Breaking the Wall

February 17, 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. Ran with Ted at 5:10 AM. It was 21 degrees, dark, and slippery, although not as bad as yesterday. Not in the mood to do a tempo, but ran brisk to get Ted to work on time. Stopped around 9.6 for VPB, told Ted to go ahead. Thought I'd catch him easily going 5:30. Well, I thought I could go 5:30, but with the cold, dark, and ice patches all I could manage was 6:00. And Ted being in a hurry to get to work went 6:20. So it took me a good 2.6 to catch him. Dropped him off at 14.1, then added another 1.05 around the block in 6:17 - 90 degree turns are not good with ice on the ground. 1:41:33 for 15.15, 6:42.18 avg.

P.M. 1.5 with Jenny in 14:33, 2 with Benjamin in 17:18, 1.05 with Julia in 11:11, then a short tempo pick-up - two laps around the block by myself (0.7) in 3:57, 5:38.5 avg, first lap in 2:00 (5:42.86 pace), second in 1:57 (5:34.29). On the first lap had to dodge two cars, this moved me into the snowy/icy part twice. On the second lap there was only one car, it was polite and moved out of the way. Had to ease off on the turns, they were icy/snowy. Felt strong and relaxed.

Later in the evening we learned a sad news. Our good friend and neighbor who acted like an adopted grandpa for our kids, and especially for Julia, passed away from a heart attack. Julia always sat on his lap during the Sacrament meeting at church. He even made a bird house for our girls, and was in the process of making a doll house in spite of not feeling that great - that was his way to show love. His physical heart was weak and did fail, but his spiritual heart did much better. So I feel sad that he is not with us any more, but I feel happy for him that he truly endured to the end, and moved on to better things when his time came.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From wheakory on Tue, Dec 11, 2007 at 17:06:19

You not in the mood for speed that's a first. But your right turns are real difficult. This time of year is good for aerobic base. Do you ever run on a treadmill?

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Dec 11, 2007 at 17:34:32

Absolutely never. I would exhaust all of the possible options, including shoveling off a 100 meter stretch and running back and forth on it for two hours before I would consider a treadmill even if I owned one.

From ArmyRunner on Tue, Dec 11, 2007 at 19:28:53

Wow! I think Sasha hates the treadmill more than anyone I know because that statement pretty much says it all. A friend and I have actually shoveled snow off of lane 1 of a 400m track before in order to get a workout in. That was a painful undertaking but we were able to get a good workout in.

From Mike Warren on Tue, Dec 11, 2007 at 22:38:58

Sasha, you are one dedicated guy!! I thinks it's pretty cool you take the time to run with the kids. None of my kids run, but i spend alot of time on the Golf course with one. The Basketball court with another. And watching my daughters dance performances. Trust me they grow up fast, my youngest is 11 now! Keep up the good work.

From Lybi on Tue, Dec 11, 2007 at 22:48:31

Why do you hate treadmills so much, Sasha? Is it because you think it ruins form or anything, or it is just the boredom factor? I kind of like running on the treadmill. Always a good temp and I have my portable DVD player right there on the book rest. It makes the time go by faster. But what a great opportunity for cross training! Shoveling 100 yds. is A LOT.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Dec 11, 2007 at 23:24:06

Lybi - two reasons. First, indoor air is not that healthy to pump through your lungs at running intensity. Second, treadmill running is in subtle ways biomechanically different from real running. You are getting trained for running on a treadmill, not for road running. I do not care about the boredom aspect. I will run for two hours staring at a wall day after day if I believe doing that will make me a better runner.

From Clay on Wed, Dec 12, 2007 at 16:43:54

I agree with Sasha, when I run on a treadmill my form always seems off or unsmooth and I always seem like I am going faster than what the pace says on the treadmill. But it is a good way to keep you fit this time of year, I don't like the cold, so the cut off for me is single digit tempatures, if its below 10 I am running on the treadmill!!!

Merry Christmas.

From wheakory on Wed, Dec 12, 2007 at 17:21:04

I agree with Sasha about running on a treadmill is different biomechanically. When I run on the Treadmill my lower back will hurt a bit for the first mile, it doesn't happen all the time but most the time and I never feel this when I run outside.

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