Breaking the Wall

Provo Riverwoods 10 Miler

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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: 188.26 Year: 188.26
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: 1359.62
Race: Provo Riverwoods 10 Miler (10 Miles) 00:54:13, Place overall: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran the Provo Riverwoods 10 miler. 54:13, 1st place. 1:08 slower than last year. I wondered why, since I did not feel any worse - both times running with tired legs, but this year not anymore than last year. Checked the weather reports - this year the last 5 miles were done with the temperatures of 75-77 while last year it was only 60. That probably explains the slowdown. I was 16:46 at 3.23 mark this year, which was about 20 seconds faster than last year, and is only 18 seconds slower than my record for that stretch done with Steve's help. Afterwards, I felt strong, but lazy, probably from the heat as well as from the fatigue of high mileage. Managed to keep my head above water, though - kept most mile splits under 5:30, hit the standard 3 mile tempo stretch from Nunn's to the mouth of the Canyon in 16:27. HR was at 159.

After the finish, fixed the consequences of the power outage with the timing system, and then hurried back to finish with the Fast Running Mommy. She reached her goal of breaking 1:30 with the time of 1:29:45. 

James and Lybi stayed at our house. James ran 1:08:31, this is starting to smell like he can get a BQ in St. George.

Ran with the kids in the evening.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Clay on Sun, Jun 17, 2007 at 01:28:28

Nice race Sasha. It was great to meet you James too, thanks for your help with my training...

From James in Sunny AZ on Sun, Jun 17, 2007 at 20:00:42

Congrats on the win, Sasha. I appreciated the chance to stay with you and your family and the advice you gave me prior to the race. You have helped me to believe in my fitness and realize I am capable of more than I think.

From Adam W on Mon, Jun 18, 2007 at 00:23:46

Great race. Was there less "company" this year than last? Maybe that explains the slowdown. 6.8 sec per mile isn't the worst thing that has ever happened though. 95 mile weeks! When is your next marathon?

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Jun 18, 2007 at 14:32:41

Adam - compared to last year, I had better company. There was a high school runner that was still maintaining contact around 1.5, maybe 10-15 seconds behind. I do not like that type of contact, I like it when people are right with me so I can draft, or at least sense and draw on their strength while they are drafting. So I hit the gas a bit on a steep downhill section, then there was no more contact after that. I think the slowdown was primarily caused by the heat - I felt just like I did on the last 8 miles of Ogden - not bad, actually strong, but just lazy, and hitting slower splits. One thing that heat does to me is make me lazy.

From Maria on Mon, Jun 18, 2007 at 15:13:44

Good job, Sasha! I'm sure the slowdown compared to last year is due to the heat. According to Tinman's Heat Index Chart ( tempreature of 75F slows you down ~2.3%. It probably cost you about 7 sec/mile, which would give you 1:10 slowdown - almost exactly 1:08! I know you said it was mostly hot in the last 5 miles, but it could have affected you earlier as well. Considering high mileage, no tapering and the heat, you did really well!

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