Clyde because he is speedy! I actually get kind of slow in the brain when I am running--math gets harder for me, especially the faster I am going.

From Superfly on Sat, Feb 16, 2008 at 11:08:45

My math skills are basic at best. But when it's just over 10 degrees outside they may even be poor.

Good run Sasha. Thanks for picking me up and driving me around. See ya at Del Sol.

From Dustin on Sat, Feb 16, 2008 at 15:57:09

I think it was just a year or so ago that Clyde even started wearing a watch, before that his concept of time was fast, faster, fastest.

Add Your Comment.
  • Keep it family-safe. No vulgar or profane language. To discourage anonymous comments of cowardly nature, your IP address will be logged and posted next to your comment.
  • Do not respond to another person's comment out of context. If he made the original comment on another page/blog entry, go to that entry and respond there.
  • If all you want to do is contact the blogger and your comment is not connected with this entry and has no relevance to others, send a private message instead.
Only registered users with public blogs are allowed to post comments. Log in with your username and password or create an account and set up a blog.
Debt Reduction Calculator
Featured Announcements