Breaking the Wall

September 19, 2019

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: 90.98 Year: 2713.79
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: 22.05
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

The Big Workout in the morning. Ran with Ted, Jeff, and Ted's son James. Started slow as usual, then gradually warmed up. James turned around at 3 miles. We gradually picked it up to about 7:00 pace. Hit the turnaround point (5.02) in 38:32. Started the tempo run at the 2.5 turnaround of the standard 5 mile tempo (about 6.2 into the run, 46:38 time wise). The plan was to go 7.5 and hold 5:40 pace, faster if possible, slower if not feeling good.

Splits: 5:38 - 5:37 (11:15) - turnaround (2.5) in 14:05 (2:50) - 5:42 (16:57, 2:52) - 5:33 (22:30, dropped Jeff off at 4) - 5:37 (28:07, 2.5 in 14:02) - 5:37 ( 33:44, Jeff rejoined for the last 2 miles) - 5:36 (39:20) - last 0.5 in 2:42, total time 42:02, last 2.5 in 13:55, last 5 in 27:57, last 2 miles in 11:03, last mile in 5:30, last quarter in 1:18, and last 200 in 37. Incidentally, the last 10 K was 34:49 (from calculations, there was no mark), which is the fastest non-downhill 10 K I've run this year so far anywhere, in training or a race.

The pace felt easy at first, and then become a bit harder later on, after about 1.5. Then it did not become any harder. Having Jeff around certainly helped. I particularly enjoyed his company on the last 200 meters, if one can use the term enjoyable in reference to running anaerobically at the end of a 7.5 mile tempo and with over 13.5 miles on the odometer already. But it felt so good to just finally be able to tuck behind him and kind of coast. Before that, we ran mostly side by side.

Finished the 15.04 with the total time of 1:39:48.

Overall, the workout shows that I am recovering from the marathon through/in spite of the high mileage. On Thursday I did the 5 mile tempo only 3 seconds faster than the last 5 miles of this run, and that was with only a 2.5 warm up. On this run I was also alone for 1.5 miles, and even when running with Jeff, because the pace is hard on him as well, I cannot tuck in behind him for too long when I need a break. With Nick I get more drafting.

In the evening, started with 1.25 in 9:50 pushing a stroller with Jacob, Joseph, and some misc items for playing at the park, and Benjamin and Jenny alongside on their bikes. Got to the park, a little bit of badminton with Sarah, then took Julia for 0.5 in 5:22. Then took Benjamin and Jenny. We ran the first mile in 8:33, dropped Jenny off, then Benjamin went for a chase of the 8:00 guy. He got him - 7:22 last mile, 15:55 for two miles. On the way back, ran 1.25 with the stroller loaded the same way, and Benjamin and Jenny alongside on their bikes. Total of 5 miles with Benjamin's help averaging sub-8:00.

Afterwards, was very hungry, eating everything in sight for a while.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From bc on Wed, Aug 08, 2007 at 00:59:46

sasha Could we add an am and Pm box for the template.


From ArmyRunner on Wed, Aug 08, 2007 at 09:22:14

Good idea.

From ArmyRunner on Wed, Aug 08, 2007 at 09:29:00

Also it would only seem fair to add a Top Female Runners and a Female Mileage data bar as well. I like these additions but it does not seem that it includes the top female runners on the blog. If you really wanted to be all inclusive I guess since there are more and more younger runners on the blog you could add under 18 years old data tabs as well. I know James would like that.

From Lybi on Wed, Aug 08, 2007 at 15:01:22

Thanks for the advice to James about pacing me, Sasha. You have many good ideas! I shouldn't like to miss out on a benefit prescribed by cockroaches. : )

Out of curiosity, are you still practicing piano every day?

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Aug 08, 2007 at 16:03:28

Bill - will put this on the TODO list. Ted - right now I do not think we even have 10 female runners that have run a marathon. I will make a list when have at least 10 women that are regular bloggers and have run a marathon. With younger runners, it is hard to compare them due to the difference in age. But I will make a list once we have enough runners for each age group. Same for masters, etc.

Lybi - I am still practicing the piano, not a lot at once, 5-10 minutes, but have not missed a day for the last couple of months. I am currently working on Come, Come, Ye Saints. I did have a dream last night about cockroaches, lots of them.

From Maria on Wed, Aug 08, 2007 at 17:05:22

Sasha, was your dream in any way connected to your Moscow apartment? That's my usual association when cockroaches are mentioned :).

From Lybi on Wed, Aug 08, 2007 at 17:35:20

Bravo Sasha! I'm proud.

As for the cockroach dream, anyone with an imagination can see that it is symbolic of all these runners getting the teamwork advantage from you and all your hard work.

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
Lone Faithfuls
(need a comment):