Breaking the Wall

July 15, 2020

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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: 51.55 Year: 2011.51
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: 881.43
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Had two interesting dreams. In the first one, Google managed to put together a very strong team that beat our team by 10 minutes in Del Sol. I woke up before finding out our finish time, then decided to go back to sleep to find out, but then as I woke up more realized that the next dream would not have that information. The next dream was very different indeed. I was running on the Provo River Trail and saw a tiger. Climbed on a tree, tried to call 911. The cellphone was not working. Finally got through, but the operator was not very helpful. Then some people came and said there was no tiger. Others said there was. I began to wonder who was right, and woke up. There was no tiger indeed.

Cold morning. Ran 5 miles with Sarah around the block in 52:34. Then decided to chase down the 8:00 guy for a challenge. I was 12:34 behind him, but I had 10.1 miles to close the gap. Would not be a challenge on a normal day, but with the snow and ice it was interesting. However, the cold temperature in combination with the abundance of asphalt patches made the task reasonably possible. I decided the 8:00 guy had a name - Ded Moroz, or Granpa Frost, the Russian version of Santa Claus. Half way through the last 10.1 of the run Ded Moroz started getting concerned, because I had closed half of the gap. However, it was getting warmer, and the roads were getting slicker, so he had that to his advantage, and was hoping he'd be able to hold me off. With a mile to go he saw me coming, and knew he was doomed unless he made me trip on ice. He tried, but I was smart enough to slow down under the bridges, and then quickly accelerate on the dry spots. Finished in 1:59:57, beat Ded Moroz by 51 seconds, 1:07:23 for the last 10.1, 6:40.3 avg, 7:56.62 avg for 15.1.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 17:34, first 1.5 Jenny was with us (13:28),  1 with Julia in 11:35, then 2 alone in 14:57. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.14Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.14
From Aaron on Thu, Jan 31, 2008 at 17:53:46

Interesting: "Dede" is Turkish for 'grandpa.' "Ded" must be a loan word.

From Benn on Thu, Jan 31, 2008 at 19:38:27

I've just been wondering, Sasha. I love the stories, but just how DO you do all those calculations while dodging the ice and snow? You are definitely a MACHINE!

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jan 31, 2008 at 23:10:39


I find those calculations rather simple to do. In fact, the first time I saw a timing chart with splits I wondered why anybody in his right mind would every want to buy one. I run with a $10 watch from Walmart, never press the split button (not that it would be any use anyway on that watch) and the calculations just happen in my head whether I want it or not.

From Jon on Thu, Jan 31, 2008 at 23:17:13

Sasha- I don't suggest going to San Francisco zoo anytime soon.

Benn- Sasha is a lot better at doing math/splits in his head than almost anyone you will ever meet. Not joking.

From JohnA on Thu, Jan 31, 2008 at 23:18:11

That is a awsome story . . . the 8:00 guy. I like that idea. I will have to try it sometime.

From steve ashbaker on Fri, Feb 01, 2008 at 00:01:31

I don't suggest that you ever take Ambien either.

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