Breaking the Wall

July 19, 2019

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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: 110.88 Year: 2082.97
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs Lifetime Miles: 2133.34
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 914.70
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2014-01-21 07:56:45
Workout Totals
Distance Time Pace
12.000 1:34:15.30 7:51.27
Total of 12. Benjamin did 10, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Joseph 4, Jacob 2, William 1. Benjamin and I did a 3 mile tempo down the Provo Canyon, details below.
Leg 1
Distance Time Pace Comment
4 34:53.40. 8:43.35 With Joseph. Benjamin ran 2 with Jacob in the meantime.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 4.000 34:53.40 8:43.35  
Leg 2
Distance Time Pace Comment
3.75 32:27.50. 8:39.33 Since both Benjamin and I would have been out of miles for the day if we ran to the start of the tempo from the house, we drove out to the 1.5 mile mark. From there we ran to Nunn's Park for a warm-up.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 3.750 32:27.50 8:39.33  
Leg 3
Distance Time Pace Comment
3 16:01.50. 5:20.50 Benjamin's assignment was to pace me through the 3 miles at 5:20 but if I could not do it, run whatever pace I could. This was to give him a break. I figured that if I gave him a hard target of 5:20 pace with the permission to drop me, he would run something like 15:40-15:45 and that may end up being too hard at this point. I think the choice of pacing was good - he still had to work to run 16:01, but I could tell he was edging to go faster - I had to slow him down several times because I was reaching my limit. With the cold weather and hands in gloves I did not dare use the split button. The first mile, which has more downhill was 5:15. Then Benjamin gave me a break and ran 5:25. He tried to pick it up right after 1.5, but I would not let him. I did let him hit a 78 quarter immediately after the first mile, and that thoroughly knocked me out. But I survived and managed 5:21 for the last mile. This is an improvement for me - actually quite decent for the cold weather. I am feeling a change that might be age related - in the past when I approached my limit and the pace increased it would hurt and I would have at least half a mile in the extreme pain zone before I had to slow down. Now I am running and it feels almost easy, but when the pace increases I have nothing even for 200 meters.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 3.000 16:01.50 5:20.50  
Leg 4
Distance Time Pace Comment
1.25 10:52.90. 8:42.32 Cool-down.
Split# Distance Time Pace Comment
1 1.250 10:52.90 8:42.32  

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00
From notoldjustolder on Thu, Jan 23, 2014 at 11:23:26 from

Sasha, I know how you feel. At least its not "hot flashes". Plain and simple, it is "TMB" diagnosed, and there is nothing we can do about it in this life. I got it too and have the birth certificate as proof. I still feel 18 most of the time, just not when I try to run fast. Age gracefully:)

"Too Many Birthdays"

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jan 23, 2014 at 13:59:34 from

Ryan - I actually do not mind being older, and experiencing signs of age, in a way I enjoy it. Having the children around that are on top of things compensates plentifully for the initially small, and eventually greater loss of speed. When I was younger I never thought it would compensate so perfectly and in such a fulfilling way. What a pleasant surprise! So from this, some advice to the younger generation - have the faith to have the children, adopt if they are not coming naturally. Do what it takes to teach them the value of discipline and hard work. Teach them to know the Lord Jesus Christ and follow His example. You will get old some day, and if all you've got is your own running, as you watch it disintegrate, first slowly and then much faster, you will not be happy. You can try to find joy in your professional non-running success, but it can only go so far. But the best of your own running or professional life will dim in comparison with the joy of a parent, and you will not miss this slowdown at all.

From Rob Murphy on Thu, Jan 23, 2014 at 14:05:27 from

I hear you Sasha. I get much more satisfaction out of the success of the runners I coach than I do out of my own.

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