Breaking the Wall

December 01, 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. Started with Jeff and Tyler. Derek was not there for some reason. Tyler had to go to work, so he did not go very far before he turned around. Ran 6 very easy with Jeff. We finished almost 3 minutes behind the 8:00 mile guy. Then ran 6 more alone.

Decided to do a shakeout tempo. Due to my course layout, 3.125 turned out to be a convenient distance. Ran it on the trail as usual. 1.5 out, 1.65 back. Decided to go by feel setting goals as I went along.

Had a hard time getting into a rhythm. First 200 in 44. Then eventually started hitting 83 quarters. 5:35 at the mile. HR at 152. Lost steam, next quarter in 84, and then 85 with a 180. Accelerated after 180, but it was only good enough for another 85. However, got my payback in the next quarter - 82. HR got up to 158. After that I was hitting 82-83 quarters like a clock, but for the life of me could not go any faster. Second mile was 5:36, then 5:30, and 41 for the last 200. I tried to pick it up and bring HR to over 160, but for the life of me could not do it. 16:41 at 3 miles, 17:22 for 3.125, which means I hit the 5 K in 17:16. That is a PR for Five Fingers.

Jogged some more, finished 12 miles in 1:32:07. Amazing how fast the 8:00 mile guy comes to you when you are going 5:30 :-)

Ran another mile with Julia in 9:45.

P.M-1. We bought a van from Canyon Motors in Provo (610 W Center). They specialize in used natural gas vehicles - just perfect for us. We never buy cars on credit, which at least for now means we never buy anything anywhere close to a new car. And we wanted to help alleviate the US demand for foreign oil while saving a bit on gas as well. It is 1996 Dodge Ram B2500 CNG. 72 K miles. Seats 15 passengers. $8402.96 including the sales tax, registration, and other fees. $3K alternative fuel vehicle tax credit. 14-18 mpg at $0.86 a gallon. Right now it is more than twice as cheap to drive as Zhu (our 93 Ford Escort Wagon). And the best thing - I stuck my nose right next to the exhaust pipe while the engine was running, and could smell nothing.

The official name of the new van is FRV - The Fast Running Van.

One drawback is that now we would have to plan our fuel stops thoroughly while traveling. But there are quite a few natural gas stations all over the state. Flying J in Springville, there one in Orem around exit 272, a couple in Salt Lake, one in Ogden, and one even in Logan. Going south, Fillmore, and St. George. We will still keep VanGoGo - 4-wheel drive, spare vehicle in case FRV breaks down, and for trips in remote areas where natural gas may be unavailable. Also for short trips when we do not feel like parking FRV in a tight space, and for Van 2 in relays.

Being a used car, FRV still needed some pre-sale fixing, and Sarah did not want to wait for me to finish the paperwork, so I did the paperwork and ran home - 0.7 miles. We should be getting the van today.

P.M-2 : 0.3 running errands, 0.5 with Benjamin in 4:21, 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 12:38, total time for 2 miles was 16:59. Had fun running away from dogs. There were 3 dog incidents in the last half mile that resulted in accelerations. I was impressed with Jenny's top end speed. Kenyan kids run away from hyenas, ours have to settle for dogs.

Five Fingers - 1091.67 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From ryan on Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 01:35:16

Sasha, there is a natural gas filling station in Cedar City also. it is at the gas station on main street next to the CAL Ranch store.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 12:50:48

Thanks - good to know.

From paul on Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 13:22:46

Excellent buy on the van.

From Mike Warren on Sat, Aug 30, 2008 at 23:29:23

The station in Cedar, is the K.B. Express. My uncle owns that station. In St. George, the shell station on the Blvd has it. I have several friends that run on Natural and Propane. I have a really good friend, that works for Questar. The natural is very inexpensive as of now. The only problem is, Questar is rumored to be considering, the sale of all there fueling stations, to an independent contractor. This would substantially increase the price. Sasha, if you go on a web site called It lists prices for natural gas, all over the country. Most locations are in the mid $2.00 range. Still, cheaper than gasoline, but you will loose some mileage and alot of range. Good luck with the new purchase.

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