Breaking the Wall

July 18, 2019

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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: 110.88 Year: 2082.97
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs Lifetime Miles: 2133.34
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 914.70
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Long run at 5:00 AM. Had to get it done early to make it to Benjamin's Regionals race. Ted joined me for the first 5 miles. His knee was still bothering him, so he went only 12. Decided to run 15 hard instead of 10 for a change. In all honesty I just wanted to have an excuse for running the tempo part slower. But it ended up being decent anyway.

First 5 in 35:15, 240 feet of rolling gain, mild occasional headwind. Then picked it up. Next 5 in 31:12, 310 feet of steady gain, steady mild headwind. Turned around. Next 5 in 28:50, 310 feet of steady drop, steady mild tailwind. The sun finally came up and I could see. Last 5 in 28:19, 240 feet of rolling drop, not sure about the wind, probably mild tail for the first 2 miles, then none. Held 5:40 along University, then slowed down to 5:48 in the tunnel maze. Gave myself a kick in the pants after DI bridge, got back into 5:40 rhythm, but just did not have the juice to go faster. Then on the last mile starting singing Bingo in my head, got excited, and kicked into 5:30 gear. Ran 5:30 on the last mile, felt like I could have held it for another mile or two in a pack. Total time 2:03:36, 6:10.8 avg, last 10 in 57:09, 5:42.9 avg, last 15 including the Provo Canyon climb in the dark in 1:28:21, 5:53.4 avg.

Benjamin ran 3 K 13:31.2 in the Regionals taking 25th in Bantams, 1st from Team Provo again. This is a new cross-country PR for the distance for him.

P.M. Got a nice nap. Then was short on time, so had to make it quick. Fairly quickly got into the rhythm, and found myself running sub-6:20 before I knew it. Decided I could still finish the run in time at a slower pace, but by then I was already rolling. So I slowed down to around 6:25. 5 miles in 32:29, avg. 6:29.8. Odd feeling at the end of the day. I feel like I had not trained at all. Jenny and Julia ran their usual distances with Sarah.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Jamie on Sun, Nov 18, 2007 at 09:58:52

Sasha, I'm thinking about running the 1/2 tomorrow (Monday) with you and Ted...if you don't mind me joining you again. What's the chance that you guys would be willing to do it a bit earlier? I believe Tom is thinking about coming up for it as well; I'm not sure about Michelle.

From Clay on Sun, Nov 18, 2007 at 11:46:48

Sasha, you are an animal. I can only imagine the shape some of you guys are in, I wish I could actually be in that kind of shape, it inspires me to work harder...

From Sasha Pachev on Sun, Nov 18, 2007 at 13:55:47

Jamie - we can go earlier. How early do you need it to be?

From Jamie on Sun, Nov 18, 2007 at 19:14:58

I am willing to go earlier, but anything later than 6am and I probably can't make it up to Provo for the run.

From Sasha Pachev on Sun, Nov 18, 2007 at 20:21:18

6:00 AM works fine for me and Ted.

From MichelleL on Sun, Nov 18, 2007 at 20:30:05

I will also be there at 6am.

From Sasha Pachev on Sun, Nov 18, 2007 at 22:02:01

Ok, we'll be expecting everybody at 6:00 AM then for our Monday Uneventful Half.

From Jamie on Sun, Nov 18, 2007 at 22:29:40

Thanks so much, see you tomorrow morning!

From Benn on Sun, Nov 18, 2007 at 22:32:47

Man I really need to try to get some running buddies up here in rural New York. It stinks running by oneself day in and day out. In the last 2 months I've done no more than 5 runs with more than just me, and 2 of those were races, the others with just my brother. I mean I guess I can't complain, because you get used to the silence, but sometimes I feel like I need the competition to push harder.

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