Breaking the Wall

February 20, 2020

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 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: 81.04 Year: 418.47
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

No training partners today. Patrolled the neighborhood the entire run trying to spy some out - did not see any guys. Ran a tempo mile in 5:46 to keep myself from being bored after I stopped feeling lazy. When I stop feeling lazy and start feeling bored (about 4-6 miles into the run), and there are no training partners around to chat with, this is trouble for recovery/taper runs.

Finished the run, then did 4x100 with ankle weights - 19.1 - ? - 18.9 - 17.8. Then ran with the kids.

In the evening, ran an always on the run mile alone without Joseph in the stroller - he was playing and Sarah did not want him disturbed. Decided to time it. Felt extremely lazy as usual on the first 100 meters - 34 seconds, 9:00 pace. If somebody told me at that time I could race a marathon at 5:40 pace, I would not have believed them. However, plodding along I started to wake up. Made it to the turnaround in 3:52. Then at 1000 m mark (4:46) I realized that Benjamin was going to ask me how fast I ran. I wanted to be able to tell him that I broke his record (7:12). I was 16 seconds behind, but I still had 600 meters to go, and I am a big daddy. So this looked like not too much trouble, so I went for it. I figured I needed to run a little faster than 6:40 to make it. Then with 200 to go, I saw that if I ran the last 200 in 40 it would be 7:00, so I speed up for a round number and hit it right on - 7:00.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Nick Miller on Sat, Jul 15, 2006 at 21:58:00

Hey Sasha,

I have a quick question. Does eating about an hour before a run prohibit you personally from running your best. I ate a hamburger about an hour before I ran and that thing seemed to weigh forty pounds in my stomach while I was running. I also worked eight hours earlier in the day, so I was burnt out going into the run. Do these factors significantly effect running speed? I suppose they would, but I don't know to what extent.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Jul 18, 2006 at 11:50:37


Eating a hamburger an hour before a run would destroy me, especially if the weather is warm. This is one reason I stopped eating red meat altogether three years ago.

Working 8 hours even sitting in the office would not help that much either. Working 8 hours in the heat doing physical labor would make it very hard. So if you can run 17:10 5 K after that, I'd say it is not bad at all.

Also, note that you should not expect a PR out of every training run or even a race. You have ups and downs, and as you train consistently the ups eventually begin to overcome the downs and you improve.

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
New Kids on the Blog
(need a welcome):
Lone Faithfuls
(need a comment):