Breaking the Wall

February 22, 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: 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

A.M. Easy run with Ted and Jeff in the morning. We ran the Sasha House 10 Miler with a small variation - on the way back we went through the new tunnel at Geneva, which added 0.04 or so. I made three bathroom stops and then caught up. No sickness, just a lot of traffic. Jeff and Ted were going a bit faster than 8:00, so I did not even bother to shift gears into a tempo pace to catch up and just coasted at 6:40 pace the first two times. The third time I had to pick it up to 6:20 as they were going a bit faster. Then we dropped Ted off at my house, and added another 3.12. So that gave me 1:36:27 for 13.2.

P.M. Steve Ashbaker came down for a run. We first ran 0.5 with Julia in 4:42. Then 1.5 with Jenny running, Benjamin on a bike and Jacob and Joseph in the stroller in 13:03. Then 2 with Benjamin running this time and Jenny on a bike in 16:30. Steve took the stroller with 0.75 to get a feel for it, and Benjamin picked it up to 7:00 pace with 0.5 to go. So Steve experienced the joy of running 7:00 pace with a loaded double stroller with 4 90 degree turns. Then Steve and I went for another 2 miles. Our total time was 14:32, and we did a mini-tempo pickup in the middle running 600 in 2:07 up about 0.5% grade.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Brent on Fri, Aug 31, 2007 at 14:35:19

Sasha, I read your comment to James concerning a long run. Me and Sylvia have ran three hard half marathons recently, Bryce,Provo and Hobble. We are considering a 22 mile easy run in the morning, two weeks before TOU. Do you think the 22 mile run would help at this point? We are doing St.George also.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Aug 31, 2007 at 16:36:53

Brent - see the fourth training error in the Top Ten Training Mistakes. Based on your training, the ideal length of a long run for you is probably 16-17 miles. However, I would recommend going a bit faster in the middle - 10 miles at 7:45-8:00 flat effort.

From Michael on Fri, Aug 31, 2007 at 17:01:29

Good to see you today Sasha on the Provo River trail. I was running the old folks Provo Senior Race, did Ok but my left hip bothered me alot. All those underpasses to get out of the road pysched me out some, even though they are short enough for me to go through, being tall they always seemed to make me slow down and duck

From Ryan on Fri, Aug 31, 2007 at 18:19:15

Sasha - i just plugged in my DNews time into the predictor and compared it with the predicted times. The predicted time waswithin 30 seconds of my actual Provo River Half time - amazing! Provo should have been faster if it wasn't for a 4 min bathroom break. Oh well - those are the breaks. I'm really interested in seeing if the SGM prediction is accurate. I have a goal time of 4 hours and your predictor has me pegged at 4 hours 4 minutes. So my question is should I go out with the 4 hour pace team and stick with them the whole race or should I start out faster and see what happens?

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