Breaking the Wall

Pachev Family Provo Canyon 5 K

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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
Race: Pachev Family Provo Canyon 5 K (3.107 Miles) 00:17:35, Place overall: 4
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2020-04-18 08:26:23
Workout Totals: Distance17.651Time2:16:58.80Pace7:45.63
We decided to join Thatcher Olsen's Omada Running Community 5 K in some form today. We decided to do it down the Provo Canyon. The starting elevation is 5050 feet, the ending 4819, so 231 feet of elevation drop, or average grade of 1.4%. I figure this has the net effect of a more or less fair altitude adjustment. Run works calculator thinks that 15:04 on this course is worth 15:27 on a flat course, and gives only 14 seconds altitude adjustment, but NCAA for 4926 (Bozeman, MT) gives the full 23 seconds. So in other words, within a few seconds, we get the best sea-level 5 K simulation without travelling that I can think of. And it is right next to our house on a nice safe trail with no traffic to worry about - which is an issue when you have young kids running.


Benjamin (age 21) 15:04
Joseph (15) 17:29
Jacob (13) 17:33
Dad/Sasha(me) (46) 17:35
William (11) 18:54
Jenny (19) 20:19
Stephen (9) 21:14
Matthew (7) 21:14
Julia (17) 22:46
Mom/Sarah (44) 25:46

Race report:

We did this in two heats to facilitate child care for three youngest. In the first heat we had Benjamin, Joseph, Jacob, and myself.

We wheeled 565 feet from the one triangle mark on the trail up, and then finished at the corresponding one triangle mark over by the 800 N bridge. So our splits are backwards, since we used the triangle marks.

Benjamin - splits 32, 4:48, 4:56, 4:48
Joseph - 35, 5:34, 5:41, 5:39
Jacob - 35, 5:34, around 5:36, around 5:48
Dad - 35, 5:34, 5:41, 5:45

Jacob pulled ahead of me and Joseph around 2 K mark. Joseph had a strange yo-yo run where he would fall back, then catch up to me, before finally pulling away in the kick. Jacob started dry-heaving at the end for some odd reason, which slowed him down a lot, but I still could not catch him. Joseph did, though.

William - Benjamin paced him, still need to figure out what splits he had.
Jenny - 38, 6:25, 6:41, 6:35

Stephen - started out with Jenny, then his back started hurting, Matthew and I caught up to him, he ran with us, then stopped, started running again, caught up, and ended up just a step ahead of
Matthew at the end.

Matthew - 40, 6:35, 7:07, 6:52. Very solid run. I think he can go faster, though - he was cheering Stephen as late as mile 2 when Stephen was struggling.

Julia - Jacob was pacing her while he pushed Bella in the stroller. Need to figure out her splits. But this was a very good performance considering the struggles she had lately. I was just hoping she would run 23:30.

Sarah - also very good performance. Joseph paced her while pushing Leigha and Mary in the stroller. She was strong at the end. I timed her last 0.125 and it was 58. I was hoping she would be not too much over 27:00 with the struggles she had lately. But she outperformed my expectations, and ran over a minute faster.

At the end we had to get the strollers and the kids home. So I was just going to have Mary run one mile while pushing Leigha, and then put Mary in the stroller and push both of them. But Mary insisted on running all the way home, which would be 2 miles with the last mile uphill. She did better than I expected - 9:53, 9:50 for 19:43 total.
Leg 1:Distance0.930Time7:33.70Pace8:07.85
Warm-up with Joseph, Jacob, and Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance3.107Time17:35.30Pace5:39.65
The 5 K - my time.
Leg 3:Distance3.200Time28:31.50Pace8:54.84
Back up the canyon for the second round.
Leg 4:Distance3.674Time25:46.70Pace7:00.99
5 K - second round.
Split 1:Distance3.107Time21:14.80Pace6:50.30
Stephen and Matthew.
Split 2:Distance0.191Time1:31.50Pace7:59.06
Split 3:Distance0.376Time3:00.40Pace7:59.79
Leg 5:Distance2.000Time19:43.10Pace9:51.55
With Julia and Mary.
Leg 6:Distance4.740Time37:48.50Pace7:58.59
With Benjamin.

Neon Crocs 3 Miles: 17.65
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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