Breaking the Wall

Earn Your Turkey 4 miler

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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: 16.00 Year: 2314.91
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: 1185.83
Race: Earn Your Turkey 4 miler (4 Miles) 00:21:59, Place overall: 12, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Earn Your Turkey 4 miler, 21:59, 12th overall, 1st master, got the turkey. However, this was the first time that I was not the first Pachev across the finish line. It appears that it will not be the last. This was also the record year for the number of Pachevs in both the 4 miler race (4) and in all races (10). That we also anticipate to increase, although not immediately - Sarah is not yet pregnant, and our kids are too young to marry. But not too young to kick Dad's trash - Benjamin finished 9th overall with 21:09 winning the 14 year old division with a new unofficial division course record. 50 second gap on Dad who in turn won the master by a gap of more than a minute!

I told Benjamin to tuck into the tail end of the lead pack and try to stay there for as long as possible. Well, it took a 4:55 mile according to the marker which I believe was accurate, if short, then no mor than 5 seconds, but he found the speed for that. I watched him from behind as I hit the same marker in 5:16 with Karl Siebach and a couple of other runners - probably high schoolers. 

Karl pulled away from me some in the second mile. My split was 10:53. Benjamin got 10:26. This gives me 5:37 for the second mile. I am inclined to believe that the first mile was 5 seconds short, and the second 5 seconds long. With this adjustment this makes the splits 5:21/5:32 for me and 5:00/5:26 for Benjamin, which I am more willing to accept.

In the third mile Karl started to fade. We also passed another high school runner. I saw Caleb Scoville in front, but we could never close on him. Benjamin gradually disappeared from view. The headwind made this mile difficult. Mile marker 3 turned out to be too far out, but not so far out to make the split unbelievable - I got 16:38, which gives a 5:45 third mile. Assuming the prior mile of 5:37 I could definitely believe 5:45. So I started feeling a little discouraged thinking that I would be lucky to run 22:10, but I decided to try my hardest regardless, and was rewarded. The last mile turned out a little short, and I finished barely under 22:00. In reality the third mile was probably more like 5:40, and the last mile more like 5:26. 

Benjamin hit the 3 mile split in 16:00, making a 5 second adjustment really in 15:55, so 5:29 mile, and then finished in 21:09 which with the adjustement gives him 5:14 last mile.

He has made a breakthrough since June-July, but this was the first race where he had a chance to prove it. And he sure did. 5:17 average over 4 flat miles at 4700 feet. That is 16:26 5 K pace or converting to 5 K equivalent - 16:11, compared to his 17:01 in Draper Days in July.  He went through the first 3K in 9:43 at altitude compared to his 3000 9:35 performance in Oregon, and then still had a 10:43 2 miler afterwards.

As soon as I finished, Benjamin and I headed back to pace Jenny and Sarah. He ran with Jenny while I ran with Sarah. Jenny finished in 32:06 taking 3rd in the 12-14 age division. She has had some growth-related struggles with endurance, and it showed today. Nevertheless, she still managed a little over 8:00 average. We will work on fixing that. 

Sarah finished in 32:56 taking 4th in the 35-39 age division. Probably 1st in the Mom of Eight with a younger than one baby division. She was only a minute off her life time PR. Quite a bit of progress in the last two months. She averaged 8:14 pace for 4 miles today, while about two months ago she ran 8:12 in an all out mile on the track.

Then it was the time for little kids races. First, Matthew ("Mo-Mo") - 100 meters in the 0-2 age division. He is only 11 months old and has not quite mastered the art of walking, but can walk leaning on a toy, so we brought his favorite car. He pushed it falling down on his knees a few times, and made it through the race in 3:18 without crying at all. This is quite an accomplishment. He won the youngest participant award, which was a turkey. Joseph did this 8 years ago, except he cried all the way, but in his defense the weather was colder then.

Stephen ran in the 400 meter race and finished in 2:19 splitting 1:05/1:14 with no attitude issues which was good for 3rd. He exceeded my expectations. I would have been happy with 2:40 and some crying. The reason I was not expecting much is that Stephen is only 3 years and 3 months old and has not yet done much training. But he set our family record for a kid wearing diaper. He did quite a bit better than Benjamin's DNS at that age. We named him Stephen after Steve Cram, Steve Ovett and Steve Jones among other reasons, so maybe he is living up to his name after all.

Then William, Jacob, and Joseph raced in the same 800 race. I ran with Joseph, Benjamin paced William. Joseph won the 7-8 division repeating Benjamin's course record of 3:00 splitting 1:29/1:31, but his first 200 was 40. Jacob was second in the same division after his bully brother with 3:14. William in spite of being only 5 years and 1 month old won the 5-6 division in 4:00. I was hoping for something like 3:45, which I know he is capable of, but William is William and will run only as fast as he feels inclined. Thinking two years ahead when Jacob will be 9 and Joseph will be 10 and they have to race each other in the mile thus diminishing our turkey earning potential, I thought of a plan - send the slower of them to race the 4 miler in the 11 and under division - anything sub-30:00 will usually win it hands down, while the faster of them can deal with the competition in the 1 mile race.

Then Julia raced the mile. I paced her while Benjamin volunteered to do the rabbit duties for the whole race which ended up requiring a 5:47 mile. Julia ran 6:36 winning the girls 11-12 division, and being only two boys away from chicking the field.

We also won the largest immediate family award with 10 participants - which was not just a turkey but also a few extras. So the turkey count was 7 (immediate family, youngest participant, Benjamin, myself, William, Joseph, and Julia).

I ran some extra distance after the race to make the total 12 miles.

Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
From Paul on Fri, Nov 29, 2013 at 08:28:41 from

very nice. what is your family turkey PR?

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Nov 30, 2013 at 08:43:10 from

Paul - thanks. No, it was not a turkey PR. Last year we got 8 because even though we did not have the youngest participant Jenny won the mile, and Jacob and Joseph were not racing each other. However this was definitely a PR for the number of awards - this was the first time we had 10 people in the race, and on top of that everybody got some award - 9 for performance, and 1 for youngest participant.

From peds endo doc on Sat, Nov 30, 2013 at 11:37:47 from

you guys are awesome!

From Dave Taylor on Sat, Nov 30, 2013 at 22:50:07 from

Wow, Benjamin is really getting fast! I bet he gets down to 4:10 mile.

From josse on Sat, Nov 30, 2013 at 23:33:49 from

Great job to you and your whole family, Good to chat with you after the race.

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