Breaking the Wall

August 10, 2020

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 ViewYear 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: 88.07 Year: 2386.98
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: 1257.89
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Tempo run this morning. Got decent sleep, went to bed at 11, got up at 6. It was cold, around 35 degrees, but warmer than last winter. No significant wind. Ran the standard 5 mile tempo from Geneva Road to the trail entrance by the Utah Lake Park and back.

First mile, 5:32. Second 5:31 (11:03), then 2:47 for the next 0.5, 13:50 at the turnaround. The pace felt very comfortable, however I knew that any faster would be exceptionally uncomfortable. HR took forever to get going, but finally stabilized at 158 by 1.5 miles.

2:50 for the next 0.5 with the first quarter after 180 turn in 1:26. The first 100 of it was 23 seconds,  so 2 second loss. 5:37 for the mile, 16:40 at 3. Next mile in 5:35. HR climbed to 160, and now the pace is starting to feel harder, although it is still the same pace, even a bit slower, but coming back is a very slight uphill, so 3 seconds per mile is about the correct amount of difference. The breathing became harder too. The sour feeling in the quad appeared but I was able to run through it this time.

Quarters for the last mile - 1:25 (uphill), 1:24, 1:23, 1:20. HR maxed out at 169 at the end. Total time 27:47.8, best time for the season. Last mile in 5:32, last 2.5 in 13:57, I would call this a true even split, perhaps even negative if you throw in the 2 seconds lost on the 180 turn.

Did a long cool down, total of 13.1 for the run. Ted did the easy running with me, he was planning on joining me for the tempo, but got sick. Ran with the kids in the afternoon, total of 14.9. I am running the Salt Lake Half, not the full marathon. Will do it completely untapered. It is fun to race a half at the end of a 90 mile week, I've done this before. You hurt from the start, as opposed to from mile 3, so you actually get better pacing.

I was very happy with this tempo, most particularly about being able to hold the pace as the quads start feeling sour. 

I am perplexed as to why HR takes so long to get going in a tempo run. It took a good 4 mile stretch before it got to where it was supposed to be. My average HR for the run was actually 153! This has been a pattern regardless of the weather. So here is what I am wondering about. If I am running 5:32 pace, and the HR eventually stabilizes at 162 then if it is let's say 153, and assuming I do not severely dehydrate in 4 miles of tempo running in 35 degrees (reasonable assumption), and the stroke volume does not drop as the tempo run progresses (reasonable assumption?), and the biomechanical efficiency does not change that much (reasonable assumption?), then at 153 HR my cardiac output is significantly lower than what is necessary for a steady state that happens at 162. But the energy for the pace has to come from somewhere, so that in essence means I am running anaerobically for the first 4 miles of this run. Could it be that HR response to lactic acid build up, and unless you have a certain lactic acid concentration, it will not increase?

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Bill on Fri, Apr 20, 2007 at 11:41:14

Hey Sasha, takes me awhile to get the engine warmed up my self. especially before a race. I have to tun a mile or two to get things going before the gun.

Tell me about the ogden marathon. I plan on running it. What should i work on as far as course Preparation?


From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Apr 20, 2007 at 12:20:45

Bill - read by description of the course here

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
New Kids on the Blog
(need a welcome):
Lone Faithfuls
(need a comment):