Breaking the Wall

January 25, 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 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: 151.02 Year: 151.02
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1576.28
Neon Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1353.22
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Tomorrow is going to be a very busy, so I decided to do my long run today. Ran the first 10.1 with Jeff. At first, the roads were so slick that we were trailing boltushkas - 43:37 for the first 5.05. I had never run 20 miles at the average pace of slower than 8:00, and thought today would be the day. On the way back at first things did not look so good, and then we ran a mile in 7:46. I could not believe it, double checked my calculations, yes, indeed it was 7:46! Something happened to the snow and we got more traction. We were able to run 2 more miles under 7:30 and finished 10.1 in 1:22:53.

Dropped Jeff off, ran the second half alone . Now I was excited about catching Ded Moroz, the 8:00 guy. At first things looked great - closed 42 seconds in the first 2 miles, thought I'd get him easily. But then it started snowing, and the trail got very slick again. So for the next two miles I lost ground. I thought perhaps today Ded Moroz would win. But then I got out on a good stretch of road where the snow composition was just right and gave much better traction. I took advantage of the opportunity and ran a 6:12 mile. The rest of the way was decent - it kept snowing, and the snow started covering the ice well enough to be able to run 7:30-7:50 pace. I ended up with 2:39:46 for 20.2, 7:54.55 avg.

P.M. 1.5 with Jenny in 13:28, 2 miles with Benjamin in  17:12, and 1 with Julia in 11:15.

Night Sleep Time: 0.13Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.13
From George on Sat, Feb 02, 2008 at 21:42:37

Sasha - are your paces a function of the weather right now? Or are you backing it off to eights specifically?

From steve ashbaker on Sun, Feb 03, 2008 at 10:37:24

So, Cal's name on the blog is Ded Moroz?

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Feb 04, 2008 at 14:58:01


The reason and the whole humor of the situation of consistently ending up behind the 8:00 guy and having the need to chase him comes from the road conditions. On a good road, my slowest relaxing pace once I warm up is around 7:30. I never allow the pace of my easy runs to be controlled by the clock to the degree that I would run unnaturally fast or slow based on a specific time goal. I do, however, watch my splits, figure out how fast my body wants to go on any particular day, and then just for fun pick some imaginary "guy" I am going to try to chase down about 4-5 miles into the run. When the roads are good, it is often the 7:00 guy. But lately it's been the 8:00. This is particularly entertaining. On a good road, it is very scientific. I just run the pace I want to, do the math, calculate exactly where I would have to pick up to 5:40 to catch the imaginary guy, coast until it is time to go, then pick it up, blow by him at the end, and leave him in the dust. When there is snow on the road, you never know when you will have to slow down to 9:00 pace. So you do strides/fartlek of sorts - fast on dry ground, rest/recover on ice. And there is some drama to it, you never know what is going to happen.

From George on Mon, Feb 04, 2008 at 21:22:02

Ah! Now I get it.

This is a dangerous game I play on the treadmill as well. On the treadmill it is maybe all the more nerve wracking because you know nearly exactly where you are (to the hundreth) and can calculate the pace to keep such and such pace for the entire run. I personally need to be careful in this game because it can make easy days a bit less than easy. 75 minute ten milers turn into 70 minute ten milers that turn into 65 minute ten milers. Almost too much data for me.

Fun game though.

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Feb 04, 2008 at 22:55:32


For me, being on the Provo River Trail provides as much info as being on a treadmill. Even when there is snow on the ground, I know the landmarks. Without snow, there is a mark on the road every 100 meters.

The key to winning this game is to run slow enough in the first 4 miles to make it impossible, or at least very unattractive to catch the really fast guys. And you should always go for some easy target, and real him in slowly so you would not be tempted to catch a faster guy.

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
New Kids on the Blog
(need a welcome):
Lone Faithfuls
(need a comment):