Breaking the Wall

August 06, 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: 16.00 Year: 2314.91
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: 1185.83
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran 15 in 1:57:56. First 8 with Brad and Josse. Did 0.25 in 1:27 on a post-VPB chase. The right Croc now officially has a hole. About 2mm wide. Still in runnable condition, though.

Crocs - 468.2 miles.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 10:56, 1.5 with Jenny in 13:16, 2 with Benjamin in 15:23, 0.7 alone in 4:49, and also ran to the ESL class at the church and back because it was cold. Saw a small leaf-burning fire on the other side of the Provo River that apparently got out of control. They had to call the firefighters.

Crocs - 473.65 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 9.50
From Jon on Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 14:48:05

They still lasted almost 500 miles. Did you wear them for anything other than running?

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 14:53:54

Yes, I used them as regular shoes as well.

From Jon on Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 14:58:50

So they probably lasted more than 500 miles- not too shaby.

From josse on Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 15:13:45

After looking at them today I really thought they would make it 500 miles without a hole. Maybe it was all that bounding and sprinting.

From wheakory on Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 17:44:17

Sasha what have you noticed as far as performance with Crocs vs racing flats.

What type of effort could you have performance wise in Crocs if you were to run a marathon?

My concern would be the support they would have on a lot of turning in a course, but maybe there fine. I think you should be a new pair and run them in SLC.

From Karl on Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 23:52:40

I know I need to keep up the mileage, but I got a bad cold and I didn't want this year to end up like last year so I've got to work back into it. Have any advice on how to do that safely?

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Apr 16, 2008 at 15:38:05

Karl - when increasing the mileage you have to be very careful in order to avoid injury/overtraining. You must run slow. Nothing is too slow. Running with girls at 8:30 pace is not too slow. Running 6:30 pace is too fast. 7:30 is good, 7:40 better. You must get enough sleep and eat right. Track speedwork greatly interferes with your ability to safely and productively increase your mileage. You may not have a lot of choice in this area being on a high school team - high school coaches are addicted to speedwork. Do what you can to minimize the damage. Most high school runners will slack everywhere else except a track workout. That is backwards. They would do a lot better if they slacked in the track workout, and saved the effort for extending their easy runs, not skipping them to begin with, eating right, and getting to bed on time.

You should up your mileage to about 60 a week, and hold it there for 6 months. Do not cut back when racing unless it is something very very important. After that you might be ready to go up to 70-80 if 60 does not make you feel tired. If it does, go through the checklist of training mistakes - is it really a consistent 60, or is sometimes 40, or even worse, 20, are the runs easy enough, do you sleep enough, do you get to bed early enough, do you eat right, are you pushing yourself too hard in the track workouts?

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