Breaking the Wall

January 27, 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: 266.81 Year: 266.81
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: 1438.17
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 6 with Benjamin and Jeremy. 2 with Jenny and Julia. 4 alone. Did some pickups. Total of 12.

P.M. PT session with Sergio. He taped up my back, right buttock, and foot to try to encourage the piriformis to let go of the grip.Ran total of 2. 1 with Jacob, 1 with Joseph. Had our usual running club with us.

Green Crocs 2 Miles: 14.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From Maurine/Miles on Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 18:04:25 from

Thanks for fixing the site, Sasha! A lot of people on Facebook were panicking.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 18:19:38 from

Maurine - thanks for the note. We had a hardware failure (I think broken power supply or something else that makes it not power up, did not have the time to diagnose) that landed on top of a crazy day already. I temporarily sacrificed a family computer to run the FRB server while I am figuring out the replacement logistics. It is sitting in my office with the cover popped up and the old hard drive plugged in. One nice thing about Linux is that you can just take the HDD out of one computer, put it in another, and it will usually work. I just had to remove the jumper cable from HDD to put it in cable select, and fix /etc/network/interfaces to call the Ethernet interface by a different name because the smart alec UDEV somewhere where I did not have the time to look remembers what adapter is what and it called the one and only adapter eth1 because it was not what it knew eth0 to be. On the positive side of things I used this forced downtime to move it from the old house to the new one. There will be a 15 minute scheduled downtime in the near future to rescue the family HDD out of the sacrificed machine and to mount the new HDD properly :-)

From Maurine/Miles on Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 18:36:17 from

Isn't that how it always happens? Job well done. Your blog was sorely missed by many people. It proves the old adage that you don't appreciate what you have until you don't have it available to you.

How is the family doing? And work?

From MichelleL on Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 19:00:25 from

Thanks Sasha. The blog is used world wide :) I just met a fellow blogger here in Hong Kong this weekend.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 19:39:44 from

Michelle - thanks. Maurine - the family is doing well. Benjamin just ran a 5:14 mile, details to follow. Work is going well, too well if we can say that - no time to do much with the blog, but the family gets to eat while I get to improve my geek skills, which is a plus.

From RAD on Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 19:47:06 from

Sasha, I would like to personally thank you for taking the personal time, space AND time away from family for keeping this blog running. While the site has been down I've felt lost :) I've come to rely on a lot of people on this blog for motivation and help with my running. Sometimes I feel like my runs don't even count if I don't blog them. I love this blog!

I didn't understand a lot of what was wrong with the server, but I'm married to a network engineer and I know what life is like at home (and for him) when there is a broken emergency like that. So, thank you SO much to you and your family for all you do for us!!! I, for one, am VERY grateful!

From Kam on Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 20:14:11 from

I must also express gratitude, Sasha. Glad the community is "live" again.

From rAtTLeTrAp on Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 20:16:26 from

Ditto. You are doing a great service for the running community Sasha! Thanks!

From allie on Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 20:29:21 from

sorry this all went down on an already crazy day for you. i may or may not have been a part of the panicking facebook group. as maurine said, sometimes you forget to appreciate things until they are gone.

this is such a valuable site for so many people, myself included. thanks, sasha!

From Fritz on Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 20:57:13 from

Nice work getting it fixed. Thanks! I don't know what I would do without being able to check the blog a few times a day. I hope those display ads and google adsense is making this a profitable endeavor.

From CookieLegs on Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 21:24:33 from

Thanks so much for your efforts in getting the blog back up and 'running'.

Sorry to hear about the piriformis - I hope it gets better soon. Also, congrats to your son Benjamin for his fast 5:14 mile!

From DaleG on Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 22:28:34 from

Yes, very nice of you to take time out of your schedule to keep things running.

From catherine on Sat, Feb 18, 2012 at 00:15:14 from

Thanks for all your work on the blog! I really missed it when it was gone (I was probably one of the facebookers Maurine mentioned), and I'm so grateful for all the work you put into it.

From jtshad on Sat, Feb 18, 2012 at 07:48:46 from

Thanks for continuing to provide this site to us. I have made many great friends all over the country via this site and wish to see it continue and thrive. I know it takes a lot of your time, but what passion doesn't.

From Maurine/Miles on Sat, Feb 18, 2012 at 18:24:42 from

Sasha - ran into Mike and Bonnie Ramsdell this afternoon and talked with them for a long time. They said to say hello to you and Sarah - so here is their hello.

From Jon on Sat, Feb 18, 2012 at 18:47:05 from

Yeah for Sasha and the FRB!

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