Breaking the Wall

April 08, 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: 0.00 Year: 916.90
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: 1679.47
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ted is alive again. Ran with him this morning on our standard 10.04 course. We covered the first half in 34:34 chatting, telling stories, discussing current events. On the way back I felt like doing a short light tempo on the standard 2.5 stretch. Made a pit stop, Ted kept going. Started out a bit sluggish, thought I was perhaps going slower than 6:00, but I was not - first 300 in 1:06 with each 100 in 22. After than I sped up to a fairly steady 5:40 pace on the flat, then pushed harder on the hill (or more accurately the rise) to keep the pace steady, and then on the last quarter there were two things that encouraged me to go faster - I was 2 seconds behind the 5:40 guy, and there was a family out for a bike ride within reach. My greyhound reflex kicked in, and I ran the last quarter in 1:21 to finish in 14:08. HR stayed below 153 on the first 1.5, climbed to 156 on the rise, and reached 158 during the pickup on the last quarter. 5:40 felt very relaxing on the flat. When I passed Ted, who was going around 6:10 pace, he also decided to do a mini-tempo, and seeing how slowly he was coming to me, I invited him to join me in more words than I normally do at 5:40 pace. On the last mile, the pace felt harder, more like a surge during the marathon. The last 0.25 felt like a threshold pace. So the slow pace is starting to feel quite a bit easier, now the trick is to stretch the range of that slow easy pace upwards, and first get 5:30 into it, and then maybe even 5:20.

Ended up doing about 10.1 for the whole run, the extra distance from coming back to Ted after the finish of the tempo. Total time for the run was 1:06:27.

Ran 0.5 with Julia in the morning, and then 2.14 with Benjamin and Jenny ( Jenny rode the last 0.57 in the stroller) + 2.5 in 16:59 to reach the goal of no less than 15 for the day.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From michelle on Tue, Jun 12, 2007 at 12:15:02

Last night when I ran I don't think the temp. was a factor, kinda breezy and not too warm. I ate salad for dinner, lettuce and spinach from our garden with meat cheese, veggies on top? About 1.5 to 2 hours before running. Maybe just one of those days. This morning felt a little better.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Jun 12, 2007 at 14:03:25

One reason I stopped eating red meat was that it took me at least three hours before I could run comfortably again after eating it. Cheese would also sit in the stomach for a long time and give me side aches.

From Ruth on Tue, Jun 12, 2007 at 14:57:45

Hey Sasha, thanks for your comments and encouragement. It helps keep motivated and pushing, even when I'm tired out.

Just so you know, Ross Decker isn't on the blog, he's Josh Decker's (who is on the blog) dad and is way faster than Josh. If Ross really wanted to, he could leave me in a cloud of dust, but at WBR practice lately I've been the fastest PV XC runner, so he runs with me. (I've been beating Josh by a long shot at all practices.) I think you were mistaking Ross for Josh in your comment. :)

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Jun 12, 2007 at 15:03:34

Ruth - no, I looked up Ross in the race results to get an idea of his fitness level. I figured if 6:40 was anywhere close to easy for him, he would be right there with Clyde and coach Holt, and based on my analysis of the race results, he'd be about 4 minutes behind them in a 10 K. Just try it - up the pace to 6:20 and see what happens.

From Steve Hooper on Tue, Jun 12, 2007 at 15:38:18

Hey Sasha, How's it going? I have a race time estimate for you to do. We're planning on running the Summer Games 10k on Friday and I'm going crazy with trying to estimate what my time might possibly be. The only other recent race data I have to go off of is the Hurricane Half (1:19:30) back the beginning of May. Last year Clyde ran a 1:20:14.

The 10K will be pretty fast and all down hill. Last year Clyde ran a 34:38. Based on my training over the last month and 1/2 what do you think would be a realistic goal for myself?

Last year Clyde ran a 34:38.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Jun 12, 2007 at 17:55:30

Steve - probably right around where Clyde was last year - 34:30 - 34:40.

From Cody on Tue, Jun 12, 2007 at 18:35:30


I uploaded the Smithfield Days 5K race. After analyzing it, it has 200ft of gain over the 1.5 miles. I was able to hit splits very similar to what you have predicted. The main difference being the last .1. My garmin measured it at .07 in :20 not .1 in :30. Take a look when you can and let me know how it compares to Heart of Holladay.

I personally liked the Smithfield course better because it has the uphill while you are still fresh.

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