Breaking the Wall

January 19, 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: 188.26 Year: 188.26
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: 1359.62
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeff and Mary Ann. Daniel picked a bad day to not show up. He and his home teaching companion are coming over tonight. He'd better get his run done before then.

We ran 10.1 in 1:13:28. Did a fast 1 K in the middle. I wanted Jeff to run 3:05, but figured in order for that to happen I needed to tell him 3:10. We did the first quarter in 75 and that felt good. Then Jeff picked it up - 1:52 at 600. To make the matters worse, there were a couple of snow drifts in the last quarter and one of them had the nerve to cover the 800 mark. Going through the snow drifts I lost contact with Jeff, but he did not get too far away. Jeff got a high 3:03, I finished in 3:05.8. I was happy with that - it felt hard, but not too miserable, and the conditions were far from ideal - 18 F, lots of clothes, and the snow drifts. Probably worth a good 2:58 in shorts in 60 F on a clear road. Mary Ann was not supposed to run fast, but she did anyway - 3:28.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:57. 2 with Benjamin in 16:45. Jenny ran 1.5 in 12:54. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:49.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From Daniel on Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 15:21:37

Sorry I didn't make it this morning. Symphany was sick and up late last night, and I didn't get much sleep. I did get a run in a little later in the morning though.

From Darren232323 on Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 19:06:31

Hi Sasha! Thanks for the greeting on my blog page and the marathon advice. Sounds like the weather isn't too great where you're living as well if you're jumping through snow drifts on your run.

I'm planning on a April/May 1/2 marathon. Any advice on training for a 1:24:00 time?

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 12:36:34


Drop all speed and increase the mileage to 8 a day six days a week. Easy pace, do not force it. Probably no faster than 7:30 per mile. Err on the slow side. Do it for two weeks, if that feels good, make it 9, two more weeks, then make it 10. After two weeks of 10 if everything is good add a 3 mile tempo run at 6:00 pace.

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