Breaking the Wall

January 25, 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: 151.02 Year: 151.02
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

Standard 10 mile tempo today. James had a track meet at 8:00 AM, so Ted and I started our run at 8:50. It was warm by then (around 65), and it kept getting warmer (70+). We jogged 1.9 and then I started the tempo.

First 2.5 in 14:26, felt easy. HR at 150. Turned around, came back in 14:30. This one felt harder, possibly due to warmer temperatures. 28:56 at 5 miles. Consciously decided to pick it up a bit on the third 2.5, ran it in 14:21. Felt like I had to work a lot harder, but the heart rate was very reasonable for the conditions - hovering between 153 and 155.

On the last 2.5 shifted gears into the threshold pace. The goal was to go under 14:00. My first quarter after the 180 turn was 1:25. After than, the slower quarter was 1:24.5. Last mile in 5:32, last 600 in 2:01, last 2.5 in 13:55, last 5 in 28:16, and the total time of 57:12, fastest time this year so far.

Interesting experience on the last 2.5. I felt like the pain of the pace was sustaining the neural drive to keep it. That happens to me only when I start getting into really good shape. It is instinctive, you cannot consciously make it happen, you have to train a certain way for this instinct to develop.

Immediately after I finished, Ted took me for a brisk cool down. He announced he was 1:15 ahead of the 7:00 mile guy, and he planned to run another 5.3 miles and stay ahead of him. So we almost immediately started running sub-7:00 pace. Not a relaxing cool down at all, especially with the temperatures approaching 80.

Got home finally, Ted stayed ahead of the 7:00 mile guy, I ended up beating the 6:20 guy for 17.25 miles with the average pace of 6:18. As soon as I walked in, Julia wanted me to take her for a run. I told her I needed to get some water in first. Then took her for her standard 0.5 mile run.

Ran with Benjamin and Jenny in the afternoon.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Superfly on Sun, Jun 03, 2007 at 10:54:41

Good workout Sasha. Seems like your shifting your gears and getting stronger all the time.

From wheakory on Sun, Jun 03, 2007 at 22:04:16

Nice run in the hot weather. At least your getting your body adjusted to running in the heat. Do you carry fluid or hide fluid for these hot day runs?

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Jun 04, 2007 at 12:10:23

Kory - no water or anything. Part of the reason is I find it hassle to carry a bottle, part is that the run is short enough that I can tough it out.

From Paul Petersen on Mon, Jun 04, 2007 at 12:27:43

I think there's some adaptation to stress when you don't drink water too. During the summer of '00 I interned and trained in Phoenix all summer before my senior year of cross country. All of my runs were during the afternoons and evenings in 105-110 degree heat. The first month was brutal, and I was always running through parks with drinking fountains, but by the end of the summer I wasn't taking any water during the runs and felt fine. When I got back to Michigan for the cross country season, I felt a lot more efficient in the cooler temperatures, and went on to have a really good racing season. Point is, I think heat training makes you tougher and your body more efficient.

From wheakory on Mon, Jun 04, 2007 at 13:15:16

I agree totally on these shorter runs I don't take anything. I will usually start taking a water bottle if the run is longer than 16 miles. It's a hassle and a distraction. I end up usually carrying the water bottle in my hand for the run.

Saturday when I ran I drove up our Pocatello Creek area about 6000ft evelation and ran the back side of the Pocatello Marathon, and I had my fuel belt on because it has a velcro pocket to use to carry my cell phone, because I wasn't feeling very well (101 fever the night before). My fuel belt came in handy here but not for water use. I wanted to take my phone in case I needed to call my wife to come get me, because there's nothing in-site for about 10 miles on this run until you enter the city so taking a cell phone is a good idea when your running alone. It's sort of funny to wear the fuel belt without water, and for another purpose.

From ashman on Mon, Jun 04, 2007 at 15:41:26

Thare is a dark side to it however, you can easily overtrain and not realise it until it is too late.

From ashman on Mon, Jun 04, 2007 at 15:42:30

The body does not recover well when it is dehydrated.

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Jun 04, 2007 at 16:26:00

Steve - good point. There is a very fine threshold at which running dehydrated is counterproductive.

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