Breaking the Wall

July 16, 2019

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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: 110.88 Year: 2082.97
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs Lifetime Miles: 2133.34
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 914.70
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Another morning of chasing Ded Moroz. We got some new snow. It was slick, but not too bad. First 2 miles were very slow (17:36), after that we were fairly consistently sub-8:00, and even low 7:00 in some really good places. Ran 10.1 with Jeff in 1:19:07, then added 5 more. Total time for 15.1 was 1:59:03.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:24, 1 with Julia in 11:08, 1.75 with Jenny in 17:14, another 0.35 alone in 2:42.

Night Sleep Time: 0.13Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.13
From Adam RW on Mon, Feb 04, 2008 at 17:15:34

Your streak amazes me. How many of the last 12-weeks have been over 120 miles??? I guess I could look myself, but I had to comment on it.

From wheakory on Tue, Feb 05, 2008 at 00:15:21

Sasha, The 120 weeks is this something new your trying, because I don't remember you running this much last your, but I could be wrong. Nice run again today.

From Lybi on Tue, Feb 05, 2008 at 15:45:27

Quite a machine to chase down Santa Claus in this weather! Great job on all your super mileage!

Ok Coach, got a question for you. I have 2 fun choices for a hard workout this Sat. I could do a 5K (real race) or a half marathon time trial (not a real race). Which should I do? I will do as you say as always. :)

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Feb 06, 2008 at 14:03:48

Adam - I've been doing 120s since late August with a couple of breaks to taper for the marathons + one week of recovery afterwards.

Kory - yes, this is something new. I figured out how to carbo-reload and sleep, and am feeling better at 120+ now than I used to at 90.

Lybi - I think a 5 K in a race after a 3 mile warm-up followed by a 3 mile cool-down is a good idea. Do not worry about your finishing time, just run hard and have fun.

Everybody - I am still puzzled why so few people use the Training Review Requests board when they have a question. Maybe I need to make the explanatory note on the Add/Edit entry page bigger or somehow more obvious. The first thing I read every day is that board to see if anybody needs advice. Also, if you ask it there as opposed to my blog, other team members are likely to see the question as well, and can often provide a quicker and better answer. I will, of course, say something if I do not completely agree or feel an additional comment is needed for some other reason, but then you have the benefit of two or more opinions.

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