Breaking the Wall

December 05, 2020

Recent EntriesHomeJoin Fast Running Blog Community!PredictorHealthy RecipesSasha Pachev's RacesFind BlogsMileage BoardTop Ten Excuses for Missing a RunTop Ten Training MistakesDiscussion ForumRace Reports Send A Private MessageWeek ViewMonth ViewYear View
15% off for Fast Running Blog members at St. George Running Center!


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. Tempo run with Jeff. Jeff wanted to do something shorter and faster, and I was not opposed. So we decided to do 3 miles starting at Geneva road, 1.5 out, 1.5 back. The plan was to go 5:30 pace. We stuck to the plan through the first 0.5. Then I led a quarter in 1:20, and Jeff did his in 1:19. This gave us 5:24 at the mile. We were both feeling good so far. Then a devil got into me and I did the next two quarters in 1:17 and 1:18, which gave us 7:59 at 1.5. After that I realized I did not want to run my race today, and told Jeff I did not want to go that fast. He took us through the next quarter in 1:24, which felt great, expect it was too slow. I thought I'd recover from the earlier adventure, and now would want to pick it up, but I did not - next quarter in 1:23, 10:46 at 2 miles followed by a 1:24 up the mini-hill. Jeff had had it, and took the next quarter in 1:21. I took over and eased off to 1:24 without trying. I suppose that is what happens when you focus on not breathing too hard. Then Jeff put the hammer down and hit 1:18 on the last quarter. I reluctantly followed, very reluctantly, but at least I could do it. I ended up with 16:13.8 on my watch.

Ran a long cool down, part of it with Jeff, part with Derek Davis on his way to work. Total of 15.6 for the run.

Not sure what to think of this workout. It was definitely odd with 5:24.6 average, a mid-mile in 5:14, and a 5:21 mile pieced together of the 4 fastest quarters. Wanting to run 5:10 pace after the first mile is good. Slowing down to 5:36 pace to recover from it, and feeling the effects for so long is bad. I am wondering if I am ready to start racing a half at 5:10 pace in some ways, but some glue is lacking to make it happen. And if so, the following training might supply the glue - run 5:10 pace until I can't hold it without a heroic effort or at all. Stop, jog 200 meters. Try again. Repeat until I have 5 miles total in at 5:10 pace. Any thoughts?

Crocs - 298.51 miles.

P.M. Ran the Costco Relay with my kids. We start at our house, and each kid does his run as Sarah drops them off/picks them up on the way. First 1.06 with Julia in 11:30. Then 1.54 with Jenny in 13:03. Then Benjamin being full of energy ran 21:07 for 2.77 with 100 feet of elevation gain which is 7:38 average. This put my Crocs over 300 miles. Still no holes, but one place in the forefoot wore out to about maybe a half of the original width on both feet.

I have run a marathon with a holey shoe before (Moab 2005). The hole was not big at the start, and I thought the race would be all on asphalt, so I would be OK. Then we hit a dirt road around mile 21, and a rock made its way through it which expanded the hole. To make things worse, it started raining too. Then when I got to the finish, the chute was not set up. So I timed myself, and went to work with one other helper to set up the chute and the computers before the second place finisher would make it. My hands were too cold, and not moving very fast, so even though there was a 15 minute gap, we had to time the second finisher manually, as well as third, and forth. After that, everything was smooth.

Something interesting always happens at the Moab Marathon. In 2006 I had to crawl under a barbed wire to get to the finish because of getting on the wrong side of it in the last quarter mile. It was on April Fool's Day, but it was no April Fool's Day joke.

Crocs - 303.88 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 9.00
From Brent on Thu, Apr 03, 2008 at 20:14:16

Sasha, you will run brave and strong saturday, you are the leader of all out effort.

Stay Kool, B of BS Rools out

From adam on Thu, Apr 03, 2008 at 20:58:56

was this in the crocs? have you run 5:10 pace in the crocs before?

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Apr 03, 2008 at 22:07:49

Yes, this was in Crocs. And this was the fastest mile I've run in Crocs so far.

From adam on Thu, Apr 03, 2008 at 23:03:33

if it were me, I wouldn't base a new training idea off of what I felt running one mile on experimental shoes.

if you noticed this on a consistent basis, in normal conditions, then it might be cause to think something is missing...but for right now, you are just beginning to run in beach sandals- so you have to factor that in.

i wish i could even get one of those 5:10 miles in again, let alone in crocs.

From Paul on Fri, Apr 04, 2008 at 08:27:34


Why are you running in Crocs?

From Paul Petersen on Fri, Apr 04, 2008 at 08:51:09

Sasha - see my race entry for 8-25-07. I basically did an interval workout during the race, but ended up just a few seconds off my PR (with a tailwind). I found that just a minute of easier running was enough to recover. It would not surprise me if you had success with long intervals with short recoveries. However, I would keep the intervals at a controlled distance, rather than go until failure.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Apr 04, 2008 at 16:15:42

Paul - the purpose of running in Crocs is to practice barefoot-like running. Eventually I will probably transition to Virbam Five Fingers once St. George Running Center gets them in.

Add Your Comment.
  • Keep it family-safe. No vulgar or profane language. To discourage anonymous comments of cowardly nature, your IP address will be logged and posted next to your comment.
  • Do not respond to another person's comment out of context. If he made the original comment on another page/blog entry, go to that entry and respond there.
  • If all you want to do is contact the blogger and your comment is not connected with this entry and has no relevance to others, send a private message instead.
Only registered users with public blogs are allowed to post comments. Log in with your username and password or create an account and set up a blog.
Debt Reduction Calculator

Featured Announcements