Breaking the Wall

January 25, 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: 151.02 Year: 151.02
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

Ran alone on the Provo River Trail by Geneva Road in the morning. 8 miles in 55:50. Decided to chase the 7:00 mile guy after the turnaround (28:41). He was coming back to me, but not very fast. Not surprising, I am still coughing, although quite a bit less. No AK-47 salvos today until I stopped at the end. I was still behind with a quarter to go, so I took no chances and ran it in 1:31. HR climbed to 156.

HR was fairly good 2 miles into the run - 134 at 7:00 pace, only 6 bpm above the norm. However around mile 3 I noticed a drift upwards. When I started the chase, I was going 6:47 pace, and HR was 143. Slight uphill, but still that is about 12 bpm overboard, even adjusting for the grade. I think I was gradually dehydrating as I went along, which happens when you have a cold.

However, I felt a lot more motivated to run. The thought of having to run 8 miles alone did not bear too hard on me.

Ran with the kids in the evening - added 2.75 miles altogether.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Nick on Fri, Nov 17, 2006 at 22:33:54

Hey Sasha,

What should I shoot for in this upcoming race? I don't want to go out too hard or too conservative, so I think that a gameplan would really help my situation. Being more experienced with racing, I thought that you might have some valueable advice.

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Nov 18, 2006 at 09:53:10

Nick - just go by how you feel. Press a bit harder than you do in your tempo runs, and try to hold a steady pace to the end. Overall, I would not be too worried about pacing. Your body by this time should know how long a 5 K is and what it can do. Just tell it you are running a 5 K, and it will auto-pilot.

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