Breaking the Wall

January 16, 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: 107.61 Year: 107.61
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: 1276.97
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Met Jeff on the trail. Ran 16 because tomorrow is Benjamin's chess tournament, and I will only be able to run 10. Total time was 1:58:47 as we had a very sluggish start. Picked it up in the last 3.04 and ran it in 18:03, slightly sub-6:00 average. It felt harder than what it should have. Probably due to the 800s while still not fully recovered from the 20 miler on Saturday. I think the lack of soreness in the muscles makes me greatly underestimate the stress of running 5:58 average for 20 miles and how long it takes to recover from it. I should probably keep my hard running in those 20 milers to 10 miles, definitely no more than 15.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin and Jenny in 16:50. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 12:51. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:22. 0.25 with Jacob in 2:26.  

Eva Clogs Army Miles: 18.75
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
From steve ash on Sat, Mar 20, 2010 at 00:42:12 from

You guys have had some good workouts lately though. I'll have to come down soon for one of your 20 mile burn sessions again.

From Colby Park on Mon, Mar 22, 2010 at 09:22:25 from

Hey Sasha, this is Colby. i don't know if you remember me running with you and Ted last year. Sorry to bother but I was curious if you could answer a couple running questions. I am looking into doing barefeet running, or starting with the 5 fingers. Any tips on getting started and easing into it?

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Mar 22, 2010 at 13:24:26 from

Colby - my thoughts on Five Fingers are that they are overpriced, and are inferior to clogs. For true barefoot running they are inferior to bare feet on grass. For asphalt they do not provide enough cushioning. With clogs you can get the barefoot grass feel on asphalt. They are not much more durable than clogs - maybe 700 miles to the first hole vs 500 in clogs. But a pair of clogs can be bought under $10, while Five Fingers are at least $70.

From Colby Park on Mon, Mar 22, 2010 at 16:55:28 from

Do you have a suggestion on how to slowly implement barefoot running, or running in clogs? How many miles a day and how many weeks until feet are accustomed to it? I know everybody's feet are different, but is there a general guideline?

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Mar 22, 2010 at 17:09:36 from


No general guidelines except listen to your body and be very careful. Maybe start with a mile a day, and increase every three weeks by a mile if everything is good.

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