Breaking the Wall

February 21, 2019

Recent EntriesHomeJoin Fast Running Blog Community!PredictorHealthy RecipesSasha Pachev's RacesFind BlogsMileage BoardTop Ten Excuses for Missing a RunTop Ten Training MistakesDiscussion ForumRace Reports Send A Private MessageWeek ViewMonth View
15% off for Fast Running Blog members at St. George Running Center!


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 nine children: Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, William, Stephen, Matthew,  Mary, and Bella.  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: 27.36 Month: 204.98 Year: 525.70
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 120.59
Brown Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1509.03
Brown Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 987.95
Navy Crocs Lifetime Miles: 1221.84
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran alone this morning. Standard 10.04 course. Eventually eased into sub-7:00 pace. HR stabilized at 125. Hit the first half in 35:35. On the way back ran the standard 2.5 mile tempo. First 1.25 at 5:40 pace, all quarters 1:25 exact. That for some reason felt brisk in a way, I would not have called it relaxing, but at the same time I felt no urges to run slower. HR fairly quickly, quicker than normal made it to 155. Then I shifted gears into threshold gear. First quarter in 1:21. Thought the uphill one would be 1:23, or 1:22 at the very best, but I ended up with 1:21 again, and felt strong. Another one, which still rolls unpleasantly was 1:21. Earlier I thought maybe I was just being too feisty but now I started to gain confidence in the new level of fitness. Next quarter in 1:20, and kicked it a bit on the last one - 1:16, 13:44 for 2.5 and 5:18 on the last mile. Even caught the 5:30 guy at the very end and beat him by 1 second.

This in and of itself is not a super great accomplishment except that I have been doing this run weekly putting in essentially the exact same effort, and getting the exact same results over the last month or so. I did not feel like I mentally put in any more effort than I did before. What is interesting is that my HR shot up from 155 to 164 within about 0.3 from the time I started running threshold effort, and then eventually maxed out at 169. This HR response was accomplished without extreme mental effort. I also felt that I had the ability to make my legs sore. This may sound like a joke to others but it is a big deal for me. I often find myself in a prize money race in a situation where a little bit more in effort results in quite a bit more in money. I try every imaginable method to push myself to the limit, but the body gives no response. After the finish, the legs feel fresh, and I do not feel tired at all.

The feeling in the tempo was somewhat comparable to running in Arizona in the Del Sol Relay on the first leg. I was running 10 seconds per mile faster than I would have on the same terrain in Utah with the same perceived effort, and I was able to push my HR higher. At this point I feel inclined to attribute the change to a better functioning of the nervous system in response to my efforts to keep blood sugar at a decent level throughout the day.

Finished 10.04 in 1:07:22. Ran a mile later in the morning, half with Julia running and Jacob in the stroller, the other half with her in the stroller as well. Ran another 4 in the afternoon, 1.5 with Jenny, 1.5 with Benjamin, and 1 back and forth watching them play in a park.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From James on Tue, Jul 03, 2007 at 18:01:39


Do you have Curt Catmull's email or a way to get in contact with him? He told me that he would give me a comp for Provo River half, and I wanted to hold him to it.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Jul 03, 2007 at 18:16:08

James - his number is 372-7867. Go ahead and register at RaceUtah.Com for now so you'll be in the database.

From wheakory on Tue, Jul 03, 2007 at 19:26:21

Sasha, do you always incorporate a mini tempo in each run you do. If so have you noticed benefits? Usually on my easy days I try to run a few at tempo or MP, and I think its really helped my.

As usually very nice running day.

Add Your Comment.
  • Keep it family-safe. No vulgar or profane language. To discourage anonymous comments of cowardly nature, your IP address will be logged and posted next to your comment.
  • Do not respond to another person's comment out of context. If he made the original comment on another page/blog entry, go to that entry and respond there.
  • If all you want to do is contact the blogger and your comment is not connected with this entry and has no relevance to others, send a private message instead.
Only registered users with public blogs are allowed to post comments. Log in with your username and password or create an account and set up a blog.
Debt Reduction Calculator

Featured Announcements