Breaking the Wall

July 22, 2019

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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: 217.33 Year: 2189.42
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs Lifetime Miles: 2133.34
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1034.77
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Matthew Alexander Pachev was born this morning at 7:49 AM at our home. Sarah had the first contraction of significance at 4:30 AM. So it was a relatively fast labor. Everything was normal up until she started pushing him out. With just a little bit left to go we had a little scare - our midwife Cathy and her helper were not picking up the heart beat on their monitor. So they gave Sarah the oxygen and told her to push as hard as she could as she coached her through it. I got to witness the zeal of a tiger mother when the feels the life of her baby is in danger. Matthew soon came out, and with a little bit of help started breathing normally. Later Cathy told us about a delivery she was a part of where they could not register the heart beat for 45 minutes. This one required a transport to the hospital, but it all ended well - the baby came out healthy. Cathy has a great record - out of more than 1,000 home deliveries with all kinds of unexpected turns all of them resulted in live birth, and very few required hospital transport. After watching her tackle this problem today I have to say this is not just luck.

 Matthew was 20.25 inches tall and weighed 7 lb. Two minutes after his birth Sarah's phone started playing Called To Serve. This is her default ringtone which helps her not get annoyed when the phone rings at a bad time. This time, however, Called To Serve had a different meaning. It was her running partner Shelly calling to see if she could take the kids.

 Benjamin, Jenny and Julia took care of Joseph, Jacob, William and Stephen in the meantime. They were so organized that we never even knew they were in the house. Once we were ready for them, we invited them in to see their new brother. Afterwards Benjamin took his siblings on their runs while I stayed with Sarah to make sure she was OK. He did 7 miles himself, Jenny did 3, Julia 2, Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.5. Benjamin even ran a little bit with Stephen.

Then Benjamin and I traded places. He stayed with his mother to make sure was was OK while I ran 8 miles. The road conditions were very difficult today. It took me 1:06:04 to run 8 miles. On the positive side, I scored zero falls which is better than the last few runs. This run put my current pair of Crocs over 2000 miles.

Matthew 1 Matthew 2

Green Crocs 4 Miles: 8.00
Night Sleep Time: 5.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 5.00
From Chad Robinson on Wed, Dec 26, 2012 at 20:11:58 from

Congratulations! I wish Sarah a fast recovery and Matthew to enjoy his new life.

From Maurine/Miles on Wed, Dec 26, 2012 at 20:15:47 from

Welcome, Matthew. Tell Sarah hi for me and congratulations on your new little one.

From Matt Schreiber on Wed, Dec 26, 2012 at 20:40:02 from

Congratulations on the new little one! Hope all are healthy.

From RAD on Wed, Dec 26, 2012 at 20:44:22 from

Welcome sweet little one! What a beautiful Christmas. A wonderful tribute yesterday on the blog and then welcoming a new sweet little soul into the world today. Looks like everyone is doing well, is healthy and happy!! Enjoy the new baby, what a miracle. A speedy recovery to Sarah and a sleep-filled night to all!

From Holt on Wed, Dec 26, 2012 at 21:38:18 from

Congratulations to the whole clan.

From Jake K on Wed, Dec 26, 2012 at 21:51:59 from

Congrats Sasha. I'm not sure which one is "#28" but I love his reaction in the picture :-)

From JPark on Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 16:38:27 from

Congratulations Sasha!

From ACorn on Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 17:12:47 from

Congrats to the Pachev clan!

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 17:42:25 from

Thanks, everybody for your support. Jake, #28 is William. He is 4. He just recently started running on a regular basis with 0.5 miles being his daily distance. He recently told Sarah that she was not allowed to call him "adorable" anymore because "Stevie is adorable, and Matthew will be adorable, but I am going to be a man. I know how to count." His 400 m track PR is 2:12.

Rachael - I recall that you ran to the hospital to have your last baby delivered. If my memory is correct, can you remind me when it was, I want to put it on the honor board.

From josse on Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 17:46:31 from

Congrats on the baby, I got to see and help at a birth Christmas Eve and it was so cool. I love the joys of child birth. Tell Sarah great job and let me know if you guys need anything.

From Eric Day on Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 17:55:27 from

Muchas Felicidades Sasha & Family, que Dios los bendiga a todos ! Les deseo lo mejor en este día y para el próximo año. Un abrazo.

From RAD on Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 21:33:10 from

I would LOVE to say I did run to the was my plan. I ran a tough half marathon 3 weeks and 1 day before I had my baby (2:09:12), worked out the day before for 90+ min and ran 5 miles the week before I had him; however, I didn't get to do the hospital trip. My vanity overcame me and I wanted one last peaceful, painless, cleansing shower before I had a newborn and all the rest of the mess that comes with it. So, I stayed home and showered and let my husband drive me there. I fully believe I would've been capable of running the 5 downhill miles to the hospital, but I didn't. Now that I'm giving up a spot on the Honor Board I regret it even more!

From Tom on Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 21:40:37 from


From Claudio on Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 14:47:25 from

Sasha, congratulations on the new addition to the family, 8 miles for the 8th kid, and thank you for continuing to set good examples and inspiration with your blog.

From Dan Varga on Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 21:20:58 from


From Jon on Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 21:29:32 from

Congrats to all of you!

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 17:01:13 from


2:09:12 half on a hilly course 21 days and about 18 hours away from delivery of a full-term healthy baby combined with 1:58:06 16 days prior is even more impressive. I've put that on the Honor Board:,1781.0.html

From Burt on Fri, Jan 04, 2013 at 09:24:16 from

Congratulations. I like his initials.

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