Breaking the Wall

December 02, 2020

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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: 304.65 Year: 3606.17
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: 806.96
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

4 miles in the morning with a mile with ankle weights, a 1 mile tempo in 5:38, then a jog, and a half-mile tempo in 2:48. This is my way to deal with pre-race anxiety - run a little bit at race pace, and this puts my mind at ease. Any kind of anxiety is bad during taper, especially when you are playing the short taper game. Adrenaline interferes with the storage of glycogen, so if you worry too much and sleep too little in the week before the race, you will not run a good marathon.

During the day did some light jogging with a 200 m stride at marathon pace, and ran with Benjamin and Jennifer.

Today was supposed to be an easy day for Jennifer, and a hard one for Benjamin. Benjamin went to the dentist earlier, and appeared to be a bit weak afterwards. So we decided he would run an easy half-mile with Jennifer, and jog a bit more afterwards if he felt good. However, after running a quarter in 2:29, he apparently found some extra energy and decided to run fast. Jennifer took off after him. So much for an easy run. He at first opened up a bit of a lead, but then Jennifer caught up and tried to pass him. In the process, she accidently pushed him, and he threw a fit and stopped. Jennifer kept going, and I was not going to stop and let Benjamin ruin his little sister's quarter record. So in about 10 seconds his fit was over, but it was too late - he could not catch Jennifer, who ran 1:43. Benjamin still finished the quarter in a decent time of 1:51, but for the first time in his life he technically lost to his little sister. Afterwards we had a talk, and he really did not want to end the day on that note. So we left Jennifer at home, and ran back to the quarter mark for him to try again with the goal to beat Jennifer's time. He ran much better once he learned his lesson that having a fit results in losing. This time it was 1:39.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Jimmy Carter on Thu, May 04, 2006 at 00:31:59

I'm just curious, but your profile says you haven't missed more than 3 consecutive days of running since '84. Was this pre- or post-Olympics in the summer of '84? Because I would imagine there was about 2 weeks worth of Russians not doing a whole lot of running, not to mention swimming, fencing, nor rhythmic gymnasticizing.

From MikeBro on Thu, May 04, 2006 at 07:51:28

Sounds like a great running family you're developing there, Sasha! When you're sprinting with the little ones in the double stroller, how do they react? Are they shrieking in delight or just hanging on for dear life? :)

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, May 04, 2006 at 11:01:53

Mike - Julia keeps telling me to go faster. Joseph just sits there and sometimes goes to sleep.

Jimmy Carter - this is the funniest and most peculiar comment I've gotten in by blog so far. To get the facts straight, I started training in October of 1984 at the age of 11, a couple of months after the boycotted Olympics in LA. As a boy, I had a coach, but I did not need a coach or a team to make me train. So even if I was old and fast enough to be on the Olympic Team, and if the team were to stop training because of the boycott (how silly it would be of them), I would not have cared. When you are serious you do not let goofy stuff get in the way of your training.

And Jimmy Carter was not a president of the United States at that time any longer - it was Ronald Reagan.

Now that we've got the facts straight, quit your silly jokes, and go out for a run!

From Jimmy Carter on Thu, May 04, 2006 at 11:28:16

my name really is Jimmy Carter. James Dean Carter.

And, I just find it interesting that Jimmy Carter (president, not me) was the one responsible for the US boycott of the '80 games, that's all.

Finally, runs are much more enjoyable when thinking of silly jokes, it's when you can really concentrate and get some great material. I hear that's how Yakov Smirnof honed his comedy game.

From wildbull on Thu, May 04, 2006 at 16:57:19

Sasha, just wanted to wish you luck in the ogden marathon. thanks for all your comments.

From Dallen on Thu, May 04, 2006 at 17:00:45

What I really want to see is Benjamin's take on the whole quarter mile fiasco.

From BS Rools on Thu, May 04, 2006 at 18:38:52

By the way, not just good luck, I hope you get a PR, it seems you have done all the hard work to give you the opportunity.

BS Rools, out, I will say hi after the race if you are still around.

From John Barnhill on Thu, May 04, 2006 at 23:05:01

Sasha, I forgot I have a dinner with the bishop at 6 p.m. not sure if I will be at my home between 7 and 8 but if you email me at i will send you the code to get in. Or call me anytime tomorrow and I can give it to you over the phone.

From ZACK on Fri, May 05, 2006 at 08:01:03

Sasha- Best of Luck in your race.

From joarj-trail runner on Fri, May 05, 2006 at 08:48:50

best wishes for the race...i know you will do your premature cool downs...

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