Breaking the Wall

January 18, 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: 188.26 Year: 188.26
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: 1359.62
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted in the morning. Did 10.04 in 1:11:43. The temperature varied from -8F to -4F during the run. Wore anywhere from two to three layers of clothing, including gloves and socks. That was perfect - very comfortable, but not too much. Special emphasis on on the extremities and the crotch. Years of running through Russian winters have helped.

The entire time we discussed Ryan Hall's 59:43 in the half. I want him to run 2:03 marathon to prove the pundits wrong. I love proving the pundits wrong or see them proving wrong. One of my favorite scriptus is 2 Nephi:9:28-29 :

O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.

But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.

I think the "pundits" start making wrong predictions when they are out of tune with the Spirit of God and start placing their own wisdom above it. I think the prediction of 2:04 limit for the marahton world record fundamentally underestimates our potential, and I am looking forward to watching it proven wrong by somebody who has the talent and obeys the laws of breaking 2:04.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Dustin Ence on Tue, Jan 16, 2007 at 10:34:10

Sasha I like some of the new features on the blog, it is improving all the time. You asked me the other day what I measured on the half marathon. I measured the Painter's Half to be 12.95. I think Dave Holt had a similar distance. I think it was a little long last year and probably a little short this year. It was a different course this year from last year, but still included much of the bike path.

From Mike on Tue, Jan 16, 2007 at 13:16:56

I had the good luck to see Ryan Hall at the 10 mile mark on his record run. He was running angry fast. The conditions were not great for running a fast half. He could have run 20-40 seconds faster on a point to point dry course with pacers. Remember, this was a national championship race. There were not any pacers like during Geb's run last year.

From Kory Wheatley on Tue, Jan 16, 2007 at 16:45:41

Sasha, what do you wear on your face in such cold weather? I use a breathable thermal ski mask.

What type of gloves do you use? My hands seem to be the only part that get cold when I run in -2 degree weather.

From Kory Wheatley on Tue, Jan 16, 2007 at 16:46:46

Sasha, what do you wear on your face in such cold weather? I use a breathable thermal ski mask.

What type of gloves do you use? My hands seem to be the only part that get cold when I run in -2 degree weather.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Jan 17, 2007 at 00:17:11


I put on a special hat that covers most of your face. Makes me look like I am about to rob a bank. For gloves, I use the cheapest kind, but make sure to wear two on each hand.

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