Breaking the Wall

September 18, 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

Day of rest. Went to church.  The talks in the Sacrament meeting were on prayer. In Sunday school the lesson was on creation. Because it was fifth Sunday we had a combined meeting of priesthood and relief society. The subject was prayer and fasting.

My mother has sent me some family history information, so I was studying my family tree. As I looked at it I realized that most branches have died out. Russia has had some turbulent times in the 20th century - two regular wars with major action on its territory, a civil war, Stalin's purges. The blockade of Leningrad alone had a death toll of September 11th on a daily basis in a city that had the population about 10% the size of New York. It lasted 900 days. However, what caused the most devastating effect on my family tree was not the violent calamity. The destruction came from people either not getting married at all, or marrying and having no more than two children who in turn did not feel the importance of having children.

I call that "ideological genocide". Instead of killing people with weapons you simply convince them that it is not worth the sacrifice to have children. There is no drama, no outrage, no revulsion. It happens slowly, but surely, and the damage is much more severe. I remembered a quote from the Proclamation on The Family: "we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets

Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50
From TylerS on Tue, Feb 02, 2010 at 17:41:02 from

Sasha I am reading a book called "The Train to Petrovek" It is about a U.S. spy that was sent to Russia to capture a guy by the name of Kokosha? He and 4 others were involved in stealing money from the US government while building the US embassy. He had quite the experience there and nearly got killed doing so. He is from Utah and grew up in Bear River, Ut. He talks a lot about Russia, and how tough life there can be. He even talked about a young boy Named Sasha that helped him get into a McDonalds there, because the line was so long. I thought of you but I am sure that it wasn't you. It is a great book and I am really enjoying reading about Russia. If you want to borrow it I would love to lend it to you. He is also LDS and actually met the first missionaries while in Russia.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Feb 02, 2010 at 17:51:19 from

Tyler - I assume you meant "The Train To Potevka". I have read the book. Sasha in the book is not me, but I do know the author quite well. He was a councilor in my branch presidency and worked at a business center in a hotel as a cover up. Everybody, of course, knew him as a US businessman. Thinking back, I do recall that his occasional "attempts" at Russian sounded a whole lot better than what you would expect from an average American businessman.

From Ashbaker on Tue, Feb 02, 2010 at 20:46:54 from

Yes, Sasha I agree somewhat with what you are saying. However with the overall attack on middle class America in the form of higher taxes, dollar devaluation, stagnant wages, and job exportation to other countries, raising a family isn't what it used to be! Example; My father was the sole wage earner for most years while I was growing up. That just isn't possible anymore in most cases. My wife and I both work long hours to support our small family and we barely get by nowdays. I constantly worry whether or not we will have enough to retire on.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Feb 02, 2010 at 22:27:07 from


I completely agree. The economy has changed. With better technology you should expect it to become easier to feed a family. But that is only true if the improvements in technology are not being negated by a reduction in common sense.

So with the above perspective, the "ideological genocide" over a period of a century is a whole lot more dangerous than any natural or man-made violent calamity we have seen so far. If our government was smart, it would focus on supporting the family ahead of any other priority.

Another way to look at it. Compare the level of technology to your position on the freeway (mile marker), how hard people work to your velocity, and the strength of the family structure to your acceleration. You could be in a good position and moving forward at a good speed, but if your acceleration is negative, sooner or later you will start going backwards, and your rate of digression will be hopelessly increasing.

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):