Breaking the Wall

September 21, 2019

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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: 90.98 Year: 2713.79
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: 22.05
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy 10.04 with Jeff in the morning. Followed the easy run protocol - warm up, then fastest possible pace with HR 130 or under, then threshold pace at the end. Took a while to warm up. Hit the first quarter in 2:26, and it felt fast. At around 0.4 mark my HR was still hovering between 95 and 98. Then I gradually woke up. After two miles we finally started cracking 7:00 pace. Hit the turnaround (5.02) in 37:16. On the way back settled into a steady 6:40 pace. It was tempting to go faster, but I was very strict on the 130 HR rule and backed off whenever I saw it going overboard. With about 0.64 to go Jeff asked me if it was time to speed up. I was originally planning on doing it at 0.5, but I was getting bored with the pace a bit, and tired of the HR restriction, so we decided to pick it up a bit earlier. Timed a 200 up 0.5% grade on the trail - 42, and also the last quarter (flat) - 1:21. Total time 1:10:13.

Interestingly enough, in 3:40 of running at that effort my HR gained only 20 bpm from 130 to 150. But I still felt like I was working. I think most of the work went into overcoming the inertia. Also, it started to get a bit warmer. When it gets warm, I first start feeling lazy with the HR dropping a bit for a while, and then after a while dehydration sets it which brings back and HR over the limit.

Ran with the kids in the evening. We ran/rode in the stroller/rode a bike taking turns to the swing on a tree and back. Added some more to make the total 5 miles for the run afterwards.

Starting a taper for Deseret News Marathon/Draper Days 5 K. The long run tomorrow will be shorter - 13 miles, and easier - no serious speed scheduled in the middle.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Nick on Sat, Jul 14, 2007 at 11:27:49

Hey Sasha,

Quick question - can I have your address to put down on the Draper Days race registration? I want to make sure that my packet/bib is not sent (if they even send out packets) to my appt. after I leave. Thanks a ton.

From Bonnie on Sat, Jul 14, 2007 at 12:05:23

Sasha, thanks for the information about Ted. Dean and I were directed to your website by our friend, and colleague, from Nashville - Bryan Shepherd.

Nice site,


From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Jul 14, 2007 at 16:56:10


You can use my address if needed - 339 N 1120 W, Provo, UT, 84601. However, I do not think Draper Days will be mailing out packets.


This is a small world. You happen to know two of my friends who have not met each other (at least to my knowledge). Bryan and I ran lots together in 1997. I always told him that 5:15 was the time we were leaving, not the pace we were going to go.

From Brent on Sat, Jul 14, 2007 at 19:16:24

Sasha, thanks for the offer on the 5 mile pacing, maybe in the fall after the marathons. I still feel my best races this year are ahead on me. Best to you at Des News Marathon.

From Logan on Mon, Jul 16, 2007 at 12:29:21

I am glad to say that I hit 100 miles in one week. Thanks for the encouragement and good luck at the Deseret News Marathon.

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