Breaking the Wall

December 04, 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: 304.65 Year: 3606.17
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: 806.96
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. The Uneventful Half-Marathon. I think that is what I am going to call this run. It is supposed to be as uneventful as possible to avoid overtraining. Ted joined me. Lots of leaves on the ground. Ran a fairly steady pace from the start. Did 8x100 strides in the middle. Total time was 1:34:41, 7:13:33 avg.

P.M. Ran with the kids. Adam joined me as well. 1.05 with Julia in 10:17, 1.5 with Jenny in 13:52, 2 with Benjamin in 15:49, and then another 0.5 without a running kid in 3:55. Pushed Jacob in the single stroller the entire time.

I just had a thought. Maybe I should invite more people to participate in the Uneventful Half-Marathon. I do it every Monday and Friday at 6:30 AM. 339 N 1120 W, Provo, UT. RSVP so we won't start it without you. Anybody who feels like running a half somewhere in the 1:30-1:37 range is welcome to join. Good chance for a flat honest Sasha-certified course PR. Free entry. Pacers provided. If you bribe the Fast Running Mommy, maybe even a special breakfast will be served at the end. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From adam on Mon, Oct 29, 2007 at 17:27:33

when are you heading out tonight/tomorrow morning? I may be out on the trial this afternoon around 5:30 and I'm getting a little bored on these "uneventful" solo runs.

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Oct 29, 2007 at 17:39:43

I'm about to head out with my kids in the next hour or so. Give me a call at 801-788-4608 to coordinate.

From Clay on Mon, Oct 29, 2007 at 18:31:50

Your uneventful half was a PR for me this year, I would like to have your problems... Good work.

From brent on Mon, Oct 29, 2007 at 20:24:05

Sasha, a day to just enjoy the run, relaxed mental training is also good. Fall leaves tell a story of change.

From Christi on Mon, Oct 29, 2007 at 21:50:51

What race are you currently training for?

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Oct 29, 2007 at 22:10:08


I do have a race planned (St. Jude Marathon on Dec 1), but I never train for a race. It is against my religion, if you will, same as studying for an exam. I believe in studying to learn and training to be fit. When there is a race in sight, I just taper.

From Christi on Mon, Oct 29, 2007 at 22:22:51

Interesting philosophy- I quite like it!

From Nick on Tue, Oct 30, 2007 at 00:07:59

Why don't you do train for a specific race Sasha? From my experiences, I have found that I run much better if I time workouts to correspond with a race. I think that some easy time gives you mental hunger to hit workouts harder than if you were to consistenly train. By methodically organizing rest time, base building time and workout time according to a race timeframe, I think you can hit a higher level of fitness at a particular time than you can by consistently training, thus leading to better performances. Thats just my take...

From Paul Petersen on Tue, Oct 30, 2007 at 09:22:45

I agree with the general premise of Sasha's training philosophy. Stay in shape ALL the time, and you will be ready for any race that gets in your way. HOWEVER, I also believe in training cycles (including planned rest) and the idea of "specificity of training". For instance, I did "general" training this year from June-July, and then launched into "marathon-specific" training at the beginning of August. Because I was already in excellent shape, I did not have to do anything silly like a 24-week marathon program. Rather, I just focused on longer and harder workouts that simulate marathon conditions for a couple months. The same can be done with a 5K/10K training cycle, and so on.

But I think to race well at a goal distance, you need to train for some length of time for that distance. You will not run your best 5K off of marathon training. You can run a very good 5K off of marathon training, mind you, but definitely not up to your potential.

From MichelleL on Tue, Oct 30, 2007 at 09:49:42

I think the uneventful half could be a great long tempo run for me. I can't do it Mondays, but perhaps Friday the 9th of Nov. I will join. I will let you know for sure.

Thanks for the invite!

From Cal on Tue, Oct 30, 2007 at 11:57:40

I wish there was a UHM scheduled on Saturdays...

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