Breaking the Wall

June 20, 2021

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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: 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

Sarah found some cream for my itching shoulders, and I was able to take a good nap in the afternoon yesterday, and go into deep sleep last night. Got up this morning and ran easy on the foothills near my house with Eric and George. Had a forced tempo pick up to catch them after a bathroom stop. Then ran a mile with ankle weights, and a marathon pace tempo on the Slate Canyon Loop (2.11) in 12:26. Climbed the hill section at 6:45 pace, and that felt relaxed. I kept it relaxed on purpose, not worrying too much about the pace, only measuring it to see what I get for the effort. On the flat/rolling parts ran 5:44 pace. In the late morning ran with Benjamin and Jennifer. Then in the afternoon went to TOSH in Murray to participate in the Lower Back Pain study. Ran on a magic treadmill at different speeds. Had special markers attached to me all over my body, and cameras and the computer watching their every move like a hawk. Also the magic treadmill measures the ground reaction forces. They will mail me a CD with all of the measurements afterwards. They are still looking for subjects. If you are interested, contact Joe Seay at lbprunningstudy at (make sure to put the real at sign here you see in e-mails, spammers go a way), or call 801.314.4037. One of the research workers was actually Jed's cousin. Small world. They had fun when I asked them to crank up the treadmill to 5:00 pace. Their normal protocol goes to 8.5 mph (about 7:03 pace), but I wanted to get a measurement at a high speed. They said high speed running gives them some interesting results to study. I told them I'd help them recruit people that can give them a good sample at that pace. We have a few with the blogs here.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Maria on Fri, May 12, 2006 at 20:45:23

Sasha, hope your sunburn is getting better! I can SO relate to that - being red headed (=extremely fair skinned!) is a curse for life. I can't count how many times I got severely sunburned in my childhood and teenage years, before sunscreens were available! All it takes for me is 15-20min. in direct sun. Every time I go to a sunny place, all I think about is staying in the shade, cover myself, or putting sunscreen on (but even that doesn't work too well, since I'm allergic to most of them).

From Brent on Sat, May 13, 2006 at 08:13:53

Sasha, how much weight on each ankle for the ankle weights? Are they velcro wrap around type? Sylvia often wears ankle weights during the day, not running, and feels they have helped.

B of BS Rools out.

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, May 15, 2006 at 12:41:16

Brent - 2.5 pounds, velcro. Wearing the weights during the day may be a good idea for me too.

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