Breaking the Wall

December 03, 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: 304.65 Year: 3606.17
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: 806.96
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Another uneventful 15.3 in 1:59:55. Nobody fell down. 16 degrees, lots of ice, but enough traction to average sub-8:00. Had our Sasha and Ted uneventful run talk show. After discussing upcoming Dubai and the possibility of Haile being beat by a pacer, we talked about Haile's business success, how much good you can do even with a little bit of money, the Kiva program that allows ordinary folks to provide small business loans to aspiring entrepreneurs in developing countries, the waste of the welfare program that fails to prevent people on welfare from buying alcohol and tobacco, then the discussion turned to the history of the Soviet Union, politics in Russia, and the grip of the Russian mafia on the Russian livelihood today. In reference to Revelations in the New Testament I mentioned the whore that sat upon many waters, and from then on we discussed the current American politics and Hillary Clinton in particular. Dropped Ted off at 13.3, and added another 2 miles by myself.

A.M2  2.1 to the BYU indoor track, then 1 mile warm-up with Benjamin, then 1 mile time trial. With the help of shorts and t-shirt, as well as Winston Churchill Benjamin did much better today. 6:32.2 with the splits (by 0.2) of  1:17 - 1:19 - 1:19 - 1:20 , and 1:17 for the kick. New mile PR. Benjamin's progression in the table below:

 Age1 Mile
5 K
 7.9 7:0923:18

His current 5 K PR is relatively weak, he was not feeling quite 100% when he set it, and it was done on a slow course. A month prior to that he ran 13:57 flat 2 miler closing it with a 6:43 mile, which until now was his 1 mile PR. I imagine also based on his Thanksgiving 800 in 3:00.6 that he really has about a 6:20 mile in him if he was racing kids outside. The indoor dust confuses him, and he starts getting a false sense of fatigue. But his 7:09 last year was also done on the indoor track with comparable dust/lack of kid competition challenge. So it would be fair to say that his true mile speed improved by 37 seconds in a year.

Ran another 0.7 to Computune this time for a tour for the kids. Learned some things about a car shop. Later took the kids to the Love To Learn store in Salem to get their prizes. Benjamin got a solar car kit for $18 for his new mile PR.

Did the magic hip stretches later in the afternoon.

Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
From James on Thu, Jan 10, 2008 at 14:48:18

Got a kick out of the whore/Hillary thing! I remember when Hawk Harper and a couple other runners had a competition to get the most miles a couple of years ago. The loser had to give $500 to the Hillary for President campaign. They were very motivated!

From josse on Thu, Jan 10, 2008 at 17:15:04

Hows the stretching treating you?

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jan 10, 2008 at 18:10:39

I noticed an improvement in hip flexibility today. The roads have been too icy to test if this translates into running improvements. I feel the most effective stretch is the first one that you've shown me that opens up the hips.

From josse on Thu, Jan 10, 2008 at 18:56:11

Yes that one is the one I like the best and has helped me the most but still do the others as well. Nest time I will show you some others as well, and make sure you are doing them right. Just let me know when you are ready for more.

From josse on Thu, Jan 10, 2008 at 19:03:04

Oh ya by the way, after eating at your house you guys totally inspired me to clean up my diet. I forgot how much I love the way bean make me feel. I use to eat them all the time only I like black beans. Any way thank you.

From Jon on Fri, Jan 11, 2008 at 16:18:16

I'm just curious- what did you decide is the chance of Haile getting beat by a pacer? Were you talking about a marathon?

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Jan 11, 2008 at 16:29:07

Very good chance. I do not believe Haile is the fastest marathoner in the world right now. The reason he is the one holding the world record is that others who are faster did not have enough reputation to be invited to Berlin and be pulled by pacers.

So it all depends on how the pacers are feeling, and whether their contract allows them to go all the way.

I think once race directors start paying people enough for hitting the first half in 1:01 and then hanging on, the world record will quickly progress into the 2:01-2:02 range. Otherwise when you get all the big guns together, they always run tactically. If they worked together, and each of them knew that he gets a decent cut for being part of the world record even if he is not the one who sets it, we would see much faster times.

From Mike B on Fri, Jan 11, 2008 at 20:00:18

Sasha, I have not update my log in sometime. I keep an excel spreadsheet, but have been swamped at work, sick kids, etc.

I seem to recall you mentioning having your running mechanics looked at. If I were you, video your running at various speeds and ask Tinman ( to look at your form. I am quite sure that he will provide some feedback. A recent post over there reminded me of you. See you!

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Jan 11, 2008 at 21:56:09

Mike - thanks, this is a good idea.

From josse on Fri, Jan 11, 2008 at 22:07:47

I have had myself filmed a couple of times and had form analysis done(Hawk used to bring this guy down form SLC once a year and we could pay to have hime look at us and give his advise). It helped bring my times down alot.

but something I have noticed with myself, as well as other runners I know that has done the same thing, is that you tend to fall back to your old stride when you are at the end of a race and are very tired. But I do think it is a good idea.

I have also thought about your stride differance and it could be that one side is stronger and had more push off than the other. You have probably all ready though about this but just thought I would mention it. I still think the hips being bound up does contribute.

From Benn on Fri, Jan 11, 2008 at 22:15:16

Sasha, how can I monitor my sleep time in conjunction with mileage like your blog? I think that is a useful feature because it can help shed light on certain high or low points in performance and why you feel the way you do.

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Jan 12, 2008 at 13:53:43


Go to User Options, check the Track Sleep checkbox, then hit Submit.

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