Breaking the Wall

January 26, 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: 266.81 Year: 266.81
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: 1438.17
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2019-06-29 07:38:35
Workout Totals: Distance16.000Time1:56:11.10Pace7:15.69
Total of 16. Paced Julia through 1.25 down the canyon in 8:14, then ran the same 1.25 with Benjamin and Joseph in 6:39, then Benjamin pulled me through 3 miles down the canyon in 16:26.9.

Joseph redeemed himself from the last 2 DNFs in the same workout. His attitude was different. Before the start of the interval he asked if we could say a prayer, and he prayed for the strength to do his best. During the interval he struggled, but was able to focus on what mattered and keep the pace.

I was also happy with my interval. Benjamin pulled me through the first mile in 5:27, which did not feel easy. The second mile was 5:30, and it felt hard. I was not sure if I had another 5:30 in me, but I found it thanks to the last 0.25 in 79. Again I prayed during the last mile that I would have the adrenaline to hold the pace, and I was able to find it.

I think I am learning how to ask the for right thing when running. You potentially could ask for a lot of things - e.g. to be able to run the next mile under 1 minute. The Lord does have the power to give you that speed, but in His wisdom does not give it. Why not? Perhaps because it would defeat the purpose of running as a form of spiritual development. It is supposed to be hard. You are supposed to reach deep into your spiritual pockets to find even minor physical improvements. That is why we run. That is why we value being able to run fast. So you cannot ask for something that takes you out of those bounds. To compare this to Nephi's experience, you cannot ask the Lord to build the ship for you, but you can ask where to go to find the ore so that you can make the tools.

It appears from my experience that asking for the adrenaline when I am at my limit falls within the allowed bounds. Not exactly sure why. Perhaps because once it comes, I still have to have the faith to use it. Perhaps also because I have paid the price to know what I need out of my body that is in relatively close reach - though I have tried to get it out in the past unsuccessfully on many occasions.

In any case, this was my fastest time on this course in more than 2 years.

Some of the kids ran in the 1500 at the Orem High meet. It was hot, they all felt sluggish, so the times were slow:

curl -s | pdftotext -layout - - | egrep Pachev\|Gow
2 # 35 Gow, Bonnie 13 Fast Running Blog 5:41.91
1 # 41 Pachev, Matthew 7 Fast Running Blog 6:20.07
1 # 42 Pachev, Stephen 9 Fast Running Blog 6:07.07
1 # 43 Pachev, William 11 Fast Running Blog 5:33.77
1 # 39 Pachev, Jacob 13 Fast Running Blog 5:00.94
Leg 1:Distance0.480Time4:12.80Pace8:46.67
Warm-up with Julia, Joseph, and Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance1.250Time8:14.90Pace6:35.92
Paced Julia in 1.25 down the canyon.
Leg 3:Distance1.250Time10:09.50Pace8:07.60
Jogged back with Joseph and Benjamin.
Leg 4:Distance1.250Time6:39.30Pace5:19.44
1.25 down the canyon with Joseph.
Leg 5:Distance1.750Time14:59.90Pace8:34.23
Jogged back with Benjamin with a bathroom detour.
Leg 6:Distance3.000Time16:26.90Pace5:28.97
3 mile tempo down the canyon with Benjamin.
Leg 7:Distance3.020Time23:31.90Pace7:47.52
Back to the car with Benjamin.
Leg 8:Distance4.000Time31:55.90Pace7:58.98
With Jacob, William and Bonnie - part with Stephen. Pushed Leigha in the stroller.

Nike Double Stroller Miles: 4.00Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 16.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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