Breaking the Wall

January 26, 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: 252.01 Year: 252.01
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1576.28
Neon Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1353.22
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. 10 in 1:19:41 - tvpb. First 7 with Jeff and Josse. Jeff's leg was bothering him a bit, he stopped at 7 just ot be sure. Caught up to Sarah with 0.1 to go and finished with her.

Just checked our web stats on Quantcast.Com. Record page impressions and uniques yesterday - 9K+ impressions and 450+ uniques. AdSense revenues on running pages are terrible compared to what the Loan Interest Calculator is making. AdSense says you are not allowed to reveal how much you are making, but I think I would still be within the terms of the agreement if I said that if all of my running pages produced as much revenue per impression as the loan interest calculator, I would be able to work on the blog full time.

P.M Kids took it easy on me, which was nice since I pushed the double stroller with Jacob and Joseph the entire time. 1 with Julia in 11:19, 1.5 with Jenny in 13:20, 2 with Benjamin in 17:28, and 0.7 alone in 5:18.

Five Fingers - 50.03 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 7.25Nap Time: 0.50Total Sleep Time: 7.75
From wheakory on Tue, May 20, 2008 at 19:32:11

Sasha, is the Five Fingers a good value for training, and making your feet muscles stronger?

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, May 20, 2008 at 19:53:12

I like the feel, but we'll see in a couple of months how much they help. One thing I can tell is that you cannot be sloppy on ground contact at all, it hurts when you space out.

From Jon on Tue, May 20, 2008 at 22:53:02

What is the definition of an impression and a unique?

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, May 20, 2008 at 23:10:42

Impression - you look at one web page. Unique - a computer used for viewing a site. This is of course never exact, but the estimates are pretty accurate.

From Karl on Wed, May 21, 2008 at 01:04:09

Hey how many miles do you think I should be putting in during the summer per week in preparation for next year's cross-country season?

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, May 21, 2008 at 11:30:43

Karl - about 60-70 to start. You will not see dramatic effects for a few months. Do not think of it as getting ready for something such as cross-country season. Think of it as a life style to maintain. You will see some improvements in the fall if you start now, but most of them will come in a year, two years. And you need to keep it steady. Doing 60 miles a week for a couple of weeks, then taking a break, then doing it again for a couple of weeks is not very effective.

Make sure to keep the pace slow. Do one tempo run a week to get the legs moving and feel some pain, maybe quick strides a couple of times a week to help you remember how to run fast, race once in a while to test your fitness. But otherwise keep it very relaxed. Do not break 7:00 on most of the runs.

The exciting news is that you are only 4 seconds slower than Ryan Hall in 800 meters. High mileage will help you find out if you have the same predisposition to endurance as he. If you do, 1:55 in the 800 will give you about 2:10 in the marathon once you start running 120 miles a week.

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