Breaking the Wall

Striders 5K

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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: 107.61 Year: 107.61
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: 1276.97
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Night Sleep Time: 23.83Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 23.83
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

10.04 in 1:06:38 in the morning with 2x2.5 in the middle, first in 14:33, second in 14:30. HR stablized at 154 on the first, and at 157 on the second towards the end. The last mile of the second (first mile of the first) was 0.5% net uphill grade.

Ran with the kids in the evening.

Updated the donor list on the Fund page. Please report errors/omissions if you find any.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran 10.04 in 1:05:50 in the morning at a steady pace. HR fluctated between 133 and 139 once I got going, while the pace fluctated between 6:40 and 6:20.

Saw Dr. Jex. He had my the X-Ray of my lower back in a sitting neutral position. The L1-L5 angle has changed from -5 to 5 degrees over the period of 4 months. However, the ideal angle, according to the Pettibon system is 35-45 degrees. Interestingly enough, I get fairly close when standing up, but something is out of whack when sitting down. I suspect running falls somewhere in between. I tried feeling my lower back with my hand when running, and it felt closer to the sitting position than to running.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Added a little bit of a run from the car to Home Depot on the way to Dr. Jex's.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran with Ted in the morning. Usual 10.04. Chatted for the first 4 miles, then got serious about the 7:00 mile guy. Sped up to 6:30-6:40 pace. HR at 6:30 was 132 when I arched my back the right way, otherwise 137. Arching the back made a noticable difference. I noticed Ted was starting to suffer when I did that while I did not increase the effort, and HR dropped. On the rough parts of the trail, I could not concentrate enough to think about arching the back, Ted was putting in the same effort, while I had to work harder to keep up. Total time was 1:09:02.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Jenny wanted to get a special prize - a treat from Good Earth. I told her she had to run 1.5 miles at sub-9:00 pace. She cruised at 8:48 pace for the first 1.25, then kicked in 1:55 on the last quarter.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran with Ted in the morning. 10.04 in 1:09:42 with a light fartlek in the middle - alternating a quarter in under 1:30 with a quarter in 1:50 8 times to catch the 7:00 mile guy.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. I told Benjamin I'd get him a Palm Pilot if he breaks 7:00 mile. His scriptures got ripped up quite a bit and are reaching the point of being unusable, so I figured a Palm Pilot would be a nice replacement with some extra features as a bonus.

Benjamin has a hard time running fast in the cold, so we waited. Finally it got warm enough, we thought, so we decided to try it. The Provo High track was covered with snow. As soon as we got to the Orem High track it started snowing pretty hard, but the track was still clear. Benjamin still wanted to give it a shot. He ran 7:13.9, not bad at all for the conditions. We'll have to wait for another warm day, though.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran with Ted in the morning. Usual 10.04. Lots of snow today, we had to slow down. On the way back, we ran into a guy named Tyler, and he joined us. Turns out he is dating the oldest daughter of Doug Padilla. Well, it was very fitting for him to be out for an 18 mile run on this cold and snowy morning. If you want to have the honors of dating a daughter of a great runner, you must show some character!

Ran with the kids in the afternoon.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran 13.5 with Ted in the morning. Warmed up 2 miles. Then did the standard 10 mile tempo on the 2.5 stretch between Geneva Road and the Utah Lake parking lot. The roads were mostly covered with snow with occasional dry patches. It was also cold - probably 15 degrees at the start. Ran with Ted the first 7 miles. He was tired. We did the first 2.5 in 16:09, then 16:04 coming back. Then at 7 miles I decided to go ahead and push it a bit to measure the conditions of the road more accunrately. Hit the next 2.5 split in 16:03. On the way back, decided to chase down the 6:20 guy, but it was difficult - had to slow down on ice for safety reasons. Made up only 8 seconds on the next mile. A song I heard a few times on a BBC English learning program back in 1990 in Russia came to my mind - "have to catch an early train, got to be at work by 9, but even if I had an airplane I still would not make it on time". The dry strethes were not long enough to get going, and then you have to ease off early enough before an ice patch. Pushed it on the last mile, managed 5:55, half of it was solid snow, put in a valiant effort, but ended up a second behind - 1:03:21.

I like to re-write popular songs sometimes when I am working hard, usually when things are going well. One of my favorites when drafting behind a tough competitor in a race - "and I swear, like a shadow that's by your side, I'll be there. For better or worse, till kick do us part, I'll hang on with every beat of my heart..."

Cooled down 1.5 to the house. Ran with the kids in the evening.

Tested my vertical jump. It was 18 inches. An improvement from 1.5 years ago when Ian Hunter tested it on the force plates (he says it gives you a very accurate estimate), and it was only 13 inches back then. The reason I decided to test it was that the whole body was feeling jumpy. I attribute this to the improvements in the lower back. Today I felt more like a pouncy cat than I can ever remember.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From sammack on Mon, Jan 08, 2007 at 19:02:13

Thanks for the comments. The 800 was definitely a slow one but I'm almost using it as validation that my week was a good one in terms of quality. The big test for me will come on the 20th at the New Balance Mile held at the Armory. After that, it's time to think about popping a fast 1500 in the spring/summer.

Keep up the good work with the training. 2:22 doesn't seem too far off for you. (That's the B standard, correct?)

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran with Ted in the morning at 4:45. It was a cold and early morning. My bed felt good, and I missed it. Ted started from BYU and I met him on the trail. We ran to his turnaround, and then back to BYU. There we did a strength test for a mini-experiment - max leg extension on a weight machine with one leg. Ted was my guinea-pig to establish a comparison base. The test measures your raw quad strength. My expectation was that I would outperform Ted by a lot more than you would expect from our running difference. My expectation turned out to be correct. I was able to lift 200 lb and failed at 220 lb, while Ted lifted 140 lb, and failed at 160 lb.

Then we did a vertical jump. We did not have any way to measure it, so we just did a basic visual evaluation by the number of blocks on the wall. Our vertical jump was essentially the same.

I think the preliminary results confirm my suspicion that I have very much below average spinal resilience. And also, that the spinal resilience is critical in the running economy, and just as important as the raw leg strength for sprinting. That is why you can see a guy with skinny legs run 100 in sub-12 quite often, while somebody with bigger legs may not be as fast. The skinny legged guy has to be very well coordinated and has the back of a cat.

However, I would like to do more of those tests. Ideally, it would be nice to find a graduate or P.H.D. student who wants to do a study for his paper/dissertation and do it with him. But at least doing some informal measurements is a good start. If anybody wants to participate, let me know. The catch is that the leg extension test needs to be done on the same machine and with the same starting angle, so you'd have to come down to Provo for it.

On the way back caught the 7:00 mile guy. Ran a bit of a tempo on the last 0.5 at sub-6:00 pace. Total of 11 miles in the morning.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. 13 miles for the day.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran with Ted at 4:45 AM again. Was thinking about my warm bed the entire run. We did a fartlek, 6x400, then 4x800, all at around 5:45-5:50 pace. The recoveries at 7:00-7:20 pace. HR readings were normal once I worked up enough sweat. 10.04 in 1:07:48.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

My cellphone woke me up with the "Serenade" at 4:30 AM to run with Ted at 4:45. It says on the menu - Seranade, 4:30 AM, Daily. A most lovely melody that would get a corpse to arise. Sarah asked me if I could put it on something less lively. I explained it had to be lively enough to get me out of bed. I also get dressed faster while that tune is still vividly playing in my mind.
Met Ted on the trail - he ran from BYU. Saw a runner from afar in the dark and wondered if it was Ted. Should not have wondered. The probability of it being somebody else was extremely low. In fact, I believe the last time I saw anybody other than Ted running before 5 AM was in the Wasatch Back Relay. We were both asleep and ran at 7:20 pace or so most of the time. I proposed a 6:00 mile to wake up, but Ted's legs were tired from yesterday. Followed Ted part of the way to BYU until it was time to turn around. Then I had 1.5 left to the house, which I decided to do at marathon pace. Turned out it was 1.58 because I miscalulated the turnaround. No problem. Ran 1.5 in 8:41 at a steady pace, HR eventually climbed to 150, total time for 10.08 was 1:11:49. Ran with the kids in the evening.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From mike on Thu, Jan 11, 2007 at 11:10:56

Nice addition to the blog. I like the added space and the word processing formatting.

From Cheston on Thu, Jan 11, 2007 at 17:17:39

Nice updates as well, I had fun playing around with all the options.

From steve ashbaker on Thu, Jan 11, 2007 at 22:00:20

Sasha,I could only manage 4 plates on the machine at our complex I am not sure but I estimate them to be 25lbs each? How much were the ones you tested?

From steve ashbaker on Thu, Jan 11, 2007 at 22:01:22

Sasha,I could only manage 4 plates on the machine at our complex I am not sure but I estimate them to be 25lbs each? How much were the ones you tested?

From steve ashbaker on Thu, Jan 11, 2007 at 23:46:42

I can give fixing your stereo a shot if you give it to me for a while. But honestly like I said before I work on older tube radios. Newer solid state equipment is trickier for me and may require equipment such as a oscilloscope or signal tracer. Sadly I do not have this equipment. If it is something simple I may be able to weed it out. Let me know what you want to do.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran with Ted in the morning. Did a tempo 2.5 in 14:23. The rest was at a very relaxed pace. Total of 10.13.

Ran with the kids in the evening.

Worked all night figuring out little and  not so little bugs in the new text editor. It is still buggy, but at least functional. Please report bugs as you find them. One thing I really need tested is try entering some text, then wait about 5-10 minutes to submit it. If you can reproduce it posting the numbers, but not the comments, please report. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Kory on Fri, Jan 12, 2007 at 01:17:17

Sasha what type of running shoes do you wear? Currently my high miler shoe is the Brooks Adrenaline 6 and my Marathon shoe is the Avia Lite which is 10.1. I want to go with a lighter shoe to run marathons and I was thinking of trying out the

Asics GEL-Ohana Racer. They weight 8.5 ounces.

From Superfly on Fri, Jan 12, 2007 at 06:58:00

Sasha thanks for the call. I just came home and downloaded Firefox and it worked. I hope the Safari thing isn't too big of a bug to work out. Anyways thanks again.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Jan 12, 2007 at 08:37:21


Let me first start with a story. I was on my way to run DesNews 2003 when half-way I realized I had forgotten my racers. There was no possible way for me to get them. I only had a pair of walking shoes each weighing 13 ounces which were too heavy even for easy runs for my taste and had a lot of wear already. I prayed to know what to do and heard a still small voice in my mind: "Run in the shoes you have, it is not the shoe that makes the runner." I did, and had a good race finishing 4th in a strong company in 2:34:47, which was a course PR by 2:38.

Having said that, I do race marathons in the lightest shoe I can find. I would not recommend this to everyone - many people will get injured if they did this. You have to know yourself to find the right shoe.

From Dallen on Sat, Jan 13, 2007 at 15:14:56

Congrats on being one of the marathon runners of the year!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted in the morning at 4:45 AM. 10 miles through some serious snow. Ran very relaxed at about 7:40-7:50 pace in chat mode. Then ran with the kids. Went to Sarah's youngest brother's wedding afterwards. He and his wife were sealed in the Jordan River Temple.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Today was a big sleep-in day. I slept until as late as 6:30 AM. Ted had a hard time getting out of the snow, so we did not get going until 7:30. It was cold at the start (12F) and lightly snowing. When the temperatures are around 10F and below the snow becomes brittle and starts cracking under your feet. This provides decent traction, almost as good as asphalt. So we had good traction at the start. I decided to do mile pickups. Ran the first one with decent traction in 5:45 with HR at 152. Started slipping more as it got warmer on the second - 5:52, HR hit 154 and went back down to 150 probably as I lost motivation from slipping. And then one more in 6:00, slipping even more with HR at 152. Towards the end we were struggling to keep 8:00 pace conversationally, while at the start we were cruising at 7:10 pace. Ended up with 1:12:59 for 10.24 - a little longer because I kept coming back to Ted after the pickups.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Maria on Sun, Jan 14, 2007 at 07:26:27


in case you haven't seen this, National Marathon in D.C. is offering some incentives for OT quailifiers. They're offering $1000 for breaking 2:20 and $500 for 2:22. They also might offer free entry/travel, it's worth checking. This marathon is on Saturday, 03/24. Here is the full info: USATF - News.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Jan 17, 2007 at 00:24:33


Thanks for the tip. I checked with Keith Downing who is the race director. They do not have any travel money, unfortunately for us, and maybe fortunately for the local runners.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted in the morning. Did 10.04 in 1:11:43. The temperature varied from -8F to -4F during the run. Wore anywhere from two to three layers of clothing, including gloves and socks. That was perfect - very comfortable, but not too much. Special emphasis on on the extremities and the crotch. Years of running through Russian winters have helped.

The entire time we discussed Ryan Hall's 59:43 in the half. I want him to run 2:03 marathon to prove the pundits wrong. I love proving the pundits wrong or see them proving wrong. One of my favorite scriptus is 2 Nephi:9:28-29 :

O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.

But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.

I think the "pundits" start making wrong predictions when they are out of tune with the Spirit of God and start placing their own wisdom above it. I think the prediction of 2:04 limit for the marahton world record fundamentally underestimates our potential, and I am looking forward to watching it proven wrong by somebody who has the talent and obeys the laws of breaking 2:04.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Dustin Ence on Tue, Jan 16, 2007 at 10:34:10

Sasha I like some of the new features on the blog, it is improving all the time. You asked me the other day what I measured on the half marathon. I measured the Painter's Half to be 12.95. I think Dave Holt had a similar distance. I think it was a little long last year and probably a little short this year. It was a different course this year from last year, but still included much of the bike path.

From Mike on Tue, Jan 16, 2007 at 13:16:56

I had the good luck to see Ryan Hall at the 10 mile mark on his record run. He was running angry fast. The conditions were not great for running a fast half. He could have run 20-40 seconds faster on a point to point dry course with pacers. Remember, this was a national championship race. There were not any pacers like during Geb's run last year.

From Kory Wheatley on Tue, Jan 16, 2007 at 16:45:41

Sasha, what do you wear on your face in such cold weather? I use a breathable thermal ski mask.

What type of gloves do you use? My hands seem to be the only part that get cold when I run in -2 degree weather.

From Kory Wheatley on Tue, Jan 16, 2007 at 16:46:46

Sasha, what do you wear on your face in such cold weather? I use a breathable thermal ski mask.

What type of gloves do you use? My hands seem to be the only part that get cold when I run in -2 degree weather.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Jan 17, 2007 at 00:17:11


I put on a special hat that covers most of your face. Makes me look like I am about to rob a bank. For gloves, I use the cheapest kind, but make sure to wear two on each hand.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Another cold day. 0F at the start, -2F at the finish. Ran with Ted at 4:45 AM. Usual 10.04. Did a tempo 2.5 in 14:59. Hard to run fast with 2.5 layers of clothes, on snow, in the cold, and that early. Not sure how much it slows you down, we'll find out when the roads clear up.

Afterwards, read Lesson 2 Tragedy or Destiny out of the church lesson manual. After the challenges of the run, my mind was very open to these words of President Kimball:

Being human, we would expel from our lives physical pain and mental anguish and assure ourselves of continual ease and comfort, but if we were to close the doors upon sorrow and distress, we might be excluding our greatest friends and benefactors. Suffering can make saints of people as they learn patience, long-suffering, and self-mastery.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. All three set a record for the coldest they've run it - 7F.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Paul Petersen on Wed, Jan 17, 2007 at 12:23:43

Sasha, congrats on being named the #15 Male Outstanding Marathoner of the Year for 2006!!

Check it out everyone:

Rankings were based on number of marathons run, finish times, and finish places.

From Clay Simmons on Wed, Jan 17, 2007 at 13:34:57

Yes Sasha that is quite an accomplishment, congratulations, and thanks for all your expert advise and this great web site to use, I do appreciate it.

From Dave Holt on Wed, Jan 17, 2007 at 13:37:11

Congratulations Sasha - that is a very neat bit of recognition.

From Cody on Wed, Jan 17, 2007 at 15:10:39


I am impressed! What a great year for you. I bet it is nice to receive recognition (from the running community) for all the hard work. Keep it up!

From Paul T on Wed, Jan 17, 2007 at 19:42:21

My congrats as well, but I'm maybe more impressed that you actually go out and train at 4:45am in zero degree weather. When it hits single digits I head for the treadmill (or basketball court). That's probably the only thing keeping me from being the #15 Male Outstanding Marathoner of the Year. Well, maybe not the only thing. Seriously, I'm sure it contributes to why you are so good. You inspire the rest of us.

From Nick on Wed, Jan 17, 2007 at 22:15:39

Nice work Sasha! Your intense training is leading you to great places!

From steve ashbaker on Thu, Jan 18, 2007 at 15:09:03

Congratulations! I hope this will be the year of breakthroughs for you. Being on the list signifies a lifetime of work, sacrifice and dedication. And don't forget the wife who has supported you all the way. I know without Kim's patience and long suffering I would not be where I am today. Good Luck and God bless.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

10.03 miles in the morning at 4:45 with Ted in 1:09:58. Met him on the trail - he started from BYU. Another cold day - 0F temperature.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon.

Got a K-TEC blender in the mail today. Sarah made soup in in for dinner, as well as some apple sauce and salsa.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran with Ted. Today was our sleep-in day  - we ran at 5:30 AM instead of the regular 4:45. Did a tempo. Ran 14:37 on our standard 2.5 mile stretch from Geneva Road to the trail entrance partking lot by the Utah Lake. The road conditions were a lot better, although the first mile still covered with snow for a good part. Still cold, 0F, wore the standard 2.5 layers of clothes.

Ted was feeling tired. I encouraged him to run 7:40 pace the rest of the way. This also gave me a nice mental break after the tempo. Although I am not putting in a lot of physical effort into those tempos, mentally they are very hard. It is dark and cold, the road traction is not the best, it is early in the morning, and the clothes weigh enough and block the movement enough to cause some serious mental resistance. That's why I keep them down to only 2.5 miles and run them at 5:45-6:00 pace. 

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

No sleeping in this morning. Met Ted on the trail. Did not feel like I had a good attitude the entire run. Missed my warm bed all the way long. The inversion dampened my spirits. I can feel the quality of the air that is going in when I pick up the pace. And when I feel the quality is not good, I do not want to pick up the pace. And I feel depressed, a bit of a panic from the realization that something I depend upon for life is does not have very good quality.

Finally decided to do an attitude improvement tempo pick up. Ran the uphill mile (the last one of the standard tempo course, 0.5% grade) in 5:55. That made me feel better. My mind has a natural tendency to notice or recall connections or associations. So I remembered Pushkin's cure for dampened sprits that I had to memorize in the Russian equivalent of grade school or some time early in junior high: 

Выпьем с горя; где же кружка?
Сердцу будет веселей.

which in my translation, is:

Let us drink from sorrow, where is the mug?
The heart will be merrier.

Combine that with the fact that your average Russian literature teacher approaches Pushkin
the same way a devout Christian would approach the Bible. No wonder Russia has serious alcohol
problems.  While Pushkin wrote beautiful poetry, I think the teachers should emphasize that had he chosen not to drink, it would have been even better. And he probably would also have had a less explosive temper which would have given him the wisdom not to duel.


Ran with the kids in the afternoon.

Found a story that just cracked me up about how a bug in a cake printer produced a very
interesting birthday greeting message for an 80-year old Italian lady. I could not stop laughing for about 5 minutes. Good exercise for the abdominal muscles.


Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Dave Holt on Mon, Jan 22, 2007 at 09:48:20

I found a variety of ways to calculate max heart rate and various thresholds, so here's what I came up with:

Max 189-191

Tempo 160

And I have no clue about a 100m, probably around 14 seconds (just a guess)

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Tempo run with Ted in the morning. Sleep in day - we ran at 7:15 AM. Warmed up to Geneva Road, and did the standard 10 mile tempo. I had too goals - stay with Ted as much as possible, and catch the 6:00 mile guy eventually. The trail was partially covered with snow, but a good part of it was dry. However, you did have to swerve from side to side to catch the good parts. Also, it was around 1F, so I had my standard 2.5 layers.

We ran together for the first 1.5 miles at 6:15 pace. Then stopped for a bio break, while Ted kept going. I started chasing him, and sped up to 5:45. It felt easier than I expected, and I felt some extra bounce in my stride. There are a couple of things I did different last week. Ted brought me some Synflex to try. It is a glucosamine-based supplement that is supposed to promote the growth of cartrilage. My hope is that it will improve the quality of my spinal disks and thus increase the resilience of the spine. I also changed my Pettibon exercise routine to walk around carrying a medicine ball above my head while wearing the headweights.

Hit 2.5 in 15:08, then caught Ted 0.5 miles later, along with the 6:00 guy. Decided to stay with Ted until we were 30 seconds behind the 6:00 guy. Ted was not feeling good - a bit sick, and a bit overtrained. We ran at 6:20 - 6:25 pace, and then slowed down to a 1:38 quarter. We were 28 seconds behind the 6:00 guy, and I decided it was time to take off. The road was covered with snow, so I fell behind even further - 30:32 (15:14) at 5 miles. That was bad news. So I pressed it a bit harder, and managed to not fall behind any further on the way back through the snowy section. Then with the same effort, I started closing the gap when the road was dry. 45:17 at the turnaround, 14:45 for 2.5. Now I was fully aware of the conditions of the trail and the difficulty of running 5:50 pace on it with all the clothes on, so I got down to business. Still 7 seconds to close with a mile to go, and it is uphill and covered with snow. Barely made it - 59:59.7, 14:42 on the last 2.5. 

Ran back to Ted, finished with him, then we ran to my house. 13.7 for the run. Ran with the kids a short while later, and then went cross-country skiing with Benjamin at Sundance. This was his first time cross-country skiing, and my first time in 20 years. I did a few tempo stretches, all I could do was 9:00 mile pace putting in 6:00 mile running effort. However, I believe, cross-country skiing is exactly what I need for my back. It bends it and stretches it in a way that feels just right when I lean forward and push off with both arms. I remember that in the past I felt cross-country skiing made me run with better form. I need to find a time and cost-effective way to do it as often as possible. If anybody knows of a good place to buy a pair of boots and skis, please post a comment or send me an e-mail. 

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From Paul Petersen on Mon, Jan 22, 2007 at 13:39:30

What size shoe do you wear? What is your weight? I might have some gear to sell...

Also, try ebay. It usually has a lot of XC stuff for cheap.

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Sleep in day today. Ran at 7:30 AM with Ted. Met him on the trail. He started from BYU. Then Ted headed back to BYU, and I stayed on the trail. Found a runner named Cameron. He was going pretty fast - about 6:40 pace through the snow. Ran with him a bit. His marathon PR is 3:07. Suggested to him he needed to increase his mileage - based on how well he was handling 6:40 he should be able to hold it for the marathon with proper training. Invited him to join the blog crowd.

Afterwards, running alone and focusing on the form (nothing else to think about), noticed it was better than normal. The push off felt more effective. The hamstrings were working. The pace also showed - according to The Toy I was going 6:20-6:30 pace, and it did not feel that fast in spite of the 2.5 layers of clothes. The questions are: Is this for real? Will it continue? If yes, is it from Synflex?  Carrying the medicine ball above my head with headweights? Stretching the the muscles in the upper back? Cross-country skiing? Or possibly all of the above. Or maybe none, just another fluke, I've had many days when I felt great at 6:20 pace, but terrible at 5:40 immediately afterwards,  

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. After dinner they wanted carob cookies. Each sufficiently mature child had to earn it by solving a math problem.  Julia had to do 6+1, solved with no hints. Jennifer had to do 6x7, needed a hint (6x5+6x2).  Benjamin had to calculate the cosine of 60 degrees. Solved after he had drawn the picture of a circle on a coordinate plane.

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From Chad on Tue, Jan 23, 2007 at 11:16:17

I would starve in your household!

From Ryan Woods on Tue, Jan 23, 2007 at 13:42:33

Hey Sasha, thanks for the advice. My recovery days are more focused on less miles (1/2 my regular run days) as opposed to pace. Typically though the pace is a little slower. But it's good advice and I'm going to work on keeping easy days easy. With that said, I'm a 5k runner with a 13:50 pr. I typically base hard and easy days based on feel but if I'm going to drop a days run in half then I should make sure to take it slow so it can have it's full recovery purpose. Thanks for the advice

From Andy on Wed, Jan 24, 2007 at 09:50:52

I'm not sure if you saw this but you were listed on Marathon Guide's list of outstanding marathoners for 2006

You are listed at number 15. Congratulations!

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Tempo 2.5 in the middle of a 10 mile run with Ted at 4:45 in the morning. Still cold. It snowed some more, the trail is almost entirely covered with snow. Still cold. Felt sleepy, missed my bed. 15:01 was all I could do. The form did not feel good - the spring in my stride I felt yesterday was gone. But yesterday it did not come through until later on in the run either.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Did a quarter with Julia on my shoulders in 2:05. It felt like 6:20 pace. Julia is 4, and weighs about 30+ pounds.

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Easy run with Ted early in the morning. The form was not good. The quads were being overutilized. I wonder if it has to do with the degree of wakefulness, perhaps some critical point at which my nervous system kicks it, adjusts something a little bit which puts it past the critical point.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. 

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From ArmyRunner on Wed, Jan 24, 2007 at 22:43:21


I think carrying Julia on your shoulders while running a 2:00 quarter may not be good for your back/neck and may therfore have caused a set back in your spine/neck condition and thus the change in form. 30+lbs on the shoulders, up so high on the back and neck, is not a good thing for the back and neck just walking but running just compounds the potential harm.

From Ryan Woods on Thu, Jan 25, 2007 at 15:51:08

it's florida, you have to change your mind set. technically though it was 55 today when i ran. i expect no sympathy from the rest of america though.

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Ran with Ted this morning. It was our sleep-in day - we started at 5:30 am. With the extra sleep I felt livelier in the tempo run, and so did Ted. We ran our standard 2.5 tempo. Most of the trail was covered with snow, but there were a bit more dry spots than on Tuesday. First mile in 5:59, trying to wake up. Next time I had a chance for a reliable split was at 1.5 + 1/16, which was 9:14, 8 seconds ahead of the 6:00 mile guy. Then around the 2 mile mark I really needed to take a bio-break. This gave Ted a chance to pass me. However, I was quick enough to put Ted within reach. I knew I had to work, because I could tell that he was having a good day, and he usually runs much better the further he goes this time of day. At first I had a hard time getting going (The Toy reported 1:26 quarter), but then my tiger chasing a pray instinct turned on. The Toy reported a quarter in 1:18, and I managed to catch Ted. My total time was 14:24, which gives me 5:10 for the last 15/16 of a mile, this is 5:31 pace average. However, I did not start going fast until the last 0.5, so that 1:18 quarter was probably really 1:18. Ted ended up with 14:48, a record for him for the comparable conditions.

This goes to show that perhaps the biggest factor that makes me struggle to break 6:00 pace on those tempo runs is not the extra clothes, the cold, and the snow, but rather the lack of excitement at this early hour. Once I had a reason to run sub-5:20 pace, it came without a superhuman effort that I would expect from the difficulty of running 5:50 on those runs.

The economy felt average. Quads worked more than I wanted them too, but not terribly out of the ordinary. The spring from the back felt average, maybe even slightly better than average.

Afterwards, my adrenal glands did not want to work, I think. We ran 8:00 pace the rest of the way, and it felt fast. If 7:00 felt fast, I could have blamed it on lactic acid buildup, maybe. But in this case, I think it was just running out of mental energy to push.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon.

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Easy run with Ted at 4:45 AM. Met him on the trail. He started from BYU. After my lips got used to the cold, I could finally carry a conversation. That made the run less tedious for me. Ted told me about the red necks in Alabama that drive as if they were trying to hit you, see how close they can get, and then swerve at the last moment.

Saw another runner on the trail later, I believe it is the second one I've seen on those runs. This was after my turnaround, so Ted missed her, but he had a good chance of spotting the rare creatures near BYU.

Weighed myself with clothes I've been running in - 155lb. Then changed to summer running clothes - 151lb. So 4lb difference. According to the Daniels Running Formula Vdot tables, this should translate to about 5-7 seconds per mile loss just from the weight. There is probably also a movement restriction factor involved. With the cold temperatures, and the snow on the ground you lose some more. Plus being asleep at the early hour. So struggling with 6:00 pace over 2.5 miles perhaps is not that bad in those conditions.

Curt Catmul came by and brought me a pulley contraption to simulate the cross-country skiing movement of the back, and do other stretching and strengthening exercises. I tried it and liked it so far. I am still doing Pettibon exercises and treatment, but I am starting to suspect I've reached the limit of the method for my problem. The last X-ray showed no improvement compared to the previous test - 20 degree angle (decrease from 23, ideal 45), and the unchanged head forward tilt of 8mm (ideal 0). So I improved very fast from the start, but have now plateaued. This is not to say that eventually it could not work, but something needs to be done differently.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. They are starting to get used to the inversion.

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From tlee on Sat, Jan 27, 2007 at 12:33:39

Being new to the blog, just wanted to thank you for all your efforts setting up this website. Also congrats on your great running performances over the years.

From Ryan Woods on Sat, Jan 27, 2007 at 16:20:46

Mykola Antonenko was his name. he ran 14:49. There's a group of Russians that train in the winter in Jacksonville. I don't beleive they live in America year round as I've met up to 3 of them and none have known any english. there's a REALLY good masters female that is always there though. her name is Firaya Sultanova. She took second overall today with a time of 16:34 behind Amy Rudolph. Do you know any of them?

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Major sleep-in day. Tempo run with Ted at 7:15 AM.  10 miles on the standard course between Geneva Road and the Utah Lake. Ted was not feeling well in the morning, so to make things interesting we decided to give him a head start of one minute. The conditions of the trail for the first 2.5 miles were better than Thursday but worse than last Saturday. Later on, they became significantly worse as the snow became wet and lost its crispiness. As it was warmer (14F), I decided to wear 1.5 layers on my legs (shorts over tights).

First mile in 5:56 on snow, felt good. The snow was still crisp, decent traction. Stopped for bio break at 1.75.  First 2.5 in 14:45. Ted was about 1:40 ahead already. Turned out he actually opened up 10 seconds on me on top of the head start and the bio break. 23:37 at 4 miles, still decent pace. Then I hit a solid mile of wet snow - 6:10, 15:03 for the 2.5, 29:48 for 5. Ted is a minute ahead, and the 6:00 mile guy is gaining on me, not good. I thought with me wearing only one pair of pants  he would never be gaining on me.

Next mile in 6:09 on wet snow, hanging on trying to hold off the charging 6:00 mile guy. He runs like a moose on wet snow, he does not care. Next 1.5 miles have frequent dry ground patches, time for revenge. However, the patches of snow are killing the pace. 44:50 at 7.5, 15:02 for 2.5, Ted is now only 30 seconds ahead.

On the way back working hard to build a nice cushion before the last mile. Who knows, it might get even worse than 6:10 for that mile. Passed Ted with 1.5 to go. 1:03:44 at 9 miles. Let's hope 16 second lead is enough. Figured out a trick from desperation - surge hard on every smallest dry patch, then coast on the snow - it does not pay to push there. Exponential increase in effort results only in marginal increase in speed. Finished in 59:50, 10 seconds ahead of the 6:00 mile snow-plowing hard charging moose. Last mile in 6:06, last 2.5 in 15:00.

Jogged with Ted back to my house, put on ankle weights, jogged some more to make it 14. Worked out on Curt's contraption, liked the feeling afterwards. Ran with the kids in the afternoon.

As got back home and we knelt down for a family prayer, I saw a flock of moose trophies on the shelf that I've collected from 8 Top of Utah "in the moose" finishes to remind me of today's run.  


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From Ryan Woods on Mon, Jan 29, 2007 at 14:11:48

wow, 2:13! that's an amazing marathon time. I figured he'd be good because of the people that train in that group in gainesville but 2:13 is quite impressive. Thanks for the update! what about the russian masters female? do you know of her? she's been dominating a lot of road races here in fla for the past few years

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Easy run with Ted at our standard 4:45 AM time. The pace was not fast enough for long enough to test the form/spine spring. However, I did hit a quarter in 1:38 at the end that felt easy.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Warmer weather and less inversion. Benjamin and Jenny ran faster. Benjamin ran the last 0.5 in 3:45 rather comfortably. I think he is ready for another sub-7:00 mile attempt. We will probably try on Thursday if the weather is good.

The Fast Running Blog is overdue for a number of improvements.  We have added a few more runners to the point where even I find the current blog navigational system inadequate, and that is bad - I can use a very rudimentary user interface and be happy. I have had plans to do a predictor with GPX course uploads, or even better - a plotter like Also, need to find a way to place the Google ads better - in a way that is not annoying, but effective for generating click-throughs. The click through rate on the Fast Running Blog pages has not been very good - I hope mostly because the pages have been too interesting to read to leave them. Just need to find the time to code it all up.

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From Kory Wheatley on Tue, Jan 30, 2007 at 01:33:33

Upgrades alway take a lot of time and planning. You've done a wonderful job with what's available now.

Question: What shoes do you wear in your training and what shoes do you wear in the Marathon's you've ran?

I'm really thinking about going with a real light shoe in my next few marathons.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Jan 30, 2007 at 09:23:16


I wear whatever I can get for free. Given a choice I use a sturdy shoe for no other reason that it lasts a long time. I've put about 3000 miles on a pair of New Balance Off Road and they are still in decent condition by my standards (no holes). Ted just brought me two pairs of his shoes he did not want to use - Nike Zm Air and Adidas adiPRENE, both very light, about 8 ounces, and I've been running in them as well. For racing a marathon ( as well as any other distance), I've recently been using Saucony CRM S, also a light shoe. Thanks for asking, it made me look up and document which shoes I was actually using.

However, for you I would recommend going by what your body is telling you. Everybody is different as far as shoes are concerned, and I am an anomaly. I believe most runners would get injured fairly quickly if they tried to put their feet in my shoes and run the same kind of mileage.

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Early morning tempo with Ted. Standard 4:45 AM. Short warm-up, then 2.5 in 14:11. Ted and I started at a good pace. I had to do a bio-break at around 0.75. After that kicked into gear to try to catch Ted. Hit the mile in 5:47. Caught up sooner than I expected - Ted had to take a bio-break at 1.5, I think I am infecting him with the decease. Went passed him, did not wait. Stayed in gear except for getting out of rhythm on short snow patches. The trail was in good condition except for the first 0.5 miles. Ted finished in 14:13. I think were it not for the bio breaks we probably would have pushed each other into the sub-14:00 range.  Not bad for the cold, early, and lots of clothes.

On the way back tried to trick Ted into running another 2.5. He went about a quarter, then did not feel good. I coasted putting in a marathon pace effort. Total time was 14:44, but the last 0.5 was 3:02, and I was slipping a lot more than in the first repetition.

The stride was far perfect, but better. I felt like I was using the full length of my legs, that is the best way I can describe it. What would be nice is to come up with some measurement devices/techniques and record the measurements along with the feelings. Then after some calibration I'd be able to tell what is going on, just like I can tell the pace and the heart rate correctly by feel right now.

Did back exercises on Curt's contraption. Ran with the kids in the afternoon. 

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Easy run with Ted at 4:45 AM. It was snowing.  The roads were quite slippery. Both of us almost fell a couple of times.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. It warmed up, and it looked like the inversion had cleared a bit. Benjamin wanted to do a mile time trial. So all of us went to the Orem High track. However, the cold wind was too much for the kids. All Benjamin could do was 7:37. Jenny was supposed to race the Fast Running Mommy, but being still little she had some breathing problems and did some sort of a stop and go. She did run about 8:00 pace during the go. Not having Daddy around did not help either (I was pacing Benjamin). The Fast Running Mommy set a post-Jacob record for the mile in 8:19. Afterwards, Julia wanted to run a special lap with Daddy. Jenny joined us and surged ahead. Half way through Julia changed her mind. That was OK, since she had already run her daily quarter. By that time Jenny had gotten quite far ahead. I wanted to be there at the finish to time her, so I sped up. With 100 meters to go, I realized I really needed to speed up. Ran 15 seconds for the last 100, which I was pleased with. I was in street clothes, it was cold, I had not done any speed work recently, and it did not feel like an all out sprint. My best 100 m ever is 13.9.

Worked out on on Curt's contraption. It is basically a bucket with weights attached to a rope on one end, the rope goes over a suspended pulley, and comes out attached to a handle on the other end. So you pull holding the handle, and the bucket comes up. Then you can hold on to it at any angle or height you want, and it can stretch the spine or the muscle group of interest as the weight of the bucket pulls on the rope. Simple, clumsy looking, but very effective. I feel like I am getting a quality workout on it.

Added a long-overdue fix to the race entries - now they show not only on the race entries page, but also during the regular blog viewing.

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From ArmyRunner on Thu, Feb 01, 2007 at 20:53:55

A couple of great quotes rom Ryan Hall in a recent interview. You can find the whole interview at

I am really cheering for him now! I would love to see him break all of the American Records and go after a World Record as well.

"It’s a long story, but the whole point is that even when you don’t have perfect build-up and you get stressed out sometimes, the Lord is just with you, and it works out, and you have a great race."

"That’s the nice thing, too, about being up in the mountains is you kind of stay out of the limelight. I don’t have TV or Internet, or even a computer up here right now, so I am just doing my own thing and getting back to training."

"I have this dream of being a world class runner and I feel like God has given me a gift to run and I feel like I haven’t ever really…I have seen glimpses of it but it’s never really come out. And that’s what I was so thrilled about. Sara told me that coming down the last hill I was acting like a crazy man and she’s right, I was. I was just so excited that finally, after all this time, finally I am starting to realize my dream and starting to be all that God has given me."

"So we found this really cool mobile home with this awesome view of the mountains. It’s just a mobile home, not anything pricey or anything, but just to have a place we can call home here while we’re training."

"You know whether or not I actually run 2:05 my first time out, it depends on a lot of things."

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Sleep-in day. Ran at 5:30 AM. Tempo run with Ted. Took care of the potential bio-break problems in advance. The road conditions were better than on Tuesday - enough dry spots on the first mile to make much faster than normal. After that, only occasional snow patches. However, you did have to swerve around quite a bit to hit the dry spots on the first mile.

Splits by 0.5 - 2:53, 2:56 (5:49), 2:50 (8:38), next quarter in 1:26. After that, I saw we were behind the 5:40 guy by 9 seconds and went after him. Next quarter in 1:20 (2:46, 5:36, 11:24), then 1:22, 1:22, last 0.5 in 2:44, last mile in 5:30, total time 14:08, new inversion/cold/clothes/early morning season record. Ted finished at a steady 5:44 pace in 14:22. The pace felt relaxed for the first 1.75, after that it felt like a slow 10 K/fast half-marathon, which I am happy about.

On the way back I knew better than try to persuade Ted to run another tempo with me. Inversion has been hitting him harder than me, and he has developed a cough. So I ran it solo. Decided to cruise at a marathon pace. Ran 5:50 pace for the first 1.5 fairly relaxed, then picked up a bit to compensate for the uphill and the upcoming snow. Overcompensated a bit and ran the last mile in 5:44. Total time 14:29. First 1.5 felt like a true marathon pace just hanging out with the guys getting to know them. 5:44 on the last mile felt like a move try to break somebody. This is good news - this is how those speeds felt in shorts, 50 degree weather, and no inversion leading up to Ogden last year.

I felt some bounce in my legs, more efficient stride. I hope it is the Curt's contraption exercises kicking in, not just a fluke. We'll have to wait and see where that goes.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Lots of inversion. Did some more exercises on Curt's contraption, and then tug-of-war with the kids.

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From Marquette on Mon, Feb 19, 2007 at 20:37:28

I hope you don't mind if I ask a question. Months ago you mentioned starting the Pettibon System. My 15 year old daughter has 32 degree scoliosis and I am considering the Pettibon System. What has been your experience? How often was your initial treatment? What was the cost per visit?

From Marquette on Mon, Feb 19, 2007 at 20:38:20

I hope you don't mind if I ask a question. Months ago you mentioned starting the Pettibon System. My 15 year old daughter has 32 degree scoliosis and I am considering the Pettibon System. What has been your experience? How often was your initial treatment? What was the cost per visit?

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Feb 20, 2007 at 13:04:20


My initial treatment involved 3 visits a week. Then down to 2 after about two months, then two months later down to 1. My chiropractor charged me a flat fee for the whole year, which came down to about $3000.

My problem is a bit different, and perhaps not as well researched. I am a competitive runner with the world-class endurance, but average biomechanics, which I believe stems from the average health of the spine (average as defined by the standard of our sedentary culture, which really means not very good). I am trying to move from average to exceptional, which relatively few people try. So there is a lot of trial and error. It took my chiropractic 6 months, for example, to discover that I needed a shoulder weight for the head weights to be effective.

I've seen some independent studies showing the effectiveness of Pettibon method for treating scoliosis. I think a Pettibon chiropractic treating scoliosis would be in a more familiar area, and the results would show quicker.

From Marquette on Fri, Feb 23, 2007 at 08:03:24

Sasha, Thank you so much for answering my question. It is really hard to find people who have benefitted from Pettibon and are independent of the chiropractors sites. My daughter will need head, shoulder and hip weights and a Boston brace for 12-18 months. The cost in Michigan runs about $6,000. I just wanted independent opinions from Pettibon patients before I actually spent that kind of money. Thanks again and good luck to you.

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Easy run with Ted at our standard time - 4:45 AM. Met him on his way from BYU. A few miles into the run we saw a couple of dogs. Ted told me about being chased by an angry pit bull in Australia at around mile 15 of a long run. 

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Worked out on Curt's contraption. 

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Woke up from a dream. I was running in the Top of Utah Marathon. We had a good pack. Suddenly around mile 9 everybody took too long to consume their drinks. I gulped down two Powerades in an instance and broke away. My form felt terrible, but I was in the lead. I went through my competition one by one trying to estimate how many of them would be able to cover the move and not pay for it by 23. It was too many, but I figured I still had a fighting chance for top 3. Suddenly around mile 10 my cell phone alarm woke me up to reality. To make the dream come true you need to train!

Standard Saturday 10 mile tempo run. The trail was clear except for the first mile. It was manageable at the start, but subsequently became worse. 5F temperature, standard 2.5 layers of clothes. Ted helped me on the first 2.5, hit the split in 14:37. After that, he needed to back off to an easy pace to avoid overtraining. 14:56 on the way back, the snow mile did not help (5:59), 29:33 at 5 miles. Coming back the snow mile was 6:04, with the first 0.5 in 3:06. This is as bad as it gets on this run - 180 turn knocks you out of rhythm, and then you have some wet snow to battle. Finally recovered, 14:55 for the next 2.5. Now getting the 59:00 guy becomes a possibility - I need to run only 14:32. 14:32 in shorts, 50-60 degrees, no inversion, and completely dry ground is a nice and relaxed rhythmic marathon pace. Under the conditions of today, 14:32 would require some serious effort. I decided to put in good effort, but not try to run at 10 K pace to get it. If it happens, it happens, otherwise, I'll take what my body and the road will give me.

With a mile to go I needed to run 5:42 to catch the invisible runner. If the road had been in its Thursday's condition, this would have been doable. But it was way too slippery. I ended up running it in 6:04 with the last 0.5 in 3:04. 14:54 for the last 2.5, 59:22 for the whole run, course record for the 2.5 clothes layers/inversion/below 20F conditions.

Got home, put on ankle weights, ran another 1.7 to make the total of 15 for the run.

Benjamin got sick with a fever. Not too bad, but not good to run with. Just ran with Jenny, and then Julia.

Got my Nada Chair in the mail to help me maintain proper posture while I sit. Unfortunately I do have to sit to make a living. We'll see if it makes any difference in running. I like it so far.

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From Ryan Woods on Sun, Feb 04, 2007 at 08:55:14

Thanks! The race went faster than I had anticipated. I would have thought 30:40-31:00 so you would have outpredicted me as well. Try and stay warm!

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Easy run with Ted at our usual time - 4:45 AM. Met him on the trail.  We ran at about 7:10-7:20 pace most of the way. We split at 8.5. On the way back not being in chat mode any more I sped up to 6:30 pace without trying to run harder. The form felt very good. However, when it gets better I start to remember what it is supposed to feel like, and it drives me nuts. I wish I could do some measurements to see if what my intuition tells me is right. I feel my center of gravity tends to fall closer to the heel, too far back. So my choices are to either bring the foot unnaturally back to avoid landing in front of the center of gravity which does not give me full power on the push, or to land ahead of the center of gravity (overstride), which makes the quad do extra pulling forward - also inefficient. The ultimate solution is to fix the spine.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. 

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From Nick on Tue, Feb 06, 2007 at 01:23:34

Thanks for the comment Sasha. Like you said, I am hoping that my increased endurance will help me out in this 5k. I have never felt like I have a speed problem, but maintaining this speed seems to be a different story. I think that time and miles are the only real solution.

From wheakory on Tue, Feb 06, 2007 at 23:39:52

How many easy runs do you run a week. I guess I would call these recovery runs. Because I know you don't what to run hard everyday.

From Maria on Wed, Feb 07, 2007 at 06:52:45

Sasha, I saw something interesting today at one of the sites regarding blog promotion/generating revenue from Google AdSense. Basically, they're offering to publish your blog content on their site and help attract audience to your blog. They also run Google Ads and if anyone clicks on them while reading your content, they'll split the revenue with you 50/50.

Now, I thought it's a great thing to try to promote fastrunningblog, as this site is rather popular, BUT then I saw one caveat - while they publish your content, they don't include the URL of your actual blog anywhere! You can mention it in your user profile, but it's not obvious to the reader. The bit about the Ads is still valid though. Another thing that might present a problem, is that they may require RSS capabilities of your blog to be able to syndicate it. As far as I know, fastrunningblog does not support RSS.

Anyway, perhaps you can check it out and decide whether it is feasible/worth it. Here is the info

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Feb 08, 2007 at 10:54:01

Kory - I do 3 easy runs and 3 hard runs a week. Plus a little jogging with my kids every day, and it usually a good jogging pace - 9:00 mile.

Maria - indeed requires an RSS feed. This is a good reason to add one. I'll do it when I get a chance. Probably after the GPX course feature, which has been in the queue for almost a year.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran with Ted at 4:45 AM.  The weather was warmer. In preparation for the upcoming Striders 5 K we modified our usual workout. The trail was mostly clear. A mile in 5:20, then 0.5 jog, then another mile in 5:19. Then some more easy running, and 2.5 on the way back at marathon pace effort in 14:31. The form felt better. 5:20 pace felt too slow for 5 K, but too fast for 10 K. Not bad for the dark, 20 F, and 1.5 layers of clothes + inversion.

Ran with the kids in the evening. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted at our usual time. In preparation for the Striders 5 K did some strides (very appropriate). Hit a few 200 meter stretches between 36 and 38 seconds, and a few unmeasured stretches on the trail. All in the dark. 1.5 layers of clothes, inversion. The form felt very good on the accelerations. I would say normally I need a couple of months of 400 meter repetitions to get it to feel that good. I wonder if all those 400s are for me is a fancy way of stretching and strengthening the back. There have been days when I felt I could run a better tempo after 12x400 than before.

Saw the profile of the course. Not fast at all, good hill workout, though. 6% grade up for 0.5 mile is going to be fun. Anything sub-17 will be good.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Managed to sneak in some coding and work on a feature to notify people posting comments of a reply if they have a Fast Running Blog and identified it in the URL field. Almost done, need to test it before I make it live, but it will probably have to wait until tomorrow. After that, long awaited GPX course upload and time prediction.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Dave Holt on Thu, Feb 08, 2007 at 09:42:37

Just like in class, some of my wise-guy runners made sure to point out to me today that "running accomplishments" is spelled wrong.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Feb 08, 2007 at 10:36:43

Thanks for reporting the problem. It is now fixed. And if my new feature is working, you should get an e-mail notification.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Feb 08, 2007 at 10:44:18

Never mind - you have comment notification disabled in your profile, so you should not have gotten the message. So if you did not, that is good, at least the no part is working properly.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Tune up for the upcoming Striders 5 K. Ran with Ted. Sleep-in day - ran at 5:30 AM. First time in the last two months, I believe, that we had a morning run with temperatures above freezing. Weather report said 36F right before we left. No inversion I could notice. Only 1 layer of clothes - tights and long-sleeved T-Shirt. 

After a 2.34 mile warm-up ran 1.5 at a conservative 5 K effort. The goal was to break 8:00 without cheating by taking advantage of a shorter distance and accumulating extra oxygen debt. Ran even pace , splits by 0.5 - 2:39 - 2:38 (5:17) - 2:39 (7:56). Felt strong, but also felt that the limits were not too far away. It felt like I was running a 10 K sticking my nose in the midst of things. Ted was not feeling good, so I ran this part alone. The form felt good, or I should say on the better side. It is never good in the sense of being where it ought to be.

I felt that by working the abdominal muscles I could push the air out more vigorously. That is a good sign. The need to push it out more vigorously at that pace  is perhaps not that good of a sign, and points to poor running economy. Nevertheless, you do what you can to push your VO2 up. Then when the
proper economy is restored, that extra VO2 capability will have a chance to shine.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Ran an errand to our bishop's house later in the evening. Total of  13 miles for the day. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From ultrajim on Mon, Feb 12, 2007 at 13:55:25

Glad you like the pic. It's one of my "buddies" out on Antelope Island. I figure it goes along with the "hit the dusty trail" blog title.

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Easy run with Ted this morning at our usual time. Ted ran only 6 - a small, possibly a non-running  foot injury. After dropping him off, did 4x400 on the trail at a more aggressive 5 K pace - all between 77 and 78. Caught the 7:30 guy at the end. Wore the heart rate monitor. It showed that I was asleep - average HR of 118.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon.

Went to see Dr. Jex. My progress had stalled earlier as indicated by the measurements - 20 degree neck curvature and 9 mm forward head tilt - no improvement in over two months after a quick improvement in the first four. I did point out to him that we were going nowhere if we continued to do the same thing. So he came up with a couple of tests to troubleshoot the problem. Turned out that if I wore the shoulder weights on the right shoulder with 8 pounds on the front side and 2 pounds on the back side + Pettibon shoulder strap + the head weights, my neck curvature improves to 35 degrees - the highest we have ever seen it under any conditions by far. In other words, somehow the muscles in the shoulder region restrict the neck. And, according to the Pettibon teachings, whatever improvement you can get on a stress test can be eventually achieved without external means if you can train the muscles to hold that position.

To fix that I will be wearing the shoulder weights along with my head weights now. I did this today - it was quite a sight. The kids really enjoyed it. I've got to take a picture of that - I look like an English knight ready for the battle.

I am excited about this discovery. 35 degrees is within the range of normal. This means, if Pettibon is right, I have a good shot at developing an athletic neck, which is the key to developing an athletic spine everywhere else. Now I feel, after 6 months of somewhat of a windmill fight, we are getting somewhere.

Striders 5K tomorrow. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Kory Wheatley on Sat, Feb 10, 2007 at 15:35:24

I've always heard the straighter your back is when you run (Shoulders square up) and not leaning your running performance will prove. I've been trying to incorporate this in my running by watching my running posture.

Race: Striders 5K (3.107 Miles) 00:17:06, Place overall: 7, Place in age division: 2
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Striders 5 K. Drove up to Ogden with Ted. Checked out the first mile of the course in the warmup. Paul's profile was correct. Did some strides. Felt good.

The starting line was full of trouble: Corbin Talley, Bob Thompson, Joe Wilson, Leon (Lion) Gallegos, Steve Ashbaker, Paul Petersen, and a few others. I told Ted earlier this race for me was more of an experimental nature. The goals were:

  • To see how well I could run a 5 K with my current training - mild mileage, mild sporadic tempos, and overall focus on keeping it hard enough not to lose fitness, but mild enough to let the spinal improvements happen.
  • Measure my max heart rate.
  • See how well I do on hills of different grades at VO2 Max effort
  • Be there to grab good circuit points and prize money in case nobody showed up or I had an exceptional race.
  • Grab one circuit point for participation in case I got pushed down low enough to end up dropping this race from the circuit.
  • Be able to add this race to the predictor.
  • Learn enough about the course to evaluate the performance of other runners and offer them meaningful advice.
  • Have fun racing the competition.

The pack was thick going out. Usual contenders. By the mile, Bob, Joe, Corbin, and Leon were in the lead, Paul a bit behind them, then Steve and another runner (need to look up his name) that used to run for Weber State a bit ahead of me. First mile in 5:27, HR at 170. Not bad for the grade. Leon started fading, passed him. 2 K in 7:03. The Weber State runner took it easy on the up, I did not want to take it that easy, passed him. Caught Steve on the down, but then could not stay with him on the immediate up. The Weber State runner passed me. Towards the end of the 0.5 uphill at 6.7% grade near 1.5 I averaged HR of 173 for the quarter, and maxed out at 175. I am thankful for having The Toy to record it. At that point I would not have been able to read it due to fuzzy vision from the effort.

2 miles in 11:18 (5:51). 4 K in 13:54. Finished in 17:05.9 in 7th place. Ahead of me - Corbin won with 16:25, then Bob 16:34, Paul 16:36 (nice breakthrough/comeback), Joe 16:50,Steve 16:53 (good performance, PR equivalent), Weber State graduate 17:00. 5 Fast Running Blogger in the top 10, I am happy about that - Chad finished 10th in 17:55. Three more between 10 and 20 - Ted (ArmyRunner), Scott Browning (NGU Siren), and Cody.

Afterwards, Bill Cobler took us for a cooldown on the 10 K course. It is going to be even hillier than the 5 K one.

Ran with Benjamin in the afternoon.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Dustin Ence on Sat, Feb 10, 2007 at 23:49:52

Good job Sasha. Like you mentioned it is nice to see so many of the bloggers running good times. We also had a race down here today in St. George and many of the guys from the St. George Running Club and the blog turned in good performances. I was also able to talk to some other runners at the race and pointed them toward the fastrunningblog when they were asking for some advice on what I do. I know for me, it has helped a lot, just being able to track my training,and receive feedback from so many good runners.

From steve ashbaker on Sun, Feb 11, 2007 at 22:41:14

Good race Sasha, You always bring the best out me. Good luck at the 10k.

From Cody on Sun, Feb 11, 2007 at 22:47:36


It was great to meet you and see you in action. I am glad you put the race into your predictor. I think you are right on the money with that thing. Look out for that 10K ouch!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted. Standard time, standard place. Legs still sore from Saturdays race - quads and gluts. Not too bad, probably a bit better than after Alta Peruvian last year. About the same as after the St. George Marathon. I am happy that the gluts are sore. It is a challenge for me to get them to work.

Ran in the afternoon with Benjamin. Total of 11.6 for the day.

Checked the news today and found this.  A body was discovered near the course we ran this morning in the river. I think this is the closest I've been to a murder scene running or otherwise. Nevertheless, I feel at peace that comes through faith in Christ. I have not always felt that peace, so I know the difference.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From James on Tue, Feb 13, 2007 at 00:20:48

That is kind of a freaky thing! I always ran through that park for years when I lived just down the river, and later with my cross-country kids. Something like that always hits close to home.

I am not used to this whole blog thing yet, but I find it interesting to see what everyone else is doing. I have been using your training log since right after WBR last year and I think that it is pretty cool. It looks like you have a pretty good thing going here. Keep up the good work.

From ArmyRunner on Tue, Feb 13, 2007 at 14:33:45

Funny article from The Onion about joggers finding bodies. This is not real for those familiar with The Onion.

From Zac on Wed, Feb 14, 2007 at 09:48:26

About that computer problem. About half the time I open the data entry screen all the new editing features show up as a mess and it won't let me enter anything but the mileage. I pretty much gave up on it for a while but I'm trying it again. I use MS explorer. I found that if I tried to open it and then left it alone and went on to do other things that after a while it typically begins to work.

Is no one else having this problem? I've only had it since the new editing features were added.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Feb 14, 2007 at 16:56:14


Let's try Firefox. If you do not have it, click on the box on the right side of this page to get it. As a side benefit, if you are on Windows, Google will pay me $1 once you get it up and running.

MSIE in theory should work fine, and I suspect it will after some clean up - reinstall the browser, reinstall OS, remove a virus, etc. Half of the Fast Running Blog are on MSIE, and they have not reported any problems with this.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Tempo run with Ted. Legs still a bit sore from the race. Could tell kneeling down for the prayer in the morning, but could not tell walking down the stairs.. On the first 2.5 my plan was to run with Ted until it was about time to catch some guy. I was not sure what guy it was going to be. I wanted to beat my 4 K split in the 5 K race (13:54), but would have been happy just breaking 14:00.

The conditions were good. 30F, dry roads. Ted set a good pace and we hit 0.75 in 4:11. Then he faded a bit, and I decided it was time to catch the guy. From that point, I did every quarter in 1:22 with the exception of the one between 1.25 and 1.5, which was 1:21. Finished in 13:44, caught the 5:30 guy. HR eventually worked its way up to 160.

During the recovery jog I wanted to run slow, and we did.  On the way back I wanted to relax at my marathon race pace, and I sure did. First quarter in 1:29, HR still at 135. Then I took out a whip and hit myself to go faster. Next three quarters in 1:28, 5:53 for the mile, HR not even at 150. More whip. Next mile in 5:46, HR at 152, 154 on the uphill section. More whip. Now the pace is 5:40, and the HR is 157-158. Now we are talking marathon pace business. Finished in 14:29.

The whip was needed for two reasons - one, you need it at 4:45 AM, Ted served as one on the first tempo, but not on the second. And the legs were tired from the race at the very start. They were fresh enough on the first repetition, but tired on the second. They were working way too hard for the HR of only 150.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Benjamin is fully recovered from the cold. Jennifer ran for the first time since being hit by the fever on Saturday. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Nick on Wed, Feb 14, 2007 at 00:33:37

Nice work Sasha! It looks like you definitely got a good workout in. I am a bit sore too from the 5k this past weekend. Thanks for all the support in the last couple of days!

From steve ashbaker on Wed, Feb 14, 2007 at 16:04:07

Hey Sasha, The package arrived! Thanks again for the gift. Im having trouble with my computer right now. It crashed last night for some reason. I got the operating system back up and running and some limited connectivity to the net. However Im still having some issues with my internet provider and also with reconfiguring my router. If you have any suggestions my ears are open.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted in the morning. Was not feeling well. Stomach bloated. After a couple of bio breaks started feeling better. We had some profound conversations and were going about 7:30-7:40 pace, good for recovery. Profound conversations are important, recovery does not happen without them as silence makes you feel bored and you start to push the pace.

Did not follow Ted into town in anticipation of another bio break. Once left on my own, sped up to 6:30 pace, which felt just as good as 7:30. HR was a bit high, though, probably from subtle dehydration - 138-140 at 6:30 pace.

We decided to celebrate the Valentine's day with a mile time trial for Benjamin and  Fast Running Mommy.  Benjamin is sensitive to cold air at high speeds, so we decided to do it indoors at the BYU indoor track. To allow me to pace both, we did it separately. First, Sarah ran a huge post-Jacob PR of 7:33, which is not too far away from her life-time PR of 6:52. It is nice to be married to a woman that is in better shape 6 months after giving birth to her fifth child than she was in high school.

Afterwards, Benjamin ran a PR of 7:09.

Feel like I am catching a cold, a large doze of onions, garlic, and EmergenC. Nice present for Fast Running Mommy for Valentine's day, I am sure glad she is a good sport about it.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Scott Browning on Thu, Feb 15, 2007 at 12:47:17

Hi Sasha,

I cannot tell you the last time I ran 100 meters all out, but I will stroll out to the track and give it a try. I have had a series of achilles related injuries over the last few years that have kept me from running well. There is no doubt that I have biomechanical issues that lead to undue stress on the achilles insertion. I have been working hard since about Sept. to correct the source of the problem and I feel like I have a handle on it. I still have some pain and inflammation, but each week it gets progressively better. I will let you know what my 100 meter time is a bit later. Thanks for the comments and I appreciate whatever help you have to offer.

From Scott Browning on Thu, Feb 15, 2007 at 15:09:41


I managed to get to the track, I only used a short warm-up and some gradaully progressive strides to warm-up, probably not quite enough, but I felt loose enough to give a hard effort. I ended up running 4 efforts - the first 2 were not quite 100%, the third was, and the fouth - I did not have much left. Times: 14.1, 13.8, 13.4, 14.0. I have not tried to run that hard for a while and felt completely out of sych. I was running very upright and tight. The track was wet, and I was a little concerned with slipping, but I do not think that cost me too much. In the right conditions with a little longer warm-up, I think I could close 12.5, maybe 12.8. I have had ok speed, but not great. The last time I tried to run 100 all out was in college, and I ran 11.8. I would be interested in whatever feedback you may have.


Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

My original plan was to run a 5 mile tempo. However, due to feeling a little sick I decided to do whatever Ted would. He wanted to do some shorter repeats. We first thought we were going to do 5x1000 in 3:20. On the first one, we missed the mark on the trail. So we went to 0.75 getting 4:04.9 for the split. Then we did another 0.75 in 4:11.5. Ted was not feeling good. We decided today was not a good day for him to do a hard speed workout. He felt his form had problems. I suggested several 100 meter sprints. We did the first three in 17.7, 16.3, 15.8. On the last one I suggested we should get a bit competitive to see what we can do, but not so competitive that we get injured. I can be up to a whole second faster in 100 meter sprint if I have somebody racing me by my side.

I did the last one in 14.7, Ted felt his quads getting tight and backed off a bit to 15.0. I am very pleased with this time as it was done in less than ideal conditions for sprinting. The trail was wet, it was dark, I had to watch the road not to miss the mark, too early for the nervous system to be ready to sprint (6:30 AM), chilly (32F), the trail did curve some on that stretch, and I was wearing tights and a jacket. I suspect I would have have broken my PR of 13.9 today in ideal conditions. This gives me some food for thought - my speed work since St. George was limited to a couple of races, a few strides, tempo runs, and very infrequent 1.5 mile repetitions. However, I have been working on my core strength, and doing Pettibon treatment. Back when I set my 100 PR I did 10x60 up a 3% grade once a week for a couple of months. This provides an argument for my hypothesis that for a distance runner, top speed comes more from proper spinal structure than from explosive strength. And if that is true, then for a true distance runner (slow-twitch dominant) an all out 100 meter sprint is a reliable test of biomechanical efficiency.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Bob on Fri, Feb 16, 2007 at 12:49:50


to respond to your earlier comment, I am planning on running Ogden this spring. You are likely correct about execution, but Olympic goals trump logic in my mind. Besides, even if i run a 2:24 and fail to reach my goal, I still PR.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted in the morning at our usual time. The form felt good. Had a discussion about how effective running doubles is for marathon training. I think the consensus was you need to go at least 10 in one run consistently, and do frequent tempo runs of 10 - 12 miles at marathon pace. However, Ted is more in favor of longer runs than I.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Benjamin ran with Sarah and her new training partner Adrianne this morning, so it was just Jenny and Julia.

Have been doing 1 minute sit-up sessions in the last few days. Managed 40 in one minute today, that's a a record. In November, I could only do 37 in two minutes, but I was sick that day. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

The throat was still scratchy. Figured I was one really hard workout away from coming down with a cold that will seriously impair me, but could handle a lighter workout. Decided to cruise along through the standard Saturday 10 mile tempo. Warmed up and cooled down with Ted, but we ran the tempos separately.

Road conditions were great. Temperature a little cold, 27F, but not too bad. Went at a steady pace on the standard course. 2.5 out in 14:38, 180 turn and back in 14:40, out again in 14:37. HR was 150 for the first 4 miles, then drifted up to 155 on the 0.5% grade mile, then backed down to 152. On the last one, saw that I was only 9 seconds behind the 5:50 guy. Decided to catch him. Hit 5:46 mile. HR went up to 155. Kept 5:50 pace on the rise, HR up to 157. 0.5 to go, and he is still ahead. Shifted gears to 5:40. Legs are tired, do not want to do it. HR up to 158. Quarter to go, he is still ahead. I really need to get going. Sped up to 5:20, HR at 164. Caught him with 100 to go, then being tired and feeling the job was done eased off and finished with him. Last mile in 5:42, total time 58:20, last 2.5 in 14:26.

Ted set a course PR with a low 1:01. We cooled down for another 4+ miles to make the total 16.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Benjamin turned 8 today. He will be getting baptized in 2 weeks.

Worked on the GPX course analyzer. As of this writing, it can read,parse,store,update, delete, and compute the total distance. Probably another 2 hours of work from first release.

I am in the catch 22 with the Fast Running Blog - to be able to make it better, I need to work on it full-time. To work full-time it needs to generate revenue to replace my other full-time work. To generate that much revenue, it need to become better. But, hopefully, one step at a time, we can get into a better cycle. The volume of data , the number of active bloggers, and the amount of search engine traffic (three variables that drive the revenue) has doubled in the last three months. Hopefully the trend will continue.

On the positive side, Marathon And Beyond accepted my proposal to write an article about the progress of runners on Fast Running Blog. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Chad on Mon, Feb 19, 2007 at 16:42:46


That's great news about the Marathon & Beyond article. I bet you'll get a big jump in hits (and some new bloggers as well). I had a subscription last year, but let it lapse; maybe it's time to renew.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted. We had another guy named Ricardo from our church join us for a little bit. Ricardo is just starting to run, so he ran 1.5 out with us. 

Contemplated doing 5 mile tempo, but the throat was still sore. No cough or fever, but uncomfortable. Figured a hard run could very well do me in. Additionally, there was a lot of snow on the trail. So we ran easy.

Shortly after dropping off Ricardo, we saw a runner ahead of us going at a good pace. We went for a chase to find out who it was. Sped up to 6:00 pace for a short while. Turned out it was Katy Bowen, a BYU steeplechaser.  Ran with her a bit, then it was time for her to turn around.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Still doing core strength work - sit-ups and Curt's contraption.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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The throat still scratchy. Decided to take it easy. Ted was also feeling tired. So we jogged and chatted for 10 miles. The roads have cleared up.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Did a 100 meter time trial for Benjamin on the trail. He ran 20.0, 20.2 up a slight grade, and then 19.6 down. I ran those with him. I told him he would be ready to run 2 miles a day when he break 7:00 on the mile, and 19.0 on 100.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran with Ted at 4:45 AM. Met him on the trail - he started from BYU. My throat got better, but still did not want to take chances with it. After some discussion we decided to do a mile at Ted's 10 K pace effort, followed by 4x400 a bit faster, but not too hard.

We ran the mile in 5:44. The quarters were 1:23, 1:21, 1:20, 1:18. Each of them felt easier. I felt my form was getting better as we went along.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran with Ted at 5:30 AM. Standard sleep-in day. The throat finally felt almost 100% healthy, good enough to try something fast. Ran the standard tune up 1.5 miles in 7:54.9, quarter splits 1:19 - 1:19 - 1:20 - 1:18 - 1:19 - 1:19. HR peaked at 165 on the fourth quarter, then fluctuated between 162 and 165 for the remainder of the interval. 1:20 quarter was caused by the caution of trying not to hit the gate in the dark. This  gave me enough of a break from the pace to start feeling very good. Then I sped up to a 1:18 quarter, and that felt a bit too fast after a while. 1:19 quarters felt just right. Overall, I think the right 10 K pace for a flat course in 1:20 quarters.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Slept in this morning, this time not on purpose. Ted woke  me up at 4:59 AM. It was snowing hard, but still fairly warm. Ran about 3 miles with him. Then he headed to BYU, and I continued on the trail. Did 2x100, one untimed, the other in 19.2. Then 2x400 76.0 - 75.5. Felt good.

Ran with the kids in the evening.

Exciting moment in the history of Fast Running Blog. I just barely gotten the course magic tool to the point of the first release. UI is still rather rudimentary, but at least on my Slate Canyon Loop, which I used for testing, it rocks. I tuned the algorithm until it correctly predicted every quarter split for an evenly paced hard run. If you want to give it a try, login to your account, then go to Course Tool. Add New Course, then you need a GPX file. You can make  one at

When I get around to it, I'll add a map similar to gmap-pedometer so you can it everything in one shot here. Also, add the ability to share courses with the public, display elevation profile graphically, add comments and notes to the course, and maybe a few other things. But now it is time to get ready for bed. Running the Strider's 10 K tomorrow.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From steve ashbaker on Sat, Feb 24, 2007 at 16:38:49

Good race buddy, I will get up there eventually so we can workout together!

Race: Striders 10K (6.21 Miles) 00:36:08, Place overall: 7, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Striders 10 K - 36:07.9, 7th place. Cold day - about 26F at the start. Tough course. It highlighted my weaknesses. I do not do well on a long hill, or immediately afterwards. I have tried to work on it in the past and discovered that training on a long hill only makes things worse for me. The root of the problem is probably neurological or biomechanical. That in combination with racing at a higher than normal percentage of HR and VO2. I remember being able to drop the competition on a hill when I was slower, had lower VO2 Max, higher HR, and raced at a lower percentage of HR.

We had the same field as last week, with the addition of Dennis Simonaitis. We started out slow, then gradually warmed into a harder effort as we started the climb. There was a bit of a slight downhill to give us a break. I maintained a steady effort, and it resulted in pulling ahead a little bit. I figured I could use a bit of a buffer before the serious uphill. Then we started the climb for real. 5:59 on the first mile (going by the mile marks). The lead pack pulled away from me at first, then I gradually reeled them in right as we approached the end of the hill. Then it was immediate down. I had a hard time shifting gears, and dealing with the slippage and they got away. Did fine for a while - had them in view, probably within 10 seconds for another mile or so. Missed 2 mile split.

Then the nasty climb on the third mile that gains 300 feet. That is 6% grade for a mile. My Garmin 305 (The Toy) showed quarters at 7:00 pace, HR finally started reading normally as I had worked up some sweat. Steady 166. The leaders kept moving away further and further. 18:27 at mile 3, 12:28 for the last 2 miles. I was running with Steve Ashbaker for a while, but then he started to drop back. The leaders have lost Kenneth Richardson, and I hoped to catch him. However, the long uphill mile put me out of commission. Even though we were now going downhill, I could not get into a good rhythm for a while. My HR dropped to 155. Next mile in 5:27, 23:54 at 4 miles, finally caught the 6:00 mile guy.

Around the 4th mile mark I finally started getting into a good rhythm. Did the next downhill mile in 5:09. Closed a bit on Kenneth. Dennis Simonaitis went by - he was doing a win-the-masters paid tempo run of sorts. Had he been racing he would have gone out with the leaders. I thought of latching on him, but did not feel strong enough to do it.

Another little bit of downhill, and how we are climbing the final hill. Closed a bit on Kenneth at the start of the hill. The Toy reported a 1:38 quarter. Steve is not too far behind. I figured I focus on catching Kenneth, I'll be safe from Steve's kick.

Got to the end of the hill. Kenneth put on a move to make me not want to catch him, and opened a wider gap. We stayed in that order to the finish. 34:59 at mile 6 (5:56).

Bob won in 34:28, then Corbin 34:30, Joe 34:42, Paul 34:47, Dennis 35:47, Kenneth 35:56, me 36:07.9, Steve 36:28, Chad 37:15. Ted finished 18th in 39:13.

Splits by the GPS (distance 6.30): 5:48 - 5:40 - 6:37 - 5:31 - 5:17 - 5:40). Interestingly enough, other GPS's reported similar discrepancies both in distance and in splits. I wonder why. The course was certified.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Later we went to the dinner/talent show at our church. We did our famous Cat In The Hat skit, with Julia and Joseph starring as Thing 1 and Thing 2, Benjamin and Jenny as the boy and the girl, Sarah being the mom and speaking the part of the fish, Jacob being the actual fish, and me acting as the Cat. My favorite part is when Thing 1 and Thing 2 come out of the box, and start running around making a mess.

Sarah's Carob Chip Cookies won the first prize in the chocolate chip cookie bake off. I asked our Elder's Quorum President earlier if carob chips were allowed. He said that it would be OK, but suggested our chances of winning would be greatly reduced. He and his family ended up taking second.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From steve ashbaker on Sat, Feb 24, 2007 at 18:34:18

No, Sasha you do have a kick, I have seen you tap into it on training runs before. I think you just dont believe you have it anymore...

From Chad on Sat, Feb 24, 2007 at 19:13:50

I talked with Bill Cobler after the race and he said he certified the course based on the tangents. Apparently, also some of the cones were placed in ways that required us to run outside the line he used in certification.

Great job today, Sasha.

From Cheston on Sat, Feb 24, 2007 at 20:13:08

Nice race. Considering the hills and weather, you did well. Sounds like one I'm glad I missed.

From Cody on Sat, Feb 24, 2007 at 22:25:24

Great Job Sasha!

You always show up on race day ready to roll. You are very consistent and I enjoy watching the "pros" like yourself do it. We all learn so much because of you. Good Race

From Sasha Pachev on Sun, Feb 25, 2007 at 00:06:45

Bill - if you are reading this can you comment? It seems like the turn near the mile mark at about 0.9 into the race going to the mile should have been via a shorter route, not going all the way to where the roads branch. It would also have made more sense logistically as it was quite a mess to try to make a 150% turn while the runners going in the opposite direction were trying to do the same.

Steve - I have a really nice kick if you let me run slower than the threshold for a mile. Most of the time, the competition does not let me do it or I choose not to to get a better overall time. Otherwise, I have a death grip on my legs, and cannot get anywhere near my already low top speed.

From Paul Petersen on Mon, Feb 26, 2007 at 14:04:48

Sasha, I tried out your course tool. The splits it came up with were very close to my actual splits. Very nice! That was with just a quick-and-dirty gmap. It would be cool to provide your own google map interface to make the actual maps. You can get elevation data as a web service from the USGS site:

1 5009 4.36 6:09 6:09

2 4822 -3.55 5:20 11:29

3 5101 5.28 6:31 18:01

4 4848 -4.79 4:51 22:53

5 4803 -0.85 5:06 27:59

6 4781 -0.42 5:35 33:35

6.2158 4782 0.09 1:11 34:46

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Feb 27, 2007 at 10:53:02


I have added the ability to make the course public. I saw you and Cody had the profiles, and turned on the public sharing on them. There is something wrong with your course now - not sure if it is the bug in my parsing code, or if your profile got messed up. Can you double-check, and if looks right to you, e-mail me the GPX file so I can debug it.

From Paul Petersen on Tue, Feb 27, 2007 at 11:11:28

Sasha, I had deleted my original course (made with gmap-pedometer) and replaced it with a high-res course that I made at home with GIS. That is the one you are seeing, and no, it doesn't work. I need to play with it some more, but my spare time has been limited. I imagine the problem is something on my end, as I have to do several conversions before I get to gpx format. BTW, consider supporting kml format as well. KML is similar to XML and is a pretty simple language. It is what Google Earth uses, and several gps units export it as well. Plus, my GIS software supports it. :-)

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Feb 27, 2007 at 11:49:51


E-mail me the file, and I'll try to get it to work.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ted called the night before and said he would be doing a fitness test with his cadets. I figured I join them. As usual, it took me a bit longer to get ready in the morning than I anticipated due to misplaced clothing items. So I got to the start of the test late. Due to the slippery road conditions, they were running their 2 mile time trial indoors. I took off the jacket and gloves, but still had my tights and T-shirt. Too hot for indoors.

Knowing that decided to run at a good tempo pace that would not overheat me. Was planning on about 11:00 - 11:05. Figured I would slow down on the second mile due to overheating. To my surprise, I managed a steady pace at a fairly comfortable effort. Most of the 0.2 laps in 1:05, occasionally 1:04, and there were a couple in 1:06 when I could not pass slower runners in time before hitting a congestion. On the last lap, I sped up a bit and ran 1:01, this would be 5:05 pace. Total time 10:45, with the splits of 5:23.5 and 5:21.5. HR was 163 at the mile, but then crept up to 168 before the last lap, and maxed out at 172 when I picked it up. 168 HR feels a lot more miserable outdoors. Ted ran 11:01, also a surprise considering his race, overall fatigue, and doing 101 sit-ups in 2 minutes + 83 push-ups in 2 minute prior to the run. I suppose Sunday rest did him some good.

Afterwards he and I ran a few more miles to make it 10 for me for the day.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Nick on Tue, Feb 27, 2007 at 22:42:22

Hey Sasha,

What does it mean to "go anaerobic"? I have heard multiple people say this on the blog, and I don't quite know what it means. Is it the point at which you feel that you will have to slow down later if you push hard now, or is it any pace that is harder than threshold?

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Feb 27, 2007 at 22:52:11

It is both. You can hold your threshold for as long as 1 hour. If you go faster than threshold, every second per mile costs you in the exponentially quicker arrival of fatigue.

When you run, you derive energy from two sources - aerobic (using oxygen) and anaerobic (not using it). The ultimate anaerobic run is 800 meters. The marathon is mostly aerobic, I believe 98%. 10 K is about 92% aerobic if I remember right.

From sammack on Tue, Feb 27, 2007 at 23:50:45

Sasha: Nice workout. Did you get the infamous "track hack" from running hard indoors? That's always the worst part of indoor track.

To throw in my two cents on the anaerobic question, from an exercise physiology standpoint, anaerobic refers to any energy system working in the body that doesn't require oxygen. These would be creatine phosphate stores (which you can go on for about 8 seconds) and glycogen used in glycolysis (about 1:30 if you're well-trained or a natural mid-d guy). Everything else involves burning O2 and the production of lactate--which contrary to popular belief is a useful fuel before it accumulates to the point where it can't be cleared fast enough (acidosis or, more simply, tying up).

The cool thing biologically is that you're usually using multiple systems in a race. For the real long stuff (e.g. marathon), you want to keep it almost all aerobic because you've got a virtually unlimited supply of fat to burn given its fantastic energy/mass ratio and only a finite amount of CP and glycogen.

You can assess the point where you're exceeding aerobic capacity by taking blood lactate measurements and looking for the point where you pass about 4 mmol lactate/L blood (this value is different for everyone and realistically you'd only do in a lab) or simply do it by heart rate.

Here's the useful part of my blathering: The heart rate point where you start going anaerobic is referred to in the literature as V4 after the 4 mmol of lactate; although we know by now that this is a misnomer since it's different for everyone. Anyway, in general as your exertion level increases, so does HR. This is because you're running almost all aerobic at those easier levels. More importantly for this discussion, this relationship is linear. If exertion is on the y-axis and HR is on the X, when you start seeing a less steep slope in your line (a break point), this is V4. It means that the heart can only output so much blood (take in O2 and clear CO2) and other (anaerobic) systems have started to compensate. You can find your own V4 with a good heart rate monitor and a little bit of desire to hurt.

To clarify Sasha's point, the 100 meter dash is actually the ultimate aerobic event. I'm guessing he said the 800 since what you're essentially being asked to do is stretch that 1:30 minutes of available energy into some time human beings can actually run. I'd say the 800 meters is the ultimate pain event!

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Feb 28, 2007 at 16:51:43

Sam - thanks for the explanations and clarifications. Yes, I did get a bit of a "track hack", but it was not bad.

The linear break method to detect my anaerobic threshold is a bit of a challenge, as I do not have a lot of room for maneuver once I cross it. Below is my regular HR data - varies plus or minus a couple of beats either way depending on the day, but fairly consistent, speed/HRM:

7.5 mph - 120

8.0 mph - 125

8.5 mph - 129

9.0 mph - 133

9.5 mph - 139

10.0 mph - 145

10.5 mph - 153

11 mph - 161

11.5 mph - 167

12 mph - 171

171 is as high as it will go without a hill. With a hill I can hit 175 for a very brief moment, but cannot sustain it. So at jogging speeds my dHR/dV is around 9 bpm/mph. When I approach my marathon race pace it is the highest - 16 bpm/mph. When I start approaching my 5 K race pace it drops to 8 bpm/mph.

I race a marathon at the HR of 157 when in good shape, around 90% of my max. I've also had a VO2 Max test done, which recorded 75.9 with RER hitting 1.00 at VO2 of around 68.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

An easy run with Ted in the morning on the Provo River Trail towards the Utah Lake. Towards the end, did some accelerations, all at about 5:05-5:10 pace. First 6x100. Then I felt 100 was too short, I did 200 in 39. Then 400 in 76. Decided to do another 400 for a round number of speed - 75.5.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Benjamin earned his Bobcat badge in Cub scouts. This is the first time any of my children earned a scouting award. I got to hold him upside down while the award was being attached to his uniform according to the custom.

Made some improvements to the course tool. You can now add course description, and share courses with others. Feel free it give it a try. You can map out any course in the world as long as you can follow it on a GMap. Right now you have to go to GMap Pedometer to do it. I plan to fix it in the next couple of weeks so you can do your courses right here on the Fast Running Blog, depending on when I can find a coding time window.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Superfly on Wed, Feb 28, 2007 at 22:30:32

Sasha what are your plans Saturday moning. I will be staying in Orem Friday night and may want to run with you guys Saturday moning if we can get together. Let me know what you've got planned and what time.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Feb 28, 2007 at 22:41:54

We are planning a 12 mile tempo run at 6:00 AM in the Provo Canyon with a couple of miles to warm up and cool down. Call me 801-788-4608 to arrange the details.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Tempo run on the standard 5 mile course on the Provo River Trail at 4:45 AM. Warmed up with Ted - he started from BYU. He was feeling tired, so I ran the tempo alone. Due to the early hour and the lack of sleep I had a hard time warming into pace and pushing myself. It is a strange feeling when it happens. Subjectively, you feel like you are working and cannot go any faster. But HR readings are low, and the pace matches it. With that in mind, I adjusted my expectations. My goal was to hit somewhere between 28:20 and 29:00 minutes.

First quarter was 1:28, and I felt lazy. Then sped up to 1:27, still sleepy and lazy. Then did 1:25, and settled into a steady 1:25 per quarter pace. Mile in 5:43, next mile in 5:41, 14:15 at the turnaround(2:51). I felt like I was working hard, but HR was around 148-149. For a while, I thought The Toy was wrong, but it was too consistent to be wrong. Plus the early hour effect should have been contributing something.

A bit of a struggle with the rhythm after the 180 turn, then recovered. To test the measurements, I decided to pick up the pace to see what happens. 17:05 at 2 miles (5:41,2:50). I settled into a steady 1:23 per quarter pace. HR got up to 157. Unfortunately, as soon as I did, I had an urgent need for a bio-break. Trying not to break the rhythm I did it as quick as I could, HR dropped to 143. When I got going again, I had a hard time finding that magic rhythm. 22:42 at 4 miles, 5:37. Uphill quarter in 1:26, the next one in 1:25. Now it is time to get down to business and catch the 5:40 guy. But I am too sleepy to deal with as much pain as it takes, next quarter in 1:25 again. Now it is really time to get serious. Ran the last quarter in 1:20, had to dodge a construction cone at the end - they are building a new bridge around Geneva road and things are quite a mess right now. HR went up to 162.  Last mile in 5:37, total time 28:18, last 2.5 in 14:03, good negative split.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon.


Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Superfly on Thu, Mar 01, 2007 at 10:30:13

Sounds good. I'll call you Friday evening to get all the details.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted on the Provo River Trail. Yesterday Julia wanted to skip after her run, so I did it with her. Then I thought I'd show her some other plyometrics.  I tried a bum kick and it felt really good for the form. So today I decided to try some bum kick and high knee in the middle of the run. Ted remembered doing those with Bill Dellinger , his coach at Oregon State who took bronze in the 1964 Olympics in 5000, where Bob Schul won the gold. With some instruction from Ted I finally got the hang of the bum kick more or less to where it was effective. My goal was to learn how to lean forward without bending at the waist. Ted remembered a secret - if you think lean forward, you will bend at the waist. If you think run tall, you will still lean, but you will not bend at the waist. We ran 10 miles at an easy pace.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From steve ashbaker on Fri, Mar 02, 2007 at 21:23:31

I have been practicing a lot on form in that manner. After observing the form of both older and younger runners I saw something very interesting. Not only does stride appear shorter in older runners but knee flexion was not as prominent so the legs seem to swing up and and back in a wider arc. Which of course if know how a pendulum/lever works, you then know that the wider the arc the more energy that is required. I concentrate on lifting my knees and kicking back for the swing back up. Im not sure if this will make my runnning faster, but I have felt an increase in leg turnover. And also some soreness in areas I don't usually become sore in. This may work for you as I have seen your form and have noticed what I think might be excessive leg trail. By the way thanks for teaching me the course tool function. It's been invaluable.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Another run with Ted in the morning. He started at BYU, I met him on the trail. He wanted to go a bit longer than normal. We went faster than usual, the pace was under 6:40 once we got going. On the way back, we kept picking up the pace. I suggested we run a tempo on the standard 2.5 stretch and try to beat the 6:00 mile guy since we were almost going that pace already, and then run easy. Ted said he'd try. 

We hit the first half of the tempo in 3:04. Ted did not seem to want to go any faster, but the scent of the 6:00 guy ahead was too tempting for me to resist. I went after him. Next two miles in 5:53 and 5:52. HR stayed between 150 and 152 once it stabilized. Finished the tempo in 14:49. Ted ran it in 15:24.

Did bum kick plyometrics after the run. Also started working on the back in addition to my standard Pettibon routine and abdominal strength work.

Saw Dr. Jex. He had me stand on a vibration machine with the head weights, shoulder weights, shoulder harness, and hip weights on. Afterwards he took a couple of X-rays. He'll have the results next week.  

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Planning to run early with Clyde tomorrow. Need to be back early - Benjamin is getting baptized.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran in the Provo Canyon with Clyde  . It was 10F and 7 mph wind blowing out of the canyon. Did a short warm-up, then ran the standard 12 mile tempo (4 stretches of the standard Mouth to Nuns Park 3 mile tempo). There was some snow on the ground, not too much, but enough to knock you out of rhytm when going up.  Kept  6:25 pace on the good parts of the up, slowed down to 7:00 on the bad parts, on the way down went a bit sub-6:00 once we got going. HR was low, probably because of the cold conditions - hovered between 135 and 145 depending on the effort. Ran the last mile in 5:35 to catch the 6:15 guy. Total time 1:14:41. I told Clyde he were to race today he was ready to run about 2:40 in Boston, maybe faster. The cold seemed to affect his nervous system - he would push the pace at times, and then all of a sudden lose the momentum, then repeat. Cooled down, total of 14.8 miles for the run.

Came home, and as they say in Russian, from the ship to the ball. Benjamin was getting baptized. I have performed many baptisms before, but this is the first time I got to baptize my own child. I have waited for this for a long time. When a person is baptized, he makes a promise to God to be faithful for the rest of his life. In our church we often talk about enduring to the end. Baptism is the starting line. Then it is all about enduring to the end. Very much like distance running.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Afterwards, Sarah and I went to the temple for our date. When I came home, there was still work left to do. Got it done. Now is the end of a long busy day, I am looking forward to hitting the sack.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Maria on Mon, Mar 05, 2007 at 09:32:28

Sasha, I tried the course tool today - pretty cool! I measured the course for my half marathon next Sunday and uploaded it. For some reason, it shows here a full mile longer than in GMaps pedometer (it is 13.2mi. there - still long, but it's probably due to my inaccurate measurement, it is a certified course by South of England Athletics Association). So why is it a full mile longer after importing the .gpx file? Did you notice it before with other routes?

I wanted to see elevation changes, and I was not disappointed! This course is marketed as flat and "excellent PB potential", but I saw few pretty steep hills there. Ugh, I better adjust my expectations, especially since I don't train on hills at all now. I put in a flat pace of 7:48, and the tool gave me mile splits in the range of 9 to 11 min/miles. Is it correct (seems really slow)?

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Mar 05, 2007 at 10:31:56

Looks like either there is a bug in my course tool, or perhaps the course elevations are not correct. The profile looks like you have to stop sometimes and climb a vertical wall. If that is the case, I'll add an option to even out crazy impossible grades.

GMap pedometer does not account for the vertical component of running, the course tool does. So perhaps somehow your profile managed to accumulate an extra mile from the vertical component. I'll try to debug it in the next couple of days to see what is going on.

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Mar 05, 2007 at 17:48:18


I found the problem. The course profile apparently did not have the elevation data for some points. Those showed up as zero after import. Perhaps there is was a way to detect them during parsing - I could look into that if you e-mail me the original GPX file.

So occasionally because of that the course would bring you down to sea level in a quarter of a mile or so, and then immediately bring you back up over the same distance. To deal with that, I added a special option to smooth out the course. If you select it, and then mark the maximum reasonable grade that course can have (crazy grade cutoff), it gives you reasonable data. Your course works well with 15% crazy grade cutoff.

From Maria on Mon, Mar 05, 2007 at 18:33:18

Thanks Sasha! You're right, some points have 0 elevation, I checked the .gpx file and confirmed that's the case. If you're parsing by XML tags you should be able to catch these points. It's still a mystery why some elevations are missing - a bug in Goggle Maps, perhaps? And how would one know what crazy grade cutoff to use in smoothing? I need to try mapping some other courses and see if the elevation problem is consistent. Meanwhile I'll email you the gpx file. Thanks for looking into this!

From RivertonPaul on Mon, Mar 05, 2007 at 18:35:36

Congrats on the special occasion.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Another early morning run. Met Ted on the trail - he started from Smith's Field House at BYU. Figured since I was rested I'd better do a tempo. Ran 5 miles on the standard Provo River Trail course. Ted ran 2.5. We hit the first mile in 5:40. Then he had to stop for a bio-break at 1.75. I continued. Next mile in 5:40, and 14:10 at the turnaround. My heart rate monitor was not working. I think the battery is dead. But that is fine. I can tell my heart rate by feel most of the time, and use the heart rate monitor mostly for entertainment.

Next quarter in 1:27.7 - the turnaround always knocks me out of rhythm. Quickly sped back up to 5:40 pace. 17:03 at 3 miles (5:43). The next mile in 5:39. I kept hitting the lap split button, mostly to be able to see the time at the quarter instead of using the auto-split feature. I do get annoyed when The Toy gets the splits in wrong places even if it is only a couple of seconds off. If it was not dark, I would not even have bothered with lap splits, but it is a good way to turn the light on. I wish that Garmin had a feature to turn the light on for N seconds every M seconds. I also wish it would show your split with 0.1 second precision, or at least round it off to the nearest whole number rather than truncating the fractions. Seeing the splits of mostly 1:24 and only one of 1:25 misled me into thinking I was headed for a 5:37 mile. But those 1:24s were high 1:24s, and 1:25 was also a high one. So the mile ended up being 5:39, and I was a whole 2 seconds behind the 5:40 guy. And now I had to run the last mile uphill, and my quads were feeling tired.

I did the next quarter in a high 1:26 followed by a high 1:25. Now I was 4 seconds behind the 5:40 guy. On the next quarter I just about said, forget it, I do not want to chase him, I am too tired, it is too early in the morning, 5:41 is as good as 5:40 when I should really be in bed. While I was having those attitude problems, I ran it in 1:26.8. This gave me enough of a break to improve my attitude. I decided to give it an earnest try and put in a solid kick. I decided I'd start right with a quarter to go, and take 60 hard steps, then ease off. This was a mental trick. Two things were going to happen in that time - I would get good momentum, and I would be close enough to the finish to where I could take a few easy steps, and then push all the way through. It worked. I managed 1:17.8 on the last quarter, and 28:18.7 for the whole run beating the 5:40 guy to the tape.

Overall I felt I was not exerting myself cardiovascularly, but my quads were starting to quit when I tried to go sub 5:40. This is usually what I feel limits me most of the time. I suspect I run in such a way that overworks my quads and underworks other muscle groups. Fast 400 meter repeats in the past have helped me to some extent. I think I'll do them on Wednesday. 

Ran with the kids in the evening.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Nick on Tue, Mar 06, 2007 at 11:31:19


I would consider my diet pretty healthy, high in carbohydrates, low is fats and sufficient amounts of dairy and proteins. I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and rarely eat any kind of junk food or greasy food. A large portion of the food I eat is organic, lacking all of the unhealthy chemicals used to grow many types of fruits and vegetables. I think that my diet is good, and supports what I am doing right now. Maybe I did eat something, though, that made me feel that way throughout the run.

From olga on Tue, Mar 06, 2007 at 11:51:05

Jesus, I am not even going to try and fathom these times! Awesome job though:)

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Mar 06, 2007 at 12:14:01


In 1999 I had a dehydration problem during the Boise Marathon. I noticed the heart rate was higher than normal during the race, but the pace felt good. Then at mile 15 I was out of action - slowed down to a 7:30 jog, and barely made my way to the finish. Afterwards I was drinking water like crazy, and did not regain a normal state of mind until the fluids got replenished.

My diet was very good by American standards, but not as good as it is now. Back then this was an extreme case of dehydration, but I did dehydrate in some noticeable form in long runs. I think overtime as I continued to improve my diet and put in the miles, I solved the dehydration problem quite well. Towards the end of a marathon my heart rate actually drops a bit as I run out of fuel, but it is correct for the pace I am going. Whereas many other runners in the same situation would have their heart rate going through the roof. So I think you need to continue doing what you are doing, and overtime this issue will resolve itself.

From Maria on Wed, Mar 07, 2007 at 07:04:13

Sasha, just wanted to pass this site on: - it's the first Russian interactive site about long distance running I found. Lots of information on Russian runners, athletics and an interesting forum. Some of the posts are pretty funny, but I was taken aback with some people's spelling - perhaps because I'm not used to reading posts in Russian. It's probably the same number of errors as on US boards, but they somehow stand out more in Russian. It's interesting to read how they train - quite a bit different than in the West.

Anyway, check it out!

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Mar 07, 2007 at 15:16:45

Thanks. I've taken a look at it. Too bad most people on the blog cannot read Russian. I really like the joke about fighting with a runner - not a good idea, if you are stronger, he will run away from you, but if he is, you will not run away from him. A typical Russian joke, I would say. I remember in our school we had a well established fighting ability hierarchy. For any two boys, it was a fairly well known fact who would win in a fist fight, and that of course, was learned from experience. That knowledge helped maintain peace, unless somebody started getting stronger or weaker.

I also found it interesting that you mentioning the word Russian four times in the comment triggered an ad for in my GMail when I viewed the comment notification mail. This reminds me of a joke Sarah's dad likes to tell:

A Jew in the Soviet Union is sitting in a park and studying a Hebrew language text book. A policeman approaches him and says - why are you studying Hebrew, don't you know we would never let you go to Israel? The Jew responds - Hebrew is the language of Heaven! The policeman says - what if you do not make it? The Jew replies - well, I already know Russian.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran the usual route with Ted this morning. He uploaded our route to the Course Tool, as well as the tempo course. It is amazing what a military helicopter pilot can do with  a GMap. Ted has the eye of an eagle and amazing attention to landscape detail. Too bad the elevation profile supplied by the US Geo Survey does not have the right resolution. I think it put up the start of the 5 mile tempo at the right elevation, but it averaged in the drop to the adjacent Provo River for the rest of it. It says there is a 17% grade drop in the first 0.01 mile. The only way that is possible is if you jump down to the river.

I did some bum kick drills and short strides on the way out. On the way back we did 8x100. My splits were - 17.3, 16.9, 16.3, 14.9, 14.5, 15.1, 15.2, 15.3. The last two were up a slight grade. We did a fairly brisk 300 meter jog in between. The form felt better. I could feel some power on acceleration. I think I would have PRed in 100 on the track - it was dark, and early, I had to watch out for the mark, and those 100s are actually 1/16 of a mile which is about 0.5 meters longer that 100 meters. I am going to run 100 on the track on Thursday so I'll stop wondering if I would have PRed.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Julia surprised me - she ran half a mile in 4:55. That is the fastest a child has done it in our family prior to turning 4.5. Jenny did not like it - she likes to start out at 11:00 mile pace. It is nice to have a younger child to motivate the older. I do not think Benjamin would have been running as well had it not been for some positive pressure from Jenny.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Was originally planning on 12x400. However, I caught the same scratchy throat type of cold again. Decided not to push the body too hard, but I still needed some anaerobic speed. Figured 6x400 would be the right type of workout. Did them with Ted, he ran them a bit slower, but not too far behind.

Warm up, then we started on the flattest portion of the trail. First 5 very consistently between 70.2 and 70.9. The recovery was usually a very slow 200 meter jog except one time we did 300 to get to a better place, one time we stopped for my bio break,  and another time (before the last one) we stopped for Ted's. But that is OK, this workout is more about speed for me than recovery, I just keep the recoveries fairly short to get it done in a reasonable amount of time, and I can get away with a very slow 200 meter jog.

On the last one pushed a bit on the last 200 meters. Got 68.5. In all repetitions the anaerobic bear started to climb on me at 200, and was comfortably (for him, not for me) sitting on my back by 300. However, as the last repetition shows, I could run through it for a while with a little bit of willpower application. Probably all of the repetitions were about 0.5 to a full second slower from having to ease off before the mark so as not to miss it. It was still dark.

Did a fairly long cool down. Ran to the library and back with the kids in the afternoon. Benjamin did well on the way back - hit a mile in 7:39 fairly relaxed, and in spite of a side ache.

Treating the cold with large doses of onion mixed with agave to make it somewhat edible.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Cody on Thu, Mar 08, 2007 at 00:16:02


I have a Garmin question for you or anybody who might know. Is there a way to split up a workout or quit recording a workout and start a new one on the same day. For example, I would love to run a warmup then record a run and then record a cool-down all with a different "workout" for each section. The only way I can do it now is to hit the lap button when I am done with each section and then go back in the Training Center software and look at the pieces that I want. My desire is to have the total time reset and ave values reset so that when I run the hard miles, I know the real-time results of that phase of the run. Understand? That is one of my pet peeves of the Garmin. I have to mentally subtract the warmup from the rest of the run.

From Maria on Thu, Mar 08, 2007 at 05:14:34

Cody, I've done it several times, specifically in races, when I want to record warmup, race and cooldown separately. All you need to do, is just reset the workout time by holding the lap button until it resets itself, and then hit the start again. Then, if you go to history on the unit (or software), you'll see several workouts for that day, all recorded separately.

From Cody on Thu, Mar 08, 2007 at 10:02:20

Thanks for the tip Maria. I will try it out later today to see it in action. That sounds like it is exactly what I want do. Thanks

From steve ashbaker on Thu, Mar 08, 2007 at 10:39:03

You need to sleep more.

From Ryan Woods on Thu, Mar 08, 2007 at 13:32:55

Thanks for the advice. I've actually taken a lot of the steps you've just suggested. pretty much my last 2 years of college and the next 3 years out of college I ran every run at 5:45-6:00 pace including my long runs. These last 3 years I've dropped that back to 6:00-6:15 pace. Basically that's a pace where I'm very low heart rate and breathing rate. It's "conversation pace." But this is the formula I've been working with now for that last decade and I'm rarely injured. It's pretty obvious that the plantar problem came from my first track workout in spikes and since then it's been a battle of keeping it under control. Also, as for taking a day off, I've found my body responds much better to a shorter easy mileage day than to a complete day off. ie, my 5 mile run. It gets the system started up, warms up the muscles, and I get in a good stretch afterwards. This is all from my personal experience and what I've responded best to over the years.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

The 100 meter sprints on Tuesday have stirred my curiosity as to what I could do on the track in an all out 100. Today was not quite the best day to do it, but there will never be a best day. So I decided to give it a shot. Ted and I warmed up to the Provo High track. Then I did a few accelerations to get ready. Then Ted timed me from a standing start. In two attempts I managed 14.8 and 14.6. Nothing unusual - just about what I used to get in the past, although I had never tried them in the dark before, or at least never ran that fast in the dark and that early in the morning. It felt awkward to run from a standing start.

I can think of a few reasons why the sprinting felt a lot better on Tuesday. One, is I had not done it on Tuesday yet. Two, I had not done the 400s the day before. Three, they were not from a standing start, which I think for me makes a lot of difference - having to accelerate that fast tenses me up for 60 meters or so before I can finally get into the groove.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. My cold got a bit worse during the day, and I've even considered skipping the 10 miler, but then I attacked it with large doses of garlic and fluids with electrolytes (EmerenC) and it got quite a bit better. 

Now what is the big deal about 100 meters? I believe regardless of what distance you train for, if you are a runner you need to know how to run. 100 meter sprint is a good home test of your running form. Let us think of a bike for an analogy. Let us say we have untrued wheels. Riding a slow speed will take more energy, but you can still do it. However, riding at a high speed will be impossible even if we try to do it for a very short period of time. If your distance performance suffers, there is an equal probability that the problem is endurance or biomechanics. However, if your sprint performance suffers, the endurance factor is eliminated. The element of natural or trained explosiveness comes into play, but I believe it is not as important as the endurance for a long distance event. It is not unusual to find men that do not do squat for exercise of any kind, and can still run a 12.0 100 meters or faster. That is only 20% slower than the world record. 20% slower than the world record in a marathon is 2:30. How many guys can run a 2:30 marathon with no training?

Thus, training in a marathon can obscure or compensate for the effects of bad biomechanics. But it is much more difficult to do it in a sprint. And it is nearly impossible to do it for somebody with dominant slow twitch fibers. On top of the untrued wheels bike effect, he has another problem. If you train him to sprint, he has very little he can train. Therefore, it is reasonable to suppose that if a slow twitch dominant runner can do a decent 100 meter sprint, he is doing it mostly off good form. And, if the sprint is slower than a certain threshold, the problem is biomechanical.

So I would roughly put people into the following groups (some adjustment might be needed, it would be nice if somebody did a research on this):

GroupIdentifying Qualities
With proper biomechanics, 100 meters under 11.0 for men, under 12.5 for women. Trained for distance, slow down way more in longer distances than what McMillan calculator estimates.
Middle-distance runners
With proper biomechanics, 100 meters under 12.0 for men, and 13.6 for women. Trained for distance, slow down according to the McMillan calculator from 100 to the mile, then a bit more towards 5000 meters, then much more after that.
Regular distance runners
With proper biomechanics, 100 meters under 12.7 for men and 14.4 for women. Trained for distance, slow down a little bit less than the McMillan calculator curve from 100 meters all the way to the marathon.
Distance runners with unusually high proportions of slow twitch fibers
With proper biomechanics, 100 meters under 14.0 for men, and 15.8 for women. Trained for distance, hardly any slow down from 100 meters to 800 meters - can almost run 800 in 8 times their 100 meter PR. However, the slow down from 800 to the marathon matches that of the Regular distance runners.

I would be a regular distance runner with bad biomechanics. Sometimes we explain away the poor performance in 100 meters of a regular distance runner by saying he just does not have a lot of fast twitch muscles. I think it is a mistake. First, if he does not run 100 under 14.0, he either has biomechanical issues, or some form of mild muscular dystrophy or some other health issue otherwise. Second, if he indeed is so slow twitch, when properly trained, he will very closely approach his 8x100 PR time in 800 meter race.

The above is an expression of my intuition I've gained from  22 years of running experience. I would really, really like to see some research on this, though. If anybody has any feedback on this, feel free to comment. I am very much open to correction/clarification of my ideas. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From steve ashbaker on Fri, Mar 09, 2007 at 22:04:50

You know, your reasoning is sound but as I think we have discussed before there may be other properties of the human body that you might be overlooking. Because I am not trained in medical science I really don't like to comment in this area. But for the same reasons we all look differently, talk differently, and sound differently... We will all run different. There comes a point where we can not put in what God has left out. Even so God has still indeed blessed us all. With most people no amount of work will ever get them to run a 2:24 marathon like yourself. The true test comes in being the best we can with what we have been given.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I was originally planning on doing my regular distance today. However, the cold has changed my plans. I figured even if I did not have to race tomorrow, going 10 miles in the morning still would not have been as beneficial as 6. I met Ted on the trail and we ran at an easy pace.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon.

Went to see Dr. Jex. He said the hip weights would do me no good, at least the kind that he tried on me. X-rays showed that if I put them on, my hips become even more imbalanced that in neutral position.  So we scheduled a long session Monday to try all kinds of things, take X-rays, look at them, and then decide what to do next. I think he has a lot at stake now. First, professional honor. I know that if I am working on a programming project for somebody, and it does not quite work, I really do not like to say, well, too bad, I've tried my best. I'll try my very thorough best before I say it, especially when it is something critical to the business of the client. I think he is the same way - if it does not work right away, he will not just quit. 

Another aspect is that I have already maxed out my potential with what training and diet can do. I suppose there is some room for improvement if I could run 120 miles a week and sleep 10 hours a day, but that is not happening, not at least until I find a way to make money without being there doing it all the time. Which is still at least a few years away. My current regimen has produced very consistent results for the last three years. To the point where I go to a race knowing exactly the time I am going to run. It is good my times are not getting worse, but they are not getting better.  If I improve even only 5 minutes in the marathon due to his treatment this will serve as a loud indicator that he has some magic in his hands.

Started working on integrating a Google Map into the Course Tool, so you would not have to go to GMap Pedometer to make maps. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Race: Striders Winter Series 10 Miler (9.86 Miles) 00:59:02, Place overall: 6
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Winter Series Striders 10 miler, 59:01.8, 6th place. To to a mistake by the race director in laying out the course the morning of the race, we ended up cutting off a certain distance that was 0.14 according to my Garmin 305. But in the end it does not matter, as we all ran the same race, and the course was so hilly that the time is meaningful only in comparison with other people in the race.

My cold started getting better the day before. However, I was still not quite healthy. As Ted and I drove up to the race, I decided I would pace Chad for the first three miles, if I felt healthy enough. Then take off if I felt good, or just hang on and finish the race if not. When I got to the race I remembered that Chad was not running. I convinced Steve Ashbaker to hang around with me for the first three miles. He agreed, figuring a slower start could do him some good.

We went through the first uphill mile in 5:54. It felt easy. Too easy. Ted caught us and told us to speed up. Joe Wilson was way out front, followed by Paul Petersen and Bob Thompson a distance behind. I was in a group with Steve, Ken Richardson, Ted, and Albert Wint.

Second mile was downhill. We pushed a bit harder, and got a good split - 5:11. Only 10 seconds behind Paul and Bob. The pace felt good. I even thought of making a move to catch them, but decided it would not be a good idea for a couple of reasons. I was not fully healthy, and I know that in that condition the early miles for me feel a lot easier. And the hills were coming up.

The wrong turn happened some place during the third mile. For the record, the split at mile marker three was 17:05, which was long. The race director guessed that one, it was not at the certified location. By that time I was with Ken and Steve. Shortly after, the climb started, and I fell behind. Running up the hills I decided to pay attention to two things - first the feeling, and second the heart rate to catch possible errors of perception, and also for the purpose of gaining experience and understanding. I figured as long as those hills were, I needed to stay right at my anaerobic threshold for best results. If the competition is pulling away, do not worry about it. They are stronger on the hill, and there is not much I can do about it now. The time to worry about it was before the race. All I can do by pretending I am as strong as them on the hill is lose it half way through the hill, not be able to go fast on the downhill, and end up further behind. Otherwise, with proper pacing, I might even be able to catch them on the downhill.

Official mile 4 (3.86 on the GPS), 21:44. Steve and Ken are within sight, Bob and Paul are out of sight. Hills are getting nastier and there seems to be no end of them. 28:07 at the official mile 5, 6:23 mile. Now the official mile markers are actually separated by exactly one mile since we are back on the certified course. The next mile has a nasty climb, I saw one quarter in 1:57 on the GPS, and otherwise were comparably slow. However, there was a downhill stretch towards the end which saved the mile split somewhat - 34:58 at "mile 6", 6:51. I closed a bit of a gap on Ken on that stretch. I wished it were longer.

Now the infamous 10 K hill. Paul called it the stairway to the place for those who sin and do not repent for a good reason. I am hitting 1:50-1:55 quarters, and Ken is not gaining much distance on me, and I can still see Steve, and he is not separating from us either, at least not by very much. Interestingly enough, as I kept the effort at my perception of anaerobic threshold my heart rate dropped from 162 in the early sections of the hill to 158 later on. I have seen this before running up Squaw Peak. The heart rate starts to drop towards the end of the hill. The hill has to be fairly long, though, so that you cannot get through it with a surge of effort. And it needs to be steep, about 6-7%. The way I feel the threshold is by the feedback from the quad. Right around there it starts feeling a bit sour, that is the best I can describe that feeling. On a flat or slightly downhill sections I get that feeling at around the heart rate of 161-163 if I am well rested and having a good day. On a bad day, I might get it at 157. It is that feeling that keeps me from going faster in a tempo run or a 15 K/10 mile/ half-marathon.

What is interesting is that in the past, I used to go by breathing to determine the correct pace for the half-marathon. Now it is not the breathing that limits me any more, it is that feeling of muscular fatigue in the quad. I suppose going up a steep hill for a while overworks the quad, and it starts quitting, which drives the heart rate down.

The hill keeps going up and up. I am starting to believe there is no end to it. Finally, we reach a point where I see no roads above us. That is a good sign, the hill is over. A short downhill stretch at the top give a bit of a saving grace for the mile split. 42:07 at the 7 mile marker, 7:09 for the mile.

Now the downhill. Here the mind is playing tricks on me, I knew it would. My heart rate goes down to 155 for a second. I push it a bit, now 157. Starting to get into a good rhythm. Now 160. Next mile in 5:24, starting to close a bit on Ken. Headwind is not helping. Next mile, less steep down in 5:32. Ken now is only 3 seconds ahead. I decided I'd do my best to pass him. But I think he decided he'd do his best to not get passed.

Nasty climb on the last mile. He pulls ahead, then comes back a bit. The climb is over. Now he shifts gears faster than me and is gone for good. I am pressing as hard as I can, but I just cannot shift my gears that fast. Right as I am approaching the finish chute my heart rate is only 161. And I am thinking kick, kick, get him! 59:01.8, last mile in 5:59, Ken is 13 seconds ahead, Steve  37 seconds ahead.

Short cool down to not make the cold worse, then the Zmei Gorynovich treatment after that (a clove of garlic). Zmei Gorynovich is a three headed flying fire-breathing serpent in  Russian fairy tales. My mom calls me Zmei Gorynovich whenever I eat a lot of garlic.

Overall, I thinking although the cold was a factor, mostly it was the hills that killed me. Nothing new. The hips and the spine need to be fixed. I am happy I was able to run somewhat decent under the circumstances. I am looking forward to the half-marathon, which is mostly downhill. 

Ran some more with the kids in the afternoon.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Chad on Mon, Mar 12, 2007 at 10:18:17

You had a great race, Sasha. I wish I could have been out there to hang with you in the first few miles. I'm sure I would have suffered mightily as a result--but it would most certainly have improved my performance.

From wheakory on Tue, Mar 13, 2007 at 10:26:02

Nice race Sasha, your speed and endurance is credited to your great dedication. Hills are tough sometimes you feel your at a great pace going uphill and then your quads start to fatigue and slow you down a


What our your marathon plans this year?

Thank you for you comments on my site. I'm really trying to do everything I can in my training to break 3 hours


do take Sunday's off, because my spirituality is more important than my running (basically what you stated). Our running abilities only come from God, and having fatih through him allows us to achieve what God wants us to achieve.

One of my favorite scriptures I try to live by and my family

Galatians 5:25 “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Mar 15, 2007 at 13:07:45


My marathon plans are Ogden, DesNews, Top of Utah, St. George, and then the Trials if I make it.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run on the Provo River Trail with Ted in the morning. Averaged 7:27 pace, Garmin 305 reported the average heart rate of 119 in spite of going crazy at some point and hitting a max of 151. I never ran fast enough to get that heart rate, so I assume it was off for a small segment of the run. Felt sleepy. Getting over the cold. Apparently it is only at the respiratory level, otherwise the heart rate would have been higher.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Figured out a new way to motivate Benjamin - let Jenny out of the stroller at the end of his fast 0.5 segment with 0.1 to go. Today this resulted in a fit which kept him from catching her, but he ran the last quarter in 1:47 nevertheless. Afterwards we had a talk and he did some attitude improvement core strength exercises. He needs to do them anyway, and he gets in trouble enough during the day to get his fair share. I also made him write about the experience in his blog, which he did, although rather reluctantly.

Went to see Dr. Jex. He took lots of X-rays. The good news is that my neck curve has made the most significant improvement since we started the treatment. The curvature angle is now 27 degrees with the forward head tilt of 5 mm. An improvement from 16 degrees/18 mm in the beginning, and 20 degrees/9 mm about a month ago. The ideal measurement is 35-45 degrees and 0 mm tilt. So we are on the right track in the way of neck correction. The shoulder weights we added have helped a lot.

However, the lower back is still acting odd (which is the reason he decided to spend some extra time with the X-rays), and right now we have the following issues:

  • The lumbar curve is almost normal while standing up, but I lose entirely (down to 0) when I sit down.
  • The lower spine has a lateral curve towards the right. In theory, hip weights should correct it. However, with the hip weights on it becomes worse (always bending towards the right) regardless of the direction of the torque the hip weights are positioned to create.

Dr. Jex was rather perplexed by this. Indeed my lower back is both literally and figuratively is throwing him a curve. He decided to take a more thorough look at it. We are going to have even a longer research session on Thursday. I am excited about this. Finally we are getting somewhere. For a while I felt like we were trotting in place. I have always felt that a thorough research is what this problem needed. But I could never find a specialist that would recognize the need and be willing to do what it takes.

I think I have a clue as to where the whole problem came from. Between the ages of 12 and 13 I ran 4 hard track workouts a week at the Znamenskiye indoor track in Moscow (Maria would know that one very well). They were all high volume and high intensity. Here is an example of a three day segment from one week that I recall: Monday, 6000 m in 21:42 (5:45/mile pace). Tuesday, 1000 in 3:09, 800 in 2:30, 600 in 1:48. Wednesday - 600 m in 1:47, 400 m in 67, and 200 in 32. My coach loved to give us tempo runs on the indoor track which I would do usually at a pace faster that 6:00 per mile. I can only imagine what that could have done to the developing  bones and muscles - you hit a sharply sloped curve that is about 25-30 meters long that gives you a 180 degree turnaround 16 times a mile and at a high speed times and again.

So, yes, Dr. Jex is dealing with a very unusual case. Very few people get this sort of damage. And the few that do rarely even think about it, much less care to get it fixed, just happy to run where they are at if they continue to run at all. Not me. I am persistent. I will not let this be in my way. I will not give up hope, I will not quit. I'll find a way to get it fixed and run at my true potential.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Maria on Tue, Mar 13, 2007 at 16:29:45

I'm very impressed with your tenacity. I hope you get your back fixed, but more importantly, that it gives you the improvement you expect and takes you to the next level. You deserve it after so many years of hard work.

I agree that running such high volume at high speeds on that track could have done the damage. "Spartak" indoor track was considered one of the most steeply banked tracks in Moscow. I have run on CSKA track, and on "Trudovie Reservi" track, and both were significantly less banked that ours. My back is seriously screwed up too, but I think it happened even before I started running. I've been diagnosed with scoliosis when I was around 12, and no exercises could fix it. I should have taken up swimming, and I did, for a time, but I loved running more, and stuck with it. I don't think our track did me any favors either. Last year, when I went to a podiatrist regarding some persistent calf pain, he measured my legs while I was laying down, and said that my left leg is 1.5 inches longer than my right!! I know it's not really longer, it's just my hips are so messed up (and probably rotated, too) that it creates functional leg length descrepancy. But I'm afraid to let doctors do anything for the fear that things will get worse, and I won't be able to run at all. After all, my body somehow learned to compensate for my improperly curved back. Sometimes I think it's nothing short of a miracle that I can tolerate 50+ miles a week without major problems. It's very possible I could gain something in performance by fixing the issue (assuming it's even possible to fix), but I have no elite potential, and so I think the risk outweighs potential benefits, in my case.

From Jon on Thu, Mar 15, 2007 at 00:12:34

It's interesting that you think your problems stem from some workouts so many years ago. Too much running can certainly be hard on a growing kid's body. I know I was not developed enough to run 5k's until ~14 years, and would not encourage marathons until 18 years old. I took a few years off running (20-21 years old) and my body was much, much better suited to handle hard distance running with only a 2 year difference. It's kind of like wrestling or gymnastics- the kids do so much training (and trying to lose weight) that they can permanently stunt their growth. Hopefully your doctor can help you with everything.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Mar 15, 2007 at 07:25:55


I have suspected there was something wrong with your back. There is something wrong with being able to run 100 m in 15 s, but only 22 minutes in a 5 K when you are training for distance. It could of course be just the slow twitch dominance, but then your 100 m should be a lot faster if your back was normal. And I believe that a bad spinal curve not only limits your top speed, but also limits your ability to hold it. Again going back to the bike with untrued wheels analogy. It is hard to go fast, but it is even harder to go fast for a long time. However, if you slow down, the resistance is reduced, and riding becomes to feel more normal.

I think you might have quite a bit of an elite potential. How much I cannot tell for sure, but I would not be surprised if you ran a 2:40 marathon if you were successful in correcting your spine. You mentioned the lack of talent in your profile comment. I am starting to believe that the talent is 90% or so in the spinal shape. Slow-twitch to fast-twitch ratio is almost irrelevant for athletic talent - you just specialize in the right event for your ratio. Have you noticed how if somebody is exceptionally good in a sprint, they are often at least decent in almost any sport, and they do not have to train for it, but if someone is way below par in a 100 meter run, they struggle in almost any sport even if they train very hard? They often become distance runners because that is the sport where hard work can provide a reasonable measure of compensation for the lack of what we call "natural ability". I think it is so because the spinal shape is critical to athletic performance, and it is something that you just have, at least when you are young, regardless of how you train.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted in the morning. Very slow and relaxed. Ran with the kids in the afternoon.

In the evening started feeling chills and very fatigued. Sinus infection, this time a bit stronger than normal. Went to bed early. Taking it easy for the next couple of days. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From wheakory on Wed, Mar 14, 2007 at 14:17:45

That time of year where pollen and environment changes, affect are immune systems. I hope you start to feel better.

Still impressive that you got out and ran almost 12 miles not feeling very well. What pace did you maintain today?

God Bless.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Mar 14, 2007 at 14:23:03

About 7:50 per mile.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Slept in this morning to allow myself to get over the cold. Took the whole day easy. Did not run until late afternoon. First ran with the kids. We had an adventure with Benjamin being chased by a dog. It was a small dog, but he got really scared and swerved in panic. But he still managed a good last 0.5 in 3:38 with the quarter splits of 1:49 and 1:49. The dog quarter would probably have been 1:46 or maybe even faster if he had not panicked. 

Afterwards, I went for a 5 mile run and Benjamin rode his bike with me. We started out at 7:30 pace, then gradually warmed into 6:35-6:40. The construction around Geneva road slowed us down. My heart rate was hovering around 140 at 6:35 pace, which is about 6 beats per minute higher than normal.  That is to be expected with the sinus infection.

On the last 0.4 Benjamin decided to test my limits. Sick or not, I still have some competitive spirit, so I responded to the challenge. Then with 0.1 to go I decided to show him class and picked up the pace. He held up fine for as long as we were going 5:20 pace, but his little bike could not go any faster. The turn with 60 meters to go did not help either. The last quarter was 1:19. At first, I thought it was only 1:29 and figured I must be really sick if I had to work that hard to run that slow. The good news is that it felt easy enough for me to consider it could have been 1:29.

Worked some on the GMap for the Course Tool. I got it to the point where you can go to a location of your choice, zoom in and out, toggle between satellite, hybrid, and regular map, and plot course. I still need to figure out a way to save the course data, and obtain the elevations. Hopefully will have it ready in a few days.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Felt better this morning, although still not 100% over the sinus infection. Ran with Ted early in the morning. 8.3 miles, easy pace. Ted told me about Weldon Johnson's training method that he credits for the improvement from 29:30 to 28:17 10 K. First, all speed work and tempo runs must be done by feel - do not look at the watch until you are done with the workout. Second, easy runs must be as easy as the body wants them. For Weldon, this often went going 7:30 per mile. He often ran 140 miles per week with the page averaging 7:00 mile including his speed work.

First day of Benjamin's Team Provo practice. Ran some with him. He ran some extra afterwards.  

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From Mike on Fri, Mar 16, 2007 at 08:02:19

Wejo has a recent post on about his training.

Good luck this weekend at Moab. While I wouldn't wish a cold on anyone, it does serve as a nice taper.

From steve ashbaker on Fri, Mar 16, 2007 at 08:23:34

I may not run a 140 miles a week but thats how I have always trained. I go a lot by how my body is feeling for a certain period. I run as slow as 8min miles in recovery runs and have run tempo runs purely on feel. However sometimes my recovery runs may be as quick as 6:40/mi. For me it all depends on various factors such as length and intensity,stress at work, hydration afterwards, how much sleep I consistently get etc. Sometimes you gotta throw the numbers out the door after all you know how your body is feeling better than anyone else.

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Feeling better, but still not 100%. Ran easy with Ted, 8.6 miles. Pretty much the entire run we debated the issue of the correlation between 100 meter sprint and marathon potential in the same runner. His point of view - there are way too many factors that could either make a good marathoner sprint slow, or a fast sprinter run  a poor marathon for the correlation to exist. My point of view - while a fast sprint does not guarantee a fast marathon, and a slow sprinter has some hope in the marathon, a slow sprint puts a cap on your marathon performance. Being able to sprint not too terribly slow is a necessary but not sufficient condition for a good marathon performance. We agree with each other to a point, the disagreement is in the numbers.

My contention that Ted disagrees with - unless you have an extreme proportion of slow-twitch fibers ( Alberto Salazar style) which is found probably in no more than 3% of all distance runners, 100 meter time of 15.0 means you will not run much faster than 2:30 in the marathon. This actually makes a nice rule - take your 100 meter time in seconds, do it times ten. That is your limit in the marathon in minutes.

We also had a disagreement on how fast a slower runner (that runs a marathon in over 3:00 even with some decent training) could run 100 meters. So I thought it would be helpful to gather some data for our future discussions, and perhaps also for inspiring some more serious exercise physiology research. If you would like to contribute, please submit the following data in the comments - does not have to be current, but needs to come from the same time period: your marathon performance, the training you did to achieve it, your 100 meter performance from the same time period, and the specific 100 meter training you did to achieve it (for most of us it will be nothing more than some strides and short speed work intervals at best).

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Feeling a bit better towards the evening, good sign, sinus infection pain is going away.

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From Maria on Sat, Mar 17, 2007 at 16:15:16

I think that research on correlation between 100m time and marathon time would be pretty hard to conduct. The problem is that to get your best 100m time requires completely different training than to get your best marathon time. That's why you cannot seriously look at equivalent performances from, let's say, McMillan's calculator. Performances from 800 (maybe even 400) and up are correctly correlated, but 100 and 200m are not. In fact, Greg stated himself that these distances are included for fun, and times given are nothing more than educated guess.

If you're looking at marathoners, they train in a way that maximizes endurance and makes even fast twitch fibers take on characteristics of slow twitch. It is impossible to get the best 100m time out of yourself with such training. Maybe the best sample for such research could be middle distance runners (800-1600m) who need very decent speed and good mix of endurance and speed endurance. They probably train better to have meaningful correlation between sprints and longer distances.

I think that if I moved up in distances when I was able to run 100m in 13sec, I would lose some of that speed, UNLESS I put in extra effort to maintain it. But the problem is that to run your best in sprints you need to do a lot of weight lifting that would be detrimental to performance in longer distances. You need a lot of muscle mass and strength that would only slow you down in 5K+ events.

So I think there could be pretty dramatic differences in times that you would get for 100m sprints from long distance runners. I read somewhere that most runners have roughly 50/50 fast/slow twitch fibers, so vast (1-3 sec/100m)improvement in sprints is possible if they train specifically for sprints. Even if runner spends a months doing drills and sprints his time in 100m will improve. If you take people that are just doing strides twice a week, and people doing some specific training, how can you compare them?

From ArmyRunner on Sat, Mar 17, 2007 at 21:47:44

These are exactly some of the points I brought up as well. I tend to think that for amarathon runner there is really no direct correlation between 100m time and marathon time. For the most part I do not think ones marathon potential is limited by ones 100m time and if one were to improve there 100m time this would not mean they would improve there marathon time as well.

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Felt better than the day before, but still not 100%. Still yellow stuff coming out of my nose, some sinus pain, cough, and a bit of overall weakness. Ted wanted to do 15 miles. I was not quite up to the distance. However, I figured a few miles at marathon pace would be helpful as a health test. We went up the Provo Canyon. Almost hit a gate over by Bridal Veil Falls, good thing it was white and Ted has good eyes, we stopped soon enough. Then we hit a few patches of ice. Then we turned around and ran back to the start of the standard 3 mile tempo at Nunn's park.

For a change, I decided to try Weldon Johnson's idea of not looking at the watch during the run. We ran 3 miles down, immediate 180 turn, and then 1 mile back up. My splits were 5:42 (HR 142), 5:42 (HR 151), 5:29 (HR 154) and 6:20 (HR 155). The effort felt harder than the HR feedback, but the breathing was appropriate for the level of HR. I think the respiratory congestion created a false perception of difficulty. I think I really like the idea of looking at the watch afterwards. Total of 11 miles of for the run.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. 

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From ArmyRunner on Sun, Mar 18, 2007 at 17:11:24

New 1/2 Marathon World Record today. Same as previous owner .lst month. Wanjuri runs a 58:35. He is still a very young up and coming Kenyan who has not run the marathon yet. He plans on debuting in DEC in Japan. He actually lives and trains in Japan full time. As a junior he ran 26:41 int he 10K setting the junior world record. Today he ran with the following splits establishing a 20K world record as well.

5K = 13:40

10K = 27:27 (13:47)

15K = 41:30 (14:03)

20K = 55:31 (14:01)

1/2 = 58:35

More amazing is that he ran solo from the 3k mark on because the paid pacers could not run fast enough! He said he plans on breaking his own record again in SEP. He seems very confident and it would not surprise me to see him be the next Marathon World Record holder. In fact I say he will own the Marathon World Record by the end of 2008 and will be the first person to ever run a sub 2:04!

From steve ashbaker on Sun, Mar 18, 2007 at 22:53:58

I tell you what I find even more impressive is that Lee Bong Ju of South Korea won the Seoul Marathon this week in 2:08:04 at age 37. He surged past two Kenyans in the last mile to grab victory. My Man!!

From steve ashbaker on Sun, Mar 18, 2007 at 23:00:07

I just turned 36 and so I guess I can relate to this performance more. But you're entry about Wanjuri leaves me going huh?.... Wo.

From Mike on Mon, Mar 19, 2007 at 07:30:35

Wanjuri is 20 and Lee Bong is 37. It is amazing the range of ages that can thrive in this sport. Steve, don't forget that Carlos Lopes won gold at 37 and set the WR at 38. Salazar went on to win Comrades after his marathon career was over. There is hope for us old guys.

Wanjuri will probably run a good marathon but the marathon is such a different beast than a 10 or 21 k. Geb would be the WR holder in the marathon instead of Tergat if their 21 k times translated to the fastest marathon.

From Nick on Mon, Mar 19, 2007 at 23:02:33

Hey Sasha,

The course was in a very new section of town, with many of the paths not even updated on the g-map pedometer. I found the general area, however, and the elevation change is about 120 ft. I guess this isn't that much, but I was operating under some bad conditions and I honestly could not run very well at all. I had thoughts of stopping and walking, but I figured that I entered a race and I might as well make it count. I was unsure of what to expect from a race while doing extensive training, and now I know.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Mar 21, 2007 at 12:44:30

Nick - do you mean the course had a flat first mile and then 120 feet of elevation gain in the last 2 miles? If yes, you would lose a total of about 40 seconds, or your performance equals 15:55 on a flat course.

In any case, I noticed you have a tendency to not run well when you put pressure on yourself. Your nervous system seems to give out. This race was a good practice in overcoming it. And a win is always a win.

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Easy run with Ted. I've done so many of those that my blog now ranks number 2 on Google for the search term "easy run with Ted". Feeling better. Ran the last mile in 5:48, felt strong, but did not like my form.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Jenny impressed me with an 8:02 mile after 0.5 warm-up. It's been a while since she's run this fast. Benjamin was playing rather crazy in the back yard and fell on a rock. He could run, but his form did not look good. I told him to take a day of rest.

We went swimming in the evening. I timed myself over 50 yards - 55 seconds. That is the fastest I've swam 50 yards since 1994 when I took Intermediate Swimming at BYU from Tim Powers, the BYU swim team coach. He tried hard to teach me good form, and made enough progress to where I improved from 60 seconds to 51 seconds in the 50 yard distance. But even with the improvement I was still significantly slower than everybody else in the class including all of the girls. Since then, whenever I would occasionally time myself I was consistently between 58 and 60 seconds. I think this improvement shows that the recent addition of shoulder weights in my Pettibon routine has been effective. I also felt more power in the right arm in the water.

I am very excited about this development. This is the first time something changed measurably in my athletic performance since the start of Pettibon if you do not count my informal vertical jump test earlier. This one is a lot more significant - with the vertical jump it could have easily been a measurement fluke, and I am thinking it was. I did not have standard measurement procedures, and the improvement was not recorded on the same type of test. A small thing, but I am excited. For the first time something improved. This small development strengthens my faith that running can also improve. 

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From Maria on Tue, Mar 20, 2007 at 16:59:55

Isn't it amazing how little running translates to swimming? Both use aerobic system extensively, but upper body involvement and swimming economy make the difference, I guess. I was swimming for couple of years before I started running, in 5-6 grades, and the best I managed was 57 sec. for 50 meters. Then in 9th grade because of my running I was selected to be on the regional team for a rather weird thing that was called "mnogobor'e GTO" (it had 3 events: 50m swim, pneumatic gun shooting and 60m sprint). Was it still around when you were growing up? In the swim, I was hugely embarassed, as I was far, far behind all the girls who covered 50m in about 32 seconds. By the time I emerged from under water after my horrible jump from the blocks, they were at least half way down the lane. It was awful, there were lots of spectators in the pool. I didn't do much better in the shooting, but I destroyed them all in 60m. sprint. That was my revenge - of course there was no spectators then :).

Somehow, other sports relate to running more, for example x-c skiing. I can ski very decently and for a long time, even though skiing also requires upper body strength, of which i have none.

Anyway, given my total incompetence, I'm amazed how my daughter now can swim 50m in 34 seconds and in practice does sets like 30x50m on 50 seconds. Of course, she specializes in swimming and has strong upper body, but it's still mind boggling for me. I'm curious as to what she can do in running, but I have yet to convince her to enter a mile race. All I know is that she beat everyone in her class (including boys) in 400m in PE class, but she didn't get the time from the teacher!

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Mar 21, 2007 at 13:01:50

Maria - I never got a chance to do Mnogobor'ye GTO. However, I've done my share of interesting activities - throwing a hand grenade for distance, taking apart, cleaning and putting back together an AK-47, even got to shoot from one once. I ran in a relay race on the Garden ring representing the vocational school team (PTU). The director of the local PTU figured the way to get his team to look good was to put distance runners from our track school on the longer legs. We only lost to the Pervomayski district, and I suppose you would know why - the boarding school (sport-internat) was in that region. Then I also got to be the young pioneer the friend of police in the police relay race, ran it wearing the young pioneer uniform. Afterwards, they even gave me 3 roubles, which was a lot of money to a kid back then. Got to run in a few races representing a factory.

I raced in cross-country skiing, was the best in my school, and one time even won the district championship. However, on the city level I was not competitive at all. At a smaller level I was racing against the people with bad technique and could beat them with my running endurance. When I raced against the people with good technique and good endurance, they would beat me by 3 minutes in a 3 K.

I am not surprised your daughter is a great swimmer, and seems to have a potential to be a good runner. I have a suspicion that genetically you have a lot of athletic talent, but something got messed up in your childhood. You still do well in spite of everything, but I do not believe you've yet seen your true genetic potential.

From Maria on Thu, Mar 22, 2007 at 06:39:44

It's funny how many activities were common for runners and students in Russian schools back in the day! I did AK-47 drill too, assembling and disassembling it by time. Never shot from it though, but we were shooting from small caliber and pneumatic rifles. All part of the NVP class in high school :). And I also ran the Garden Ring relay, twice. Once in high school, representing my district, and the other time in college, representing my university (MISI, Civil Engineering Institute). I wasn't fast enough to get on Znamenskie team. Relays were a lot of fun!

As for my daughter, she may be a good swimmer, but she is one the slowest in her age (14). She did not qualify for county championships, and Nationals are completely out of reach. It's unbelievable how tough the competition is, the counties qualifying times are very fast - she needs 32.2sec. in 50m freestyle!! Even in her best event, 100m backstroke, she is 5sec. outside of qualifying time (she swam 1:22.2, but needed 1:16.8 to get to counties). So I don't think there is any genetic talent there. But she works extremely hard, and this is her first year of serious training, her team in US wasn't very serious. She complains that life is unfair, that she has to work so hard for every second of improvement, while other kids are so much faster, but all I can tell her is "welcome to the club!". I'm telling her that for us, hard work is the only way to go, and she can still get very good no matter her inherent abilities. She learned one important lesson over the holidays when we went to US for 2 weeks and she didn't swim - she lost a lot of fitness and it took her 1.5 months to get it back. Now she doesn't want to take any vacations and go anywhere for fear of missing practice!

On an unrelated topic, on that Russian forum I mentioned before (, there is one forum where Leonid Shvetsov is answering questions, don't know if you saw it, - I find it rather interesting, he has some solid advice for marathon runners.

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First day of feeling almost normal. Only a little bit of runny nose and sinus pain. Ran a light tempo with Ted. We went on the standard 5 mile tempo course on the Provo River Trail by Geneva Road. Again, used the Weldon Johnson hit the split but do not look method. It produced interesting results this early in the morning (the tempo started at 5:00 AM). Splits by 0.5 - 3:10 - 3:10 - 3:06 - 3:06 - 3:07 - 3:04 - 3:00 - 2:58 - 2:55 - 2:49. Total time 30:25, first half in 15:39, second half in 14:46, last mile in 5:44. The first two miles felt way too easy cardiovascularly, but there was enough of a neurological stress for me to believe we were going a decent pace. Ted did not push it, so I did not either. Then I began to suspect that we were probably going way too slow, and started pushing it a bit. Then I started breathing.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Then went to see Dr. Jex. He showed an exercise with it he wanted me to do.  I am supposed to lay in a very strange position 6 minutes a day that produces the correct reverse twist for my hips. We'll see what it does.

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From wheakory on Wed, Mar 21, 2007 at 14:03:24

What's your threshold pace? That's awesome tempo times. I believe you've got the dedication to be an under 2:20 runner.

From April Larsen on Thu, Mar 22, 2007 at 09:43:10

Thanks for the welcome! That's quite an awesome life story you've got & even more impressive running history. All the best to you in reaching your goals. I've no doubt you'll master them.

From Clay Simmons on Thu, Mar 22, 2007 at 23:03:07

Good work Sasha, you are an inspiration to me. When I feel like not running then I think of your scolding and it gets me out of bed and down the road, keep it up.

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Easy run with Ted in the morning. Started to feel recovered from the sinus infection. The naps have been helping. Ran 1.5 at marathon pace effort at the end, timed the last 0.75 of it - 4:17. Heart rate of 148 at the end.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. 

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Woke up from an interesting running dream. My dreams have become very close to reality when it comes to running. When I run in a dream, I feel the pain, my splits and times are very realistic. In the dream I was running against Paul Petersen in a 5 mile road race. The race started out flat, then had a downhill section, then flattened out again. It was a fairly fast course. In the beginning Paul pulled away. Then gathering all of my strength I closed the gap on the downhill right before we got to the final flat section. We had a mile to go.  Paul put in a surge to get rid of me. I first thought of letting him go, but then decided no way, I worked way too hard to catch him, and I have nothing to lose. There was another short runner with us I did not quite recognize. I tucked in behind Paul and tried to hang on. It felt very painful. The short runner dropped back a few seconds but was still within striking distance. Then we approached the finish and the kick started. I moved out into the passing position, and tried to turn on top speed. My legs felt like I was at the end of a mile race, they felt like lead, I could not pick it up any more. Neither could Paul, but he managed to stay ahead no matter how hard I tried. We ended up finishing with 25:03.1 for him, and 25:03.3 for me.

Now reality that followed the dream. Tempo run with Steve on the standard 10 mile tempo run course. We did it using Weldon Johnson's method of hit the split do not look at it until you are done. Went through the first 2.5 in 14:42. Heart rate eventually climbed to 150. Then as we turned around Steve started pushing it. I started feeling uncomfortable and asked him to back off. Next 2.5 in 14:24 with the pace fluctuating between 5:40 and 5:55. I would get the heart rate of 155 at 5:40 and 153 at 5:50. Not a big difference in numbers, but 5:40 required a lot more effort. It was probably mental - I was expecting to coast through the run at my marathon pace effort and did not want to push it. I should not be hurting that bad with the heart rate of only 155.

We turned around and in the same pattern continued to another 2.5 in 14:28. Then another turnaround. I decided this time I would not hold Steve back, let him run whatever he feels like, and just grind my teeth and hang in there. But I did tell him I wanted it closer to marathon pace than threshold. The pace eventually became 5:40, the heart rate this time climbed to 158, and this time it felt more comfortable. Perhaps now my mind came to terms with the idea that it was going to be hard. Then on the last mile Steve picked it up. I tucked in behind him hanging on for dear life. Without a watch and the split times to look at to soothe the pain, I began counting 100s - 1500 to go - still alive, 1400 to go, still alive ... 300 to go, can't believe I am still alive. Finish, I made it! 57:43 for 10 miles, 14:09 on the last 2.5, 5:30 on the last mile, probably about 5:23 flat mile equivalent. We even split the last mile. The heart rate climbed to 163 in the first half, and then to 165 in the second for split average, maxing out at 166.

Ran with the kids in the evening. 

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From Paul Petersen on Fri, Mar 23, 2007 at 12:36:11

That's a fast 5-mile time for me, close to a PR. In my running dreams, my feet are usually made of lead and I have to run on really confusing courses that go through buildings, playgrounds, and other weird places.

I think your sickness was a blessing in disguise. It forced you to back off and take it easy. Now you are healthy and rested, and will come back stronger than ever. Think of it as a training cycle.

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Easy run with Ted in the morning. Dropped him off at 6.5, then went on for more. Decided to do a short tempo to feel the waters. Ran 1.25 in 6:42 from the DI bridge to the railroad bridge on the trail. It is a slight down, about 0.5 %, but it does roll. Heart rate eventually climbed to 159. Legs felt strong, I felt I was getting a lot of power in my stride.

Ran with the kids in the evening. Got the GMap plotting feature in the course tool to the point where I could make it public. Check it out. Lots of little and not so little things are still lacking, but at least you do not have to go to GMap Pedometer and do the GPX dance to upload your course. One step at a time we'll get there.

The new feature helped me discover an interesting problem in Google Maps. There appears to be a shift or a small discrepancy between what you see, and the coordinates Google Maps API gives you. Here is my evidence for it - I clicked around the parking lot where the Provo River Trail intersects the Geneva road to get an idea of what the actual elevation of it is. I figured, I am getting averages of 30 meter squares from the US Geo service. Well, the parking lot is big enough, and it is nearly perfectly flat, you should not be getting any variation more than 1 foot or so. Well, the elevation data I am getting shows there is a 10 foot deep hollow right in the middle of the parking lot, which matches the width of the adjacent Provo River. When you click on the Provo River, there is no drop in the elevation, and it actually happens to be above the hollow of the parking lot. I am still not quite sure what to do about it. Paul, any ideas?

I do have a friend who is a runner who works for Provo City, and does survey measurements. Maybe I should have him stop by and get the actual coordinates of some easily identifiable point in that parking lot, then file a bug reports to Google Maps.

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From wheakory on Sat, Mar 24, 2007 at 23:16:08

Sasha what type of course do you do your tempo runs on? All flat, uphill, downhill.

Your running is out right impressive. Your heart rate for that pace is excellent.

From Breanna on Sun, Mar 25, 2007 at 09:14:56

Sasha, Is there anyway to make your blog week start on Monday instead of Sunday?

From Paul Petersen on Sun, Mar 25, 2007 at 10:48:25

Sasha: is that coordinate shift consistent everywhere? It could be that the USGS DEM is offset or there is some coordinate system projection issue. Pretty common. Welcome to the world of geographic information...

We can talk about it in PHX. I'm really interested in how the API works in general, and I'm hoping you can teach me a few things.

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Tempo run on the Provo River Trail. Warmed up. Then ran 2.5 out in 13:46. Did not look at the watch until I was done. I was anticipating 13:55 and thought I had slowed down on the last 0.5. It turned out that quite the opposite happened - my splits by 0.5 were 2:49 - 2:44 - 2:44 - 2:44   - 2:43. The heart rate eventually made its way up to 162. On the way back, which is always slower due being a slight uphill, I had quite the opposite experience. I thought I was running 13:52. It turned out to be 14:04. The splits were 2:52 - 2:50 - 2:46 - 2:50 - 2:46. The heart rate was much higher - it climbed to 165 on the last 0.5 for average, and maxed out at 167. Nevertheless, I did feel strong and in control through the run.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. 

Need to do more of those runs to get used to the pain of running at threshold. I wonder about the whole physiological model of threshold, how accurate it is. There have been some recent studies that showed the concept of threshold is rather artificial. I define it as the pace you can sustain for an hour in a race situation. Physiologically, it is defined as the point where you break down lactic acid at the same rate you are producing it. When I reach the threshold pace, my quads start feeling funny. It feels like I am eating a lemon, but the feeling is coming from the muscles. It is as if I could actually taste the acid that is building up. When I was a teenager, I never felt it in the muscle, my breathing would just become uncomfortable to the point of feeing like I was about to vomit. Now I still breathe pretty hard, but I could breathe harder if my muscles would let me. Although I can hold that effort for an hour in a race, when I am in good shape it becomes very uncomfortable and requires a lot of concentration. When I get out of shape or if I am just having a bad day, I feel like I am not working very hard, but just cannot go any faster. 
So I have a strong suspicion that the threshold for me is not so much about the lactate level in the blood or muscle, as it is in the ability of the nervous system to deal with it, and still keep firing at the muscle even if the muscle is fussing and trying to inhibit it. I have had quite a bit of experience where an anaerobic workout once a week in combination with tempo runs would raise my threshold pace past the level that I was reaching with tempo runs alone.

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From wheakory on Mon, Mar 26, 2007 at 10:06:52

That's very interesting research, and thank your for sharing yor insight.

Very nice tempo run. I'm kind of the same way I never really feel it in my breathing when I reach threshold, but rather in the muscles, but more so my calves not quads.

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Ran with Ted in the dark today at 4:50 AM. He told me about his adventure race. On the way back I ran a 2 mile tempo in 11:15.7. Splits by 0.5 - 2:49 - 2:46 - 2:49 - 2:50. Heart rate averaged 155 for the last 0.5, and maxed out somewhere at 158. I went to bed late last night, so I was sleepy. I felt that I was reaching threshold way too early, again using the threshold definition to be the quads feel like I am eating a lemon. I think this is a neurological limit. When I have had enough sleep, my heart rate can get up to 163 and sometimes even higher before I start feeling that the quad lemon is holding me back, and I am running faster too.

Took VanGoGo (our GMC Safari van) to Computune to get checked out. We do not want any car problems during the relay. On the way back ran with the kids. 

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From Christi on Mon, Mar 26, 2007 at 23:10:30

Thanks for setting up this great website and thanks for your comments on my blog. Reading your blog & the blogs of other elite runners has been really inspirational!

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Ran with Ted in the morning. He ran easy and did my warm-up/cool-down. I did 4x400 with 200 rest, then a tempo run 2.5 miles coming back to Geneva road (slight up), and then 4x400 to follow up. Did not look at the watch during the interval session, only after. In the first session, did 75s in the first 3, then 74 on the last one. Got sprayed by a skunk for the first time in my life. However did not notice the problem for a while.

Then the tempo run in 14:04. Interestingly enough, I started at 5:30 pace, but then kept slowing down doing the last mile in   5:43. It was not that bad, though, as that one mile is a rolling uphill, and probably about 7 seconds slower than flat. The heart rate peaked at 162, but was steady at 160 at the end of the run.

Then on the 400s after the tempo I was quite a bit slower than  on the first - 77 - 75 - 78 -78. It probably had to do with having only 400 meter jog to recover from the tempo. And I had only 400 meters to recover from the 400s before the tempo. So the fatigue built up, but I think it was more of a neurological nature (not surprising, I did the fast running between 5 and 6 AM), and not having a watch to look at allowed me to get as lazy as I wanted.

Ran to Computune to get Vangogo with the kids. Then in the evening took Sarah out for her tempo run. Determined her max heart rate, or I should probably say the lower bound for her max heart rate - 190. She ran 2 miles in 16:15 on the first mile of my standard 2.5 tempo run stretch, out and back.

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Ran with Ted early in the morning. It was snowing and unpleasantly cold. A little bit of wind. But we've had it worse. I was planning to do a 2 mile tempo. I want to experiment with 4 fast workouts a week with on of them being a 2 mile tempo instead of my usual three. This morning I was sleepy, Ted was dragging me along. The first 4 miles my legs refused to go faster than 7:20, and my heart refused to above 120. Finally I woke up, the cold wind helped. Got the pace to sub-7:00 and the heart rate to 126. Finally, after 6.5 miles of this weather I made it to the tempo run spot. 2 miles coming back, so slight uphill. Did it without looking at the watch. Felt very good, the legs were responding well, felt like I got into a good rhythm. I was sure it was going to be at least 11:09. I was shocked to see 11:31 on the watch. However, the mile splits were good - 5:45 - 5:46, with the last mile being a slight up, 7 seconds slower than flat. The heart rate stabilized at 155 on the last mile. I suppose when your feet get thoroughly wet, your perception of fatigue changes. I was guessing the heart rate to be 162, as hard as I was working. I think I am going to do some of the tempos the old way - splits every quarter, and others the splitless way to see how it changes things.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Now packing for the trip to the Ragnar Del Sol relay. 


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From Mike on Wed, Mar 28, 2007 at 23:10:53

Sasha, kiss the snow and cold good-bye for a few days. Enjoy the race in Phoenix, the weather should be quite nice. Good luck to you and your team.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Drive to Mesa, AZ for the Ragnar Del Sol Relay. Got in as many miles on the road as I could jogging in between stops. I probably could have done more, but I figured about 6 would be enough - a bit of a taper for the relay.

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From patrick on Fri, Mar 30, 2007 at 11:44:27


Thanks for the encouragement and wanted to wish you the best on your race. Have fun and let us know how it went.


From steve ashbaker on Fri, Mar 30, 2007 at 19:37:27

How many miles and in how many legs are you running?

From Bill on Fri, Mar 30, 2007 at 22:58:22

good luck Sasha. your already world class in my book.

Race: Ragnar Relay Del Sol (187.2 Miles) 19:10:57, Place overall: 2
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ragnar Relay Del Sol. First Day. Went for an easy jog in the morning. Decided to try a tempo mile. Ran it in 5:13, lower elevation and good sleep made quite a bit of a difference. Took Benjamin to a track. He ran a mile in 7:02, new PR. Took Jenny and Julia for their runs.

Then picked up the team and we went to Wickenburg. From the very start, the contention for first place was between our team (MarathonGIS) and Google One. I ran legs 3, 15, and 27. The first one was a gradual roll uphill. I got the baton about a minute behind Google. The length of the leg according to Garmin 305 was 5.99 miles. I ran it in 33:22, 5:34 pace at a steady pace. It started at the junction of Highway 60 and Highway 74 and went towards New River on Highway 74. I was running against Chris Estwanik. He is a 3:39 1500 meter runner, has been running for Nike, but stopped running professionally 8 months ago cutting down the mileage from 80-90 a week to only 20. He ended up opening over 3 minutes on me on that leg in spite of not being in top shape. I maintained a steady heart rate in the 162-165 range. Felt strong. Overall pleased with the effort in spite of being beat badly.

The race continues...

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Race: Ragnar Relay Del Sol (187.2 Miles) 19:10:57, Place overall: 2
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ragnar Relay Del Sol continues. Midnight leg 15. 6.93 miles according to Garmin 305 down a fairly steady 1.5% grade. My specialty. Not so much because I am a great downhill runner, but more due to the form challenges I have that are mostly apparent when running uphill. A downhill reduces them and evens me out with the competition a bit. I ran it in 36:49, 5:19 pace, steady. The nervous system began to shut down, and for me this is bad. I have combination of a weak nervous system and a strong cardiovascular system. When the nervous system cooperates, I can run at 93% of my max heart (163/175) for over an hour and maintain flat 5:30 pace at 4500 feet elevation. When it does not, I can get stuck at 88 % (155/175) running 5:40-5:45 miles, which is slower than my good marathon pace. I came up with a creative way to deal with the problem. I had my team mates stop at 2 miles, get out of the van, and sing "There was a farmer, had a dog, and Bingo was his name" fast, loud, and clapping. Now imagine that, somewhere in the middle of nowhere near Scottsdale 5 guys get out of the van under a full moon, and start singing and clapping while another is running past them as fast as he can. That did help though. I had that tune in my head for the entire leg, and was able to hold my heart rate at 159. Chris opened up 2:45 on me, a little better than on the first leg. We are now 7:45 behind Google. Still pleased with the effort in spite of being beat.

Afterwards, Dan held his ground, and Paul made up 5 minutes on an uphill leg. When the other van was done, the gap was down to 20 seconds, and the Dave cut it down to 12. Clyde was running against a tough competitor, and lost a little bit on his leg. I got the baton about 30 seconds behind Chris. Now this would be an interesting test. With only 20 miles a week, I was expecting him to hit the wall on this leg at least to an extent, and hoped to be competitive. Apparently, a smooth runner with good form can go a long way on 20 miles a week for a while. I felt I was running strong, but he gradually slipped away from me outside of visibility and ended up beating me by 2:10 on this leg. Lesser gap, but still quite impressive. The leg was 5.39 miles (according to Garmin 305) on a dirt road, and featured a steady climb for the first
3.4 miles at a gradually increasing grade culminating in a stretch at 10% grade. My teammates sang me the Bingo song again to get me going. The first mile was  5:48, second in 6:17, third in  6:44, then there was a quarter in 2:15 on the steep grade.  The heart rate dropped to 154 as I was climbing. I was not hitting the wall, though, just could not find the right form and the right rhythm to push the heart. Then a steep drop. I was able to shift gears and start driving the heart at 158-160. Next two quarters in 1:18 and 1:14. Those felt fast on a dirt road.  Next mile in 6:10. Then the decent gradually flattened out, and it was uphill again. Next mile in 5:44. Last quarter in 1:35 giving it all I've got after that. 33:17 for 5.39, 6:11 pace.

Google ended up pulling away and beating us by 11 minutes in the whole race.

Interestingly enough, before the race we were talking about the importance of biomechanics in running. I made a point that pure endurance without good biomechanics does not get you very far, it is like riding a broken bike. And I did get to experience the truth of this personally on my legs running against somebody with inferior endurance but superior biomechanics. 3x6 miles in a 12 hour period was a win hands down for better biomechanics. I am reminded of Ether 12:27 in the Book Of Mormon:

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

I have a biomechanical weakness, but I am determined to turn it into strength. Already it has pushed me to develop a strong cardiovascular system, and strong leg muscles. Now the challenge is to fix the actual weakness. I have succeed at what originally appeared impossible in the past. I will keep trying at this problem until it is fixed. With the Lord's help, nothing is impossible.

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From Kerry on Mon, Apr 02, 2007 at 10:49:45

Congratulations on a great race! I hope I can get as good at recognizing my weaknesses and turning them into strengths. You're a good example for all of us.

From David Nelson on Mon, Apr 02, 2007 at 12:08:47

I was wondering why we were singing that song... glad it helped you.

Did Chris say why he only runs 20 miles/week?

From wheakory on Mon, Apr 02, 2007 at 13:42:08

Nice running Sasha. Your determination will definitely put you over the top.

"I love the scripture in the Holy Bible that says (Isaiah 40:31)

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up as wings as eagles they shall run and not be weary and they shall walk and not faint."

Sometimes our faith is waiting in God's timing. Where God allows that running ability to be increased, or developed. If its God's will for us to run than great accomplishments are going to happen.

I've got a chance to run the Sawtooth relay in June, which is sort of like the one you ran. Should be fun if I decide to do it.

From ashman on Mon, Apr 02, 2007 at 22:40:31

Great job! You guys really did it well!

From James on Tue, Apr 03, 2007 at 15:11:52

Good job at Del Sol! I didn't get to talk to you much during the relay, except for on the phone talking about how far behind Google we were. I thought you did an excellent job trying to hang with their ringer. And if he told you that he was only running 20 miles a week he was lying, because everyone on the Google team that I talked to said he puts in plenty of miles, and they all thought that he was pretty hot stuff. I never actually saw him run though. Thanks for making the relays interesting, they wouldn't be as fun without you!

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Apr 03, 2007 at 16:19:37

James - Chris's story is that he went from 80-90 miles a week when he ran professionally to only 20 about 8 months ago when he started working for Google. He said he was running on muscle memory. I do not see any reason for him to not tell the truth about his mileage other than a mistake in counting. It is possible he is just running and not counting his miles.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Driving back to Provo. Threw in some random miles during breaks. Could not feel the effects of the relay, but I hardly ever feel anything. I know I am tired when I am not able to run fast.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Time to start training for real. I've been in the maintenance mode since St. George. Today was the start. Well, the relay was the start, to a certain extent, but today was the official start of training for real. Got good sleep. Went to the Provo Canyon. Warmed up, then 5x400 alternating down and up. 72.7 down - 78.8 up - 71.3 down - 75.2 up - 72.7 down. Still not used to the pain of a good 400, but that's OK, it takes about 3 weeks for it to come. Jogged up to Nunn's Park, and ran the standard 3 mile tempo in 16:01. Mile splits - 5:19 - 5:21 - 5:21. For some reason the pace started feeling a lot harder and I started losing it after 1.5. But I pushed through it. There was a quarter in 1:22, afterwards, no slower than 1:21. There was a slight head/side wind, maybe it got stronger at that point. The heart rate did what it was supposed to - stay at 163. So that means the nervous system was working fine, I was able to push the heart. However, I was not quite happy with the pace, especially with slowing down, but I am just starting the misery drill, so it is OK for the start. I am possibly underestimating the effects of the head wind. And coming back from a lower elevation is probably also a factor. So probably nothing to worry about.

The tempo run felt miserable enough to where I thought perhaps the additional 400s would be counterproductive for a moment. Then I decided to just go ahead and do my best. I did another set of 5x400. 74.0 down - 77.2 up - 73.0 down - 76.2 up - 69.3 down. Pushed it on the last one, and got a taste of a real 400. The consistent difference of only 3 seconds between up and down shows there was a head wind when running down on that stretch. In still air the difference is 5 seconds. It was also on that stretch where the pace started feeling harder in the tempo run earlier.

Got 12.7 in the workout. Then ran with the kids in the afternoon.


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From steve ashbaker on Wed, Apr 04, 2007 at 19:39:45

Great workout! These are the type of workouts that I loved to do most with you.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I am now on "the day does not end until I've run 13" diet. Ran easy 10 miles in the morning mostly alone. Ted ran a bit with me, but he cut his run short - his legs are overtrained, and he felt he could use some rest before the race on Saturday. I was exceptionally sleepy, some from yesterday's workout, and some probably from Ragnar Del Sol. So I essentially slept through my run. Did not catch 8:00 mile guy until mile 6 or so. Averaged 7:50 pace and 112 heart rate. I think this is a record low for the heart rate in my recovery run since I started using Garmin 305. I am sure I've had it lower before as I've done recovery runs with slower training partners at 9:00 pace.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon, plus some more to bring the total to the minimum quota. The glut muscles are sore. I am very excited about that. It is very difficult for me to be sore there, and it always coincides with running well. 

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Ran early in the morning with Ted. For a tune-up ran a 2 mile tempo on the Provo River Trail coming back from the lake. The first mile was 5:29 and it felt easy. However, the second mile was 5:40 and it felt hard. The second mile is a slight uphill, but the same effort should have given me about 5:35, not 5:40. A harder effort should have given me 5:30. The heart rate maxed at 162, but then dropped to 159. I interpret this as the nervous system being tired and not being willing to work. It is a very strange feeling. It is very easy to confuse it with just starting out too fast and/or being out of shape. Here is my take on what happens:

When you are starting out, the acidity of the muscle is low. So your regular threshold pace feels easy. Then the acidity of the muscle goes up as you keep going. About a mile or a mile and a half it reaches a critical level. When the nervous system is in top shape, it is able to fire the muscles in spite of the negative feedback it is receiving from the increased muscle acidity. But if the nervous system is tired for some reason, it cannot override the negative feedback. So the cardiovascular system could potentially deliver more oxygen and maintain the acidity in check at a steady, although higher level, but the nervous system says, no that is too much for me to deal with. So the heart is cruising along at a lower rate, the pace is slow, but it feels hard. I've had this happen to me so many times, but I think am just beginning to get a clue at what is actually going on. There are two things that I have found effective in the past - get more sleep, and do brutal quarters.

Ran with the kids in the evening, and added some more to make it 13 for the day.

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From wheakory on Fri, Apr 06, 2007 at 00:13:19

Great workout. Your recovering very well from the weekend relay. It's always a very interest topic to discuss when somedays your tempo's feel so easy, but other days they feel like your pushing through it. I would have to agree with your theory. Do you get more of a benefit with running a short tempo or a continuous 40 minute tempo?

You mentioned you ran a two mile tempo, what did you run after the tempo?

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Apr 06, 2007 at 12:40:57

40 minute tempo at threshold is very tough, it is almost a race, considering that you can only hold your threshold pace for an hour after a pre-race taper. I prefer breaking it down into shorter segments.

I jogged at a very easy pace the rest of the run.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Mini-taper before the Ogden Half-Marathon tomorrow. Ran 3.11 miles with Stuart. Then went for some more. Decided to do a 1.25 tempo for a tune-up/nervous system check. Ran it from the DI bridge to the Union Pacific bridge. Union Pacific, and the fact that it is going to Utah, has a special significance in my life. Back in 1991 I was learning English. My goal was to learn it so well that I could score very high on the verbal section of the SAT test. America for me was a land of opportunity and I wanted to make a statement that I belonged there. I read every book in English that I could get my hands on, which at that time was quite easy - there were not many English books around within my reach. It happened that I got my hands on a book that detailed the history of the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad. I read it start to finish. It was a very tedious reading. But the text contained many uncommon words which were likely to appear on the SAT test. I looked up every one of them along with their synonyms and antonyms, and thoroughly studied usage examples to make sure I knew those words as well as regular common speech English words as if it were my native tongue. 

The railroad construction progressed through the United States, and eventually  Utah was mentioned. Along with that, the book mentioned a religious group that lived in Utah - the Mormons. I felt a desire to learn more about that group. That interested eventually led to my conversion and joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, of which I have now been a faithful member for almost 15 years.

And along with that, reading the railroad book along with my other efforts of similar nature to acquire proficiency in English also paid off. I scored 720 out of 800 on the verbal section of the SAT, which put me in the 99th percentile among mostly native speakers. This was a miracle of hard word magnified by the inspiration and the light of God. Three years earlier I had  no knowledge of English and started by looking up the word "WE" in a dictionary.

So I ran the tempo to the historic bridge, historic for me in 6:47 at a steady pace. The course rolled downward. I wanted to know exactly how much the downhill helped. So shortly after I finished I turned around and ran a quarter backwards putting in the same effort. Got 1:25. Going out it was 1:22. Applying the 2:1 rule for uphill downhill, we take the 3 second difference and split it at the ratio of 2:1. This gives us a 2 second slowdown for the uphill, and a 1 second speedup for the downhill. Thus the flat equivalent of this tempo run is 1:23 quarter, or 5:32 pace on that stretch.

Did some more easy running. Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Total of 10 miles.

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From wheakory on Sat, Apr 07, 2007 at 00:23:11

That's quite an accomplishment Sasha. Pocatello exactly has a Union Pacific railroad plant/station running right through the heart of Pocatello. It has created a lot of jobs in Pocatello and has been around ever since I was born.

Nice strong tempo. What time are you training for the Odgen Marathon?

Race: Ogden Striders Half-Marathon (13.1 Miles) 01:14:29, Place overall: 6
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ogden Striders Half-Marathon. 1:14:29, 6th place. Knowing from the tempo runs earlier in the week that the nervous system was not functioning well, I made a plan to hang on with the leaders while it was still working, and then do my best after that. I thought I'd be able to make it to mile 5. The first mile felt comfortable (5:23). I'll give my splits from Garmin 305 - race mile markers were not reliable.

Towards the end of the second mile I had a frivolous feeling that I did not want to run with the pace. I tried to dismiss it, but I think I am beginning to understand what it means - neural fatigue. I have experienced it before - the breathing is OK, legs feel fine, then at first you feel you do not want to run with the pack, you fight it, and then you cannot - it is almost like you are under a spell that you can do nothing about. Second mile had more downhill, and we did it in 5:10. When we reached 2.5 I began to experience the spell. Breathing is fine. Heart rate is hovering around 163-165, a little high, but nothing I could not normally hold for at least 5 miles. But for some reason I just cannot go. I backed off, but still hit the mile in 5:19. Paul, Bob, Steve Ashbaker, Joe Wilson, and Neal Gassmann went ahead. 15:51 at 3 miles.

Ken Richardson passed me shortly, and he was gone moving away from me quickly. I considering latching on, and trying to hang in there, but I do not think I could have done it even if they told me the race ended at 4 miles. Next mile in 5:40. Heart rate goes down to 158-160.  Next mile in 5:37, HR at 158, followed by a 5:38 (HR 157). 27:08 at 5 miles.

Sarah and the kids sang me the  BINGO song to get me going, it helped  bit. Now the downhill is over, next mile in 5:44, HR 158, followed by 5:48, HR dropping to 156.  More BINGO singing, and now I am able to push it a bit,  5:49 mile with some rolling  hills, HR going up to 160, and I am starting to close on Ken.  Another mile in 5:49, HR at 160.  Next mile in 5:56, with a bathroom stop, number two. I figured I lost about 5 seconds on it. 56:03 at 10 miles. HR dropped to 157. Now a new excitement develops. Ken is coming to me. He beat me in all other races by a few seconds, and I am determined to not let it happen again. Heart rate goes up to 160, next mile in 5:54, and it did have some uphill. I passed Ken, now need to make him not want to follow me because he has a better kick.  Another mile in 5:56, uphill, HR dropping to 157.  And one more in 5:56 with HR going up to 159. Kick, a slight downhill, Garmin says I did 5:35 pace, HR going down to 158. Not much of a kick, but I just could not shift gears. 1:14:29  at the finish.

Paul, Bob, and Steve ran incredibly well beating Joe and Neal who also ran well but with no breakthroughs.

Cooled down with Ted. Ran with the kids in the afternoon.

Post-race analysis - the problem appears to be of neurological nature. I need to get more sleep. It will take some time to bring it back to order. Also, tempo runs and 400 meter repeats will train it to respond properly at fast pace so it will not quit.

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From Chad on Sun, Apr 08, 2007 at 00:39:54

Sasha--you had a strong race today in a strong field. Nice work! I also appreciate your detailed post-race analysis. It really puts a lot of racing details that often go overlooked into perspective. Good job today.

From Scott on Sun, Apr 08, 2007 at 16:15:40

Just wanted to say thank you for the encouragement and advice on my blog. Great job on your race.

From Brent on Sun, Apr 08, 2007 at 16:23:34

Sasha, you are the most scientific runner I know. Your comments are often insightful in regards to your races and training. From my viewpoint, your are always ready to race and give it your best regardless of the outcome. You have mental toughness.

From steve ashbaker on Sun, Apr 08, 2007 at 18:59:52

Lets start running those 3 mile flat out tempos again like we use to do starting this Saturday ok?

From patrick on Mon, Apr 09, 2007 at 22:25:25

Sasha I agree with the previous comments made by Brent and thanks for your advice. I need some mojo on diet or lack thereof being the case. Can we talk some time?

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted, and then with Stuart early in the morning. Ran with the kids in the afternoon. 

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Speed workout in the Provo Canyon. Same as last week. Warm up, then 5x400 alternating up and down. 72.0 down - 76.7 up - 72.3 down - 74.4 up - 73.3 down. Cross wind the entire time, became more of a headwind for going down on the last two. Then jogged up to Nunn's Park and started the standard 3 mile tempo down to the mouth of the Canyon. Head/cross wind almost all the way. First mile 5:26, HR jumps up to 158 quickly. That is a good sign. If HR is slow to respond, you are running anaerobically for too long. Next mile in 5:23, HR makes it to 161. It is interesting that gusts of wind make it drop to 158, and one strong gust managed to drop it to 156. You would think the extra resistance should raise it, but I think what happens is that a gust knocks you out of rhythm, you lose concentration and stop pushing as hard.

Finally a clear spot on the first quarter on the last mile. No headwind for the whole quarter for the first time. Hit it in 1:18. Heart rate goes up to 163! I feel like I am getting into good rhythm, setting my sights on showing the 5:20 guy who's the boss.  However, more headwind followed, I barely manged 5:20 for the last mile. Total time 16:09. Although it was 8 seconds slower than last week, there was quite a bit more headwind this time. I felt more in control, though, and was consistently speeding up in spite of having the gusts of headwind periodically knock me out of rhythm. The effort also felt easier.

Then jogged back and did 5x400 one more time. Unlike last week when I seriously considered not doing the last set, I did not have such thoughts. 73.3 down - 77.4 up - 73.7 down - 76.0 up - 66.9 down. Pushed the last one.

Running at 4:50 pace or faster feels like I am riding a bike with a bent wheel. I do not feel it as much at slower speeds, but at faster speeds there is a wheel feeling, and you get to feel the quality of your wheel more acutely. For me that wheel is not as bad as it is for some people, probably average for a 2:40 marathoner, which is much better than what it is for the average runner, but the deformities make a difference between being a good local runner and being able to run professionally. This needs to be fixed.

13.5 for the workout with the cool down. Ran some more with the kids in the evening. 

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From Tim on Wed, Apr 11, 2007 at 12:45:13

Thanks for the oportunity to get some support and help. Here's my story and I'll try to keep it brief:

I did not run long distance in high school. I was not serious about it at all. My interest was peaked in college when a friend of mine was talking about running and I acted like it was no big deal. I remember saying, "Running is easy- you just run until you want to stop." He challanged me to run 10 miles with him and I asked if that was as far as he wanted to go. He knew I wouldn't be able to do it but wanted to teach me a lesson. At 5 miles I was hurting pretty bad. I got to about 8 miles and my legs shut down. I had never experienced anything like it. We both worked for UPS at the time and I was a load trainer. I had to call in sick for the next two nights because I could hardly move. Every muscle in my body was sore. That's when I gained a healthy respect for long distance running and I made it my goal to one day finish 8 miles and be able to walk away from it feeling fine- not sore. I did that and decided that that wasn't enough. About 3 and a half years ago I decided to run a marathon- I had never trined or run in a race before. I looked online and got a training scheldule and did it. I trained by myself and ran it in 4:36. I've run the country music marathon the next two years basically going about it the same way with around the same results. Somewhere in the journey I thought that I would love to make it my goal to run a marathon in a qualifying time for Boston but at this pace I can't see it happening before I'm 75. I thought I would try to network a bit and get some training tips that could help me start to improve my time and get rid of the 22 mile cramps under my knees that compleetley destroy my time in every marathon I've run in.

I average about 9 min miles when I'm running 15 or more miles. Shorter distances I can maintain around 8:00 min mile (give or take). I know I need to get to 7:30 min miles for the durration to qualify- just not sure how to get there.

Well- thanks for reading and I'll look forward to any help.

From Tim on Wed, Apr 11, 2007 at 14:31:53

I'll definitely try that. Have you found a good system for replacing fluids and nutrients durring the longer runs? I'm not sure but I think that may have something to do with the 20 mile cramps I get.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Apr 11, 2007 at 14:57:57

I think just improving your fitness will go a long way. Right now your marathon is really an ultra. As your aerobic base improves, your marathon pace will be significantly faster and you'll be able to outrun the starvation/dehydration demon. Aside from that, eating a healthy diet can make a big difference. It did for me - replacing white flour with whole wheat and red meat with poultry and fish greatly improved the quality of my running in the last 6 miles of the marathon.

From James on Wed, Apr 11, 2007 at 20:33:13


I was just wondering if you go by the 400s that Hawk has marked on the trail or if you just go by your Garim?

Also, I wondered if you still help Curt with his river runs? I might come down for one of them, if they are still any good.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Apr 11, 2007 at 22:14:09

James - I go by Hawk's marks. They are accurate - I have verified them with a wheel. They are actually 1/16th of a mile apart, so a bit more than 100 meters. I am still helping Curt with race timing and registration system. His races are growing and I feel it in particular when I have to manually scan 1500+ bar codes after racing a half-marathon.

From wheakory on Wed, Apr 11, 2007 at 23:28:34

Nice hard workout Sasha. Definitely increasing the speed work overtime is going to help with the faster pace.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy recovery run with Ted in the morning. Was feeling sleepy. 7:37 pace for 10 miles, average heart rate 116.

Ran with the kids in the evening. Took Benjamin and Jenny to the Team Provo Practice. Benjamin ran all the way, Jenny ran the first mile. On the way back, pushed them in the stroller. They sang BINGO, and got me to speed up to 6:40 pace at the end. 

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From Dave Holt on Thu, Apr 12, 2007 at 17:46:06

I just checked out the Course Tool. Very Cool feature.

From April on Thu, Apr 12, 2007 at 21:25:05

no, not injured. just working up to being able to handle more running days. i've only ever run 4 days/wk. i've been doing 5 for a couple months now- just afraid to do too much too soon & end up injured. what are your thoughts on that? and thank you for your comments.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Apr 12, 2007 at 23:43:54

April - I believe it is almost always safe to run 6 days a week. Take the number of miles you are planning to run for the week and divide it by 6. Run that many miles every day. It will have less stress on your body than the same number of miles spread over 4 days, but will give you just as much if not more benefit. The principle of the table - it stands better on 6 legs than on 4 or fewer. The more legs the better.

From April on Fri, Apr 13, 2007 at 10:26:27

makes complete sense. thanks sasha!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Slept in this morning to have the nervous system ready for the tempo run. Ran later in the morning. Found Karl Jarvis on the trail. We used to train together a lot, but then his schedule change to where we could not do it any more. Turns out we live only a mile away from each other. Ran with him for a while. Got a nice 5.4 mile warm-up for the tempo. Then ran the standard 5 mile tempo from Geneva Road to the Utah Lake Park and back.

First mile 5:30, second 5:32. So far so good, feels easy, very steady pace, HR at 159. 13:49 at the turnaround (2:47). Had a glitch recovering from 180 turn, next 200 in 45, then 43, 1:28 for the quarter. Next quarter in 1:25, 5:40 for the mile, 16:42 at 3 miles. Then 1:26, followed by 1:24, and again, 1:26 and 1:24. 5:40 for the mile, 22:22 at 4 miles. HR climbed to a steady 162. The pace now feels harder, although it is slower. Next quarter uphill is 1:26 followed by a 1:24. I cannot seem to break the pattern. Leftover from the quarter repeats maybe? I push, and then I want a break. Then 200 in 40 seconds, I got excited. But then slowed down to 43, (1:23 for the quarter), followed by the last quarter in 1:25. I think it would have been 1:24, but with 100 to go I saw a dog without a leash or visible owner, it looked like a playful dog, and it looked very interested in playing with me. So I lost concentration and slowed down a bit. After I finished, the dog started playing with me, but I was not in the mood. 28:00 for the run, best time of the year so far. Last mile in 5:38, which I consider a 5:31 equivalent going the other way, or flat. HR climbed to 167 at the end. I might have been getting slightly dehydrated, or perhaps the surge to 40 seconds for 200 m after 4.5 raised the HR. What is odd is that the surge did not hurt as much as it should have, but at the same time, the last quarter was slow, and it felt the same as the surge. There were small random and rather mild bursts of wind. Maybe they were stronger than they felt. I wonder if that what caused the odd fluctuations of the pace on the second half.

Ran a cool down, 12.25 for the run. Ran with the kids in the evening.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From sammack on Fri, Apr 13, 2007 at 11:03:25

Man, 167. I wish I could stay there on a run like this. A while back you asked me what my max HR was. Well, yesterday I did some lactate threshold intervals and got up to 194--which is certainly above lactate threshold! I think 195 is a close albeit fairly conservative estimate for my max. Need to get fitter!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted in the morning. Did some tempo pace pick ups. Ran a quarter in 1:19, then another in 1:23, and then 0.75 up a slight grade for the last 0.3 in 4:14. Did not get enough sleep at night, but made up in the afternoon. Right now sleep is one of the most critical elements of my training. Demetrio Cabanillas Jr. once told me about a sleep study where they paid subjects to sleep. That is the kind of study I would love to participate in!

Ran with the kids in the afternoon and in the evening. Total of 13 miles for the day. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Paul Petersen on Fri, Apr 13, 2007 at 23:29:03

I'm trying to get more sleep over the next month as well. I think marathoners need 8-9 hours/day to maintain optimum health and recovery. I've only been getting 7 hrs lately, so am trying to improve.

From christi on Sat, Apr 14, 2007 at 18:04:18

Thanks for your feedback on my race today. I think I have this blog to thank for my time improvement. Its given me extra inspiration and structure! Have a great weekend.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Got very good sleep the night before. Did not get out of bed until my body told me it did not need any more sleep, which happened at 7:00 am, 8 hours of sleep total. Started the day by running with Benjamin to the Team Provo practice. Saw ROTC cadets there. They were doing a 3200 meter run. A couple of them wanted to be paced for 14:00. I led them pretty much on pace. Only one was able to keep it. With the kick it ended up being 13:44. Then Benjamin wanted to run 100 meters. He was pretty tired from everything, but still managed 19.8. On the way back, I pushed Benjamin in the stroller. By the time we got home I had 6 miles on the odometer for the day done in a one hour period.

After a two hour break which included a play practice for our Stake Conference tomorrow and calling the ward leadership to remind them of the afternoon meeting, I continued the run. Ate a banana and drank a 17oz glass of water immediately before the run. Jogged 1.9 to warm up, then ran my standard 10 mile tempo. First mile in 5:54, then 5:50, 2:52 for the next half, 14:36 at the turnaround. On the way back held a steady 5:48 pace. HR finally stabilized at 151 until mile 4. Then there was a slight uphill section, and it went up to 154. 29:08 at 5 miles, 14:32 for the 2.5, and 5:49 for the uphill mile.

Picked it up a bit on the next 2.5 stretch. Next two miles 5:42 and 5:43. HR stabilized at 157. Then 0.5 in 2:53, 14:18 for the 2.5 and 43:26 at the turnaround. Decided to push the pace hard on the last 2.5. Two bikers, a young couple on a date, passed me and made an encouraging comment. I asked them to pace me. They agreed. They wanted to chat, but I told them I'd chat in 2 miles. I started seeing 1:24 quarters, with occasional 1:25s. Steady 5:38 pace until the mile to go. With 0.75 to go I started pressing harder. I saw the heart rate climb to 166, but it felt sustainable. This could be partially due to the warmer weather, but also to an increased level of fitness. Ended up with the last mile in 5:33, last 2.5 in 14:00, last 5 miles in 28:18, and 57:26 for 10 miles, fastest time for the year.

Cooled down with the bikers. Their names are Steve and Rachael. I guess if our Steve (Ashbaker) is not available to pace me, I'll find some Steve to do it even if he has to be on a bike. Having the Steve and Rachael at the end was very helpful. I am not used to people leisurely chatting around me when I am pushing the pace, but it was very nice. It got my mind off the pain, and I ran sort of in a trance.

What is interesting is that on Thursday I ran a 5 mile tempo putting in a threshold effort in 28:00, which is only 18 seconds faster than the last 5 miles of the 10 mile tempo today, and I did not shift into threshold pain gear until the last 2.5. It is also interesting that the last 2.5 was 11 seconds faster than the last 2.5 of the tempo on Thursday in spite of the fact that this 2.5 stretch was from mile 15.5 to mile 18 for the day, and more precisely for the first 4 hours of the day. Part of it certainly is the gain in cardiovascular and muscular fitness, but I wonder if a part is biomechanical. I got up on my toes more on the last 2.5 and it came naturally. The form felt more smooth and relaxed once I started going faster. The uphill or 180 turns did not seem to knock me out of rhythm as much as they usually do. Of course, all of that could be the result of increased neurological strength gained from the sleep.

Arthur Lydiard used to say that miles makes champions. That is not quite right. Beds make champions, not miles. Miles only prepare the champions for the bed to do the job. Miles make only tired and overtrained runners without proper sleep.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Lybi on Sun, Apr 15, 2007 at 01:53:19

Way to go Sasha! I'm right there with you about sleep. I think it is every bit as important as eating correctly. Not to say that I have developed ideal habits in either area, but I aspire to get there!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Got up early in the morning, woke up Benjamin, put him in the stroller, and ran to the BYU Football Stadium. The BYU ROTC were doing a 2 mile time trial around the big parking lot. Benjamin wanted to race the cadets. Some of them are out of his reach (11 minutes), while others run 14 minutes or slower. The course turned out to be a little longer, 2.10 on my Garmin 305, Ted said it was closer to 2.05, and adjusted the times of the cadets by 15 seconds. Benjamin ended up running 14:43, 14:28 with the adjustment, and beat a few cadets, about 25% by my count. It was raining, and somewhat windy. The course also has some up and down, maybe 0.5% grade. So I was very happy with Benjamin's accomplishment. Many cadets were surprised to see an 8 year old kid running with them and holding his ground.

Pushed Benjamin back in the stroller. It started raining. Dropped him off at home, and went for some more to make a total of 10. It started raining harder, and I was soaked. Then a little bit of hail. To give me a taste of Boston, I suppose. Whenever it hails, I think of Helaman 5:12 in the Book of Mormon, which in summary says if we build on the foundation of Jesus Christ, the hailstorms of life will not bring us down.

Had an interesting dream about Craig Lawson. Some of you may remember him. He ran for BYU, with 28:35 PR in the 10,000. Then he ran some afterwards, was in the 2000 marathon Trials, finished 13th with 2:19 in very hot conditions. He, Dennis Simonaitis, Brandon Rhoads, and Larry Smithee ruled the roads in Utah races around that time. Then as it often happens, life got too busy. He disappeared from the running scene. So in the dream he decided to start running competitively again. I told him he had a 2:10 potential, and he was very happy because somehow he knew I would never say somebody has a potential when I do not clearly see it. When I woke up I agreed with my dream assessment. Craig indeed does have a 2:10 potential if he had not yet irrepairably messed up his spine from the extra weight and hours of sitting. It is rather unfortunate that we value a decent but in the big scheme of things average and replaceable accountant, programmer, or salesman much more than we value a superb, one of a kind runner. I find it rather ironic that a society that fails to invest in things of spiritual nature such as art, music, or sports, ends up chasing the material things and never finds them. Yet a nation that invests into those finer matters does a lot better materially.

Watched the Boston Marathon, or rather, followed it on the Internet. Was very impressed with how Clyde and Dave ran in terrible conditions(2:37 and 2:40). Congratulations to both of them. It did not come without some serious blood. Look at their blogs, all the training they've done. Both had to be treated for hypothermia after they've finished. We had two more bloggers that broke 3:00 - Kenny B (2:49), and Kory (2:57). Andy B had a good race too - a PR effort, missed PR by 6 seconds (3:06:06). Again not without blood, look at their blogs. So far the biggest success of the bloggers has been the 1-2-3 punch in the Ogden Half Marathon against some serious competition and with exceptional times. Now Clyde broke the top 100 in Boston for us. I hope the day will come when we can do 1-2-3 punch in Boston. Right now it is a dream. Martin Luther King had a dream, it appeared impossible but it became reality. I've had dreams that appeared impossible but became reality. I have a dream. Today Clyde, Dave, Kenny, Kory, and Andy brought it one step closer.

Added another 3.4 in the evening pushing Jacob in the stroller and with Benjamin on a bike.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Scott Browning on Tue, Apr 17, 2007 at 01:07:27

Well said Sasha!! Much of your writing is indeed an inspiration. I think I speak for many runners, you have done great things for many people - Thanks.

From ashman on Tue, Apr 17, 2007 at 10:00:08

Echo that for sure...

From Chad on Tue, Apr 17, 2007 at 19:32:22

That's a top 5 entry, Sasha.

From wheakory on Wed, Apr 18, 2007 at 19:40:36

Thanks Sasha your help is much appreciated for my attempt in Boston. I did PR and get under 3 like I wanted, but I could have done so much better.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran in the Provo Canyon. Speed work. Warmed up, then 5x400 alternating up and down with 200 recovery. Headwind when going down as usual this time of day (late morning). 71.3 down - 77.3 up - 73.3 down - 75.2 up - 72.3 down. That shows a solid headwind. Still air difference between up and down should be 5 seconds. This did not come as a surprise. I noticed during the warm up that I was running 7:12 pace downhill and the HR of 127. Usually it is around 6:50 with the same effort and HR over there.

Jogged up to Nunn's park and ran the standard 3 mile tempo down. Mile splits - 5:24 - 5:24 - 5:21, 16:09. HR gradually made its way to 162-164. I kicked the last 100 meters, it went up to 169. Solid headwind virtually with no breaks. Not a single quarter faster than 1:20 except the last one (1:18). However, not a single quarter over 1:21 either possibly with the exception of the first (there is no mark there, but it actually uphill for the first 0.15).

Jogged back to the place where I did the 400s earlier and repeated 5x400. 72.9 down - 76.4 up - 73.9 down - 75.9 up - 67.5 down. The last one shows that I am lacking anaerobic ability. When I have it in full force, I am only able to speed up by 2 seconds on the last one. I could also tell I was losing steam after the first 200.

Then cooled down to the car. It started to get warm, and I could tell I was dehydrating a bit. HR went up to 138 at about 7:20 pace uphill. Normally it should have been around 128.  Total of 14.8 for the workout.

Ran with the kids in the evening.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted at 4:50 AM. 10.05 miles at 7:44 pace, average HR 113, new record. On the first quarter which we did in 2:18 it did not crack 100 - only 98, but the pace felt fast. I take it as an indicator of aerobic fitness gain, if 9:00 pace feels fast in the first few minutes of the run while the heart rate is low. The engine is taking its time to warm up, the stronger the engine, the longer it needs. Added another 3.5 in the afternoon running with the kids and some more.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From braden on Wed, Apr 18, 2007 at 22:21:17

I did built up too fast after I fractured my toe. I ended up pulling my I.T. band so, I'm trying to take it easy, but there is the salt lake city half marathon, that I want to run and track races too.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Apr 18, 2007 at 22:43:22


Salt Lake Half-Marathon will be around next year (maybe, if not there will be lots of other half-marathons). Track races will be around next month, etc. Do not allow the urgency of the race preparation affect your training. This is not school, cramming before a test does not work.

From steve ashbaker on Thu, Apr 19, 2007 at 08:28:14

Yes, Sasha is absolutely right. Just take it easy and listen to your body. Focus on the shorter distances like 5k, but run them later when your injuries have cleared up.

From Tim on Thu, Apr 19, 2007 at 10:55:45

You asked how my training was going. It's okay. I need to log in my experience here but blogging isn't something I'm used to doing so I don't think of it often.

I have started to run a bit faster just to see how my body would react. I've always just ran at a comfortable pace- never really pushed my pace. For the last week I've been speeding up a bit to see how my body would react and surprisingly I think I could have been running a bit fast this whole time. It's been encouraging. I'm runing the Country music marathon (the half) next week so I'll be wanting to see how I do then. I think that's going to give me a good idea of the work ahead to hit my goal for the marathon in the fall.

Thanks for checking up. I'll be sure and blog some of my progress.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Apr 19, 2007 at 13:37:32

Tim - most of the value of this blog is in having a daily record of your training. Seeing what you do on a day by day basis gives us the ability to offer very specific advice. It will also give you a chance to go back later and see a big picture of your training. The entries do not have to be long - just put in how many miles you ran, and one or two sentences about how you felt. You do not even have to do it every day - you can put in three entries twice a week, for example.

The upcoming half-marathon will be a good test of your fitness, and will give you an idea of how you should train from there to reach your goal of qualifying for Boston.

From Lybi on Thu, Apr 19, 2007 at 16:56:07

Thanks for the encouragement! This whole accountability thing is really working for me. Plus it's so fun to get feedback from all these amazing runners.

About the keys--I moved every piece of furniture in the family room (including the sofa) and no keys. :( I still have to check under the crib in the baby's room and I will continue to keep an eye out. I'll let you know if I find anything.

From Lybi on Thu, Apr 19, 2007 at 20:27:20

Sasha--I found your keys!!! They were behind the dresser in the kids' room. Yeah! We will priority mail 'em out in a padded envelope tomorrow morning.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Tempo run this morning. Got decent sleep, went to bed at 11, got up at 6. It was cold, around 35 degrees, but warmer than last winter. No significant wind. Ran the standard 5 mile tempo from Geneva Road to the trail entrance by the Utah Lake Park and back.

First mile, 5:32. Second 5:31 (11:03), then 2:47 for the next 0.5, 13:50 at the turnaround. The pace felt very comfortable, however I knew that any faster would be exceptionally uncomfortable. HR took forever to get going, but finally stabilized at 158 by 1.5 miles.

2:50 for the next 0.5 with the first quarter after 180 turn in 1:26. The first 100 of it was 23 seconds,  so 2 second loss. 5:37 for the mile, 16:40 at 3. Next mile in 5:35. HR climbed to 160, and now the pace is starting to feel harder, although it is still the same pace, even a bit slower, but coming back is a very slight uphill, so 3 seconds per mile is about the correct amount of difference. The breathing became harder too. The sour feeling in the quad appeared but I was able to run through it this time.

Quarters for the last mile - 1:25 (uphill), 1:24, 1:23, 1:20. HR maxed out at 169 at the end. Total time 27:47.8, best time for the season. Last mile in 5:32, last 2.5 in 13:57, I would call this a true even split, perhaps even negative if you throw in the 2 seconds lost on the 180 turn.

Did a long cool down, total of 13.1 for the run. Ted did the easy running with me, he was planning on joining me for the tempo, but got sick. Ran with the kids in the afternoon, total of 14.9. I am running the Salt Lake Half, not the full marathon. Will do it completely untapered. It is fun to race a half at the end of a 90 mile week, I've done this before. You hurt from the start, as opposed to from mile 3, so you actually get better pacing.

I was very happy with this tempo, most particularly about being able to hold the pace as the quads start feeling sour. 

I am perplexed as to why HR takes so long to get going in a tempo run. It took a good 4 mile stretch before it got to where it was supposed to be. My average HR for the run was actually 153! This has been a pattern regardless of the weather. So here is what I am wondering about. If I am running 5:32 pace, and the HR eventually stabilizes at 162 then if it is let's say 153, and assuming I do not severely dehydrate in 4 miles of tempo running in 35 degrees (reasonable assumption), and the stroke volume does not drop as the tempo run progresses (reasonable assumption?), and the biomechanical efficiency does not change that much (reasonable assumption?), then at 153 HR my cardiac output is significantly lower than what is necessary for a steady state that happens at 162. But the energy for the pace has to come from somewhere, so that in essence means I am running anaerobically for the first 4 miles of this run. Could it be that HR response to lactic acid build up, and unless you have a certain lactic acid concentration, it will not increase?

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Bill on Fri, Apr 20, 2007 at 11:41:14

Hey Sasha, takes me awhile to get the engine warmed up my self. especially before a race. I have to tun a mile or two to get things going before the gun.

Tell me about the ogden marathon. I plan on running it. What should i work on as far as course Preparation?


From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Apr 20, 2007 at 12:20:45

Bill - read by description of the course here

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted in the morning. A little faster today, supersonic speeds compared to Wednesday, 7:18 pace. Ran with the kids in the afternoon, and a little more in Salt Lake to the expo and back. I will probably have 74 miles on the odometer for the week when I start the half-marathon tomorrow. Added a mile with Sarah late at night.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From James on Sat, Apr 21, 2007 at 00:41:51

Make us proud tomorrow! Is the Pachev family choir going to be serenading the SLC Half tomorrow with BINGO?

From Mike K on Sat, Apr 21, 2007 at 17:30:45

There is a nice picture of you on the starting line of the SLCM.

I look forward to reading your race report.


From steve on Sat, Apr 21, 2007 at 18:02:49

Race: Salt Lake Half-Marathon (13.1 Miles) 01:13:25, Place overall: 4
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A very long day. It started with racing the Salt Lake Half-Marathon. Ran it in 1:13:25. Got beat by Mbarak Hussein (1:05:17), Simon Sawe(1:05:33), and BJ Christensen (1:10:59). Not quite sure what to think of it. I am inclined to believe this is a better performance than two weeks ago in Ogden. I held by heart rate in the higher ranges for longer, although it still was not what I wanted it to be. Went out with the leaders from the gun. The marathon and the half started at the same time. At first it was more like the jail break in the Russian movie Gentlemen of Fortune. The police put in an infiltrator and organize a break for the three inmates of interest. The fourth one joins them. They ask him why he ran. He answers: "Everybody ran, so I did run too". Then I began to think about the reasons to continue to run fast. Enjoy the company of great runners while I can. Some TV time for the Wasatch Running Center. So I figured I'd hang in there for a while. We did the first mile in 5:03, probably 1-2 % down. I was in a pack with Mbarak Hussein, Simon Sawe, BJ Christensen, and Dave Danley who was running the marathon. I told Dave we were going 5:00 pace several times, but he kept going. We backed off a bit from the Kenyans and BJ. Second mile in 5:23, some down and some up. Next mile uphill in 5:47. My heart rate was hovering around 164, and I felt the pace was very aggressive. But I wanted to push it for as long as we were with the marathoners to make things a bit nicer for Steve Ashbaker. The more people are out front, the faster the marathon lead pack will go. And the faster it goes, the more casualties for him to devours in the last miles. I knew I could relax for a mile, clean up the lactic acid, and then pick it back up and still run a decent, even if less than perfect race.

Pushed hard on the downhill down 21st south, hit the mile in 5:05. After that, we split from the marathoners and the mile markers were fuzzy. I had an idea of how fast I was going from the Garmin. But I was not so much concerned about the pace reading as I was about the heart rate reading. Garmin may be off on the length of splits, and there could be subtle factors such as a slight grade or slight but steady head or tail wind. But I know that if I can sustain my heart rate above 160, I'll be running well. I went in spurts. Sometimes I would get into good rhythm, Garmin would start giving consistent splits of 1:22 per quarter, and HR would be at 161. Other times, I would see it drop to 157 and the splits go down to slower than 1:25. Interestingly enough, running at HR of 161 was a lot more pleasant than at 157.

This observation, as well as a number of others in training led me to formulate a theory that Steve Ashbaker suggested I post in the blog. When running 15 K -  half marathon type of race, what we would call anaerobic threshold pace, the traditional exercise physiology states that you reach a steady state when you are breaking down lactic acid at the same rate you are producing it. But I suspect in reality things are a lot more complicated. The lactic acid levels are in a state of constant flux. They go up and down. When they go up, two things can happen. If the muscles and the nervous system are not conditioned for the lactic acid tolerance, they will shut down before the heart and the lungs can respond by delivering extra oxygen to clean up the lactic acid. If the muscles and the nervous system are properly conditioned, though, the muscles will work through it for a while, and in time the heart and the lungs will start working at a higher capacity making the faster pace sustainable. This explains why doing brutally fast 400s with 200 meter recovery on top of regular aerobic training make a difference of 10-15 seconds per mile in my half-marathon pace, and 5-7 seconds per mile in my marathon pace. The 200 recovery is a great form of aerobic training - you learn to clean up anaerobic byproducts very well.

I got to 10 miles in 53:30. Kept on going, ran the last 5 K in 17:55. They were a couple of guys from Westminister college on my tail. I knew they were somewhere there and could be dangerously close. So I pressed hard enough to make them not want to catch me.

Ate a banana, and ran back to find Steve. Followed the course and got to the start of the 5K. Figured I needed to seriously refuel to be prepared for the pacing job. Was very pleased to see Hobie Call in second place. He was two minutes behind Lemo, and pressing hard. Hobbie ended up finishing second, and missed the qualifier again by a minute. I think he can get it at Grandma's. Then there was another Kenyan, then Nick McCoombs, Dave Danley, Steve Tanui, and now here comes our Steve. A little later than I expected him, but very strong. I drank 4 cups of Gatorade to have the energy for pacing him, and I needed every ounce of it. He was going faster than me in the half. He got my HR to 161, and it hurt. A grimace started showing on my face. We flew past Steve Tanui. Steve (Ashbaker) was very excited about passing a Kenyan. He has never had the experience. He asked me if the Kenyan was just messing around. I told him no, he is just done. Now he needed to pass just one more guy to be in the money. Dave Danley was the next victim. I know the feeling, I've been on both sides of the deal. For some reason, I like to compare it to Abraham finding a ram in the thicket to offer a sacrifice. All of a sudden, there comes a dead runner out of nowhere, and you know he will not fight you. You also know you are in the money once you pass him. You begin to rejoice. I also know what it feels like to be the ram.

Steve had about a mile left. I told him since he was in the money, he should now do it by himself to avoid possible, although very unlikely complaints about receiving assistance from a pacer. I slowed down and ran with Dave to the end.

Congratulations to Steve on a new PR (2:36:31), great last 5 K (17:45), and 5th place in a tough company.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Also for our date Sarah and I did her long run, which was 6 miles. So that gave me 29 miles for the day, and 101 miles for the week. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Nick on Sun, Apr 22, 2007 at 00:53:17

Great work Sasha! 29 miles in one day, and half of them were threshold at that. whew. It looks like you really ran well, and Im sure the new additional mileage you are doing is definitely going to help you out.

From ArmyRunner on Sun, Apr 22, 2007 at 09:24:30

Happy Birthday Sasha!

From christi on Sun, Apr 22, 2007 at 10:42:20

Hi Sasha- Great job on the SL 1/2! I answered your questions regarding my "tempo" run on my blog. I always love your tips!

From Maria on Sun, Apr 22, 2007 at 14:51:34

Good job! This is a great time, especially for not tapering and at the end of 100 mile week.

Running 6 miles on a date - how novel! I wish my husband would find it exciting :).

Oh, and happy belated birthday to you! Did you just move into another age group?

From ashman on Sun, Apr 22, 2007 at 19:33:16

Its your birthday today? Well Happy Birthday! And many more...

From calcio on Sun, Apr 22, 2007 at 20:06:31

I posted some info about your theory you might like on my blog. It was a bit too long for here. Great job on the whole day/race.

From Scott Browning on Mon, Apr 23, 2007 at 00:41:56

Great run Sasha - you are quite the machine!! Happy Birthday - if the above posts are correct. I would like to hear more about your 400 meter with 200 recovery set. How do recommend doing the set, rep count, pacing, etc... Any feedback you could give would be greatly appreciated. Again, well done yesterday!

From wheakory on Tue, Apr 24, 2007 at 15:18:05

Incredible threshold mileage for the day. That's definitely going to put you over the top in the Ogden Marathon. Very impressive.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted in the morning. Supersonic speeds of 7:12. Daylight makes it faster. Felt energized, tried to talk Ted into picking it up on the last mile, managed to convince him to go fast on the last 0.5. Timed the last quarter, it was 1:26. I was pleased with the fact that HR went up to 151 very quickly, I started breathing right away, but the pace did not feel hard.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon, and some more with Benjamin and Jenny in the stroller. Talked to a guy named Jason on the trail for about a mile. He is training for a marathon in Rexburg, ID in July. With Benamin and Jenny in the stroller it was about 100lb + the weight of the stroller.  On the last quarter they sang me the BINGO song and got me going. I hit it in 1:34. Not sure what it translates into stroller-less, I would guess around 1:24. The inflation of the tires makes a big difference.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Saw Dr. Jex. He took an X-ray of my lower back in the running position with the knee lifted up. I wanted him to check if I lose the lumbar curve when I lift up my knee. Sure enough, I do, it goes down from 35 degrees to 13. This explains why I do not lift up my knees very much. However, it is not yet clear what the root cause of this would be, or how we should go about fixing it. He also gave me a special cylinder for mid-back exercises.

Then went to the Provo Canyon for some serious painful work. Started with a warm-up followed by a prayer asking for the courage and humility to accept the pain. Then 5x400 alternating down and up. 70.6 down - 76.7 up - 70.1 down - 75.8 up - 69.1 down. I think that was close to still air.

Then a jog up to Nunn's Park, and the standard 3 mile tempo down in 15:53. Splits - 5:21 - 5:16 - 5:16. The head wind has picked up, but it was not as bad as last week, I think. Regardless, this is the fastest time of the year. It was quite painful, but I was holding the pace. The last two miles felt like a very long quarter. I think taking the headwind into account, this is probably worth 2:26:30 in St. George.

Then a jog back to the place of quarters. The place of pain that leads to success. Again, the same 5x400. The head wind now got stronger and it showed in the splits. 72.2 down - 75.0 up - 71.9 down - 74.8 up - 66.3 down. Pushed hard on the last one, but I think if there was somebody to push me it could have been faster.

2.7 mile cool down. Total of 15.2 for the workout. Came home, the weight was down to 141lb, this means I need to eat and drink a lot.

Then I thought about all the things I had to do. I remembered a comment made by one Russian coach who coached high school runners. "Those teachers, they just do not get it. The guy has just finished a 20 K run, and they expect something from him. He cannot do it, he is as if had just  had 100 grams of vodka!"  The fatigue of a workout has an interesting effect on you. I think it is very good. It helps you lay aside the matters that are not important and pay more attention to the things that really matter. In the New Testament there is a story of Mary and Martha. Mary is listening to Christ, while Martha is busy serving guests. Martha gets upset because Mary is not helping her, yet Christ says that Mary has chosen the better part. Sometimes we fill up our lives with stuff, mostly not that important in the eternal scheme of things, and forget to take the time to choose the better part. I think the fatigue of a workout, combined with the experience of overcoming pain prior, has a tendency to take us from the Martha territory into Mary's territory and take the time to choose the better part.

Ran with the kids in the evening. Total of 17.1 miles for the day.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From sarah on Wed, Apr 25, 2007 at 00:21:47

I love you

From wheakory on Wed, Apr 25, 2007 at 00:52:37

Well put Sasha. We need to be spiritually minded and not carnally minded, and living and walking in the spirit.

Nice workout! These are the types of workouts I need to do to obtain peak performance.

From Ryan Woods on Wed, Apr 25, 2007 at 19:04:30

I don't disagree. A month off would no doubt take care of the plantar but my situation won't allow that. I live in Central Florida and by June it's just not possible to run longer than 6 miles. It's grueling, oppressing, and the most miserable 6 miles that will ever be run as well. I can't take a month off now then follow it up with 2 moths off in the summer. So I currently find my self in the pattern I'm in. Luckily things are working well for me right now and I'm starting to get fit again without upsetting the plantar balance. As for the regular run pace, I've been checking my pulse recently because I want to get the pool work and aquajogging in the same cardio level as the running. I've yet to get a pulse over 140 on a regular run. 6min pace is in my comfort zone. I've run that pace for all runs for almost a decade now. It's just not going to change.

From Lybi on Thu, Apr 26, 2007 at 00:40:39

Hey Sasha--What an impressive run! Interesting view on the fatigue of running. I see how running is about spiritual progression to you.

I really want to leave feedback about your back, however I feel a little awkward about it since I am such a beginner and you are a pro, but here goes . . . In short: I think that your ability to maintain your lumbar curve when you raise your legs would be much increased if you worked on your flexibility.

After I had my last baby, I went to the chiropractor because my lumbar curve had become exaggerated. He told me I need to stengthen my abs, hamstrings, and quads. Apparently they are the ones that support the lumbar curve. I know that these muscle groups must be like iron after what you put them through, so maybe they are over doing their jobs? Tight tendons/ligaments? would make it worse.

Question: can you touch your toes with your knees straight?

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Apr 27, 2007 at 12:31:56

Lybi - thanks for the ideas. My quads are very strong, hamstrings are above average, and abs are about average. I can touch my toes after a warm-up and with difficulty. I do have a number of tight tendons and ligaments. However, all the stretching and strengthening I've tried in the past had no effect on my running speed, even over 100 meters all out.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ted was out of town, but I still had to run early to make it to the temple. Had a little bit of an upset stomach, but not too bad compared to the rest of the family.  Set two records this morning. Average HR was 105. And I made 5 bathroom stop. So the records were related. However, HR was still low, around 110-112 most of the way. I ran 1:17:37 for 10.05. Aside from the stomach issues, felt good.

Ran to Team Provo practice and pushed the stroller most of the way. Total of 14.2 miles. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran the standard 5 mile tempo this morning. Did not realize I would feel the consequences of the stomach problems yesterday. I was able to eat simple foods and drink liquids, but I was not nearly as hungry as I should have been. It did show in the tempo run. First mile in 5:30, things are going well. Next 0.5 in 2:44, now I am a second ahead of the 5:30 guy. HR gets up to 160 like it should. Then the next quarter in 1:23 followed by 1:24, HR dropping. Maybe just lost the focus. Pressed harder, HR stuck at 158, next two quarters 1:24 and 1:26, 13:51 at the turn-around. Now something is definitely wrong, but I can still hang in there and run a bit under 28:00, I thought. Next quarter in 1:27, that is actually not too bad for the 180 turn recovery, but then the next two are trouble - 1:25 with HR dropping down to 156 in spite of the increased mental effort (5:42 for the mile), followed by 1:27. OK, odd problem, this usually happens around mile 15 in the marathon except it does not feel the same way because the muscles are feeling tired and the joints start to hurt, but this time the muscles and joints are just fine, but there is still very little glycogen in the legs. I've had this experience a couple of times before. Last year, shortly before DesNews marathon after three weeks of no less than 15 miles a day with at least 6 at sub-6:00 pace this happened in a 10 mile tempo run. And in October of 2004 I tried a tempo run after getting a similar ingestion bug and not eating very much for a day.

Next two quarters in 1:30, HR goes down to 152. But it feels hard, I am putting out my top tempo muscular effort. If I did not look at the watch, I would have said I was still running at 5:30 pace! Then 1:28, 4th mile in 5:55. Next quarter uphill in 1:31 followed by 1:30. With 600 to go I started feeling stronger and was I able to pick it up to 5:30 pace again. HR got up to 160, and I ran the last 600 in 2:03 at a steady pace. 28:27 for the whole run, 5:49 for the last mile. The weirdest tempo run I've had in a while. I thought of cutting it short a few times, but decided to finish it for scientific as well as mental purposes.

The cool down was also unusual. A tempo run would normally put my HR even at the cooldown pace (8:00 mile) to at least 127. Today HR stayed at 118. I considered cutting the mileage today given the upcoming 30 K on Saturday and the glycogen depletion caused by the stomach problems on top of high mileage, but decided to stick with the program. Cooled down until I was at 13 miles for the run. Came home, and still was not hungry, bad sign. Drank some raspberry tea, that got things going. Was able to eat three normal size meals afterwards, and now feeling hungry as I am typing this.

I did much better than Sarah in the stomach area, though. She was throwing up last night. So were Joseph and Jacob. Benjamin did not throw up, but was not able to eat much.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Then went to the USATF meeting after dinner with Benjamin and Jenny. Benjamin gave me our mile splits as we drove, a new way to entertain an 8 year old (as well as a 34 year old) while driving.

I have always been curious about the negative feedback mechanisms that kick in once the muscular glycogen is low. I know that some people have them more developed than others. I remember in the Top of Utah Marathon 2005 at mile 17 I was running low on fuel. The pack made a surge, and Demetrio Cabanillas Jr not only went with them but he actually was a very active participant in that surge. Had they told me the race ended at 18 I would not have been able to stay with them. Then he came back to me at 21 even though I had already slowed down to a 7:00 mile premature cool down. He obviously had a lot less glycogen left at 17, but he did not have my negative feedback mechanisms to stop him in the surge. I often start my marathons aggressively, and hardly ever run an even or negative split. It is not uncommon for me to hit a half in a time that would be under a minute slower than I would have raced it all out. However, I do not recall running slower than 7:10 pace at the end of a marathon in the last 6 years. I think my negative feedback when glycogen is low is very strong, perhaps maybe even so strong that it inhibits my shorter races. But it saves my rear end when I make bad pacing decisions in the marathon.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Mike Salkowski on Fri, Apr 27, 2007 at 22:57:28

Sorry to hear about the stomach distress. If half the family is throwing up and you're having your own stomach problems, it's no wonder your heart rate was a bit off.

I've had similar problems with glycogen depletion, and your theory on negative feedback mechanisms is interesting.

Thanks for the half marathon suggestions. While Chicago would be great, I'll probably just end up at Twin Cities.

From Lybi on Sat, Apr 28, 2007 at 00:52:46

Hey Sasha-thanks for the feedback.

Okay. I gotta get this out... BINGO!!!??? I get neural fatigue just thinking about that song for longer than 10 seconds. (He he) However, you are the elite runner. Therefore I will try it. *Whimper*

Hey, what did you think about the flexibility thing? I was thinking about your back and remembering when I was in gymnastics as a teenager. When we were doing high kicks, it was considered a form break and a point deduction if our backs rounded out. The cure for this was working on our flexibility--especially the splits.

I am also thinking about piano. There are two major muscle groups that control the individual fingers. One raises a finger up, the other pushes down.

One huge key to playing fast is to make sure that both muscles are not engaged at the same time. They fight against each other like gas and brake. If flexibility is an issue in your normal running stride, it would be like having the brakes on (just a little) all the time. It takes very little time to fix and might have a huge positive impact on speed.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, May 02, 2007 at 16:45:02

Flexibility is a thought, although things a bit tricky. When I was 11, I had a basketball coach that gave us a lot of flexibility work. I was able to do a sideways split after his drills. At the same time, my 60 meter sprint improved from 11.3 and looking like a ostrich according to my classmates to 9.7 and no comments from anybody including the running coach. Not sure if the improvement necessarily correlated with the increased flexibility, increased explosive strength and coordination may have played a role. As I recall it, my ability to beat up a pesky classmate had also improved, and I remember scoring more goals in soccer too.

Since then I have tried different stretching programs on several occasions with no noticeable improvement in running performance on any distance. My lower spine does have a sideways curve, I think that has something to do with losing the normal curve on hip flexion.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted in the morning. Started out at 8:00, then gradually progressed to 7:00. HR was consistently 124 at 7:00 pace, that is about 4 beats per minute low for me. Ran with the kids in the evening, and added some more, still with the kids, but the non-running ones this time, and they were in the stroller. In fact all of the evening running was done with a double stroller. 30 K race tomorrow, it is going to be very interesting.

Added a new feature to the blog. You can now change the logging template. There are some limitations - it has to be already there among the pre-existing ones (I still have to create them manually), and you can only change to the one that has compatible set of fields with what you currently have. And of course, being in beta it may give you a surprise. Send me an e-mail if it does.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Breanna on Sat, Apr 28, 2007 at 22:24:14


I tried changing my blogging template, and when then when I went into my blog all my miles were erased. My entries were there but the miles were gone. Is there anything that can be done about this or do I have to manually go in and recalculate every workout?

From sasha on Sun, Apr 29, 2007 at 08:23:34

What I did to cause the problem was click on the change blogging template, I changed the template and then went back and looked at my blog and I had no mileage. I went back in and fixed it manually by recalculating every workout, but in any entry before april I did not fix.

From breanna on Sun, Apr 29, 2007 at 08:28:09

I accidentally wrote your name instead of mine like an email when you are addressing it to someone, sorry.

Race: (18.88 Miles) 01:50:38, Place overall: 3
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Striders 30 K in Ogden, 3rd place. Actual finish time was 1:50:38, but I took the wrong turn on the last mile and ended up adding an extra 0.24 that also added a downhill followed by a steeper uphill than the original course to make up. Fortunately, my Course Tool helped estimate the difference. It said at 5:50 flat pace equivalent, the wrong way would have taken 1:38 longer. The race directors apparently overheard me talking about the wrong turn and adjusted my time. At least, I had 1:50:38 on watch, and my official finish time was 1:48:37. This is actually a very good guess at what I would have run without the wrong turn. The detour alone cost me 1:38 physically. Half way through it I realized I was off the course, and I was not sure how much I was adding. I saw a big hill to make things worse. I lost the focus because the goals I've set for myself earlier now had to be readjusted. The natural tendency in that situation is to ease off to a comfortable pace at least for a while. Had I been on the normal course, I would have seen my split at 18 miles and would have shifted gears to get a solid sub-1:49:00. Nevertheless, the mishap did not change the placing - Paul and Steve were too far ahead, and Ken Richardson was too far behind.

Coming into the race, I was just planning on a long tempo on tired legs. Stomach flu on Wednesday while doing high mileage did not help with glycogen stores. Or maybe it did, after all. I did not back off on the miles on Friday, but I was panic-carboloading Thursday night and all day Friday. Ted brought me some Hornet Juice, which makes you burn more fat during the run. I think that definitely helped.

Paul and Bob took off, Steve and I followed them, and quickly caught them about 0.5 into the race. Then we ran like friend on a long run for a while, very conversational, telling stories, etc. I was not much of a conversation partner, but I did chip in when I could. I was amazed at how conversational the other three were at sub-5:50 pace on rolling hills at 5000 feet. I felt sluggish in the first three miles, then started feeling better, and after 5 I started feeling really good, although not as good as Bob, Paul, and Steve. Mile splits were (going by the markers) 5:50 - 5:54 - 5:46 - 5:42 - 5:43. We were rolling a bit down, but still we were rolling. 28:55 at 5 miles. At 6 miles I missed the Gatorade from the hand of the volunteer, and stopped to get it being very concerned about bonking later on. Then I was able to close the gap. During the early miles, HR was around 154. When closing the gap, HR hit 163, and it felt sustainable for a while, although not the whole race.

Then we started a gradual ascent at about 1% grade. There was a 5:50 mile at HR of 158, and then on the mile from 8 to 9 the effort picked up. Were still on the climb, and the split was 5:41. My HR hit 161, and I started to hurt. I started feeling more confident in my glycogen stores and decided to skip the next water stop, just to try to hang on at fast pace longer, then maybe they will end the surge, and I might have company for another couple of miles. But they were running very strong not letting up at all. I got dropped at 9.25, and eased off to a nice marathon pace effort. HR was at 155. 57:52 at 10 miles. Now we are on the Ogden Marathon course and going in right direction. Next mile in 5:40, downhill, but into a bit of a headwind. Another mile in 5:43. This is good, I am almost going the same pace I did in the half-marathon, and I am further along into the race than I was back then. And it hurts a lot less in spite of the mileage.

The downhill quickly ended, now the nasty rolling hills, and this time we are rolling up. Still doing slightly sub-6:00 miles, that is very good this late on those hills. 13 mile split was 1:15:14, that makes 1:15:53 half. I was very happy about that half. Three weeks earlier I raced a half that dropped quite a bit  of elevation (I think about 600 ft) in 1:14:29. This one maybe dropped 50-100 feet net, but the rolling and climbing was much more serious than in the half earlier. And this is en-route in a 30 K!

1:27:08 at 15 miles. Very encouraging, still going sub-6:00. Next mile in 5:55, followed by 6:07 on a more steady uphill. Nothing to complain about. And then somehow I ended up following the Ogden Marathon course instead of going straight to the Red Moose Lodge. Then I see a downhill. I do not remember that downhill being at the end of the half. Bad sign. Then I see the road ahead of me that I know leads to Ogden. Downtown Ogden is 12.5 miles a way. I was planning on a 30 K tempo today, not a 30 mile tempo! Fortunately, I saw a turn-off to the Red Moose Lodge, and now I new where I was. So I ran to the finish the best way I knew. Backed off just in case.

At the finish, I found out that Bob's calf decided to give me $50. He cramped up and was forced to stop at 16 miles. So I ended up 3rd, and that also gave me 3rd in the whole series. Paul and Steve ran amazingly well, especially Steve coming back from running a marathon a week earlier. 1:45:18 for Paul, and 1:45:33 for Steve. Just think about it - 3x10 K back to back each in a bit over 35:00 on average at 5000 feet on rolling hills and no elevation drop a week after a marathon!

Ran with the kids in the evening. Another high mileage week. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From James on Sun, Apr 29, 2007 at 13:57:47

Nice job! Good to see you get into the top three, eventhough it is too bad that Bob got hurt. I thought you ran well after a tough week, and I know how those weeks can take a toll on a person.

From ashman on Sun, Apr 29, 2007 at 21:48:08

Great job in spite of everything and all the mileage you put in this week. I could literally feel the seriousness and the effort you put out on Saturday. It's only a matter of time I think.

From Cody on Sun, Apr 29, 2007 at 22:07:28

Good Job Sasha!

You are starting to run some great times. Especially after a great effort at the SL Half. I am glad you decided to finish at Red Moose Lodge and not in Ogden. We might have started to wonder about you...

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted in the morning. Standard 10.05. Started out slow, then gradually sped up. Did a pick-up for 0.5 mile in 2:44 in the middle. Ran with the kids in the evening. HR a little higher today probably due to warmer weather. Saw it above 130 at 7:00 pace a few times at the end.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Scott Zincone on Tue, May 01, 2007 at 15:11:35

Thanks for changing my template.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ted joined me for my speed workout this morning. This workout was meant to be unpleasant. I do not understand the physiology behind it, but I know from experience that it brings great results. Something happens to the mind and body, and I start running better on every distance from 5 K to the marathon. I think running fast enough to make it properly unpleasant is the key.

Due to the lack of time we did not go to the Provo Canyon today, and did it near my house on the Provo River Trail instead. So it was all flat compared to the Provo Canyon, only occasional mild grade. Warm-up, then 5x400 with 200 rest, very nice slow jog, alternating directions. 71.5 - 71.8 - 70.5 - 71.5 - 69.8. HR hit 160 at the end of the interval and was back down to 100 at the end of the recovery at first, then it became 110 on the later intervals. I thought this stretch was a slight downhill the other way, but apparently not - steady 0.5 - 1.0 difference both for me and for Ted as we changed the direction. There was no noticeable wind going either way.

Then a jog to the start of the tempo run. We did not have an official 3 mile mark, and did not feel like doing a 180 at 2.5, so we just went by the GPS for the last 0.5. First mile in 5:25, next 0.5 in 2:42. HR got up to 160. Then started losing it a bit - 2:45, 5:27 for the mile. Next 0.5 in 2:46, 13:38 at 2.5. I would have been slower, but I noticed HR dropped to 158, and pressed harder to bring it back up to 160. I was happy that I could run 5:32 pace keeping HR under 160, but not happy about struggling to hold it. However, there was a positive development. As I put in more effort, the quads tensed up. This usually means I am about to start running slower than 5:40. But this time I was able to just keep running with tense quads and hold the pace. I even sped up on the last 0.5 hitting it in 2:42. 16:20 for the 3 miles.

Some more jogging, and now the final part of the workout. Another 5x400 session. We were running out of time, so we just did it coming back to Geneva Road, which is a subtle uphill most of the way, and there is one quarter where it is not so subtle. 72.3 - 73.8 (through the parking lot) - 72.1 - 73.4 (non-subtle uphill) - 69.0. It felt good to be done.

Did a long cool-down. Total of 14.15 miles for the workout. Ran with the kids in the evening.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Lybi on Tue, May 01, 2007 at 23:10:50

Good job on piano! And what a workout.

From JohnK on Wed, May 02, 2007 at 09:04:47

That is a super tough workout and you ran great. What distance/time was there between the first set of 400s and the tempo run, and between the tempo and 2nd set of 400s? Nice job!

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, May 02, 2007 at 16:29:14

John - we jogged a mile between the first interval set and the tempo run, and another mile between the tempo run and the interval set.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted in the early morning. Both of us were tired and were happy to plod along through the first 4 miles at about 8:15 average. My HR sat below 110, but the pace felt fast. Then as usual, I finally woke up. HR started hitting 120, and the pace got up to 7:30. I started feeling strong, and felt like running fast, but I knew better since this was a recovery run. We sped up a bit and finished our 10.04 miles in 1:17:34. The moral of the story - if the run feels hard, do not call it quits until you get to the 4 mile mark, your body may just be taking its time to get going.

Ran with Julia, then took Benjamin and Jenny to the Team Provo track practice. This gave me some more mileage, most of it pushing them in the stroller.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From wheakory on Thu, May 03, 2007 at 17:05:07

Your correct on the 4 mile scenario. I've experienced this before. If your getting up around 4am to run how much sleep do you get each night? I need to really slow down on my recovery/easy run days even though 7:11 or 7:25 feels good. I think its better to go slower. What's your thoughts on this subject.

From Scott Browning on Thu, May 03, 2007 at 17:54:35

Interesting thoughts on Breanna, what are your thoughts on the possibility of over training syndrome with her. I am not sure of her mental outlook, but some of the physical signs would seem to indicate OTS.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, May 04, 2007 at 13:40:09

Kory - on a recovery run you should go as slow as your body wants to. Scott - I'll post a follow-up in Breanna's blog.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

It was raining this morning and it was fairly cold. Did my regular 5 mile tempo. Ted helped me with the pace on the first and on the last mile. First mile - 5:32, then 5:35 on the next. Next quarter in 1:23, but then hit some headwind plus caution before the 180 turn to not trip. The caution was needed, I slid pretty well trying to stop. The quarter was 1:26, so I got 13:56 at the time I started sliding. When I finally transitioned and changed direction, it was 13:58. Tried to pick it up to get back on pace. 16:47 at 3 miles, 5:40 for the mile with all the adventures. However, then I started getting cold apparently. Next quarter in 1:26. Tried to push it, was only able to get back up to 1:25. HR got to 155 and refused to go any higher.

Hit the next mile in 5:41, 22:28 at 4 miles. Now I need 5:32 to get 28:00, but as cold and wet as I am, it does not look like it is going to happen. But Ted knew how to get me going. He started a bit ahead of me. Now my hunting dog reflex kicked in, I think if I were a dog I would make a good hunting dog. Next quarter uphill in 1:25, then 1:24, and 1:23. HR got up to 157. I kept closing on Ted but he would strategically speed up. With a quarter to go I saw that if I ran 1:20 I would get the "impossible" 28:00. I pushed harder. There was one hunting dog reflex inhibitor. I knew that Ted was running only a mile and with some energy to spare, and that I did not have a chance to outrun him in the kick. I think with that knowledge removed I would have pushed harder. But I did manage 1:20, 28:00 for the run, and 5:32 for the last mile.

Jogged down to make the total of 13 miles for the run. Got home soaking wet and cold. My right knee refused to bend for about 10 minutes, something odd with the circulation from the sudden change of temperature. The shower felt good.

In the evening went the Benjamin's track meet at Timpangos High School. Ran with Jenny and Julia. Then watched Benjamin race. He first ran 100 meters in 18.7 taking second place in his age group (8 and under). I think the guy that beat him was about 18.2, and the other two were a couple of seconds behind. Not bad speed for a natural distance runner, I was very happy. I told him he could start running 2 miles a day regularly once he broke 19.0 in 100 meters and 7:00 in the mile. My philosophy - measure the biological age by performance in a short distance and a longer distance, and train at the volume appropriate for the biological age. So I said, 2 miles day after you are 8, and you are not 8 until you've run those times.  So this fulfilled the first requirement.

Then he ran 1600. It was an odd race. A bunch of boys and girls of all ages, not a big group, and all significantly older than Benjamin. All kinds of age divisions. Benjamin was running in the 12 and younger. He started out last, then passed a guy, then another. First lap in 1:40. Next lap in 1:48. Passed another guy, I think. Then on the third lap he caught up to an older boy that would not let him pass. First it was in a good way - he would speed up. I've taught Benjamin what to do in that situation. Pull along side, breathe as hard as you can to make your presence very noticeable, pretend you are passing, get him worked up, then draft behind through his surge. When his surge end, do that again. Repeat until he stops doing surges at a good pace, then pass him for good. It works on kids, but it surprisingly works almost as well on some exceptionally competitive adults. So Benjamin did just that. However half way through the lap, his competitor was over his ability to surge, and started blocking Benjamin's way as he was trying to pass. They went like a couple of drunks for the next 200 meters. Finally, Benjamin managed a good surge and took off for good. Next lap in 1:47. Not bad for all the "drunk" maneuvers. He also started closing in on the leaders. Passed another runner on the kick with 25 meters to go and finished 4th overall with 6:55, last lap in 1:40. Won his age group, though. Only 13 seconds behind the overall winner, who happened to be an older girl. This made him officially 8, a sub-7:00 miler, and earned him his own personal Palm Pilot.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From wheakory on Fri, May 04, 2007 at 17:05:39

Nice run Sasha your determination is very strong. I really wish I could someday train with you guys, but I'm too slow for that to happen.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted in the morning. Ran out standard 10.04 mile course very relaxed. Then I went for some additional miles. First wanted to do 2 more. Then decided to make it half marathon. Felt good, picked up the pace a bit to sub-6:40. Right before the turnaround saw a runner going in the opposite direction. Turned around, and the same hunting dog instinct kicked in. I started chasing him at about 5:40-5:50 pace. He soon came into view, but then disappeared, probably took another route. However, I was already running at a good pace, and did not feel like slowing down. So I ran at that pace all the way home. Finished the 13.11 miles in 1:35:59.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. This puts me at 15.46 for the day. 10 mile tempo run tomorrow, hopefully with Steve if he can make it.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Tempo run with Ted in the morning. Cold and windy. 6 years ago I liked it colder than warmer. Now I have been running better in the temperatures on the warm side. Lots of bathroom trips. No upset stomach, really, at least nothing felt wrong other than the need to go. Maybe I have been eating more than I could digest efficiently.

Standard 10 mile tempo on the Provo River Trail. After a short warmup, I let Ted go with a 2 minute head start. Felt sluggish and unmotivated, but at the same time strong inside. First mile in 5:56, then 5:53, 14:47 at 2.5 (2:58). Gusts of headwind are not helping. HR at 145 finally. This is really odd. The breathing is almost like in an easy run, but the muscles do not want to go. I decided I was not going to make them until the second half. Coasted along through the next 2 miles. Started feeling better around 4.5, got HR up to 150, hit the uphill mile in 5:49, 29:31 at 5 miles (14:44). Another 180 turn, more gusts of wind. Was on pace for 14:30 for a while for 2.5, but the headwind brought me back down to barely sub-6:00 pace. Passed Ted right before the turnaround. 44:10 at 7.5, 14:39 for 2.5.

Decided to do whatever it takes to keep HR above 155 on the last 2.5. With the cold and the wind it was not easy, had to dig in and push it mentally quite a bit. Next 0.5 in 2:49, tailwind was helpful in getting going. Then it stopped and became cross/head. Battled through the next mile in 5:46, HR did get up to 155. Pressed harder on the last mile, managed it in 5:37, last 0.5 in 2:45, last 0.25 in 1:21. HR hit 163 on the kick. Total time 58:22.8, last 2.5 in 14:12, last 5 in 28:51.

Turned around, met Ted, finished with him. Jogged back to the house, woke up Benjamin, we ran to his Team Provo practice. Ran around the track there with a guy named Steve whose daughter also trains with Team Provo and won the 1600 meter race that Benjamin was in. Then pushed Benjamin back in the stroller after the practice. Total of 20.15 miles for the run.

Ran with Jenny and Julia in the afternoon. Taper time for Ogden, next week will be a bit lighter, but still probably over 80.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted in the morning. Ran 10.04 in 1:09:50 - chased down the 7:00 mile guy. Picked it up on the last 0.5, last quarter in 1:28. HR was normal - in the first half hovered between 122 and 126 at 7:00 pace, on the second half hovered around 130 at 6:45 pace. Got up to 148 at 5:50 pace at the end. Ran with the kids in the evening.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Tempo run with Ted in the morning. Short warm up. Good weather, ideal conditions. Little cold maybe, 55 degrees or so, no noticeable wind. Tapering this week. My standard routine is to run short aggressive marathon pace tempo runs at this stage. Ran the standard 5 mile tempo except at a lighter effort. Was lazy out of the blocks, first 200 in 45, first quarter in 1:28. Then started winding it up. 5:42 at the mile, next mile in 5:38. HR hovered around 145 up to 1.5, then gradually made its way to 150 by 2 miles. 14:09 at the turnaround (2:49), next quarter in 1:28, then 1:25, 17:02 at 3 miles (5:42). HR hit 154.Up to this point the pace felt rather relaxed, but now I started feeling some sourness in the legs. In the past this would result in having to apply a greater mental effort to hold the pace, and often even the top mental effort would not be enough - HR would stagnate or even drop, and so would the pace.

So I applied a greater mental effort. Next 0.5 in 2:49, followed by 2:47, 5:36 for the mile. HR gradually progressed to 159. The legs were still feeling sour, but I felt in control. Now I was 2 second ahead of the 5:40 guy, and decided to relax a bit. Not much relaxation on the uphill quarter - 1:26, HR at 160. Next quarter in 1:25, HR dropped to 158, but this was not a forced drop, I just relaxed to make it a more honest marathon pace. This was followed by 1:26. Now the 5:40 guy caught me, time to show him who's the boss. Sped to to 1:23 on the last quarter, HR hit 162. 28:18.6 for the whole run, last mile in 5:38, last 2.5 in 14:09, even split time wise, but really negative 7 seconds in terms of effort.

I was happy that my body responded to the sour legs condition with an increased HR instead of just quitting. I wonder if my cardiovascular training has been lacking somewhat due to the refusal of the nervous system to push harder past the 5:40 barrier. I am going to do a few more of those aggressive marathon pace tempo runs to deal a few more crushing blows to the sour legs syndrome.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Jenny ran a mile time trial. She is 6 years old. At the age of 5 one day (shortly before turning 6) she decided to show off her running ability to her babysitter and run him into the ground. He had to hang on for dear life on that run, and so did Benjamin. She ran a 7:41 mile. Since then she had not broken 8:00 until today.  We've tried several times, but she kept having confidence issues not believing that she could hold the pace. Yet once in a while she would do maneuvers during her runs that clearly indicated that she was not any less fit that she was before. We had a talk about faith and confidence, and taking a step in the dark before the light comes. Then I took her to the Provo River Trail. We did the run on an out and back course, first half about 0.5% grade up, then the same grade down on the way back. Not a fast course. I gave her a goal to break 8:00.  She ran 7:40 breaking her record by 1 second. Her splits were 1:56 - 1:59 - 1:55 - 1:50.

I just realized that Ogden Marathon does not do day of race packet pickup. That means I have to find a place to stay. All I need is some floor space at somebody's house. Ideally for three people - Ted, and possibly Steve Ashbaker in addition to myself. The host gets lots of free running advice, personalized training plan, a Russian lesson, a chance to visit with a real military helicopter pilot, and whatever else  we have to offer.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted early in the morning. Ran 8 miles at about 7:30 average. It seems that our pace depends on whether we can find a good conversational topic. If we do, it is 7:30, otherwise it is 7:00. We found one today - discussed high school training, the importance of base mileage before doing speed work, how most high schoolers have it backwards, what would happen if fast black kids of West African (as opposed to East African) decent trained for distances, etc. Then we saw a skunk. Stopped to let him disappear. His tail was up and he was ready to strike. Finally the skunk was gone. We discussed the skunk for a little while, after that there was nothing to talk about.

To create a conversation topic we did a half mile pick-up. We ran the first quarter in 1;25, then Ted decided to get me going, and we ran the last quarter in 1:15. Legs felt strong. This gave us something to talk about for the rest of the run.

Ran with the kids in the evening. Took Benjamin to his Team Provo Practice. On the way back stopped at the grocery store (Maceys) to get some food. I figured the last 1.8 miles I was carrying about 150lb of weight in the stroller. Fortunately most of the way home was either flat or 0.5% grade down. Was able to go about 7:10 pace on the way down comfortably. Scared an oversized lady under a bridge - got going, could not stop, and there was not a lot of room to pass her.

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From Lybi on Thu, May 10, 2007 at 02:01:19

Little (big) old ladies beware! You never know when a Russian athlete will appear out of nowhere and take you out with 150+ lbs. of stroller and offspring. If that doesn't get her motivated to loose weight, I don't know what will . . .

From Ryan Woods on Thu, May 10, 2007 at 12:52:06

1500m race in nashville tn

From christi on Thu, May 10, 2007 at 16:46:36

Hi Sasha- thanks for the feedback regarding diet. I'm going to check out the healthy food ideas you sent me. I know my problem is eating out too much- its become a lifestyle that needs to change!

From ashman on Thu, May 10, 2007 at 22:59:39

I trained with a kid from Ghana at UVSC he was just flat out fast at any distance...

From James on Fri, May 11, 2007 at 00:29:17


Was it Marjeed Abudu?

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Aggressive marathon pace tempo run again. Trying to attack the sour legs syndrome and also keep up the intensity while tapering. Ted joined me in the warm up and cool down. He was feeling sore from building a tree house yesterday and decided to keep things safe.

Short warmup, then the tempo starts. Standard 5 miles on the Provo River Trail starting at Geneva road. First mile in 5:41, followed by 5:37. HR was 146 at the mile, and 152 at 2 miles. 14:08 at the turnaround (2:50), then 16:57 at 3 miles (2:49, 5:39). HR at 154. Moving along at a steady effort trying to keep the 5:40 guy at bay, and getting ready for the last mile. Next mile in 5:39, 22:36. HR at 158, the effort feels hard but not miserable, like if I had a pack with somebody doing the work up front in the marathon, I'd run in it, at least for the first half. Good news - no sour legs! And the effort feels easier than Tuesday.

Now the last mile, the moment of truth. Was I just tricking myself into thinking the pace was not hard, or am I really more fit. To test, I decided to put myself mentally into threshold gear and see what happens. The first two quarters are 1:22 each. That is very good, as the first one is steady uphill, and the second rolls. HR hit 164, the mind gets a little fuzzy, but that is normal for me when I am in shape. When I run my best halves/10 milers/15 Ks I am able to go into a trance to where it hurts like a 10 K, maybe even a 5 K when I am not ready for a good 5 K, but I can tolerate it for an hour with proper mental focus. Again, no sour legs! The heart just picks up the work and pumps the oxygen like it should instead of quitting like it used to.

Feeling that I've proved my point I eased off a bit and hit the next quarter in 1:24, that's too much, I want to be sub-5:30 on the last mile. Picked it up on the last and finished it in 1:20. HR hit 167, it felt hard but sustainable with proper mental focus. 28:04.8, last mile in 5:28.

Cooled down with Ted, 8.7 for the run. Ran with the kids in the evening, total of 10 for the day. Now this is starting to look like a taper. 

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Ran with Ted in the morning. Tapering, so did only 8. Ran one mile fast. First quarter in 1:26, the rest in 1:22, total time 5:32. Ted was driving, I was following. Felt very good at 1:22 pace, so I could I first thought I had made a mistake in calculating the split.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon.  

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Race: Bridal Veil 10 K (6.21 Miles) 00:35:35, Place overall: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Bridal Veil 10 K. 35:35, first place. This was one of Curt's races. Which means I am in charge of the timing system, so I'd better get to the finish line first. Last night I decided to write some code to automate the timing system setup before a race. Of course, I started too late and was not done by bed time. So I had to get up at 5:10 AM to finish the job. Hopefully the effort will pay for itself later on in other races - now I can do in 5 minutes what used to take me an hour manually.

Took the lead from the start. Had company for the first quarter. Tried to run a threshold effort. The course goes from Timpanogos Park in the Provo Canyon uphill past Nunn's, under the bridge, up the old highway, over the bridge, past Bridal Veil Falls on the trail, then over the bridge back to the old highway further up, then turn around and come back, expect this time just straight, no bridges. Finish a bit further back from the start in the park, a slight uphill.

Splits by the GPS, which worked very well today. First mile was decent, not a lot of headwind - 5:43. On the second mile the headwind picked up and the grade increased. Caught up to some bikers, asked them to speed up and pull me, they did, that helped. Next mile in 5:58.  HR was 162 until the bikers, then with them 166 and we hit a quarter in 1:26. Third mile had more uphill grade, and even more headwind - 6:23. However HR dropped to 158, not surprising. With all the timing system stress the nervous system was not in top shape. Plus not having the competition did not help either.

Checked the lead after the turn around - it was more than I thought - about 2:00. Had a hard time shifting gears - saw HR stuck at 155 for a while, then it eventually progressed to 158. Next mile in 5:30, followed by 5:26. Started getting into the rhythm on the last mile. The pace started feeling easier, HR got up to 162, ran the mile in 5:24 although the grade became less steep. Got to the finish, 1:11 for the last 0.21 uphill, and went straight to the timing system. Won the race by 4:50. Estimate ran an equivalent of about 34:10-34:20 flat 10 K.

Ted paced his son James to a very good time for this course - 46:52, 10th place overall out of 125 people. Benjamin came in shortly thereafter in 50:36 in 24th place. Not bad for a eight year old kid in his first 10 K. I was amazed at how well he had kept the pace, and how strong he finished off only 12 miles a week. And this course was a beast, not quite as bad as the Strider's but not too far away. It does climb 250 feet in the first half. Sarah's training partner Adrianne ran a PR of 51:10. Sarah ran about a PR equivalent (adjusting for the course difficulty) of 55:28.

Curt somehow managed to drop the bib tags, and that lost the finishing order. So we have the finishing times records, but matching them up with runners is going to be a challenge. Oh, well, life is not without adventures.

Ran a long cooldown with Ted while James, his brother Jared, and Benjamin played. I was surprised to see Benjamin running without difficulty when we got back, but still suggested we walk back to the car from the playground. Benjamin wanted to run, so we did. He ran so fast that Jared and James could not keep up. Afterwards at home I checked his muscle condition by having him walk up and down the stairs. He did it with no problems. Wow!

Ran with Jenny and Julia in the afternoon.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From James on Sun, May 13, 2007 at 02:30:20

Next time I will send Carson down to give you some competion! That is about how the 10k went up here in Smithfield, sounds very similar. I will probably come down for one of Curt's races this summer, but I want him to cut me a deal for registration, because Hawk always does for his races!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted in the morning. Tapering, so only 8 miles. Ran one tempo mile. Ted set the pace. He did not look at the watch, and I did not tell him the splits. I was surprised at how hard he pushed it. Then after we finished I asked him how fast he thought it was. He said it was slow, about 5:38. I enjoyed watching his amazement as I announced that our actual time was 5:17. This is his record since he returned from Iraq. Our quarter splits were 1:19, 1:18.5, 1:19.5, 1:20. I could feel a big difference between 1:19 and 1:20. 1:20 was a lot easier. This is a very good sign. It means my threshold is very close to 5:20. If a certain pace is way faster than your threshold, slowing down by 5 seconds per mile still keeps it in the zone of pain. If it is way slower than your threshold, slowing down by 5 seconds per mile still keeps it the zone of comfort. But when you get right to it, within no more than 5 seconds per mile, that is when slowing down by very little makes a huge difference in perceived effort. HR got up to 160 at the end of the mile. Another good sign - after 0.5 of brisk jogging it went back down to 121. This is another indicator that the effort was to a large extent aerobic. When it is more severely anaerobic, HR hovers at 130 for a few miles unless I slow down to 9:00 pace.

I noticed that we were 30 seconds behind the 7:00 mile guy with 0.5 to go, and initiated the chase. We got him. Clocked the last 0.25 - 1:26. The first one by the GPS was 1:23, but I am not 100% sure it was accurate. I did feel that we eased off a bit on the second one, though, so it could have been right after all. Total time was 55:48.

Ran with the kids in the evening. Benjamin surprised me with a powerful surge on the last quarter. I looked at him and thought that if  his legs were a bit longer I'd be in serious trouble, especially pushing a double stroller. He hit the last quarter in 1:39.

Last Saturday the Fast Running Bloggers had quite a sweep in various road races. Steve Ashbaker, Ruth, Cody, Bill Cobler, Breanna, Dave Holt, and myself won. John Kissane, Cheston, and James Barnes took second. Bill Campbell (the Wild Bull) and Chris Rogers took third. So that is 7 first  places, 3 seconds, and 2 thirds - 12 top three finishes overall in just one day. Add to that Ryan Woods who ran 1500 meters taking 10th in a very competitive meet with the time of 3:47 - something that would have won with a large gap in almost any other race. We are starting to show some muscle. Keep up the good work, guys!

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From ashman on Wed, May 16, 2007 at 20:27:19

Thanks for emailing that video to me. That meant a lot.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Final speed workout before Ogden. 3 mile tempo run from Geneva Road on the way to the Utah Lake, then 180 at 1.5 and back. Slight down the first mile, mildly almost invisibly rolling (I think you'd see it better if it were not for the trees) everywhere, slight up on the last mile. Ted ran the first mile with me, we started out slow - first 600 in 2:06 even paced, but then picked it up to a steady 5:20 pace. Hit the first mile in 5:26, HR at 152. The pace felt comfortable.

Without Ted the second mile felt harder. I could tell I slowed down a bit, but at the same time, it felt harder. Next two quarters 1:21, 1:21, 8:08 at the turnaround. Recovered from 180 turn in 1:24 (43,41), then got back into the groove, next quarter in 1:22, 10:54 at 2 miles, HR at 159. Ted gave himself a bit of a head start, but nothing I could not close quickly with a surge. I saw 100 in 19 seconds, and knew he was going to stir some trouble. So I tucked in behind him and hung on for dear life.

The head started getting a little fuzzy, but the pace still felt sustainable, HR hit 165. Checked the split at the quarter, wow, 1:17 uphill. The bad news was that it hurt. The good news was that it was fast. Ted eased off a bit on the next quarter, 1:20. Next one in 1:21, and then the last one in 1:20. 16:12.2 for the run, 5:18 last mile. Actually it was probably 5:17.6, because Ted got 5:18.7, and he started a bit ahead, and finished a bit behind. Not bad, equivalent of 5:07 perfectly flat. HR got up to 168. The last mile was very painful. Ted said he's never heard me breathe that hard. This is a good sign, it means I am getting into shape. I ran this tempo run alone in 16:22 a couple of weeks before Richmond in 2003. As far as I remember, I went out at 5:20 pace, but then could not hold it in that tempo, and was down to 5:35 on the last mile. In Richmond, I was doing qualify or bust. So I hit the first half in 1:12:09, maintained 5:30 pace to 15, then it was bust, but not too bad - finished in 2:31:45.

Good sign - HR was down to 124 after a mile of jogging, and then stayed there at sub-8:00 pace. This is an indication that although that tempo hurt, it was primarily an aerobic effort.

Ran with the kids in the evening. Let Benjamin take off on the last quarter and watched him from a distance. He was running 7:30 pace, he told me afterwards it felt comfortably hard, but his form looked like he was jogging. This is a very good development, to feel the pain of the hard pace, but still look relaxed.

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From bill cobler on Wed, May 16, 2007 at 23:59:49

Thanks Sasha It was the second unnamed comment since I started blogging. It is important to be able to comment freely but I agree anonymously is wrong. I have used BC before just to be fast but found people want to know who you are. I agree the race is going to be one of ogdens quickest. Someone recently told me the problem with American distance runners is they all want to beat each other so bad they don't work together like the Kenyans. A huge advantage to the Kenyans. I hope you guys can work together part of the race to give you all a good finishing time. But It only takes one nervous guy to break away to early that will pull the pack apart. I hope to stick with a group as long as I can Saturday, to many times I've run the whole thing alone. Last year I had Henley, King and Greenwood to work with the first half, do you know if any of them are coming this year.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Really tapering today. Ran easy 4.5 with Ted in the morning. Did a tempo mile. Was trying to do a very honest marathon pace. Did 1:25 - 1:24 - 1:23 - 1:22, 5:34 for the first mile of the standard 5 mile tempo. HR maxed out at 146. The pace felt very relaxed, like if I were racing today and was running alone, that is how fast I would have been starting out.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From wheakory on Thu, May 17, 2007 at 01:10:53

Nice work to get ready for the Ogden Marathon. I'll the pieces are coming together for you and your ready to race.

Time for bed to get rest for my tempo run tomorrow

From rdrunner on Thu, May 17, 2007 at 14:13:24

Thanks for your input on my running. I think you are right about building up the mileage and then adding the speed. I will try to bump it up to 60 over the next few week and see how it goes. Do you recommend about a 10% per week increase?

From Darren on Thu, May 17, 2007 at 16:22:37

Thanks for the advice, Sasha. It is good to hear from those who are accomplished.

I think I will try the mileage approach; it is one I have yet to do.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, May 17, 2007 at 18:17:37

10% rule is a rule of thumb. It is a good rule, but it does not have to be followed exactly. Be cautious, pay attention to how you feel, but do not worry about the rule too much.

From Lybi on Fri, May 18, 2007 at 00:39:17

Sasha I am so excited for you. Have a great race on Sat. You definitely deserve it!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Same run as yesterday with Ted in the morning. Ran the same tempo mile. A bit more cautious today, did it in 5:40 with the quarters of 1:25, 1:25, 1:24, and 1:26. HR maxed out at 146, but got there a lot faster. The effort felt harder in a way, but that does not worry me. 

Ran with the kids in the evening. Benjamin ran in the Hershey Track Meet. There was a strong headwind that made his 100 m slow - 20.82. Then about a couple of minutes later he demolished his almost year old 400 meter PR running 1:32.44. He also threw a softball 46.8 feet, or about 14 meters. This does not tell me much, though. Can anybody tell me how throwing a softball compares to throwing a tennis ball?

Ted's son James ran 800 in 2:39, and then 400 in 72 winning both events. Danielle Menlove was there, and thoroughly embarrassed the boys in both 800 (2:29) and 1600 (5:23). Interestingly enough, her 1600 meter PR is 4:54, she's run 1500 in 4:34 and won the Nationals in her age division. She is 13 years old. I remember how two years ago she won the Salt Lake Classic 5 K overall passing Michelle Simonaitis on the last mile. We do not need to go to Kenya to find some running talent.

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From wheakory on Fri, May 18, 2007 at 01:13:31

Throwing softball your grip is going to be better because of the different material and you can actually get a better accurate throw. Where throwing a tennis ball, of course, is much lighter but the grip isn't as good and if you try to throw it hard it's going to go more towards the ground, because of how it forms in your hand. I was an allstar baseball/softball player back in my younger days. I played softball for 15 straight years until last year, I quit to dedicate my time in running.

I'm not sure if I answered your question.

From James on Fri, May 18, 2007 at 01:48:32


Good luck in Ogden - do you have a goal for the marathon there (time, place, etc.)?

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, May 18, 2007 at 14:23:51

Kory - thanks for the softball info. Do you think an 8 year old kid would through a softball further than a tennis ball? I suppose I could just have Benjamin through a tennis ball sometime and find out myself.

James - my goals for a marathon are always fuzzy. I plan only the first half. My plan is to run it between 1:13:30 and 1:14:15 assuming the conditions are good. Place is even more difficult to have a goal for. It depends on who shows up and how well they run that day.

A very popular mistake among runners is to try to plan the last 6 miles anywhere beyond the determination to run your guts out regardless of how slow you may be going by then, how bad you are hurting, and how negative your thoughts may get.

From christi on Fri, May 18, 2007 at 15:19:31

Sasha- Thanks for your input, I always love your tips. I am struggling to find a balance between running and cross training. Good point about weight being a side affect of healthy eating & training. Best wishes for Ogden Marathon tomorrow!

From Scott Browning on Fri, May 18, 2007 at 16:01:22

First and foremost - good luck this weekend!! The softball might be a bit big for his hand which could effect the mechanics of the throw. I would be inclined to believe he might throw the tennis ball a bit further at this age.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted in the morning. Ran a tempo mile in 5:36.7. HR got up to 147. 

Ran with the kids to pick up VanGoGo from Computune. We had to replace the fuel injection system computer and things that go with it. Drove to Ogden with Ted in the evening. We stayed with my friend Nate and his family in Farmington. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Race: Ogden Marathon (26.22 Miles) 02:32:00, Place overall: 6, Place in age division: 6
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Brief report on the Ogden Marathon, more to follow later. 2:32:00, 6th place. Ahead of me: Paul Petersen (2:26:24), Steve Ashbaker (2:29:31), Joe Wilson (2:29:33), Neal Gassman (2:30:05), and Mike Dudley (2:30:51). What a race, especially considering the hot conditions on the second half! First half 1:14:36, second half 1:17:24. Last 10 K in 37:16, pleased with that considering the weather. Special congratulations to Paul and Steve on running PR's in spite of the course and weather challenges.

Now incremental full report, will do it in parts as I have time. Steve and I had a plan to run together for the first 15 and then make it race from there. It worked out quite well. After the first two warm-up miles in 5:42 and 5:40 we settled into a nice 5:30-5:35 pace and it felt just right. Paul went ahead as we anticipated, while Neal ,Joe, and Mike Dudley hung back. For those who do not know, Mike Dudley is a 2:14 marathoner that is currently somewhat out of shape. I am not sure why he decided to run Ogden, but he was there. At first I did not know who he was, but then the suspect revealed his identity upon questioning around mile 17.

We went through 5 miles in 27:56 (I am giving splits by the official mile markers, they were where they were supposed to me). Maintained good pace through 8, then slowed down on the rolling hills. 10 miles in 56:14. Next mile in 5:59. That was probably too much, but I wanted to make sure the pace felt relaxed. It was probably getting a bit warmer too, so the same effort now was not giving the same results. Mike Dudley caught us, and all three of us started working together. We sped up to 5:48, and then ran the steady uphill mile in 5:58. Hit the half in 1:14:36.

Steve started feeling a bit edgy, like he wanted to make a move. I told him to hold back until we were over the hill. I now started thinking race the second half, forget about the first. The first mile of the second half was 5:44. Missed the second one. We were moving along at about 5:50 pace after the hill. At the dam (17 miles), Steve made a move. Mike responded but fell back. I passed Mike, then he passed me back. I started feeling the effects of heat, and was not feeling energized. From that point I was just trying to keep my head above water (sub-6:00 pace).

Joe and Neal went by at around 19 miles. They were going strong. I got to 20 miles in 1:54:44. From that point I was trying to maintain a positive attitude. I was not unhappy about being on pace for 2:32 realizing that the heat was taking its toll. However, seeing the prize money run past me and not feeling the strength to chase it was discouraging. I decided to plod along and be ready to pick up roadkill if there was going to be any. It did not look like there was going to be, and there was not. I managed to stay sub-6 until mile 25, which is flat, even a bit rolling, and has a lot of tunnels on the trail. I did it in 6:08. When I got out on the home stretch, I decided it was finally safe to just go for it and give it all I had. I started seeing the quarter splits of 1:30. Saw 2:30:45 at 26 miles. Did the math, figured I needed 1:15 for 385 yards to get 2:32:00. Sprinted as hard as I could and pulled it off. This is incidentally a PR for the last 385 yards of a marathon as far as I recall, or at least one of the fastest times.

I promised myself that I would go and find Dan on the course afterwards if I were feeling half-decent. I knew that out of everybody in the blog group Dan would be struggling the most in the last miles. I jogged a bit, the back was stiff. Stopped and talked with Scott Browning (The Siren) and Bob Hintze. Saw Ted finish, then started jogging again. Felt better this time. After a while felt confident in my ability to pace others in the 2:50 - 3:00 and change bracket. Saw Cody, he looked like he could use some help. He was doing better than I thought, he told me to run faster. He made me run a quarter in 1:34, I count that as marathon race pace in the miles. Sent him off to finish the kick, and went back to find Dan. Found him sooner than the worst I was expecting, actually closer to the upper range.  He should have been sub-3 or close based on his training and racing, but it was hot and it kept getting hotter. He ended up doing great for the conditions - 3:05:03, 7 minute PR, and  Boston Qualifier.

Ran with Julia in the afternoon. Benjamin and Jenny ran with Sarah and Adrianne tonight. The recovery is going well so far - legs are not sore, although a bit cramped from the heat. The biggest damage was in the big left toe, same as after 30 K.

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From Superfly on Sat, May 19, 2007 at 17:30:41

Way to go Sasha. Looking forward to the full report. Hope your recovery is fast.

From wheakory on Sat, May 19, 2007 at 18:01:12

Nice time Sasha. The hotter weather can definitely fatigues your body faster. Your second half was a great time.

From Cheston on Sat, May 19, 2007 at 19:20:49


Nice race, congradulation on a nice finish and place. Your my running hero, you make it sound so ease.

From JohnK on Sat, May 19, 2007 at 20:17:59

Great race! 2:32 in warm conditions is excellent. Congrats.

From Steve Hooper on Sat, May 19, 2007 at 21:49:14

Good job on the race Sasha! It's been great reading all the posts from the race today. Also, congrats on your 385 yard PR!

From Maria on Sun, May 20, 2007 at 06:29:23

Good job, Sasha! Your splits are good, considering the heat and your statement that you can never negative split. You really didn't slow all that much in the second half. Way to finish with a hard sprint. I'm always amazed at your ability to just turn around and go back to pace others in after just finishing an all out marathon!

From Paul Petersen on Sun, May 20, 2007 at 11:14:58

Nice race Sasha. I'm always amazed at your ability to give it your all and then turn around and help other people in. Not only is it a true sign of character, but also conditioning.

From Scott Browning on Sun, May 20, 2007 at 12:36:27

Another impressive performance!!! Your kindness and willingness to go back and encourage other runners is a true statement of the kind of person you are. Well Done!

From ashman on Sun, May 20, 2007 at 16:24:29

Stay positive, you are getting better with each race. I think that by Deseret News you will be in position to take the win.

From Cody on Sun, May 20, 2007 at 19:18:49

Great Race Sasha!

Thanks for coming back and pacing me into the finish. You woke me up from my daze and gave me the swift kick in the butt that I needed. You are an animal!

From James in Sunny AZ on Mon, May 21, 2007 at 10:42:02

Excellent race, Sasha. I really appreciate the advice you have given me. I have always had issues with the heat - there are several incidents I can recall where I suffered from heat exhaustion because I did not know my body's limits well enough. BTW, what happened with your left toe?

From Jed Burton on Mon, May 21, 2007 at 13:43:45

Well done, Sasha. I'm with Paul and Scott--your habit of going back to pick up friends is evidence of a truly impressive character. Not many elite runners think about the masses behind them.

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, May 21, 2007 at 16:43:54

Thanks everyone for the encouragement. James - my the toenail on my left toe was black and hurting after the race. It is better today.

From James on Mon, May 21, 2007 at 16:54:25


Nice race as usual! I agree with Steve, you are getting better with each race. I am sure that you will continue to have a better year as it goes along. I am looking forward to WBR again, which is probably my next race. We'll have another good, and fun experience there. Thanks for your positive comments and encouragement.

From ArmyRunner on Mon, May 21, 2007 at 17:02:48


Once again the FastRunningBlog runners did very well. The blog had 8 of the top 16 in the marathon finishing 1,2,6,8,9,12,13, and 16. Good running by all and thanks to the blog we can all help each other continue to improve and dominate the results.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran 5 miles with Ted in the morning. We caught the 8:00 mile guy and showed him who's the boss. We also found a live runner, but he stayed with us unlike the imaginary 8:00 mile guy. His name is Dave Bell. He has just run 2:43 in Boston, and owns a running store in American Fork (26.2 miles). He will be running with us tomorrow. For the single ladies (do we have any on the blog?), he is not yet married, hot material.

When Ted was done, I asked him to help me figure out the battery contact problem in Zhu (our other car, Ford Escort Wagon 93). He wiggled the cable around and Zhu was happy, it started. Ted is a good guy to know, always prepared, and a quick thinker, knows how to solve problems.

Ran another 1.84 miles. Then Sarah and Adrianne went for their run before it got too hot. Our kids were still asleep, but Adrianne's baby was awake and in the stroller already. So I took the stroller and circled around the block to make it 10 miles. Felt very good, smooth stride. Caught the 7:30 guy for the whole run.

The hamstrings became sore over the weekend. That is very good. My hamstrings are the primary sore muscles only after my best marathons. The only other times it happened that I recall were Top of Utah 2003 (2:27:46), St. George 2003 (2:24:47), and Ogden 2006 (2:30:03). Nevertheless, they feel fine after jogging a mile. There is a little bit of soreness in the shin muscles that flex the ankle (dorsiflexors), that is also a good spot for me to be sore. I recall being sore there a while ago when I would increase my mileage from 30 miles a week to 60. However, this has not happened in over 15 years as I have never been at 30 during that time.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon and evening, and added a little more. Total of 13 for the day.

My recovery from a marathon makes me wonder if perhaps I got to the point where my cardio and muscular fitness exceeds my neural capabilities. Try as I might, I cannot run myself into the ground. If this is right, then I should focus on neural training. I believe a good portion of it actually happens when you run. But at the same time, a good portion happens when you do not run. Beds make champions! I know some things about it, but there is a lot more to learn.


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From Paul Petersen on Tue, May 22, 2007 at 10:06:25

If this is the right guy, then Dave Bell and his running store will be some of our competition at Wasatch Back.

They are seeded at about the same time as us. Pump him for info tomorrow and see what sort of team he has; they may be overseeded.

From Chad on Tue, May 22, 2007 at 11:53:43

Sasha, if you cannot run yourself "into the ground," then you should run consider a step up to the ultra distances at some point. Run all day, run all night. Great for someone with terrific speed and even better endurance.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Recovery tempo run in the morning. Ted joined me for the warm-up and the cooldown. I suppose the term "recovery tempo" may sound contradictory, but I find this type of run very useful. It gets the blood going through the legs and gives you an overall pleasant feeling. It also measures how well you are recovering. And it helps maintain aerobic fitness through recovery.

I did the standard 5 miles on the Provo River Trail. My initial goal was to keep the 6:00 mile guy at bay. That was fairly easy, I decided at 0.5 to keep the 5:48 guy at bay instead and get sub-29:00. First mile in 5:47. Next mile in 5:42. They say the appetite comes while you are eating. Decided to keep 5:44 guy at bay. 14:21 at the turnaround (2:52), 17:14 at 3 miles (2:53,5:45). Next mile in 5:43. Got to close one more second on him. HR finally reached 155. Ran the next uphill quarter in 1:26 followed by 1:25.5. Saw Ted ahead of me and subconsciously sped up. Ran the next quarter in 1:23.5, followed by 1:20. Got 28:32.8 for the run, last mile in 5:35.

Hamstrings were not as sore as yesterday, but still sore. I could feel it during the tempo, but not much more than when running easy. I could really feel it at Dr. Jex's office during the massage. He also had my X-ray results. Since March my neck curve has improved from 27 degrees to 30 (ideal 35-45), forward head tilt from 5 mm to 2 mm (ideal 0), lower spine curve in sitting position from 5 degrees to 16 (ideal 35-45),  and lateral lower spine deviation from 8 degrees to 6 degrees (again sitting position), ideal 0.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. 


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From Logan on Wed, May 23, 2007 at 12:48:59

I am excited to be a part of the blog. I look forward to learning lots from many great runners.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted in the morning. Dragged my feet along through 10 miles in 1:16:24, felt sleepy, avg. HR 113. We did run really early - 5:00 AM. Ran with the kids in the afternoon plus some more. The hamstrings felt a lot better.

Now some pictures from the Ogden Marathon with comments. First, this one:

Steve Ashbaker is finishing ahead of Joe Wilson. I have known Steve for 8 years. We've had many conversations. Steve has had a lot of struggles. I believe aside from Steve himself there is not anybody there who can truly appreciate better than me the significance of the event that this photo captures. Thus I feel responsible to provide a bit of background to help other appreciate it as Steve is too modest to do it himself.

Steve always wanted badly to be in the Joe-class, doubted that he could, and agonized over his inability to be there for years. Now here it comes! The seemingly impossible happened, and there was even a photographer to capture it. Joe runs the best marathon he's ever run in Utah in my opinion. Not timewise, but quality wise. Ogden course it not fast, and it was hot. I believe the only other time he ran a better race was his 2:21 in Austin in 2003. Joe ran for Weber State and rocked the boat. Steve was as far away from running at college age as one could be. And now as Steve turns 36 thinking a few months ago that he does not have much of a running future we fastforward through a few months of thorough training to see the dream come true: Joe gives it all, runs one of his best races, and yet Steve pulls away from him.

Now another picture that Ted pointed out to me - some food for thought:

You see myself next to Steve Ashbaker and Mike Dudley. The interesting part here is the size of my quads next to two runners that eventually beat me in that race. As Ted said, this definitely explains why I get no soreness in the quads. I cannot complain about that, but the mystery is how in the world they got so big. The obvious answer is this is a peculiarity of my running form. I do not do any weight lifting or special strength work with my legs other than running. I do not even run uphill very much. But I guess that is enough. I do not have to run uphill. I take uphill with me wherever I go. I suppose my form makes me work as if I were running uphill even when it is flat. Can I fix it? Yes I can. I do not quite see the end or exactly how, but I have faith that eventually I will. Faith is to believe in things which are not seen but are true. We have seen some things already that were not seen at first and were very easy to question, but proved to be true. I need to be patient and wait for my time. I've had one breakthrough already a few years ago which happened just like that - through faith. There is another one coming.

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From Cody on Thu, May 24, 2007 at 00:35:41

I agree Sasha. You are due a breakthru very soon. You are racing better and better as the year progresses.

By the way, nice Quads. Those are impressive!

From sarah on Thu, May 24, 2007 at 00:39:46

I've always like his quads myself but I actually married him for his red hair...and he's given me two red headed children so far...not bad...

From Michelle on Thu, May 24, 2007 at 10:14:12

Thanks for the comments, I am very greatfull for any tips I can get. As for the one regaurding my husband. I will rember that. If he ever were to get serious about runnning, like consistantly 2-3 days a week it would be no contest anyway. But nice to have him along occasionaly for a little motivation!

From Dave Holt on Thu, May 24, 2007 at 12:02:35

Sasha - Thanks for the inside look into those marathon photos. Steve looks SO different than I ever imagined, and your quads... I now worship them! We have all taken very different routes to getting where we are at and where we want to go in running and life, and your story about Steve reminded me (a college walk-on/walk-off - when I couldn't hack it) that through persistence and dedication like your's, Steve's, Paul's, Clyde's and so many others that I admire on the blog, I can get there too.

From James on Thu, May 24, 2007 at 14:12:06

It is funny how we all come in different sizes and shapes and yet can have similar abilities, or vice versa. I am the exact height and weight as Michael Johnson (not as ripped though)but not even close to the same abilities. I guess that being different is what gives us our strengths. I think that your quads are mostly from genetics not necessarily your different running form. I liked the pictures!

From Maria on Thu, May 24, 2007 at 16:24:52

It's very interesting to look at your picture, Sasha! I noticed that your form and mine look similar in that we both seem to "sit in the bucket" at least a little (check out my new picture from Rotterdam). My pic was taken in the last 100m while I tried to kick, so definitely beyond tired, in pain, etc., but I think this is how I run all the time.

Interestingly, both of our backs are messed up, and we both have big quads, although I'm not sure whether, as James noted, it is more genetic or acquired. I used to think I developed big quads from sprint training, but now I'm not sure. Food for thought, but I do believe spinal problems are very detrimental to form.

From wheakory on Thu, May 24, 2007 at 18:34:47

Nice pictures. I never get sore in my quads either after a marathon. Maybe I have hope at getting better at 36. Very nice information you truly are a great friend to a lot of people.

From wheakory on Thu, May 24, 2007 at 19:02:30

I also wanted to mention, putting your faith and abilities in God's hand your going to break out big soon like you want.

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, May 26, 2007 at 19:12:57

Maria - yes, I noticed the similarity in our quads as well as the form. In fact, I was going to point it out, but you beat me to it. I hope someday to find a group of experts (or at least one to start) to work with to develop a solid science of what exactly in the spinal structure, limb length, attachment points, etc affects running performance and exactly how.

From Diddy on Thu, May 31, 2007 at 15:35:58

Your quads look bigger for 2 reasons....

You're shorter and you're actually landing on the leg that looks bigger, causing it to flex, whereas the other two men are relaxed.

Your quads may still be bigger, but not by nearly as much as they appear to be in this picture. You need a picture of all of you in the same position

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Another recovery tempo run this morning. Ted did the warm-up and the cool down with me. Ran the standard 5 mile tempo on the Provo River Trail.

Felt tired all day yesterday, so was not expecting much. Just tried to run relaxed. First mile in 5:47, second in 5:42. Passed Karl Jarvis and Nick McCoombs. Tried to talk Nick into running the remaining 5 miles with me. Also found out that he had not yet been paid by the Salt Lake Marathon just like Steve. I imagine Hobbie has not been paid either. I think I'll wait a week and then will lead an aggressive campaign to encourage the Salt Lake Marathon to pay the runners on time. As you may gather, Nick and Karl were going pretty fast if I could have this much of a conversation with them while passing them at 5:45 pace.

Next 0.5 in 2:53, 14:22 at the turnaround. The turnaround was not effective, next 200 in 46 seconds. But I made up by the 3 mile mark - 2:53 for the 0.5, and 5:46 for the mile. Now I am 1 second behind my pace two days ago. Subconsciously picked up the pace, next mile in 5:37. That felt good. Decided to shift gears into threshold pace on the last mile. Next quarter uphill in 1:23, felt strong. Maintained the same effort, next two quarters in 1:22. Saw that I needed to run 1:21 quarter to catch the 5:40 guy. Ran it in 1:18 just to be sure. Last mile in 5:25, last 2.5 in 13:55, the whole tempo in 28:17.7. I was very pleased not only with the pace on the last mile, but also with how aerobic it felt. Unfortunately, no reliable HR data today - my Garmin 305 was giving me some bogus numbers the entire run.

Ran part of the cool down with Karl and Nick, we found them on the trail as we went back.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon.

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From ashman on Fri, May 25, 2007 at 09:10:39

The USATF rules from what I understand provide for denial of sanction next year in this case. Maybe Bill Cobler and Demetrio could help enforce payment this way. I have several other ideas also.

From ashman on Fri, May 25, 2007 at 09:13:18

In any case it shows a complete lack of respect by Devine Racing for the running community. I have sent 2 emails so far to Scott Kerr and have got no reply.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, May 25, 2007 at 12:16:05

He and others will be getting e-mails from a lot of people. We also have two lawyers on the blog (Chad and Sam) that know other lawyers I suppose. Lawyers are good at writing letters and making phone calls, that is how I got my visa to come to the United States. Chad's wife Heather works for Salt Lake Tribune. Those are the connections I am immediately aware of. There is probably more. If we go full blast after them, Devine Racing is not going to like it.

From Paul Petersen on Fri, May 25, 2007 at 12:17:45

I could always blast them on The Final Sprint. The site gets over 100,000 hits/month these days...

From Bill on Fri, May 25, 2007 at 13:24:25

Plantar Fasciitis. I have been battling it for about a month now. It has really slowed me down. (Big time.) I have been using the sock at night. I put inserts in my shoes. I have been stretching. I was trying to run with the pain. But the condition did not get better and was getting worse. it is a very frustrating injury!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted in the morning. Started out asleep as usual, eventually warmed up to 6:50 pace. HR at 6:50 pace towards the end of the run was 129-131, just what it should have been. Did 10.04 in 1:11:24. Felt very good.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Benjamin started out asleep, 10:00 mile pace according to him felt like he had led shoes on. Then he felt better and better, and on the last mile ran 7:58. His comment was that 8:00 pace felt like walking.  

Magna 5 K tomorrow. The tempo on Thursday gave a hint that the spinal correction might be starting to work. However, I can still explain away the results with a mere increase in aerobic endurance from mileage.  My course PR is 15:31 (2005). Last year I ran 15:35 with  a strong headwind for the first  1.8 miles. I will have two adjustment excuses tomorrow - a marathon a week ago, and training through the race with an 80 mile week, already 66 miles on the odometer before the start of the race. However, they are excuses. This was the first marathon of the year and on a non-Desnews course. I've had a whole week to recover from it. In 2003 a week after finishing my fifth marathon with four done in a period of less than 3 months + a few 26.2 mile long runs in between them  with the slowest being 2:52 for additional punishment I could still run a half in a low 1:13 thinking I was running the full and then keep going and run another half in 1:24. So I really have no excuse for a 5 K.

If I go under 15:00, I'd say the spinal correction is working for sure.

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From James in Sunny AZ on Fri, May 25, 2007 at 23:15:49

Good luck tomorrow, Sasha! Question - with the training I have put in so far, do you think I would be ready for the Provo River Trail 10 miler on June 16? Our family will be in Utah that entire week, and will be heading back from Snowbird that Saturday. Obviously, I would be running it more as a training run than a race.

From sarah on Fri, May 25, 2007 at 23:51:32

From sarah on Fri, May 25, 2007 at 23:52:11

whoops....messed up on the one above..don't laugh at me or I won't wish you good luck...good luck sweetie

Race: Magna Classic 5 K (3.107 Miles) 00:15:44, Place overall: 7
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Magna 5 K, 15:44, 7th place. Tough field at the start - Trever Ball, Teren Jameson, Dennis Simonaitis, Nick McCoombs, and Steve Ashbaker looked like trouble at the start. In addition to that, a breakthrough race for Albert Wint. He actually did look like trouble too - I told him I noticed he had lost some weight. Consistent training makes a big difference. He has always been going out with the leaders and then losing it after a mile big time. Today he did not lose it. Good job Albert!

My goal for the race was to see what I could do in a 5 K off a routine post-marathon recovery/start of easing back into high mileage. I knew there was a good chance of running a bit slower, and feeling stale and tired on the last mile, and that chance materialized. Nevertheless, the finish was not too bad.

At the gun Teren and Trever blasted out like sprinters and went to run their own race. They each came thinking they could coast through it in 14:40 for some easy money. Tough luck. They had to race each other, as neither was willing to coast for an easy second. They ended up getting some good times - 14:10 for Teren and 14:13 for Trever.

The course is 1.8 miles of very good downhill that starts out steep then gradually reduces, then about a mile of 0.5-1 % grade up, followed by 100 meters of a sharp drop, then a very slight down, maybe 0.3% to the finish. We did get some headwind in the first 2 miles, although not as much as last year. With the headwind it is hard to tell how much it is affecting you. I've done many interval workouts going on the same stretch back and forth, and there were days with no noticeable wind when one direction was nevertheless being noticeably favored. Other times, there appeared to be a significant headwind that should have been favoring one direction, but there did not seem to be much of a difference. I think what happens is that you could have a steady 5 mph wind that you do not notice, and it will affect you more than occasional 3 second gusts of 15 mph that you will notice.

In any case, for today we were sufficiently lucky to have enough runners that have recently run at sea-level to determine that this course today was probably equivalent to a perfectly flat sea-level 5 K run in ideal conditions. Dennis ran 14:55 in Carlsbad, and 15:12 today. Trever had a recent 10,000 performance on the track at sea level of 28:55, and ran 14:13 today. Giving Dennis 17 second bonus for the lack of crowd support on a Saturday morning in Magna, UT at 8:00 AM, I think it would be fair to say this was like Carlsbad, with the downhill in the end compensating for the altitude and the headwind.

Dennis, Albert, Steve, Nick, and I were together for about 0.5 mile, then Dennis took off. I told Steve to go with him, but he did not. I think he should have, this would have saved him from Nick's furious kick on the last quarter. The rest of us stayed together until 2 miles. First mile in 4:36 ( really steep), second in 4:59 (less steep). After two miles I was done running that pace. Not sure exactly what happened - I felt like if I slowed down I could go forever, but I could not go any faster even for just a mile. The marathon probably pitched in some to this, the lack of taper and medium high mileage this week did too. What perplexes me is why the fatigue manifests itself this way - instead of finding yourself unable to run fast from the gun, you find yourself unable to hold the pace instead. My theory on that - when the nervous system is tired, once you reach a certain lactate level it just shuts down. When it's fresh and snappy you will just push through it.

Steve, Nick, and Albert pulled away. I tried to hang in there and not quit mentally. Running through the last mile I actually felt strong in a way, like I could run that pace forever, but just not any faster. I saw Albert get dropped with around 0.4 to go. I thought maybe I could catch him, but he was too strong, I was just maintaining the distance at best. The third mile was 5:36, the kick in 32 seconds and change. The actual finish time was 15:43.6, but with the USATF rounding rules it becomes officially 15:44. 15:12 for Dennis, 15:15 for Nick, 15:21 for Steve (new course PR for him by 14 seconds, the old was set without running a marathon a week before), 15:31 for Albert.

Chad had a great race with a new PR of 16:16, improvement of 24 seconds over the same course a year ago. McKenzie Snyder, 13 years old, ran 17:56 finishing 4th in the womens in a tough field - the female winner was Devra Vierkant with the time of 16:22, which is a new course record by 28 seconds. Teren's wife Emily set a Utah record, I believe, in the mothers of a 3 months old or younger division with the time of 18:16. Her best time ever is 16:09 on the track. Ted's son James met his goal of breaking 20:00 finishing in 36th place with the time of 19:45.

This race had only 70 people but 37 of them (52%), broke 20 minutes! Prize money went 5 deep for open, and 3 deep for the masters. Think about the significance of this. This shows how much Demetrio Cabanillas, who is the race director of this race, cares about helping athletes improve. He does not have much to give money-wise, but he gives what he can. His award ceremony is particularly inspiring. Nothing fancy, just a group of runners gathered around a tree in a park. For each runner that earned an award he lists their most important accomplishments if he happens to know them and most of the time he does.  He knows what is happening in the local running community very well. I would like to publicly thank him for his contribution to the sport.

Did a long cooldown afterwards. Also ran with the kids when I came home. 81 miles for this week. I think I'll keep it at 80 for another week and then see how I am feeling.

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From Paul Petersen on Sat, May 26, 2007 at 17:58:26

Nice work out there Sasha.

From James on Sat, May 26, 2007 at 18:45:18

Nice race, especially a week out from Ogden! I ran that course when I was about 15 or 16 years old, but it used to be in September right before St. George. I always wanted to run Demetrio's 10k but he doesn't have it anymore. I know that they are pretty darn fast courses.

From Maria on Sun, May 27, 2007 at 07:15:17

This is a very good performance after Ogden a week before, probably close to your PR for the course. I'm amazed how you, Steve and I think, Bill Cobler too, can just turn around a week after a marathon and crank out fast 5Ks!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Benjamin and Jenny ran in the Harrington Memorial 5 K today in American Fork on the American Fork 5K course. Ted and his son James came over early in the morning. Ted tried to replace the battery connectors on Zhu (our Ford Escort Wagon), but turned out I got the wrong kind. So the job was postponed until after the race.

We did some easy running before the race. Then Ted paced Benjamin, while James and I paced Jenny. Benjamin ran a new PR of 22:49, an improvement of 29 seconds. His mile splits were 6:59 (down), 8:11 (up), and 7:00 (down). He was second in the 10 and under division losing to his arch-rival Alexander Barry by 26 seconds, who also ran a great race after just running Magna 5 K in 21:57.

Jenny also ran a PR of 26:27. Her first mile was 8:38, followed by 9:24 uphill. That is when she started passing people. On the last mile she unleashed her furious Jenny kick and ran 7:41 passing a good number of people. She almost got Alexander Barry's father but did not quite have the juice on the last 100 meters after essentially having sprinted the entire mile.

Steve joined us for some more miles. We began discussing how much slower this course was than Magna. To provide some data for the debate I decided to run the course at a steady marathon pace effort. Steve joined me. We ran the splits of 5:27 - 6:07 - 5:38 and the final time of 17:51. Steve thought we had eased off much on the last mile, and he may have been right as I was probably getting slightly dehydrated with the temperatures getting into the 80s. But at the same time Ted was jogging up ahead of us, and this may have been triggering his greyhound instinct. One thing for sure is that we have put in at least 5:47 flat effort into the first two miles - we reached the two mile mark in 11:35 which is located above the start. At the end Steve and I agreed the course was comparable to Heart of Holladay.

Stopped by at Checkers on the way back, got the right kind of connector, and Ted finished the job on Zhu. Zhu is now very happy, and so are Sarah and I. We do not have to lift up the hood and wiggle the connection every time we want to start it any more.

Ran with Julia plus a tiny bit more to make it 13 for the day. In the evening had a barbeque at Ted's.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Lybi on Mon, May 28, 2007 at 18:48:34

Sasha, thanks for the feedback on my really keeps me going. Wow! Benjamin and Jenny--what a race. I can't believe your 6 year-old just beat me! The sky is the limit for these young champions!

From Jon on Mon, May 28, 2007 at 19:15:11


I just changed the format of my blog (from fast/slow to just total miles) and it deleted all my old workouts. Is there a way to get these back?

From wheakory on Tue, May 29, 2007 at 16:45:00

Nice running Sasha, and your kids too. What a great way to enjoy Memorial day.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Did not get good sleep the night before. New resolution. If I am not in bed by 10:30, I will do a handwritten dictation of one paragraph. I normally do not use a pen, and try to avoid doing it as much as possible. This is a much more unpleasant punishment for me than smelling socks. I grew up with the public bathrooms with non-flushing toilets where people used to smoke. That adjusted my sense of smell. I find the sock smell rather aromatic, almost like flowers compared to a Soviet-era mens bathroom in Moscow.  Sarah, however, is going to smell my socks.

Ran the warm-up with Ted. Still did the standard 5 mile tempo run. Decided to go marathon pace, and then pick it up if I felt good. First mile in 5:49, followed by 5:43. Feeling asleep. Got into a rhythm on the third one hit the turnaround in 14:22 (2:50). Next quarter in 1:26, and feeling strong. Decided to shift gears to threshold on the last 2.25. Next quarter in 1:23 (17:11, 5:39), then 1:22, 1:23, 1:23, 1:24, the mile in 5:32. Now the lack of sleep is starting to show. The legs feel strong, but the neural drive starts disappearing. But still not too bad.

The uphill quarter in 1:26, feels like I am slacking, but it takes super-human mental effort to go any faster. Then 1:25, 1:24, and the last one in 1:20 to beat the 5:40 guy. 28:18.3 for the tempo, last mile in 5:35, last 2.5 in 13:56.

Did a fairly brisk cool down with Ted. He was trying to beat the 7:00 mile guy on the last quarter, so we ran it in 1:29. We missed him by 7 seconds. Had Ted told me what he was trying to do, I would have run it harder.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Jake on Thu, May 31, 2007 at 14:38:01

how do you say queer in russian?

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted at 4:50 AM. Two items of notice - it took me as usual 4 miles to warm up to pace, but I could handle 7:20 pace after the first mile. After that 7:00 pace felt easy. HR was normal - very low as usual, lower than it should be for the pace in the first 4 miles, then normal after that. Also, only one bathroom stop - the average for this early in the morning is 2.5.

Ted picked it up to 6:40 trying to catch the 7:15 guy. With a quarter to go I watched to catch the 35:00 guy for the last 5.02. So we ran the last quarter in 1:23. My legs felt good, like they had some jet energy in case Ted decided to test my kick. We ended up with 1:12:22 for 10.04.

The highlight of the afternoon run with the kids was Julia's first timed mile ever. Her goal was to break 10:00. After seeing Benjamin and Jenny get all the prizes for running fast times, she said to me: "Daddy, can I get whatever toys I want if I break the mile?" I told her she could if she went under 10:00. The main challenge was not the fitness. It is hard for a 4 year old to comprehend how long a mile is and to keep running at a hard pace with no end in sight. Especially for Julia - Jenny was a very mature 4 year old, she was already reading scriptures at 4.5, and comprehending the things of life in general much better. Julia is barely able to read her power words, and still does not quite realize what is going on around her, more like your average 4 year old kid.

Jenny volunteered to help pace Julia. This made a big difference. We did the time trial on the Provo River Trail. First half a slight up, then turn around and come back to the start. The first quarter was perfect - 2:30. The next 300 meters went great, we were right on pace for 10:00. Then Julia started to panic. I told her she could slow down. We got to the half in 5:07.

After the turnaround, Julia realized we were going back, so the finish was close. She started pushing the pace and ran the next quarter in 2:18. Then she saw the four dots and stopped thinking it was the finish. We told her no. She lost a bit of time on that, but fairly quickly got going again. Jenny and I kept giving her encouragement telling her she was still on pace and could get her prize if she did not quit. Jenny kept telling her to believe in herself. With 100 to go we saw our friend Amy with her kids, and that cheered Julia up enough to run the last 100 in 33 seconds "breaking the mile" - 9:57, now 5 people in our family of 7 are sub-10:00 milers!

Julia probably has the ability to run sub-9:30 with her current fitness if only she could understand the distance and how to run it better. That will come with age.

I checked Jenny's blog, and did some math - Jenny broke 10:00 for the first time at the age of 4 years and 295 days. Julia was 4 years and 242 days old today. Jenny had been running 0.5 miles a day consistently for about 3 months prior to breaking 10:00, and this was not the first time she had run the whole mile. Julia started much earlier, but her consistent daily runs have maxed out at 0.35. She had never previously run the whole mile without stopping for a considerable period of time.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From wheakory on Thu, May 31, 2007 at 00:25:36

Sasha, question my 11 year old is a very talented runner but she only really once to run when a fun run comes up and will train for it. She's ran races up to 4 miles and can run 8:30 to 9 minute miles. But I would like to have her run every day or every other day at least a mile. This is the same thing with my eight year old daughter too (of course her pace is slower 14 minute miles). What motivation can I use? My oldest is very good at soccer, and I try to tell her that running will really benefit you in soccer. She plays on a competition soccer team, and is going to a college soccer clinc next week for a week.

From Lybi on Thu, May 31, 2007 at 00:30:27

Good job Julia!

From christi on Thu, May 31, 2007 at 12:57:29

Ok Sasha- your feedback is killing me, but I'll let that be in a good way! Its definately made me get out the door and run more the past couple days! Now if I can just be more consistent!

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, May 31, 2007 at 14:21:20


With all three of my currently running kids (Benjamin, Jenny, and Julia) I had to battle them for a period of 6 months to a year before they began to enjoy running daily. Benjamin on one occasion reflecting on his recent success summarized the process as follows: Mommy, you do not know what it is like to train a whiny child! It is somewhat similar to teaching them to brush their teeth, or clean their room. There is one difference though that makes it easier - it is when they race. After a few good experiences followed up by a proper discussion of cause and effect afterwards they begin to appreciate the value of training, and not only that, but the value of hard work in general. Then they will not go to sleep without having done their run for that day.

Another good thing that happens is that the older sibling begins to teach the younger what they had just learned. On the other hand, if the older sibling starts losing focus, the threat of a younger one beating him quickly awakens him. You take them on a run together, if the younger one is pushing the pace, the older one cannot slack off.

One thing we do that I believe is critical is zero tolerance for negative attitude. I tell my children that "I can't" is a swear word when you are trying to say "I quit". I follow and analyze their progress very closely, so I can always know the difference between a bad day and a bad attitude.

Another important aspect is rewarding them generously for putting in an honest effort. Especially when they are having a mental struggle. I pick a goal that I know they can easily meet if they had the right attitude and think of something they would want bad enough to let go of their mental block. Not only do they drop the mental block for the day, more important is that they learn the skill of overcoming it, and being positive when things are rough becomes a habit. This is not only important for a runner, but also a vital life skill.

I have no bright ideas how to motivate an 11 year old. If I had to do it, I would think of something worthwhile (I will never reward my children with things that do not develop them in some way) that she wanted really bad. Something that is normally way beyond her privilege level, or something that would require you going a few extra miles to get for her. Promise to give it to her if she runs consistently for three months and then races afterwards. After three months she will be very fit, she will have learned how to work without skipping, and she will also know the joy of winning as a reward. After this hopefully she'll be self-motivated.

From Jake on Thu, May 31, 2007 at 14:55:22

Did you really have to battle your kids to convince them to continue running and that eventually they will enjoy it? Thats quite the shadow, Dad.

You analyze them daily so you can tell who is having a bad attitude and just a bad day?

Please keep let us know what you will do if one of your kids decides to find a hobby on their own without your help - GASP.

From Lybi on Thu, May 31, 2007 at 15:31:39

I surmise that this Jake person doesn't have kids. Just because kids need encouragement does not mean that they are being forced to do something terrible. Do you think it is a terrible thing to require your kids to learn to swim? Why not run? The Pachev children are vibrant, healthy, and happy kids with many interests.

Good luck hoping your kids will find their own interest in brushing their teeth, eating vegetables, going to bed at a reasonable hour, taking baths and toilet training.

From Jake on Thu, May 31, 2007 at 16:53:38

My son is 16 months old. But you are right. I better go down my checklist of expectations now and make sure he's on the right track I made for him.

From Diddy on Fri, Jun 01, 2007 at 12:32:12

How can you compare running to swimming?

If your kid accidentally falls into a pool or other body of water and can't swim, he/she will drown.

If they accidentally find themself on a track somewhere I think they'll live through it.

Also, teaching your kids basic hygiene not a valid comparison either.

It's not like Jake said you shouldn't teach your kid those's not like "Well I like to urinate in the toilet, but I'll leave that decision up to my kids, they can go where they please"

Let's compare apples to apples here folks.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

The day of growth today. 5x400 + 3 mile tempo + 5x400 in the Provo Canyon. This workout used to be unpleasant. It did not feel particularly unpleasant today. Having Ted around helped quite a bit.

Warm-up, then the anaerobics. Exact opposite of aerobics. Usual morning headwind out of the canyon. Slower on the way up. 70.0 down - 76.4 up - 70.5 down - 75.9 up - 69.8 down. So far so good. Felt strong but not fast.

Jogged up to Nunn's Park. I decided to call the barrel that we start the tempo from Vladimir Kutz in honor of the Russian runner who won the Olympics in 5000 and 10000 in 1956. Before he started running he was a pudgy kid which earned him a nickname of bochka or barrel in English. He is also known for a special coaching method - drop a group of runners 20 K from the training base in the middle of nowhere, and tell them that lunch starts in an hour, whoever is late does not get to eat.

We gave Ted a 30 second head start to make things interesting. After the first 900 he actually increased it to 31 seconds. I noticed that along with the 3:21 split at 1000 and decided to get down to business. 5:18 at the mile. 10:34 at 2 (5:16). I've closed the gap, but Ted is still 16 seconds ahead. Now I'd better really get down to business. The greyhound instinct is starting to kick in, and Ted sure knows how to exploit it. I cannot believe it - I am now running 5:10 pace, and Ted is edging towards me very slowly, this means big trouble if and when I catch him, he'll give me a run for my money on the kick. With a quarter to go I figured if match or beat his fastest quarter in the interval session, I should be safe. Easier said than done, that would have to be 71. I managed 71.5, last mile 5:04, total time 15:38, passed Ted with 50 meters to go. Ted ran a great time - 16:08, a 30 second PR for the course for him.

The tempo felt hard, but it seemed whenever I needed a boost of speed, I could reach deep down and find it. That is a very good sign. Also, I was not mentally fighting the idea of doing 400s afterwards, another good sign.

Ted's hip was hurting, so he decided to do 200s to make it a bit easier on it. That helped me a lot - he paced me through the first 200 on every one of the intervals. Ran a bit faster overall - 69.0 down -  77.1 up - 69.6 down - 75.1 up - 66.3 down.

Cooled down, got 13.2 for the workout.

Ran with Julia in the afternoon. Benjamin heard about the meet in Payson and wanted to go. So we all went. Ran with Jenny, then watched the meet. Benjamin ran 50 meters in 9.3, long-jumped 7 feet ( new record), and then there was the 1600 meters. They announced that the parents were invited to join. That was very good as there was a fairly strong headwind on the back stretch. I gave Benjamin a goal of running no laps slower than 1:45.

This was a 440 yard track. After the meet I realized  that due to a mistake we had actually run about 1607 meters instead of 1600. Not a big difference, but still nice to know we've run more.

Benjamin ran a PR of 6:48 with the laps of 1:43, 1:43, 1:42, and 1:40. I was very impressed. He said he started hurting at 525 meters, and it kept getting worse with each lap. Unusual mental toughness for a kid so young. He took third place overall.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Diddy on Fri, Jun 01, 2007 at 12:41:19 for the running impaired...

What's the difference between

Easy, Marathon Pace, Threshold, and VO2 Max miles?

I get the gist of it (obviously easy and marathon make sense, though I don't know what qualifies as marathon pace) but feel free to expand for those of us who don't run as a hobby, though we are in the minority here.

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Jun 02, 2007 at 16:56:05

Easy pace - conversational and relaxing.

Marathon pace - the pace that approaches your marathon race pace. Comfortably hard. For a fit runner it is not conversational - he can comfortably say about one short sentence every 2 minutes or so.

Threshold pace - physiologically, the fastest pace when the lactic acid level can stabilize. A fit runner will be able to sustain it for an hour in a race. For a fit runner it requires a lot of concentration to sustain it.

VO2 Max - physiologically, the pace such that if you go any faster, you are not using any more oxygen. A fit runner can sustain it for 10-15 minutes in a race. This pace sustained for more than 2 minutes hurts a lot regardless of the level of fitness.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Went with Sarah, our kids, Ted, his wife Elizabeth, and their kids to the zoo. Got there via a running detour adventure. Ted and I along with our running kids got dropped off at the East Canyon exit on I-80. Then as each child was done with his run, he would get picked up and continue the journey in the car. Julia ran a half mile in 4:33 downhill singing the entire way. Jenny ran the mile, mostly downhill but the last quarter uphill in 8:51. Benjamin and James continued to the 2 mile mark with the last mile being unending uphill, and finished in 18:27.

As we climbed up the Little Mountain hill we saw a snake hiding in the pavement crack. We went about 8:20 pace on the climb, and maintained somewhere between 6:20-6:40 on the downhill in the Emigration Canyon. Picked up a bit on the last mile, ran it in 5:56. It was nice to study DesNews course at a conversational pace with a brain that is getting a full supply of blood sugar, but with the legs actually feeling the terrain. I had never done this before.

Afterwards we saw lots of interesting animals at the zoo. I liked the big turtle and the crocodile that looked like a log.

Ran 2 easy miles in the evening to pad the mileage to the goal. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Standard 10 mile tempo today. James had a track meet at 8:00 AM, so Ted and I started our run at 8:50. It was warm by then (around 65), and it kept getting warmer (70+). We jogged 1.9 and then I started the tempo.

First 2.5 in 14:26, felt easy. HR at 150. Turned around, came back in 14:30. This one felt harder, possibly due to warmer temperatures. 28:56 at 5 miles. Consciously decided to pick it up a bit on the third 2.5, ran it in 14:21. Felt like I had to work a lot harder, but the heart rate was very reasonable for the conditions - hovering between 153 and 155.

On the last 2.5 shifted gears into the threshold pace. The goal was to go under 14:00. My first quarter after the 180 turn was 1:25. After than, the slower quarter was 1:24.5. Last mile in 5:32, last 600 in 2:01, last 2.5 in 13:55, last 5 in 28:16, and the total time of 57:12, fastest time this year so far.

Interesting experience on the last 2.5. I felt like the pain of the pace was sustaining the neural drive to keep it. That happens to me only when I start getting into really good shape. It is instinctive, you cannot consciously make it happen, you have to train a certain way for this instinct to develop.

Immediately after I finished, Ted took me for a brisk cool down. He announced he was 1:15 ahead of the 7:00 mile guy, and he planned to run another 5.3 miles and stay ahead of him. So we almost immediately started running sub-7:00 pace. Not a relaxing cool down at all, especially with the temperatures approaching 80.

Got home finally, Ted stayed ahead of the 7:00 mile guy, I ended up beating the 6:20 guy for 17.25 miles with the average pace of 6:18. As soon as I walked in, Julia wanted me to take her for a run. I told her I needed to get some water in first. Then took her for her standard 0.5 mile run.

Ran with Benjamin and Jenny in the afternoon.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Superfly on Sun, Jun 03, 2007 at 10:54:41

Good workout Sasha. Seems like your shifting your gears and getting stronger all the time.

From wheakory on Sun, Jun 03, 2007 at 22:04:16

Nice run in the hot weather. At least your getting your body adjusted to running in the heat. Do you carry fluid or hide fluid for these hot day runs?

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Jun 04, 2007 at 12:10:23

Kory - no water or anything. Part of the reason is I find it hassle to carry a bottle, part is that the run is short enough that I can tough it out.

From Paul Petersen on Mon, Jun 04, 2007 at 12:27:43

I think there's some adaptation to stress when you don't drink water too. During the summer of '00 I interned and trained in Phoenix all summer before my senior year of cross country. All of my runs were during the afternoons and evenings in 105-110 degree heat. The first month was brutal, and I was always running through parks with drinking fountains, but by the end of the summer I wasn't taking any water during the runs and felt fine. When I got back to Michigan for the cross country season, I felt a lot more efficient in the cooler temperatures, and went on to have a really good racing season. Point is, I think heat training makes you tougher and your body more efficient.

From wheakory on Mon, Jun 04, 2007 at 13:15:16

I agree totally on these shorter runs I don't take anything. I will usually start taking a water bottle if the run is longer than 16 miles. It's a hassle and a distraction. I end up usually carrying the water bottle in my hand for the run.

Saturday when I ran I drove up our Pocatello Creek area about 6000ft evelation and ran the back side of the Pocatello Marathon, and I had my fuel belt on because it has a velcro pocket to use to carry my cell phone, because I wasn't feeling very well (101 fever the night before). My fuel belt came in handy here but not for water use. I wanted to take my phone in case I needed to call my wife to come get me, because there's nothing in-site for about 10 miles on this run until you enter the city so taking a cell phone is a good idea when your running alone. It's sort of funny to wear the fuel belt without water, and for another purpose.

From ashman on Mon, Jun 04, 2007 at 15:41:26

Thare is a dark side to it however, you can easily overtrain and not realise it until it is too late.

From ashman on Mon, Jun 04, 2007 at 15:42:30

The body does not recover well when it is dehydrated.

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Jun 04, 2007 at 16:26:00

Steve - good point. There is a very fine threshold at which running dehydrated is counterproductive.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted in the morning. 10.04 in 1:09:33. Started out at 7:30 pace, and eventually sped up to 6:20 on the last couple of miles. Then ran with Benjamin and Jenny. A little later with Julia.

Ran to the water park and back in the evening. We played at the water park. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran the warm-up with Ted from my house. Lots of runners on the trail today and yesterday, a lot more than usual. Thanks to the blog I have an idea why - it is the start of the 18 week training program for St. George. It is my hope that we can do enough education and motivation through the blog that there will not be a significant increase in the number of runners at that particular time period in the near future. One's training patterns should not have to drastically change just because a marathon is 18 weeks a way. I find the mentality of cram training particularly annoying. I often get asked which race I am training for when people find out about how I train. I have been perplexed about that question for a while. I think only now am I beginning to realize the significance of the question. It comes from the mentality of not training most of the time and then taking a plan out of a popular running magazine a few weeks before a race and trying to follow it.

This is like creating a farming plan that begins shortly before the harvest time. Weeds is about all you can harvest that way. Can that mentality ever be broken? Rather than training one magic race we should train to be fit, and when we are, find a race to prove it.

After the warm-up 5x400 on the Provo River Trail with 200 very slow recovery alternating directions at the standard location (1 mile marker of the standard tempo run, which starts at Geneva Road and goes towards the Utah Lake). 74.1 - 73.3 - 71.8 - 72.3 - 69.5. Had a hard time getting started, but felt strong on the last one. Actually was not trying to run it in 69. Again, the splits show that the direction towards the Lake is about 0.5 faster.

Jogged a mile back to Geneva road, and ran the 3 mile tempo. I had two conflicting goals - to run faster with every mile, and to keep the last two miles under 5:30. The conflict was that on that road the second mile under 5:30 would make the third one under 5:30 a challenge for me. Splits by quarter - 1:23 - 1:23 - 1:21 - 1:21 (5:28) - 1:21 - 1:20 - 1:21 - 1:22 (5:24) - 1:22 - 1:22 (13:36 at the turnaround) - 1:23 (from a 180 turn) - 1:18 (5:25), total time 16:17.6. Third mile was hard, but I managed to hold on.

Jogged another mile back to the standard location and did the same 5x400 again. 73.3 - 73.8 - 72.0 - 72.7 - 68.4. Pushed hard on the last one.

Then ran the cool down with Ted. It was not much of a cool down. Ted was chasing the 6:30 guy. I decided not to ruin the party. We averaged 6:24 pace for the last 2.36 miles, and finished the quarter in 1:30.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. 


Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From ashman on Tue, Jun 05, 2007 at 23:39:52

Instant gratification is what this country is all about, something for nothing mentality. That whole pursuit of happiness thing you know.

From wheakory on Wed, Jun 06, 2007 at 00:16:17

I agree with the concept about training. If you train to be fit the whole time then you really don't need to follow a program.

You already know what areas to work on because you've stayed fit. I think training programs are good for beginners until they become aware of what they need to do to maintain their fitness.

Once I started to train to be fit and a stronger runner a program is not what I needed. I needed to against my fitness level and understand how to train my body and work on more intensity in my training.

Very good points you make Sasha.

Cramming a marathon in and not staying fit each year makes your fitness level stay at the same place.

From Ethan on Wed, Jun 06, 2007 at 02:03:42

There is also something to be said for someone who sets their mind to accomplish a goal, such as finishing a marathon. Who goes out there and does it. The last person across the finish line is still a Marathoner after all.

They may not be elite, Many may never be elite. But they have still done something that 95% of Americans would never do.

I absolutely agree that following a plan and nothing more for 18 weeks isn't going to make up for your lack of fitness the rest of the year. But who's to say that's their goal?

There several completely different types of runners. Some are elite, really training to get better and better. To compete, to win. And thats awesome!! I hope that I can someday fit into that category.

There are others that just run for fun. Some run for overall fitness. Some run to accomplish a goal they have set for themselves. Either would approach things very differently, and neither is wrong in my opinion.

But then, hey thats just MY opinion!


Keep up the awesome work. I can't wait to see you accomplish all your goals! As always thank you for your comments and advice on my blog.

From James in Sunny AZ on Wed, Jun 06, 2007 at 15:14:25


I am glad that you have helped me get to a point in my training where I do not have to follow an 18-week program to prepare for St. George (or another marathon). I agree that we should be training to be fit and then find the race to show our fitness. BTW, I just registered for the Provo River 10-miler, so we will be there in two weeks. I am planning on taking it out as a training run, but faster than marathon pace (shooting for 7:30/mile) to gauge my fitness. I think this will also give me a good idea of what I should be able to accomplish at St. George. I appreciate your insightful entries - I like to see things from the perspective of an elite runner.

From Michelle on Wed, Jun 06, 2007 at 15:33:53

Thanks for the input, I sometimes think that when I run tired like that it's counterproductive, but glad to know that it is a bennefit. I guess the moral is just keep going. Be it treadmill when it's boring, or your tired ect. hopefully your body will thank you and you continue to see imrpovement and results!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran at 4:45 AM with Ted. His foot was hurting bad, he turned around after going about 0.6 with me. I was sleepy as usual, but not record sleepy. The punishment of a handwritten dictation has been helping me get to bed on time. Without Ted's help I managed 7:40 pace in the first 4 miles. It was raining, and the rain was cold. That finally woke me up enough to where I wanted the run to be over more than I wanted the comfort and relaxation of a slow pace. So I started speeding up and hit the turnaround (5.02 miles) in 37:38. I've considered catching the 1:10:00 guy, but that would have meant 6:24 average on the way back, and I did not want to go that fast. Then it started hailing. This made me pick it up a bit. I realized that I was going 6:24 pace anyway and decided to keep it. HR at first hovered around 131, then got up to 134. Towards the end I picked it up a bit more to make sure I got the 1:10:00 guy and hit the headwind, this brought HR up to 139. Finished the run (10.04) in 1:09:50. The pace felt quite easy, it was a nice compromise between a recovery run and getting out of the cold fast.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon and a little bit more on my own to reach the goal of 15 total for the day. Benjamin impressed me on his run. We ran the first mile in 8:20. Then he sped up to a bit sub-8:00. With 0.4 to go he told me the pace felt like a jog. I gave him a challenge to catch the 8:00 mile guy. He had 20 seconds to close. His last two quarters were 1:48 and 1:43 with the last mile in 7:31, and the total time of 15:51.

Ate a lot at dinner - three full plates of buckwheat. It felt like the food was being digested the moment I swallowed it. Last time I remember eating like that was back in 1985 when I was 12 at the Znamenskiye track school summer camp in Vyazniki about 200 miles east of Moscow. It was not uncommon for us to train three times a day, and I would go with Oleg Kuleshov who was 16 at that time on his morning runs. We would go about 7.5 miles, and one time we clocked a kilometer on the highway, it was 3:57. So come breakfast time, I was hungry. The cooks called me "the boy that eats a lot".

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Lybi on Thu, Jun 07, 2007 at 01:48:44

I think you should start putting your eating PRs up their with your running ones. Can you really eat 4 bananas in a Marathon without slowing down? Somebody call Guiness!

From Superfly on Thu, Jun 07, 2007 at 11:40:48

Thanks for the offer Sasha. I thought about comming and running with you guys. But I am planning on leaving Orem first thing tomorrow morning and driving up to Rexburg then doing a short little run once I get up there to help me get use to things up there.

From RunnerGirl on Mon, Jun 11, 2007 at 17:50:13

Hi Sasha,

I just have a question about heart rates. I just can't believe you have such low heart rates. I just started using a heart rate monitor, and an easy pace for me gets my heart rate around 160. When I am pushing it, my heart rate stays around 175 - and goes up to 185 or so when I'm sprinting.

I know heart rates are determined by a number of factors, but anything you can share would help. I am 22, with exercise-induced asthma. Would asthma have anything to do with it?

Anyway, my numbers just seem really high, and sometimes I even feel like my heart is going to beat out of my chest. Should I just see a doctor to find out more?

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Jun 11, 2007 at 23:20:28

RunnerGirl - your heart rate patters sound fairly normal. The easy pace heart rate is a bit high, possibly because the pace is not really as easy at it feels. In fact, your patterns seem to parallel those of Cody, another runner on the Fast Running Blog.

As far as the heart beating out of your chest, it may be some heart problem, but it also may very well be just not quite being in shape, or being dehydrated, or diet related. If you are worried, talking to the doctor won't hurt, aside from the bill from his office.

From Cody on Mon, Jun 11, 2007 at 23:59:06


I agree with Sasha that your heart rate is pretty normal. It is Sasha who has the crazy heart rate. I noticed that when I was just starting out running (20-30 miles a week), my HR was around 165 on easy days and 175-180 on harder days. I think most of that was I was not in as good of shape as I thought. Over time the HR has dropped, but it may still be considered high, compared to the elite guys. I try and keep it around 140-155 for easy days. It is now about 170-172 for my marathon pace (compared to 180 a year ago at a slower pace). When I race shorter races, such as a 5K, my HR generally is about 185-190 the whole time with it spiking up over 190 at the end. It feels like it is working overtime, but that is normal because I truly am pushing my body to its limit. I wouldn't worry about it, and over time the HR will drop as your fitness increases.

From RunnerGirl on Tue, Jun 12, 2007 at 16:10:29

Thanks so much for the help! That makes me feel a lot more at ease. I know I am not as in shape as I could be, but I am getting there. I was just worried I was exercising at unhealthy levels. It does feel better when I am at around 160 - feels really comfortable. It is just frustrating to me sometimes when I feel like my heart can't go as fast as my legs!

I also had a hole in my heart when I was born that healed itself miraculously - so that could have something to do with it. I'm not sure.. maybe it's not quite as efficient as others' hearts.

From RunnerGirl on Tue, Jun 12, 2007 at 16:22:10

Thanks so much for the help! That makes me feel a lot more at ease. I know I am not as in shape as I could be, but I am getting there. I was just worried I was exercising at unhealthy levels. It does feel better when I am at around 160 - feels really comfortable. It is just frustrating to me sometimes when I feel like my heart can't go as fast as my legs!

I also had a hole in my heart when I was born that healed itself miraculously - so that could have something to do with it. I'm not sure.. maybe it's not quite as efficient as others' hearts.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ted was still taking it easy for his foot injury this morning. So I ran alone. Felt sluggish in the warm-up. Ran the first quarter in 2:10 and it felt just right. After 2.4 warm-up ran the progression tempo on the standard 5 mile tempo course. The goal was to start at marathon pace and keep speeding up every mile.

The first quarter did not go so well - 1:29. I figured the body was asleep and pressed harder. Next one in 1:26. I kept the pressure steady and hit 1:24 and 1:23 on the next two. First mile in 5:42. I must have awoken in the last two quarters, I figured, and now needed to ease off a bit on the pressure to keep the pace correct. Did 1:24 - 1:25 - 1:24 - 1:24 for 5:37 on the second mile. Did another quarter in 1:24, then hit some headwind and also used a bit of caution prior to the 180 turn at 2.5. This gave me a 1:26 quarter with 14:09 at the turnaround.

Pressed harder immediately after 180 turn to get into the rhythm quickly. Next two quarters 1:24 and 1:22, 16:55 at 3 miles, third mile in 5:36, still on target for increasing the speed with every mile, even with the 180 turn. Eased off a bit on the pressure, 1:22 was too fast. Next mile consisted of 1:23 - 1:24 - 1:24 - 1:22, total of 5:33. I think the wind played a factor, hurting on the 1:24s and helping on the 1:22.

Now I felt I had the goal in the bag. 5:33 felt hard, but still easy enough to where I could pull off a faster mile even with the uphill. The uphill quarter in 1:24, followed by a 1:23. With half a mile to go I started pressing. Possibly hit some small headwind, next quarter was only 1:23, and it should have been faster. Either that or I was just warn out from the earlier effort. Seeing that, I pressed even harder on the last quarter, and this time watched the pace carefully every 100 meters to make sure I was not slacking. Hit every 100 in 20 seconds, last quarter in 1:20, last mile in 5:30, got my goal, and as a bonus, broke 28:00 with 27:58, and set a new season record for the 2.5 stretch coming back - 13:49.

Cooled down for the total of 10.15 for the run. Ran 0.5 with Julia in the afternoon. She is getting faster on her aerobic runs, we did 5:28 this time.

Ran with Benjamin and Jenny right before dinner. Benjamin is tapering for Heart of Holladay 5 K, so we went only 1.5 and ran it in 13:51 (Benjamin took off on the last quarter and ran 13:42). Afterwards ran another 3.5 with Jacob in the stroller in 24:45 on the trail to Macey's and back. On the way up was going 7:15, on the way back 6:40 with only a slightly higher effort just from getting into the rhythm as the run progressed. The difference between 0.5% grade up and 0.5% down is greatly increased when pushing the stroller.

Untapering for the Heart of Holladay. This will be the most untapered 5 K I have ever run, but this time I have different goals.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Logan on Fri, Jun 08, 2007 at 21:29:57

My last interval was at 75 probably because of the wind a little bit and plus I was a little tired. It has been a while since I've done some serious interval work on a track. I am glad you helped with the definition of what serrifine is.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ted is still nursing his foot. So I ran alone today. Ended up going a bit longer than planned in the morning. There was some police investigation on the Provo River Trail, and a portion of it was blocked. So I had to take a detour that added a mile. Maintained a slightly sub-7:00 pace. HR was very good - hovered between 122 and 125, and reached 126-128 on the uphill sections. The pace felt like true recovery, did not have to mentally strain to do it. Ran a mile at the end fast, around 6:00 pace, HR hit 142.

Did a lot of miscellaneous  running during the day which included the kids run. Reached my goal of 15 total. Heart of Holladay tomorrow. The goal is to run the second mile faster than the first, and the third one which has an uphill within 20 seconds of the second.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Race: Heart of Holladay 5 K (3.107 Miles) 00:16:42, Place overall: 7
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Heart of Holladay 5 K, 16:42, 7th place.

By the time I reached the starting line I already had 81 miles on the odometer for the week with no day less than 15 since Monday. I was feeling good, but definitely not tuned to run a fast 5 K. The plan was to make it more of a tempo run than an all-out 5 K. Knowing that I would not be able to make a good workout of just one 5 K, I decided to run the course twice. First time, at about a 10 K effort in the first two miles, followed by a hard last mile if I could squeeze anything out of myself at that point. Second time around at a true threshold.

First time around - in the race. The gun went off, and everybody just blasted out of the blocks like there is no tomorrow. I found myself in about 25th place. It took me a good 200 meters to pass Carre Joyce and Bill Cobler. By the mile I worked my way through the pack into 7th place. Teren Jameson was way ahead of everyone, Dennis was in second, and then there was a pack with Nate Hornok, Matt Harmer, Steve Ashbaker, and Josh Steffen. I considered surging to run with the pack, but figured it would destroy the workout possibly without improving the eventual finishing position in the race. First mile in 5:15. The pack was 5:10.

Tried to pick it up on the second mile but still be in control, the pack opened up another 7 seconds on me, I did the next mile in 5:18. Slower than I hoped, but I felt right. Tried to push hard on the last mile. It has a solid hill for the first half, so it is a slow mile. Did OK, although no miracles - 5:33. Did not catch anybody from the pack, in fact all of them pulled away from me except Josh. Tried to kick, there was not much of a kick - 35 seconds for 0.107.

Teren won with 15:00, then Dennis 15:52, Nate 16:02 (breakthrough race), Matt 16:12 - he wants to hit the Qualifier again this year, Steve 16:24, and Josh 16:29.

Walked through the chute to get my tag torn off, and got out as quickly as I could and ran back to find Benjamin. Found him in the middle of a hot race against Alexander Barry. They were in contention for the win in the 11 and under division. Benjamin ended up 4 seconds behind him with a new PR of 22:29. He ran a very smart race all by himself, and took his own splits with a $6 Walmart watch. First mile in 7:05, then 7:11, the uphill mile in 7:31, and the kick in 41 seconds . Add one more second for the standard USATF round-off. This is the average of 7:15 per mile, and an improvement of 2:42 from the last year.

After the finish, found somebody to keep an eye on Benjamin while I was gone, and headed for the second repetition on the course. Started it 30 minutes from the start of the first 5 K. Felt a bit sluggish and some lactic acid leftovers in the first mile - hit it in 5:40. After that, felt better, second mile in 5:28. At first I set a goal for myself to just not get chicked. I apparently overestimated Carre's winning time - I thought she ran around 17:40, while in fact she ran 17:53. Then I saw Cody cooling down around mile 2, and decided to raise the bar - beat his time instead. Fortunately Cody joined me and I had a chance to ask him what his time was - 17:36 (officially 17:37 with the USATF round-off). Felt very strong on the hill and afterwards. Cody helped me with the pace on the half-mile up the hill. Did the uphill mile in 5:40, only 7 seconds slower than in the race. Kicked in 36 seconds to finish in 17:24.8. I suppose the kick was slightly longer as I veered to the side to avoid going through the finish shoot - some walkers were still finishing.

Did some more distance during the award ceremony. Ran with Jenny and Julia when I got home, and added some more. Total of 16 for the day and 95 for the week.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Brent on Sat, Jun 09, 2007 at 17:15:53

Congrads for your son on the PR. I followed him the first mile and 1/2 and he looked very controlled and smooth. I was no competition for him today.

From Cody on Sat, Jun 09, 2007 at 23:47:11

You are an animal! Nice race and way to hit your mileage goals, no matter what.

From James on Sun, Jun 10, 2007 at 01:38:50

Sounds like you are ready for WBR with back to back 5Ks like those. Either that or you didn't run the first one fast enough! Good job like usual, I am always impressed with your recovery time.

From wheakory on Mon, Jun 11, 2007 at 00:22:08

That's an outstanding performance Sasha with all the miles you've put in this week. Also your son's performance with the PR is impressive.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ted is alive again. Ran with him this morning on our standard 10.04 course. We covered the first half in 34:34 chatting, telling stories, discussing current events. On the way back I felt like doing a short light tempo on the standard 2.5 stretch. Made a pit stop, Ted kept going. Started out a bit sluggish, thought I was perhaps going slower than 6:00, but I was not - first 300 in 1:06 with each 100 in 22. After than I sped up to a fairly steady 5:40 pace on the flat, then pushed harder on the hill (or more accurately the rise) to keep the pace steady, and then on the last quarter there were two things that encouraged me to go faster - I was 2 seconds behind the 5:40 guy, and there was a family out for a bike ride within reach. My greyhound reflex kicked in, and I ran the last quarter in 1:21 to finish in 14:08. HR stayed below 153 on the first 1.5, climbed to 156 on the rise, and reached 158 during the pickup on the last quarter. 5:40 felt very relaxing on the flat. When I passed Ted, who was going around 6:10 pace, he also decided to do a mini-tempo, and seeing how slowly he was coming to me, I invited him to join me in more words than I normally do at 5:40 pace. On the last mile, the pace felt harder, more like a surge during the marathon. The last 0.25 felt like a threshold pace. So the slow pace is starting to feel quite a bit easier, now the trick is to stretch the range of that slow easy pace upwards, and first get 5:30 into it, and then maybe even 5:20.

Ended up doing about 10.1 for the whole run, the extra distance from coming back to Ted after the finish of the tempo. Total time for the run was 1:06:27.

Ran 0.5 with Julia in the morning, and then 2.14 with Benjamin and Jenny ( Jenny rode the last 0.57 in the stroller) + 2.5 in 16:59 to reach the goal of no less than 15 for the day.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From michelle on Tue, Jun 12, 2007 at 12:15:02

Last night when I ran I don't think the temp. was a factor, kinda breezy and not too warm. I ate salad for dinner, lettuce and spinach from our garden with meat cheese, veggies on top? About 1.5 to 2 hours before running. Maybe just one of those days. This morning felt a little better.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Jun 12, 2007 at 14:03:25

One reason I stopped eating red meat was that it took me at least three hours before I could run comfortably again after eating it. Cheese would also sit in the stomach for a long time and give me side aches.

From Ruth on Tue, Jun 12, 2007 at 14:57:45

Hey Sasha, thanks for your comments and encouragement. It helps keep motivated and pushing, even when I'm tired out.

Just so you know, Ross Decker isn't on the blog, he's Josh Decker's (who is on the blog) dad and is way faster than Josh. If Ross really wanted to, he could leave me in a cloud of dust, but at WBR practice lately I've been the fastest PV XC runner, so he runs with me. (I've been beating Josh by a long shot at all practices.) I think you were mistaking Ross for Josh in your comment. :)

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Jun 12, 2007 at 15:03:34

Ruth - no, I looked up Ross in the race results to get an idea of his fitness level. I figured if 6:40 was anywhere close to easy for him, he would be right there with Clyde and coach Holt, and based on my analysis of the race results, he'd be about 4 minutes behind them in a 10 K. Just try it - up the pace to 6:20 and see what happens.

From Steve Hooper on Tue, Jun 12, 2007 at 15:38:18

Hey Sasha, How's it going? I have a race time estimate for you to do. We're planning on running the Summer Games 10k on Friday and I'm going crazy with trying to estimate what my time might possibly be. The only other recent race data I have to go off of is the Hurricane Half (1:19:30) back the beginning of May. Last year Clyde ran a 1:20:14.

The 10K will be pretty fast and all down hill. Last year Clyde ran a 34:38. Based on my training over the last month and 1/2 what do you think would be a realistic goal for myself?

Last year Clyde ran a 34:38.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Jun 12, 2007 at 17:55:30

Steve - probably right around where Clyde was last year - 34:30 - 34:40.

From Cody on Tue, Jun 12, 2007 at 18:35:30


I uploaded the Smithfield Days 5K race. After analyzing it, it has 200ft of gain over the 1.5 miles. I was able to hit splits very similar to what you have predicted. The main difference being the last .1. My garmin measured it at .07 in :20 not .1 in :30. Take a look when you can and let me know how it compares to Heart of Holladay.

I personally liked the Smithfield course better because it has the uphill while you are still fresh.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Warmed up with Ted. His foot is still hurting. Then did my usual Tuesday workout.

First, 5x400 with 200 recovery, very slow jog, alternating directions on the quarter from 1 mile mark o the standard Provo River Trail tempo run to 1.25.  73.0 - 73.3 - 72.8 - 71. 8 - 71.0 - a bit slower than a week ago but felt fresher afterwards.

Then jogged back to the start of the tempo. The goal again was to run each mile faster. This time I watched the pace more carefully, adjusting it with every 200 in the first 1.5 miles. Splits by the quarter: 1:22 - 1:23 - 1:22 - 1:22 (5:29) - 1:22.5 - 1:22.5 - 1:21 - 1:21.5 (5:27.5, 1:56) - 1:21 - 1:22 (eased off before 180, 13:39 at the turnaround) - 1:22 (recovering from 180) - 1:17 - total time 16:18.5, last mile in 5:22 - reached my goal. One second slower than last week, though, but a stronger finish.

Jogged to the start of the final part of the workout, same as the opener, exact same place, 5x400. 72.7 - 73.3 - 71.6 - 73.0 - 67.5. This part was faster than last week, and I felt a lot fresher on the last one. Last week on the last interval the limiting factor seemed to be heavy legs, this time it appeared to be more the lack of ability to turn on explosive power full blast.

Cooled down, total of 14.75 for the workout.

Ran with the kids in the evening, this brought me to 17.25 for the day.

My current pace profile is getting to be rather odd: 5:40 - relaxing, 5:30 - comfortable, 5:20 - very hard, 5:10 - near death experience. High mileage, at least initially seems to make the paces up to 5:30 more relaxing, but does not do much for paces faster than 5:30 to bring them into the comfort zone. I need to figure out a way to bring 5:20 into the comfort zone.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

 Update: Today I am officially starting a blog campaign to encourage Devine Racing to pay the prize money due top runners. I have so far found out that Steve Ashbaker (5th in the SLC marathon), and Nick McCoombs (4th in the SLC marathon) have not been paid. I'll try to reach Hobbie Call (2nd place in the SLC marathon today) and see if he got anything. According to Nick, last year he and Hobbie got paid after and with the encouragement from some TV coverage.

Easy run at 4:55 AM, Ted was not there, his foot was still hurting, he took it easy. Started out at 9:00 pace, and it felt brisk. I think I set a record for the low HR in the summer after 0.4 miles of running - it was 99. Nothing compared to Lasse Viren, though, who could hold 84 at 8:00 pace. Gradually kept waking up throughout the run. Hit the first half (5.02) in 37:57. On the way back, eventually worked my way up to sub-6:40. Sped up to about 5:50 pace on the last 0.5, total time 1:11:26.

Why do I always make a big deal about how hard 9:00 pace feels at the start of my run? Because I see many runners go out on a supposedly bad day, not feel good in the first mile or two, and cut their run short. I believe this habit costs them good 10-20 minutes in the marathon or possibly more from all the runs they've cut short, or even worse, not started at all, instead of plodding along through the distance. Today I did not start feeling really good until I've run 8(!) miles. I was not having a bad day, my body was just taking its time to wake up. That is what happens when you start getting in shape - the body learns to sleep while you run, or while you live in general, that is how it becomes stronger.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon, then took Benjamin to the Team Provo practice. Jogged a bit around the track, then ran a calibration/break the boredom 600 in 2:02. Had a hard time getting going, I think 90 degree heat contributed to it. Then did 10x100 strides with 100 meter jog back in between. In the first 7, all were in the range of 16.1-17.3. Then on the 8th I saw some kids doing an interval. I let them build a bit of a lead, and then started my 100 with a goal to catch them. Passed one, saw that the other was faster, sped up to try to catch him before the line, almost made it. The time was 15.2. I did not think it would be that fast, maybe 15.7 at the most. Did the next one in 16.8, and then on the last one decided to test my speed. Felt tense, and all I could do was 15.2. It felt all-out this time. Very odd.

So for an experiment I invited Darren (the coach, decathlete, 11.8 100 m PR) to "race" me. He was wearing street clothes, and he was not going to sprint all the way out, just fast enough to make me think I was racing him. With his help I was able to run 14.5!

So here is the odd stuff. In the winter of 2005 I did an experiment to see how much raw speed I could build. I did 10x60 uphill twice a week close to all out, and 6x400 in 63 each with full rest, or 8x200 in under 30 with full rest for the third speed workout. Kept the mileage at 60-70. After a couple of months of that training I was able to run 13.9 100 with tail wind, competition, and a slight running start. Now I do 90+ miles a week, no sprint work aside from quarters at mile race pace, and I run 14.5 with a standing start - not much speed loss at all, or speed gain from the speed training on the other hand.

Cooled down some more afterwards, reached the goal of 15+ for the day.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Breanna on Thu, Jun 14, 2007 at 16:07:14


I am thinking about doing some intervals on the treadmill tonight. What do you think would be good for me to do, longer or shorter reps?

From rdrunner on Thu, Jun 14, 2007 at 16:26:16


I appreciate your comments on your slow start this morning. If I start out at 9 minutes/mile I think I am a real slacker and try to outdo myself the rest of the run to make the average look better. I agree with your comments that the body just takes its time waking up sometimes....If you keep at it you will eventually find your groove and the body will wake up.

From Maria on Thu, Jun 14, 2007 at 16:30:04

I think there is more to developing your max. raw speed than running short reps all out with full rest. You also need to do a lot of drills, plyometrics, jumping and weight training. And it takes more than 2 months. So I don't think your experiment in 2005 was "clean" enough, you could have improved more if you did all the other stuff.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jun 14, 2007 at 17:30:20


I did plyometrics, jumping, and weight training off 40 miles a week for about 6 months in 1991 (age 17). This gave me a 200 in 27.5 in spikes. The 10-fold jump was much better - 27.50m, I am still perplexed as to how I am able to hit the sub-12.0 100 m peer group on that jump, but struggling to break 14.0 running. In 2005, I was able to run 200 in racing flats in 27.8. I also tried weight training in 2003 and measured my all out 100 before and after. My leg extension increased by 10%, leg curl by 20%, and all out 100 was unchanged. Any thoughts on what is going on?

Also, another question - I have noticed that with competition my all out 100 improves by 0.7-0.8 (not just this time but this has happened in the past) as opposed to running it alone. Is that normal?

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jun 14, 2007 at 18:05:43


I would recommend a 2-3 mile tempo run at about 7:15 pace.

From Chad on Fri, Jun 15, 2007 at 11:51:52

Sasha--for the Devine campaign--one option, if people were willing, is to draft a letter to Devine signed by as many top runners as you can find letting him know that they will not compete in Devine's race next year unless this year's winners are paid ASAP and a written commtment is made to pay future winners within 30 days.

From Maria on Fri, Jun 15, 2007 at 14:30:22

Sasha, I think it is normal to run 0.7-0.8 faster in 100 with competition. I don't remember my HS/college training times for 100, but I remember running 6-8x150m (with full walking rest) in ~22, rarely 21.5, and it felt all out. That only translates to 14.0-14.5 in 100, yet I was consistently running 13.2-13.4 in races.

Regarding the reason why your 10-fold jump is so much ahead of your 100m speed, I have no idea really. They are closely correlated and it's noted in training literature, at least in Russian literature (that's why our coaches always used 10-fold jump and standing long jump as prediction tools). Perhaps, there are some neural mechanisms involved in being able to fire muscles very quickly that are only engaged in running vs. jumping. It would be really helpful if you can be tested in a lab on all possible tests. Then you'd have a better picture and some data to try and explain this mismatch. I'm perplexed myself how I was able once to run < 14 sec. for 100, and now can barely do 19! Even my very first 100m race just 2 months after I started training at 14 years old was 15.3. Maybe the age is to blame, I don't know. It sure is not encouraging though. I'm trying now to get into some track meets and run shorter distances to see if I can improve my speed a little without losing whatever aerobic capacity I have.

From Maria on Thu, Jun 21, 2007 at 14:15:11


I got first experimental data on the subject of all out srpinting in competition. Pretty shocking results for me in 200m race - check my blog. Any thoughts?

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Let's start with the blog campaign message for Devine Racing - pay your runners! Any ideas of the most effective way to get the money out of them? I find this feet dragging on the pay check particularly upsetting. It is not just a matter of a few hundred or a thousand dollars to feed the starving runner ( neither Nick, nor Steve, or Hobbie are rolling in dough), it is a matter of respect. We talk about The Zone referring to the last 6 miles of a marathon. Those guys quietly put themselves in The Zone every day to run as well as they do except there is no marching band to cheer them up or volunteers handing out drinks. They come home, they are still in The Zone and they have to do what everybody else does. The pay check for this is very minimal, losing the kick cuts it in half, hitting the wall with a mile to go can mean no paycheck that day after all the work. Sometimes it is 5 really good runners, the money goes 3 deep, and someone will have to go home empty handed. So when it comes, it is a hard earned treasure. I personally value the paycheck a lot more than a trophy. If I want a trophy, all I have to do is find a race that is sufficiently non-competitive. With the paycheck, there is no cheating - you have to be good to get it. And you bring something home, it helps pay the bills. I cannot quite put it in words, but I feel there is something morally wrong in intentionally taking your time to pay the runners while the money earns interest in the bank for you instead of your runners.

As for the training, Ted is alive again, and we able to lure Nick McCoombs into coming to run with us. Ted ran easy, Nick and I did 6x1 mile on the trail alternating directions with 200 meter recovery in between - very slow jog, about 1:40 or so. The target pace was 5:20. I got the inspiration for this from analyzing the training of Chris Rogers. I noticed that while not being fit to do so, he would run at 6:29 pace on a hard course, and call it easy. I wondered why, then realized this is probably how fast he ran in college on on his easy runs, and the memory of that was driving him. In this case, it was doing him harm, but I was inspired by the idea of building a muscle memory to trick the body into thinking 5:20 is threshold.

We did 5:16.7 - 5:17.1 - 5:17.9 - 5:19.2 - 5:21.2 - 5:19.2. The pace kept getting more and more uncomfortable for me, Nick was fine. After 4, I decided to run the 5th one a bit easier. We hit the half in 2:42. I felt so much better. Then I was able to push in on the second half in 2:39. On the last one, I decided to follow the same approach. We hit the first quarter in 1:22, then 1:21, that felt so much more comfortable. Then the final 0.5 hard. Steady pace - 1:18, 1:18. That felt like a near death experience (as opposed to just very hard). Afterwards, I told Nick and Ted the workout  overall was comfortably painful. Nick remarked than only an endurance athlete would know what that  means.

Ran with the kids in the evening + another 1.5 with the double stroller. Benjamin went through all 18 gears of a semi truck starting out at 9:30 pace and finishing at 6:40. His last mile was 7:16, and his last 0.5 was 3:25.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Scott Browning on Fri, Jun 15, 2007 at 00:39:00

The most effective way to get the attention of Devine is start a write-in campaign to local media outlets. This is not the first time they have not paid and they got crucified for it last year. The community needs to know that Devine is not acting in the best interest of the competitors. If the media outlets receive well written statements, they should report on it. I believe Chad has some connection with the media. I agree with you, that it is a matter of respect, but it also a matter of business ethics. I know of no other race that refuses to pay or reward their participants as agreed upon. In my opinion, Scott Kerr needs to go, and some well written letters to Chris Devine may make him rethink his decision to leave incompetence in place. Let me know what you need.

From Scott Browning on Fri, Jun 15, 2007 at 01:10:22

I just read your comment on lateral lumbar correction. I have not done much with lateral adjustment, I understand what you are trying to accomplish and have read up a little on the Pettibon method, but I am not familiar with other methods to correct abnormal curvature. I think there is a lot to be said for identifying potential mechanical limitations to optimal performance, but to what degree they can be corrected I am not sure. My brother has a PhD in Biomechanics, I will pose the question to him and see what he has to say. His area of expertise is in gait and has significant research in sport both as a former pro triathlete and researcher. He may have some interesting insight into what you are looking for. I will let you know what I find out. I want to thank you again for creating the blog, it has been nothing but positive!!!!

From ashman on Fri, Jun 15, 2007 at 08:37:39

I left a message with Bill Gephardt and as of today there is an attorney who is sympathetic and has agreed to do some things for us pro bono.

From ashman on Fri, Jun 15, 2007 at 09:10:27

Next stop, Mayor Andersen's office and the newspapers. The sick thing about it is they probably justify it in their minds by calling it part of their buisness strategy, while in the mean time laughing all the way to the bank as they count their six-figure salaries.

From Mike K on Fri, Jun 15, 2007 at 13:52:38

It doesn't help for this year but no one should run Devine's race next year. When asked about the SLC Marathon by non runners or more recreational runners tell them why you don't run it. Look at this year's winning time. It is obvious that Devine has fallen out of favor with national class runners. Do we local runners have the willpower to walk away from a paycheck to make a point. Ogden pays better for a sub 2:30 than SLCM (not that I have ever won money in SLCM). Ogden gives comps and has a training series. I would rather see Park City replace SLCM in the late spring.

Maybe a good race could replace it but I don't believe Devine can put on a good race.

From Dallen on Fri, Jun 15, 2007 at 16:59:13

I ran the now defunct Chicago big 10K in 2005. Sweatshirts were promised to the age group placers. After waiting through the delayed awards ceremony it was announced that they would be mailed. It never came. I didn't really want it, but there is a principal behind not giving the promised awards.

They still run the 10,000 runner Chicago half marathon every fall. I might find a way to pass the word out here in Chicago

From ashman on Fri, Jun 15, 2007 at 20:38:01

Sounds good Dallen. Anything you can do would help in some way. Thanks!

By the way, I just received my award from Ogden Marathon with a free pair of running shoes. It is nice to know that there are races all over that have integrity and that Devine racing is just a bad apple in the barrel probably.

From Paul Petersen on Sat, Jun 16, 2007 at 00:59:25

Ha ha, I will retain my boycott of Devine events, no problem. After a mere 3 weeks, I too received my paycheck from Ogden. I've run Ogden 3 times now, and I'll gladly run it again.

From James on Sat, Jun 16, 2007 at 09:25:19

I will never run any of Devine's races, they are an absolute joke! I thought that Hobbie would have learned his lesson last year after having to get Gephardt in November to finally get his money. Besides not paying people, the other thing that they do is mess up half of the other races and marathons by changing when they have their race every year. I hope Steve gets his money, but it should be a lesson learned to everyone.

From Michael on Sat, Jun 16, 2007 at 22:02:35

Hope you can make a differance, agree they should pay their runners considering all the money their company and execs get. (Not that I will ever get a prize money yet alone a ribbon)

Keep up all the good running miles. I admire your dedication and effort

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted and Nick in the morning. 10.04 in 1:11:55. Picked it up on the last quarter to beat the 1:12:00 guy, ran it in 1:26.

Ran with the kids in the evening and added more to make it 5 miles. Provo River 10 miler tomorrow. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Aaron on Sat, Jun 16, 2007 at 15:22:09

Sasha, question about lactate tolerance. When doing an LT workout, does a person get the same effect regardless of whether he's in the upper or lower range of the anaerobic HR zone? I ask because looking back through my logs I find myself hanging out around 168 (~80% MHR)--it's only when I inch up to 179-180 that I remember feeling like I'm "pushing it." Granted the "pushing it" has its own benefit for muscular development. But in terms of building endurance, is 80% more or less as good as 90%?

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Jun 18, 2007 at 13:46:17

Aaron - I think a good strategy is to start your tempo run slower than threshold, and gradually increase the pace as you go. Many coaches believe that crossing the threshold is a no-no for a tempo run. I do not necessarily agree with it. There is some research that shows there is really no such thing as a hard threshold. They had some Kenyan runners do a tempo, and measured their blood lactate - it kept going up well into the forbidden zones, while they felt comfortable and had no problem sustaining the pace. As for myself, I've noticed I have two thresholds. The first one limits my half-marathon (HR 158) speed until I do some lactic acid tolerance workouts (hard 400s), and then it goes up - I can push my HR higher (to 163), it feels exceptionally miserable, but I can race a half-marathon at that pace. Then the first threshold becomes my marathon pace.

From Aaron on Mon, Jun 18, 2007 at 15:48:47

Sasha, thanks. That helps a lot.

Race: Provo Riverwoods 10 Miler (10 Miles) 00:54:13, Place overall: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran the Provo Riverwoods 10 miler. 54:13, 1st place. 1:08 slower than last year. I wondered why, since I did not feel any worse - both times running with tired legs, but this year not anymore than last year. Checked the weather reports - this year the last 5 miles were done with the temperatures of 75-77 while last year it was only 60. That probably explains the slowdown. I was 16:46 at 3.23 mark this year, which was about 20 seconds faster than last year, and is only 18 seconds slower than my record for that stretch done with Steve's help. Afterwards, I felt strong, but lazy, probably from the heat as well as from the fatigue of high mileage. Managed to keep my head above water, though - kept most mile splits under 5:30, hit the standard 3 mile tempo stretch from Nunn's to the mouth of the Canyon in 16:27. HR was at 159.

After the finish, fixed the consequences of the power outage with the timing system, and then hurried back to finish with the Fast Running Mommy. She reached her goal of breaking 1:30 with the time of 1:29:45. 

James and Lybi stayed at our house. James ran 1:08:31, this is starting to smell like he can get a BQ in St. George.

Ran with the kids in the evening.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Clay on Sun, Jun 17, 2007 at 01:28:28

Nice race Sasha. It was great to meet you James too, thanks for your help with my training...

From James in Sunny AZ on Sun, Jun 17, 2007 at 20:00:42

Congrats on the win, Sasha. I appreciated the chance to stay with you and your family and the advice you gave me prior to the race. You have helped me to believe in my fitness and realize I am capable of more than I think.

From Adam W on Mon, Jun 18, 2007 at 00:23:46

Great race. Was there less "company" this year than last? Maybe that explains the slowdown. 6.8 sec per mile isn't the worst thing that has ever happened though. 95 mile weeks! When is your next marathon?

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Jun 18, 2007 at 14:32:41

Adam - compared to last year, I had better company. There was a high school runner that was still maintaining contact around 1.5, maybe 10-15 seconds behind. I do not like that type of contact, I like it when people are right with me so I can draft, or at least sense and draw on their strength while they are drafting. So I hit the gas a bit on a steep downhill section, then there was no more contact after that. I think the slowdown was primarily caused by the heat - I felt just like I did on the last 8 miles of Ogden - not bad, actually strong, but just lazy, and hitting slower splits. One thing that heat does to me is make me lazy.

From Maria on Mon, Jun 18, 2007 at 15:13:44

Good job, Sasha! I'm sure the slowdown compared to last year is due to the heat. According to Tinman's Heat Index Chart ( tempreature of 75F slows you down ~2.3%. It probably cost you about 7 sec/mile, which would give you 1:10 slowdown - almost exactly 1:08! I know you said it was mostly hot in the last 5 miles, but it could have affected you earlier as well. Considering high mileage, no tapering and the heat, you did really well!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Standard 10.04 + untimed bathroom detour in the morning. Ran a bit faster than 7:00, threw in a tempo on the standard 2.5 stretch coming back. On the tempo felt sluggish, the pace did not feel strenuous, but I did not feel like going faster than 5:45 on the first mile. Then something got into me and I started getting excited, after the first mile in 5:45, I did a quarter in 1:25, followed by a 1:23. Decided to break 5:30 on the last mile figuring I was almost going the right pace already. Next uphill quarter in 1:23, followed by another partially uphill in 1:23. With 0.5 to go saw that I had a remote shot of catching the 14:00 guy. Next quarter in 1:22. Then saw that with a 1:19 quarter I could catch him. The legs responded to the challenge, ran a 1:17, got 13:58, and 5:25 for the last mile. For me this is very significant, I often cannot kick more than a second or two above pace.

I was particularly happy about the last 100 in 18 seconds, I think that is the best tempo run kick time this year so far. I felt I was able to power through the foot-stuck-to-the-ground phase better. I have been struggling with this problem since my teenage years - the foot lingers on the ground probably an extra 0.05 of a second, and it seems like there is nothing I can do about it. This is probably why my sprint falls short of my ten-fold jump by so much.

Finished the run in 1:06:16. Ran with the kids as soon as I got home. Then in the evening for our Monday night Family Home Evening activity we threw a tennis ball. Julia did 4 meters, Jenny 6 meters, Benjamin 14 meters, same as his softball throw, that answered my question about how the two compare for an 8 year old kid, Sarah threw 19 meters, and I did 29. Now here is the odd part:

At the age of 11 I could only throw 20 meters. My male classmates threw 30 on average, and the best of them threw 40. It bothered me that I was so far behind. During the summer I went to our school's stadium and practiced time and again, but with no improvement, stuck at 20 meters. Then something happened a couple of months later. With no practice I was throwing 30. My 60 meter sprint improved from 11.3 to 9.7. My fighting ability improved, which at least at that time in a Soviet school was a very important skill for a boy. And I won the school 500 meter race in 1:45, which gave me the encouragement to sign up at the Znamenskiye track school.

So figuring that now I that I was bigger, I should be able to throw a bit better than what I did at 12, I was expecting it to be 35-40 meters. After a number of tries, and finally getting a reasonably decent technique, which a thrower would probably laugh at, but I doubt was any worse than my 12 year old one, I was right there at my 12 year old result.

Ran about 0.3 chasing Benjamin home, and then went for a very leisurely 3 mile run, about 7:50 pace. Met another runner. His name is Jeff McMclallan. He is planning to join me on Thursday.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran Provo River 5 Mile Tempo with Nick McCombs. The plan was to go out at marathon pace, and if we (mostly I) felt good, speed up to my threshold. Splits by 0.5 - 2:52 - 2:47 (5:39) - 2:50 - 2:49 (5:39) - 2:50 (14:08) - 2:42 (5:32) - 2:47 - 2:46 (5:32) - 2:44 (0.5% grade up on the first 0.3) - 2:41 (1:22,1:19) (5:25) - total time 27:47, last 2.5 in 13:39, this is a repeat of the best time of the season, except it was done earlier at threshold effort all the way with the splits of 13:50 - 13:57.

Afterwards, 4x200 with 200 recovery. We picked a bad stretch, the second half of it had a noticeable rise, about 0.3%, maybe even 0.5%. 34.9 - 33.3 - around 33 - missed the mark - 32.6.

Total of 10.7 for the run. 5:39 felt relaxing, 5:32 felt comfortably hard, 5:28 uphill and afterwards felt uncomfortably hard, and 5:16 on the last quarter felt closer to a near death experience but not quite there yet.

Ran with the kids in the evening, and added some more. VanGoGo has been fussy getting started, so I took it to Computune to make sure it does not let the team down at the Wasatch Back Relay.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

New training partner this morning. Yes, I managed to talk somebody into running with me at 4:45 AM. His name is Brent Larsen. He is returning to running after a long break. So we took it very easy, 5.03 in 43:36. Then I added another 4.99 and ended up with 10.02 in 1:19:44. Felt glycogen depleted, afterwards was eating honey sandwiches like crazy. No signs of the simple sugar roller coaster with that much honey. I take this as an indicator of very low glycogen levels.

Ran again in the evening. First 0.5 with Julia, then 2 mile with Jenny and Benjamin, Jenny ran the first mile, and then rode back in the stroller. Found Nick McCombs on the trail, he joined us. Benjamin decided to show off his speed, and ran the last mile in 7:07 to catch the 8:00 guy progressively increasing the pace. His last two quarters were 1:45 and 1:40. I counted his turnover at 7:00 pace - only 200! You would think a little kid would have to turn over a lot quicker to run this pace, but his stride is very wide at high speeds.

Then followed Nick almost all the way to BYU, and came back. Tomorrow I am officially starting my one day training program for Wasatch Back Relay! 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Dustin on Thu, Jun 21, 2007 at 13:32:54

Hey Sasha

I will plan on meeting you at the running store at 90th and State at 12:00 pm tomorrow. Where is Brent Larsen from?

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jun 21, 2007 at 13:34:49

Somewhere in the Utah County.

From Cody on Thu, Jun 21, 2007 at 14:02:11

I am curious what your 1-day training program for WBR entails. I guess I will have to wait until tomorrow to read all bout it.

From Paul Petersen on Thu, Jun 21, 2007 at 14:22:00

Hopeful it involves smooth exchanges and not being in the bathroom when your runner arrives. Heh heh.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

First day of my special one day program to prepare for the Wasatch Back Relay. For those without sense of humor or understanding of the context. I am trying to poke fun at the popular trend to follow cram-style training plans to prepare for races. Aside from the fact that preparation for a long race cannot happen within a short period of time, the magic plan is not what does the job. If you are currently running 20 miles a week or less, if you can threw those plans a way, and just gradually increased the mileage based on how you feel week after week training as frequently as possible (ideally 6 days a week if the time allows) at a comfortable pace, you would get much better results. However, one-sentence plans are not marketable, therefore they are not given in popular running publications.

Ran with Nick McCombs and Jeff McClellan. We did a very leisurely warm-up, and then 6x400 with 400 recovery on the standard 400 meter stretch going towards the lake, which is a faster direction. Either direction is slower than the track because whichever way you go, there are small rises and drops, probably 1 seconds slower than the track towards the lake, and 1.5 slower the other way.

Splits - 72.4 - 68.9 - 69.1 - 68.9 - 67.4 - 64.0. The first one felt hard. The second felt harder. The third felt more relaxed, the fourth more like the third. The fifth felt just like the fourth even though it was faster. And the last one felt the best. Since Nick and Jeff have more speed, I let them do the work and drafted behind them. Then with 200 to go I wanted to pick it up, but there was not enough room on the trail and I was too lazy to do maneuvers to pass them, so I just told them to speed up. I did not feel like I was pushing the limits of my speed until the last 100, and I did not feel the lactic bear attack at all, rather I felt limited by my ability to turnover period when I did feel the limit.

Something magic happened to me from running with Nick and Jeff. At first, I was feeling slow, having them around almost did not make a difference. But then as the workout progressed I felt like I started to learn how to pull my foot off the ground quicker, and all of a sudden the fast pace started feeling a lot more bearable. I remembered a workout I did back in 2001 with the BYU track team. After a 1600 in 4:51, then 800 in 2:23, and 400 in 66 - all with full rest, I tucked myself into a pack to run the last 400 repetition. To my surprise, I ran a PR of 60 seconds, and it did not feel like a 100% all out 400, it felt more like just another repeat! It seems almost like the faster guys set the rhythm, and under the right conditions (not always by all means, this happens under special conditions) I can respond to it and somehow temporarily override my neurological issues with the foot stuck to the ground. This gives me an idea - if I could just keep those fast guys around me for long enough, and get them to cooperate to do the right type of workouts with me, that may fix the problem altogether.

Total of 7.7 for the workout.

Ran with the kids in the evening, total of 2.64. Wasatch Back Relay tomorrow. Nick and I will be on opposing teams - I am on MarathonGIS, and he is on the BYU team. I am running leg 1, he is on leg 10, gets the privilege of Ragnar. He will be racing Clyde on our team.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Race: Rangar Wasatch Back Relay (177 Miles) 18:29:29, Place overall: 3
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day one of Wasatch Back Relay. Ran 5 easy miles with Nick and Brent in the morning.

At the start in Logan it was hot. Our team name was MarathonGIS (Paul's business), and we had a 5:00 pm start with BYU, Weber, Runner's Corner, and 26.2 Running Company. Runner's Corner had Mike Vick, BYU had Derek Taylor, Weber had an 8:38 steeplechaser, and 26.2 Running Company had somebody fast I had no background on. It was hot - 95 degrees. I tried to hang on with them for 0.75, after that they dropped me. They were doing 5:20 pace in spite of the heat and the hills. Some of them were not fit enough to hold it, as it turnout out later. By 2.5, the trailing part of the pack was 53 seconds ahead of me. I was just trying to keep my head above water with a sub-6:00 pace when I was not going uphill. On the uphills I was down to 6:15 pace.

Then everybody expect me took a wrong turn. Mike Vick and the Weber steeplechaser were quick enough to turn around, and by the time we started going uphill from mile 21 of TOU course towards mile 20, they were with me. They were too fast for me to run with, but they were not moving away from me as fast as they were earlier - probably about 20 seconds a mile or so. Derek Taylor (BYU) and the 26.2 guy never caught up, and in fact, according to Cody, I actually increased the gap them on that 1.5 mile stretch. My split for the 5.14 was 30:07, 1:13 slower than the schedule, but adding about 1:40 adjustment for the heat from the Tinman chart,I was actually quite a bit ahead. My stomach felt sick from running hard in the heat, and I raced to the porter potty as soon as I finished, but otherwise I was fine.

On the second leg Jared Rohatinsky (BYU, the brother of Josh, I guess that makes Josh the brother of Jared, some humor for those familiar with the Book of Mormon) passed Dustin, then Dustin passed Joe Bendoski (Runner's Corner, out of shape due to a long break from injuries), then Jared took a wrong turn on a perfectly straight stretch of road, and Dustin being a bit delirious from the heat and the effort just followed him. I've done something like this myself, when you start to hurt the straight road just bugs you, you are looking for any excuse to turn. I did that in TOU 2002. So Dustin ended up running extra 0.9 in the heat which cost us about 6 minutes on this leg, plus some more on his other legs from the extra fatigue. Corbin (Weber) ran great on this leg, and put on a good gap on everybody. Joe Bendoski did not take a wrong turn, so that put him ahead.

Chris Rogers passed the Runner's Corner girl, and the BYU runner who was not feeling well and put on a good 3 minute lead on BYU. We were able to hold BYU off up until leg 8. After that they passed us and were gone.

I discovered that my shorts got ripped up pretty bad, even to the point where I would consider them beyond usability, which has to be very far. I borrowed a spare pair from Dustin. He really saved my rear end, literally!

I got the baton at 11:13 PM at the Snow Basin ski resort near Huntsville. Paul remarked later that when you are starting your night leg your thoughts might be: Why am I running at this late hour, and not in bed with my wife? Those were exactly my thoughts.

I was supposed to average 5:02 pace on this leg. However, this was too aggressive of a prediction. 5:02 on a smooth 4% grade would have been just right. But this leg was full of little break-ups that went uphill for a quarter, and portions that were only 1% followed by steeper parts to make up. You do not go much faster on 7% than you do on 4%. However, you do go much slower on 1% than you do on 4%, and very much slower at 6000+ elevation up a grade even if it is very small. To make things worse, the bread I brought to snack on in between legs had a very hard crust, and I was feeling it. Combined with the dark this made it difficult for me to concentrate and push hard. I ended up doing only 5:24 average on this leg (41:40 for 7.7). I did not feel like I was working very hard, but just could not put it all together and really go. Mike Vick ran this leg a good 4 minutes faster. He should have been no more than 2:30 faster based on the first leg and recent race history. I was only 2 minutes faster than Nate Pollard on it, and this also indicates that I should have run this leg about 1:00-1:30 faster. I noticed I was getting a lot stronger towards the end. I wondered why, then look at the elevation profile - the early miles were at 6500 feet while the later ones were near 5000.

End of Day 1.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From James on Mon, Jun 25, 2007 at 11:52:56

Good running as usual. Having you on our team is always a pleasure. I didn't hardly get to talk to you, especially like I have in the last couple of relays that we have done. Sorry for running you over in the shute a couple of times, we'll have to work on those exchanges!

From wheakory on Mon, Jun 25, 2007 at 12:13:28

Nice running. You did an impressive effort in the 95 degree heat. That's hard to handle especially in racing events. Way to push through it.

From Paul Petersen on Mon, Jun 25, 2007 at 12:25:52

Nice job in the heat Sasha. I think it will be pretty easy to add a few things to the spreadsheet predictor, including temperature, road surface (gravel, paved), and altitude, or at least altitude difference between training/living and the relay leg.

From Jon on Mon, Jun 25, 2007 at 12:50:16

Nice work. Sometimes trailing a bit behind can be good, I guess. Just wondering- where did they all make the wrong turn?

From Paul Petersen on Mon, Jun 25, 2007 at 12:52:54

Jon, they all went straight toward the Providence movie theater rather than turning left toward Millville.

From Jon on Mon, Jun 25, 2007 at 14:08:07

That is the turn I was guessing they missed- any other turn would have been correctible because you would just parallel the course.

Race: Ragnar Wasatch Back Relay (177 Miles) 18:29:29, Place overall: 3
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day 2 of Wasatch Back. Got the baton on leg 25, from Jordanelle Reservoir to Oakley. I expected the leg to be a challenge, I just did not realize how much. Got the baton from James and went for it mumbling BINGO under my breath to get the legs going. First mile was OK, was going at a good sub-6:00 pace. The lack of sleep must have altered my perception. I could have sworn the first mile was downhill, but the elevation profile shows it was a slight up. I could not understand why I was so hard to run so slow. But I was passing people at a good rate. Then I saw a runner that was coming to me at a rate that was slower than average. When I got closer, I realized it was Ron Greenwood. I was a bit surprised, he should not have been coming to me that fast. Then I realized that there was perhaps something about this leg I did not know. I was supposed to run it at 5:56 pace. I was running at 5:56 pace, but there was a big hill coming up, and even without it, I was working pretty hard already. Later I realized that the WBR calculator is way off when there is an uphill of any kind at over 6000 feet. You can run downhill almost the same at a higher altitude, but uphill slows you down a lot more, especially if you do not live at that altitude.

The grade gradually increased, but I did not notice it at first, except the pace started getting slower. I was second guessing myself. What is happening? Why are my legs not moving? Did I overtrain? Am I hitting the wall? I am not feeling like I am out of gas, and I should not be out of gas. What is going on? And why is Ron not passing me back? The pace gradually digressed to 6:20, then 6:40, then 7:00 and then 7:20. At 7:20 the climb now became very obvious, but still did not look bad enough to be running that slow. What I did not take into account is the elevation gain and being at a higher altitude. We started at a tiny bit over 6000 feet and gradually made our way to 6500. Finally by mile 5 the climb was over, and I was going again - hit a downhill quarter in 1:25, followed by another in 1:20, and I felt a lot better.

Finished the 5.57 in 35:28, 2:14 off schedule. After looking at how other runners did on it, it was actually not that bad. Ron was about 2 minutes slower, while Nate Pollard was 3 minutes slower.

Handed off to Dustin, and we continued chugging a lot trying to not get beat too bad by BYU and Weber. Did some more running pacing Cody at the end of his leg, and then ran Steve Olsen's leg (30)
with Paul for his cool down. 

We ended up third after BYU and Weber. We managed a 6:16 average, which I consider to be very good on this course. Last year's version was faster - you started at the Blacksmith Fork Canyon instead of downtown Logan, and  you ran a much nicer version of the Trapper's Loop. That, and the course being 7 miles longer. Even then, with that pace we would have beaten Weber last year. But they learned their lessons and brought a better team. So did BYU. If only BYU learned how to follow the course and plan for their runners arriving on time, they would have done a lot better, though. I think they lost a good total of 30 minutes to logistics. On the bright side of things, Nate Pollard observed a BYU hand-off when one runner finished his leg and the other was not ready for him. The one who finished yelled: Where are you? Nate commented that he was waiting for him to swear, but he did not. I do not know who that runner was, but I am very glad he practiced what he believed at in this frustrating situation. You have not slept much, you've been running hard, you are trying to catch a competitor, you've given it all you've got to do your part, and now your effort is being just wasted. You stand there and just watch it go. If swearing is a part of your vocabulary at all, this would be the time for it to come out. If it does not, this says a lot about your character. Weber may have gotten to the finish line first, but on that particular exchange BYU won in a special way.

Ran a little bit more with Jenny riding a bike in the evening. Felt OK afterward, just tired from the lack of sleep. Legs feel fine.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Lybi on Mon, Jun 25, 2007 at 17:20:04

Great job, Sasha. Tough legs! (The relay too, ha ha.)

I loved how you described the BYU hand off. Any moron can criticize, but I think it takes a lot of character to recognize greatness in a situation like that.

I see that with piano all the time. Someone who can't play a bit will listen to a student, and note with pride the one flubbed if noticing it means he or she would've done better. But someone who has studied, and plays well will notice the immaculate rhythm, or the perfect pedaling. You must have been studying and practicing self mastery for quite some time, I think.

That doesn't mean I forgive you for compulsively bashing my food plan every chance you get! JK

From Dustin on Mon, Jun 25, 2007 at 17:30:01

Sasha, thanks for the great race and letting us ride in VanGoGo (I hope the door is an easy fix!) Also thanks for the encouragement and information you passed along during the race. I liked your assessment of BYU and swearing. I to was a little upset at the end of my first leg and had to control myself. I hope I didn't offended anyone, by saying shootfire! That is just a word I picked up from my father inlaw, we say it anytime we're in a jam. I picked up "Dad Burn" from my high school track coach another favorite word of mine.

From Lybi on Mon, Jun 25, 2007 at 17:33:00

Dustin: you are funny. Great job on your race.

From Paul T on Mon, Jun 25, 2007 at 18:37:41

I found your blog entries for the relay very interesting. I ran the same legs as you, and had very similar (although somewhat slower) experiences. You can read my blog for details, but I was the first runner to Exchange 1 from the 2:00 pm start only because the three runners ahead of me missed the left turn around mile 3. Your insights into the affects of grade and altitude also helped me understand my experiences on Legs 13 and 25. Congratulations on a great individual and team performance.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run in the morning. No training partners. Did the usual 10.04. Threw in a control 2.5 tempo run on the way back to evaluate the recovery from Wasatch Back Relay. Felt OK, although the legs were a bit stale. First mile in 5:43, then 0.5 in 2:49, and the last mile in 5:29. HR got up to 163 on the last mile. Total time 14:01 - barely missed the 14:00 guy. It was a bit warm - 68 degrees. Last week it was 57 when I ran 13:58 for the same run. Using Tinman adjustment, the same effort today would have been 5 seconds per mile slower than last week. Total time for 10.04 - 1:07:55.

Ran to with the kids to the fire station, we had a nice tour. Then I ran back, while Sarah and the kids played and then walked back. Added a bit more to make the total of 15 for the day.

Got an inversion table for my Father's Day present. Have been trying it out. No miracles after two days, but I like the feeling I get when I run so far. I wonder if it is just my imagination or a real change. When  I run 100 meters in under 13.5 or Draper Days 5K in under 15:15, or hit the Trials Qualifier in St. George I'll call it effective.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From D'Net Layton on Tue, Jun 26, 2007 at 00:44:03

Hi, Sasha!

I am a piano teacher friend of Lybi, and she told me about your 1 piano lesson and your AMAZING ability to play Let the Holy Spirit Guide. You ROCK! It usually takes people years to get to the point where they can play hymns, and to do it after a month and a half, with 1 lesson! Keep it up, and you will have the whole hymnbook learned in no time. Woo-woo!

From Mik'L on Tue, Jun 26, 2007 at 11:41:20

Hey Sasha. It was good to meet you in person! You should update your picture since you really don't look anything like that picture anymore! Good job at WBR. Clyde was sad he didn't get to ride with you and hear all your funny stories.

From Logan on Tue, Jun 26, 2007 at 13:30:26

My first leg's time was 29:45 and my second was 40:17. I was happy with my times. I agree with the heat being a killer though. Great job on the legs that you ran. Keep up the great work. The team did great.

From Mike B on Wed, Jun 27, 2007 at 09:26:57

Hey Sasha, yes the training is going okay. As I stated in my blog last week - my in-laws came into town and we were extremely busy getting our baby nursery ready, moving furniture, etc. We went out to eat MANY times and the bad food made me feel sluggish. It's amazing how your diet can really affect how you feel. Bottom line: last week was a cutback week. I will update blog soon. I am on-call at my work this week, so busy...busy...busy!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran the Provo River 5 Mile Tempo with Jeff McLellan this morning. The plan was to go out at 5:45 pace and keep picking up if feeling good. Felt no problems at first - 2:52 half, then 2:49 (5:41), 2:49, 2:48 (5:37,11:18),2:49 (14:07 at the turnaround), then started gradually picking it up after recovering from a 180, recovery quarter in 1:25, then 1:23, the next one in 1:24 and it felt a bit hard. The next one was still 1:24, and it felt harder. And then comes the familiar symptom of neural fatigue, good old friend, or rather bad old foe  - next quarter in 1:29. I could not believe it, I thought I did my math wrong. Thought it was a fluke, tried to push harder, next quarter in 1:27. Jeff took off with a mile to go. I ran the uphill quarter in 1:27 putting in mentally about a good 1:22 effort although not breathing very hard, and then 1:28, and 1:27. Recovered a bit by the last one, was able to pick it up a bit, and it did not feel so bad - 1:24, total time 28:25, last mile in 5:46. Jeff ran the last mile in 5:33 finishing in 28:12.

I expected a measure of neural fatigue from WBR, but not that much. It is a weird feeling - legs are not sore, breathing is fine, HR is normal for the pace, overall you are feeling fine, except you just cannot go any faster. The only way you know that something is wrong is from your splits, your heart rate being too low for the mental effort, and seeing your training partner move away as if you were standing still.

In the past, I treated neural fatigue by cutting mileage. This time I'll try something different - just train normally, and try to find a way to control it without cutting the mileage. Today I tried Powerade, honey on bread and whole wheat animal crackers, and a nap.

Ran to Computune to pick up Zhu in the morning (1.7), then a bit later ran with Julia (0.5), and also ran with the kids in the evening and added some more (5.8). Felt good in the evening.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Steve Olsen on Wed, Jun 27, 2007 at 01:47:06

Thanks for all the help this last weekend. I had a great time and learned a lot. It was a pleasure to run with such a talented team. Thank you again for the opportunity.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Had a good morning run alone at 5:00 AM. Had a rough time getting started as usual, but after two miles was going around 7:10 pace with a natural effort. Got to the turnaround (5.02) in 37:32. On the way back gradually eased into a steady 6:50 pace. HR was good - stayed around 126 at 6:50 during the later part of the run. Felt a rush of energy with 0.6 to go, shifted gears, went 5:40 pace to the end. Got 1:10:59 for 10.04. The legs felt responsive. Unlike last week, there were no low fuel signals.

I am testing the theory that what I call neural fatigue (the state of not being able to go faster than about marathon race pace even for a mile) can be cured by maintaining normal blood sugar level throughout the day. So I've been taking Powerade and/or honey every time I felt like my brain stopped working during the day. So far I've seen good signs on easy runs and the mind has been more alert. However, the true test will come tomorrow - I'll try the same 5 mile tempo and see how responsive the legs will be over the distance.

Dropped VanGoGo off at the body shop and ran 1.5 miles home in 95 degree heat, but felt OK. Ran with the kids in the evening and added some more.

On another subject - I am looking for a PT or chiropractor that would meet the following requirements:

  • Has practice in the Utah County
  • Has his head straight on his shoulders
  • Individual approach - will not rush you through his standard routine 
  • Can think out of the box
  • Likes challenges
  • Familiar with sports medicine and running in particular
  • Does not think that if nothing hurts and there are no injuries the work is done.
  • Does not easily give up - will not be satisfied until success is reached
Any recommendations?

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From bc on Thu, Jun 28, 2007 at 00:30:59

Sasha, I'm not sure if he is still practicing publicly, but a few years ago I was recommended to a guy in UT county and he was worth the drive. I think as I was being treated by him he took a job at BYU as a PT for the Dance department. He was very good and worth the drive. He was very busy as most Bishops are a good guy to talk to. He has worked with a lot of runners. Henley was a regular. Anyway I think his name was Ron Nuttal, not sure of the spelling but see if you can find him I think it would be worth the research. Let me know what you find. He did adjustments also but was a lot of massage and movement type work.

From wheakory on Thu, Jun 28, 2007 at 00:51:42

Sasha, in your runs you seem to do a mini tempo in every run. If I'm wrong please correct me. Have you see a lot of benefits come out of this? Because I've noticed in my runs even recovery runs I always end up running a faster pace, and I believe it's helpsx me. I know that every run we do shouldn't be at the same intensity, but is a little intensity in each run good?

From Randy on Thu, Jun 28, 2007 at 01:25:46

Sasha, The guy I use to go to is Steve Zike. He is in SLC, like 500 E 300 S, or something, but worth the drive.

From James on Thu, Jun 28, 2007 at 13:19:10


I used to go to Dr. Ken Hansen in Orem, I thought that he was very good. He is on 800 South just west across State Street from Runners Corner.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jun 28, 2007 at 20:59:25

Everybody thanks for the suggestions. Here is the challenge I am working with. Most sports doctors work in the paradigm of curing or preventing an injury. What I discovered is that the moment I tell them I never get injured, and that my legs are never sore, they are rather puzzled and do not know what to do. What is your problem? Your marathon PR is 2:24 and not 2:10? I cannot even break 3:00! That is not a problem, you just need to learn to be happy where you are, that's all.

I need to find somebody who is good for more than working with injuries. This is a very unusual problem. Not in the sense that people do not have it, but in the sense they would not think of treating it, so there is not a lot data on how to do it.It requires a lot of research, fresh thinking, creativity, and commitment to success. I need somebody who will jump at the chance to make a 2:24 marathoner into a 2:10 marathoner, a runner who is trying to qualify for the Trials into a runner who makes the team, I need somebody who understands enough of the significance of that and will have his eyes open to the opportunity enough to give it 100%.

Kory - the reason I like tempo pickups in the middle of easy runs is that it helps me keep them easy - the competitive drive goes into the pickup instead of the whole run.

From Randy on Thu, Jun 28, 2007 at 22:23:13

Sasha, I still say that Steve Zike is the guy to go to. I have been to many massage therapists and Steve is by far the best. This guy knows neuro-muscular therapy. He is a serious back-country snow boarder and use to be a competitive cyclist (at some level). I was never injured while I was working with him and always felt my times improve. I think he would be excited at the prospect of working to help you toward 2:10!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran the Provo River 5 Mile Tempo again this morning with Nick. It went much better than on Tuesday. Felt a bit stale, but no major neural fatigue disaster.

Splits by 0.5 - 2:52 - 2:48 (5:40) - 2:48 - 2:50 (11:18, 5:38) - 2:47 (14:05 at the turnaround) - 2:47 (16:52, 5:34) - 2:46 - 2:45 (22:23, 5:31) - then by quarter 1:25 (uphill), 1:24, 1:23, 1:19, last mile in 5:30, total time 27:53, last 2.5 in 13:48. HR hit 161 on the last mile before the kick, did not feel lucid enough to check during, and too lazy to get it out of Garmin history.

Then did 4x200 with 200 recovery on a section that was about 1 second slower that the track - partially uphill - 32.8 - 33.5 - 33.2 - 30.7. I was happy about the last one, even though I died on the last 50 meters.

Ran to the body shop - forgot to give them the VanGoGo key  shortly after the morning run - this added another 3 miles. Ran with Julia little later - 0.5 miles.

In the evening ran with Benjamin and Jenny and added some more to make it 4 miles. Felt good, no high mileage fuzzy head.  Consumed a lot of honey and Powerade today. Seems like my body is just sucking the glucose in like a breath of fresh air. Looks like my constant blood sugar replenishment experiment is working.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Maria on Fri, Jun 29, 2007 at 10:13:42


just wanted to pass this on to you. You might want to consider linking to the site, or advertise it somehow on fastrunningblog, maybe people would like to help. It is a terrible story, and still very typical for CIS countries, especially his treatment by the track federation. The guy is only 24! Unfortunately, the content is only in Russian. I've seen English translation on one of the sites, but can't find it now, and it was pretty bad (but understandable nevertheless). If you decide to link to it, I'm sure we can translate it, it's not long.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Jul 03, 2007 at 23:39:10

Maria - do you know how people in the US can send him money for the operation with the info they are providing on the site? I've sent them an e-mail asking if they have a PayPal account, but have not yet heard back from them.

From Maria on Wed, Jul 04, 2007 at 04:17:16

Sasha, I'm sure they don't have PayPal account, and I don't know if it makes sense for them to open it, since mechanism of transferring money from PayPal into Ukranian currency is not clear.

What they do have, is the Russian version of PayPal - WebMoney ( There, it is possible to open accounts in different currencies (dollars, euros and rubles). They call them Z-purse, E-purse and R-purse. I looked through their info, including legal, and it appears to be a legitimate business (but then again, in Russia, you never know!). They do charge commission on each transaction, I think. So, it should be possible for US residents or for anyone, really, to open an account and fund it with some money, and then make a payment to Gladkov's account. His WebMoney accounts (in all currencies) are listed on his website. I just never heard of this service before, so I'm a bit weary of using it (plus the commission fee), but maybe I can try it with a small amount and see what happens. Most of my expendable money is in sterling now, but I still have regular checking account in US, so I should be able to use it. I can also ask Victor Zhdanov, who is also trying to help - he is based in Florida now, maybe he knows some other ways. I've been in contact with him for other things (he is the founder of site, and interestingly, the husband of elite master runner Firaya Sultanova, who is running Peachtree 10K today).

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy 10 miles in the morning with Brett and Jeff. Brett ran the first 5 with us. We moved along at 8:00 pace with no ambitions to go faster. 8:00 felt fast enough for me. Then with 2 miles to go I noticed we were going 7:12. I was curious about the cause of not wanting to run faster than 8:00, so I proposed running the last mile in 5:45 to see how it would feel. Jeff agreed. We were still too chatty on the first quarter and ran it in 1:30. Then we stopped talking and focused. This resulted in a sequence of 1:25 - 1:24 - 1:25 quarters, and 5:44 for the mile.

Later in the morning ran 1.5 to the body shop to pick up VanGoGo. First 0.5 with Julia pushing an empty stroller, then the rest with Julia in the stroller.

Ran with Benjamin and Jenny in the evening and then added a mile to make it 4 for the run. Looks like I am on schedule for a 100+ week. This was not intentional. I felt really good after my new carbo-reloading routine, and my instinct told me I could get away with a few extra miles. Now that Benjamin and Jenny can keep up with me riding a bike, when I need extra miles I can put Jacob and Joseph in the stroller, and have Benjamin and Jenny ride along - that leaves Sarah only with Julia.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From James in Sunny AZ on Sat, Jun 30, 2007 at 11:08:38

Although my mileage is less than 1/2 yours right now, I can actually see how the miles can pick up rather quickly. Congrats on the discovery with keeping your blood sugar at a constant level - sounds like this may help you with your neural fatigue.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Before I forget - Kris Erickson wanted me to tell everybody that there is no day of race registration for Draper Days 5 K. So everybody who would like to run, register in advance. You can register at SportsNuts  or download the registration form. I recommend everyone to run this race. It is a fast course, but not so fast that your PR crosses the boundaries of what I consider legitimate. I estimate it to be about 10 seconds faster than a perfectly flat 5 K in Salt Lake City. You get very good competition, and I have run this race enough times to where I can tell you what is going on with your training and fitness by studying your Draper Days splits.

Jeff and I drove to Vivian Park from my house. We left his car there. Warmed up 3.26 to the start of the Provo River 10 miler at 7:56 pace average up 3% grade. I originally wanted to run a 10 mile tempo, and the rest easy, then on the way up I changed my mind to make it 12, then 13.1, then decided to make it 15. My body was telling me I was fit enough to benefit from a 15 mile tempo at marathon race pace. Another reason for making it 15 is that it would avoid running at threshold for a good portion of the tempo thinking it was marathon pace. The longer tempo would have a humbling effect with a better inclination to face reality. It would also be a better test of marathon fitness - in most of my marathons I have been able to predict my finish time with a minute accuracy from my splits up to 15 and analyzing how I felt.

The tempo had a total drop of 1160 feet starting at 5675 ft, then dropping to 5200 ft in the first 3.23 miles (3%), then a more gradual drop to 4800 in the next 6 miles (1%), then a drop to 4700 in the next 2.5 (about 0.5%), after that a rolling drop to 4535 at the finish (less than 0.5%).

We were a bit sluggish getting started, but then eventually worked into a nice 5:30 rhythm. Hit the 3.23 mark (wheel-measured) in 17:38, then the 5 mile mark on the course, which agreed with the GPS in 27:31. Dropped Jeff off at 6 miles, he ran back to the car. Hit the standard 3 mile tempo stretch from Nunns to the mouth of the canyon in 16:42. 55:45 at around what I thought was the finish of the Provo River 10 miler. The GPS showed 10.10. I was checking it against the trusted marks and it was accurate everywhere expect about a mile stretch on mile 2 of the standard 3 mile tempo. I think the Provo River 10 miler is really 10.05 - when it was certified, there was no bridge detour. Then Curt put in the detour but did not adjust the start or the finish for it. The detour is about 0.05 long. My 10th mile was around 5:40 - it flattened out by then, and the sun started to come out. I did not worry about the pace, and focused on maintaining the same effort with the realization that now it was going to be slower.

11th mile was 5:48 (by the dots). Then I needed to go to the bathroom. So I made a stop at Wills (11.2 into the tempo). Although I was feeling good, I wanted to stay as far away from running on empty as possible. So I bought a quart of Powerade. Ideally I would have gotten a smaller container, but that was the smallest they had. I drank about half of it. Not wanting to waste the substance, I decided to run with the bottle and empty it as I went along. It turned out to be quite a nuisance. I actually ended up not using it until I was done with the tempo. Had a rough start after getting out of Wills, 1:34 quarter, then figured out a good way to carry the bottle and got into a nice rhythm - 5:40-5:45 pace on a slight down, 5:50-5:55 on the up. The trail got back to the river, and now I was going under bridges and making a lot of turns - this slowed me down to a couple of 1:30-1:32 quarters, but then I shifted gears and started handling the disruptions of rhythm better - 1:28-1:29 quarters. Hit the half marathon around 1:13:50 - going by the GPS and adding 0.05 for the error in the Provo Canyon.

Felt strong all the way to 15, finished it in 1:25:00, exactly 5:40 pace average on the dot. It was very tempting to try to run another 11 just as hard to see what I could get for the marathon. However, I was running out of time, and also there a bit of wisdom that I learned from years of running - Just because you can, does not mean you should!

Stopped, and finished the Powerade. Now I was glad I had it with me. Had a nice recovery jog to get to the total of 20 eventually easing into a 7:00 pace, which felt very nice. Total time for 20 miles was 2:02:50.

Afterwards, ate breakfast and went the children's parade. Ran 0.6 with James (Ted's son) there to fetch the van after the parade was over.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Randy on Sat, Jun 30, 2007 at 16:48:50

Sasha, Nice workout! So what are you training for this fall? I assume St. George. The next shot at the trials is 4 years away!

From James on Sat, Jun 30, 2007 at 17:13:32

Holy miles this week Batman! Are you doing the Sandy 10K with Paul on the 4th?

From Logan on Sat, Jun 30, 2007 at 19:35:19

I would love to do some of those races on the 4th or the 21st but I am already signed up to do the Blacksmith Fork 15K in Hyrum on the 4th and the Bryce Canyon Half on the 21st. I am spending the 4th with the in-laws and over the 24th with my family down in St. George. I am surprised to see you think I could do 2:27 in St. George. I feel if I keep moving up the mileage and continue with speed work it might be possible. I also would benefit running with someone. Thanks for the encouragement. I appreciate it. Great week with the mileage.

From wildbull on Sat, Jun 30, 2007 at 20:46:11

103 miles. WOW! Sasha your an amazing runner! Thanks for all your comments.

From Nick on Mon, Jul 02, 2007 at 17:59:02

Hey Sasha,

Alright, I think I have a general plan to go by for a Utah visit. I am planning on running the Draper Days 5k on the 21st of July. I was planning on flying out (I get free standby airline tickets) on the 19th, and staying in Utah until the 24th or 25th. I am still unsure of exact times, but this seems to be where my general plan is headed. Does this work for you? Just tell me what would work out best. Chad invited me to stay with him the night before Draper Days b/c he is close to the start. Maybe I could stay there (if its ok with him of course) and make a switch directly after the race. I don't have any solid itenerary, so what works for you will probably work for me!

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Jul 02, 2007 at 18:21:38


The plan is to run DesNews, but approach it more as a training run with a strong finish. After than another training run of sorts at the Top of Utah, and then give it all I've got in St. George and try to hit a qualifier.


I am running Sandy Classic.


The only thing that would keep you from running 2:27 or faster in St. George is the lack of glycogen in the muscles. Aerobically you are there, you just need to work on your fuel storage, which you are doing already in your training.


Anything works for me. Draper Days is actually about half way between Chad's place and ours. However, Chad is closer to the airport. If you stay until the 24th, you'll get to see the Utah Pioneer's Parade along with the 10K and the marathon. If you feel inclined, you can find me at mile 20 and run with me. Talk with Chad, then let us know what you would like to do.

From Michelle on Tue, Jul 03, 2007 at 00:29:02

Well the 5K on Sat. was a little bit of a challenge, but I had fun regardless of the time, so I glad about that! Fun to watch Clyde run, and good to have Mik'L to run with, a running partner was fun if only for the day! I'm planning to run another 5K on Wed. too.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran alone this morning. Standard 10.04 course. Eventually eased into sub-7:00 pace. HR stabilized at 125. Hit the first half in 35:35. On the way back ran the standard 2.5 mile tempo. First 1.25 at 5:40 pace, all quarters 1:25 exact. That for some reason felt brisk in a way, I would not have called it relaxing, but at the same time I felt no urges to run slower. HR fairly quickly, quicker than normal made it to 155. Then I shifted gears into threshold gear. First quarter in 1:21. Thought the uphill one would be 1:23, or 1:22 at the very best, but I ended up with 1:21 again, and felt strong. Another one, which still rolls unpleasantly was 1:21. Earlier I thought maybe I was just being too feisty but now I started to gain confidence in the new level of fitness. Next quarter in 1:20, and kicked it a bit on the last one - 1:16, 13:44 for 2.5 and 5:18 on the last mile. Even caught the 5:30 guy at the very end and beat him by 1 second.

This in and of itself is not a super great accomplishment except that I have been doing this run weekly putting in essentially the exact same effort, and getting the exact same results over the last month or so. I did not feel like I mentally put in any more effort than I did before. What is interesting is that my HR shot up from 155 to 164 within about 0.3 from the time I started running threshold effort, and then eventually maxed out at 169. This HR response was accomplished without extreme mental effort. I also felt that I had the ability to make my legs sore. This may sound like a joke to others but it is a big deal for me. I often find myself in a prize money race in a situation where a little bit more in effort results in quite a bit more in money. I try every imaginable method to push myself to the limit, but the body gives no response. After the finish, the legs feel fresh, and I do not feel tired at all.

The feeling in the tempo was somewhat comparable to running in Arizona in the Del Sol Relay on the first leg. I was running 10 seconds per mile faster than I would have on the same terrain in Utah with the same perceived effort, and I was able to push my HR higher. At this point I feel inclined to attribute the change to a better functioning of the nervous system in response to my efforts to keep blood sugar at a decent level throughout the day.

Finished 10.04 in 1:07:22. Ran a mile later in the morning, half with Julia running and Jacob in the stroller, the other half with her in the stroller as well. Ran another 4 in the afternoon, 1.5 with Jenny, 1.5 with Benjamin, and 1 back and forth watching them play in a park.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From James on Tue, Jul 03, 2007 at 18:01:39


Do you have Curt Catmull's email or a way to get in contact with him? He told me that he would give me a comp for Provo River half, and I wanted to hold him to it.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Jul 03, 2007 at 18:16:08

James - his number is 372-7867. Go ahead and register at RaceUtah.Com for now so you'll be in the database.

From wheakory on Tue, Jul 03, 2007 at 19:26:21

Sasha, do you always incorporate a mini tempo in each run you do. If so have you noticed benefits? Usually on my easy days I try to run a few at tempo or MP, and I think its really helped my.

As usually very nice running day.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran with Jeff McLellan this morning. We warmed up 2.34 very leisurely, then did 4x400 with full rest (very slow 400 meter jog) on the trail on the standard quarter workout stretch going towards the lake (faster direction, but still about 1 second slower than the track). First in 69.1, I was surprised, did not think we'd hit sub-70 on the first one. Then another surprise - 66.2. One more surprise - 63.2. That one felt fast, but at the same time had somebody told me to finish the 800 when I had 30 meters to go, I could have been coaxed into it. Enough surprises. I've got a race tomorrow. I told Jeff I wanted to relax on the last one, although it was tempting to blast it out to try to bring the average under 65. We did it in 69.4.

Then we ran 5.93 for a cooldown. Started out at slower than 8:00 for the first mile. Then gradually picked it up as the lactic acid from the workout began to disappear and worked our way to 6:40 pace at the end.

Ran 1 mile with Benjamin and Jenny in the evening pushing Joseph and Jacob in the stroller in 9:03. Then ran 4 more miles with Jacob and Joseph in the stroller in 30:16. Started out at slower than 8:00 then eventually worked my way to 7:00 pace at the end.

Sandy Classic 10 K tomorrow. The goal is to be in pain for the majority of the race. If I can do that, the time and the place will come. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From bc on Tue, Jul 03, 2007 at 23:55:03

Sasha does that mean the big bad bear will be on your back the whole race. I thought I might try to carry him part of the way. I don't know if I'm brave enough to take him on for the whole race. I would like to start fast and see if I can hold off a few masters though. With a loop course that has a few good hills both up and down it could be a set up to blow up if I try to be in pain from the start.

Race: Sandy Classic 10 K (6.21 Miles) 00:35:15, Place overall: 5
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Sandy Classic 10 K, 35:15, 5th place.

Drove up with Benjamin. He ran the 5 K in 23:20 according to his timing.

At the start we had Paul Petersen, Hobbie Call, Nick McCombs, and Vance Twitchell . Hobbie took off fast enough for Nick, Paul, and Vance to not want to follow, and they in turn took off fast enough for me not to want to follow. So I ran the whole race in no man's land.

My goal for the race was to be in pain. I miserably failed to reach it. No matter how hard I tried, I could not sustain a pace that hurt. Could not get my HR above 161. It felt like a slow half marathon. On the positive was able to pick it up on the last quarter a bit - hit 5:03 pace according to the GPS. I also felt strong during the race and hit fairly even splits.

My Garmin 305 showed the race to be 6.28. I noticed that both times going around the South Town Mall  my quarter splits started getting very slow even on the downhill sections even though I felt I was maintaining good turnover and the heart rate did not drop. Then the splits went back to more believable values on the straight stretches.

The official times have not yet been released, but Hobbie was around 31:30, Nick around 32:15-32:30, Paul timed himself at 33:03, and Vance was around 34:00. 

It puzzled me for a while why the times were so slow on this course last year. The course is hilly, but not as bad as Salt Lake Classic. I even suspected that Bill had made a mistake in the measurement of the course after I did a rough map of the course on the Course Tool. However, after redoing the map with nearly perfect tangents, I figured out what was happening. This course is laid out in such a way that running the tangents perfectly is nearly impossible (having slow 5 K runners only 10 minutes in front does not help either), and the loss from improperly running tangents is very high.

After the race, Benjamin and I rushed home as we were participating in the parade in Provo. After the parade ran 1.1 to get the car. In the evening ran 0.5 with Julia, 1.38 with Jenny, and then 6.3 with Jacob in the stroller averaging 7:00 pace.

 Made some improvements in the Course Tool. For one, fixed the missing elevations in the courses. That shrank some courses,  particularly  Summer Games 10k because now you are not taking a vertical dive to sea level right in the middle of Cedar City.

Need some empirical data. I am fairly certain that grade adjustment is a function of the elevation you are at. Right now the Course Tool uses the data I collected in Provo, so it is for 4500-5000 feet of elevation. What I need is to have as many people as possible that could measure out a course on a grade at various elevations, and run it back and forth at a hard, but reliably repeatable effort several times back and forth on the same day (eg. 10x400 alternating up and down).

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From wheakory on Thu, Jul 05, 2007 at 00:58:48

Nice race Sasha. Sorry that you couldn't push yourself to that pain level to where you know your pushing it real hard. Maybe you were and your fitness is better than you think?

From jtshad on Thu, Jul 05, 2007 at 11:05:32

Impressive time nonetheless. Sometimes things just don't click...this was one of those days for you, I guess. Keep up the strong running.

From michael on Thu, Jul 05, 2007 at 11:05:47

Good race - wish I could run without pain

What do you think of having 2 USATF circuit races the same day - what is the logic of that?

What do you mean by running tangents?

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jul 05, 2007 at 13:33:39

Michael - Bill Cobler could probably explain the details better. My understanding is that if a race is willing to fulfill the requirements to be on the circuit - get the course certified, offer prize money, and pay USATF a fee based on the number of participants, USATF is quite willing to put on on the circuit. So if two races apply, they get on.

From bc on Thu, Jul 05, 2007 at 15:08:34


We try to avoid having races on the same day. We want head to head competition. However, as with Des News and SLC marathon they offer other distances as part of their race and want to be in the circuit. We want to bring good quality races that are well run and accurate to the circuit. It also is an LDR circuit of many distances. So we try to get a broad spectrum of distances, not just 5K or Marathons. And in some cases dates move from year to year. Three years ago Sandy 10K was on a different date and they wanted to be in the circuit they were added based on their past record. Some race directors know that being in the circuit makes them a legitimate race in the eyes of elites and brings usually 150 or more runners to their race. We turn down races every year because they are not organized well and we don't want that. One thing many don't know is there is a big difference with a race that is certified vs. a race that is sanctioned. A USATF santctioned race means it only has purchased insurance through USATF. If it is not USATF certified it is not guarnteed to be at least the advertised length. All boston qualifiers are USATF certified. We had a problem last year with Park City Marathon an athlete saw that it was sanctioned and ran it to qualify for Boston. He was not happy when he found out that the course was not certified. We are open to all ideas and comments about the circuit so I will add yours to our next meeting. This year we added a ton of races to the circuit giving a lot of opportunities to runners through out the year. Only your best 8 races count anyway, if you do more we do offer bonus points and it was our intention to give more opportunities to race and acquire prize money to the top runners.

From "D" Ence on Thu, Jul 05, 2007 at 22:01:46

Good job on the race, looks like there was some really good competition there. I think your course tool is off on the Summer Games 10K, you have it measured at 5.1 miles, it might be a little short, but not 1 mile short. Are you sure you have the right starting point? My Garmin measured it about .10 short. I know Dave Holt, Steve Hooper, and Steve Olsen all had Garmin's also, so it might be interesting to see what they had for distance. But I'm fairly sure the course is longer than 5.1 miles, if I'm understanding your course tool right.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Jul 06, 2007 at 12:46:25


Ruth made the course profile. She may have run into a bug with the USGS service not being available. When that happens, the elevation is being marked as zero, so you are taking a very quick descent to the sea level, which would add about the elevation of Cedar City to the length of the course. Ruth probably saw that and cut the course short. After I've run the script to correct the elevations, the course that Ruth plotted out now actually has the correct length for what you see on the map.

To fix the problem, Ruth or somebody else who knows that area very well should re-plot it.

Michael - regarding your question on tangents. For any given course, there is a number of ways you could run it, and get a different length. If you swing out wide on the turns you will run longer than if you run nearly in the gutter. When a course is certified, it is measured along the shortest possible path a runner could take without being disqualified. During a race, a smart runner will try to follow that path as close as possible. This is called running tangents. The path may look a little strange at times, especially on a windy canyon road with the runners moving from one side of the road to the other all the time. To an outside observer it may appear like they are drunk. However, failure to run the tangents properly can increase the length of the actual distance run by as much as 2%, and possibly even more in some extreme cases.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran alone this morning on the standard 10.04 course. On the way out got 36:47 at a fairly even pace after a very slow warm-up quarter in 2:10. HR did not get above 124 although it started getting warm. On the way back, felt like a short tempo to make things interesting. Decided to run a relaxed marathon pace effort not worrying too much about pace as long as it was faster than 6:00 for 2.25, and then sprint on the last quarter to see what I'd get. Did the first quarter in 1:29, then eased into a slightly over 5:40 pace. Ran the last quarter in 71, which gave me 14:04 for the run, 2:36 for the last 0.5, and 5:29 for the last mile. HR made its way to 154 prior to the kick.

Total time for 10.04 was 1:09:33.

Ran 0.5 with Julia later in the morning. In the evening ran 3.25 to DI and back. On the way out pushing the double stroller with Julia and Joseph, and accompanied by Benjamin and Jenny. On the way back, pushed the double stroller with Joseph and Jenny, and directed Benjamin as he pushed Jacob in the single stroller. Julia and Sarah ran/walked back behind us. This was quite a procession!

Afterwards added another 3.25 at 7:30 pace.

I am getting really odd results from the high mileage. HR at speeds slower than marathon race pace is down - that is to be expected. Threshold is not moved and sometimes I cannot even sustain it for long, pace, breathing, or HR-wise. However, the top speed is slightly better and easier to reach, and my kick at the end of a tempo run has improved. Has anybody observed anything of the kind, or would have an idea of what is going on?

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Breakthrough workout this morning. Finally it is starting to smell like the Trials. I would not say a Trials Qualifier is in the bag, but using a soccer analogy, before I had to pass a couple of very good defenders and then trick the goalee, while now it is just the goalee.

Ran with Nick and Jeff. Standard 5 mile tempo. Was not expecting much starting the day with 64 miles on the odometer for the week already. Last night I felt sluggish. So the plan was to run all of it at 5:40, slower is OK if 5:40 feels too hard. Then a kick with 400 to go. This would measure how hard the tempo really was and give a very reliable indicator of fitness without actually pushing it over the top.

Felt sluggish in the warmup. Then we started the tempo. First quarter did not look promising - 1:27, did not feel particularly easy. Next quarter in 1:25, felt harder than the first, but sustainable. Again nothing special. Then 1:22, and another in 1:22, 5:37 for the mile. Nick and Jeff were setting the pace, and I was just following them. The pace did not feel hard, but I've had so many days like that where 5:30 pace early on felt easy, and then after 2 miles I could not sustain it. So I was not getting too optimistic.

Next 0.5 in 2:43, and it feels OK, still like a marathon pace. This is encouraging. Nick saw were ahead of the pace and eased off a bit. Next 0.5 in 2:47, 5:30 for the mile, 11:07 at 2. That felt way too comfortable. HR still hovering around 150. 2:49 for the next 0.5, 13:56 at the turnaround. Still feels comfortable, but I am crossing my fingers. Jeff started to struggle and fell back. Oddly enough, we traded places from last week when it was I who struggled exactly the same way - the breathing is fine, but you just cannot go any faster.

Nick picked it up a bit. 2:46 for the next 0.5, 16:43 at 3 miles, 5:36 mile. Still feels like marathon pace, maybe a tiny bit too aggressive, HR  made its way to 157. Steady pace for the next mile, 5:33, 22:16 with a mile to go. The uphill quarter in 1:23, that brought HR up to 163, but it did not feel 163-miserable. Next quarter in 1:24, feels more threshold like, but still not quite there, then 1:23.

Finally the last quarter. The moment of truth. Was I just fooling myself telling myself the pace was easy, was this a mental game, or a real gain in fitness? Ran 69 seconds - this removes all doubt. The fastest I've ever been able to do off anywhere close to that pace before has been 76. This gave us 5:19 for the last mile, 27:35 for the 5 miles, which is a course PR for me, and the last 2.5 in 13:39.

Ran 0.1 during the day to find Joseph who escaped from the house on his toy motorcycle. He did not get very far, but this is our family escape distance record for all ages, not just 2 and under. In the evening ran to Reams to get Jacob some diapers, then a mile with the kids, and then 4.04 with a stroller and Jacob in it. Met Scott Hillman and his wife Esther. Scott is going to join us tomorrow.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Long run in the morning. Ran the standard 10.04 course twice. First time around easy with Scott Hillman. We chatted in Russian all the way, very relaxed, got 1:15:37, HR stayed below 120. Then a quick bathroom stop  at the house, drank a quart of Powerade, and then ran the second half hard. Had a rough time getting into a rhythm on the first mile, but then  settled into a nice 5:45-5:50 pace. Hit the 2.5 tempo stretch on the trail in 14:27 on the way out. 29:12 at the turnaround. The tempo stretch on the way back in 14:27. HR hovered in the 150-154 range. 150 felt relaxed, 154 felt like I was working, but still had some gas in the tank.

It warmed up a bit at the end, I felt I had to put in more effort to keep the pace, but I could handle it. Picked it up on the last 0.5. Timed the last quarter - 1:23. Came back in 29:07, total time for 10.04 was 58:19, average of 5:48. Total time for 20.08 was 2:13:56.

Ate breakfast, helped a neighbor move. Made sure not to carry anything too heavy, left this to the guys with bigger muscles. Started feeling better during the move.

Took a nice two-hour nap, felt good afterwards. Ran 2 miles with the kids in the evening, then took Sarah on a date. She rode the bike, and I ran. Started out at 8:00 pace, then gradually eased into 6:30-6:40 pace. HR at first hovered around 127, then as I lost a bit of water it drifted to 130-132 range around mile 5. It is amazing what a man is willing to do to impress a woman, even if he's been married to her for 10 years. Sarah asked me if I was working. I told her, watch, let me show what happens when I am working. So I ran 0.75 in 4:07 with the quarters of 1:24, 1:22, and 1:21. That felt good, like I could hold it for a while, even though I already had about 28 miles on the odometer for the day by that point. I guess the combination of a nap, proper carbo-reloading, and a drive to impress a woman can do wonders. Finished 8 miles in 53:34, out in 27:32, back in 26:02.

Record weekly mileage, somewhat unplanned, but I felt good, so I decided to go for it.


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From Suraj Subramanian on Sun, Jul 08, 2007 at 04:11:35

Absolutely amazing.I've been reading your blogs for some time and am truly inspired by your dedication and passion for running.

From Maria on Sun, Jul 08, 2007 at 05:24:24

That's some serious training, Sasha! You got 2 weeks in a row over 110 miles, and you're running some intense tempos. I'm sure you'll see results of high mileage in races. Another crucial element for you is to keep training with partners as much as possible. It is easier to push yourself when running with others, compared to running alone. You also have others to set the pace, so you can just follow, rather than worrying about everything yourself. If you can keep finding others to train with, you'll make greater gains, and hopefully can have a breakthrough in time for St.George. And this includes running to impress Sarah - hey, whatever works! I'd love to see you run OT time, because you so deserve it!

From James on Sun, Jul 08, 2007 at 12:31:48

That is some mega miles for the week! I like your idea of "increasing" to get you over this plateau you seem to be stuck on, but I don't think you are playing your cards quite right. We both know that when you hit plateaus that you have to increase something, time, distance, speed, intensity, etc., to get you over that wall. I think that you would see better results in your running from increasing your speed and intensity on your hard days, and increasing your easy recovery miles on easy days.

I have noticed since you bumped up the mega miles that your threshold, marathon, tempo, and recovery paces are all the same. You don't take it easy on your easy days! You have been running 5:40 miles in your tempo, and 5:40 miles on your rest days. As a result you have been running 5:40 miles in your races, from 10K to marathon you run the same pace. I think if you ran faster on your speed days, and alot slower(7-8 minute pace, with zero 5:40 miles) on your recovery days you would see some better results. Your base is amazing, but you get stuck in that 5:40 pace rut everyday, and I think that is a major reason why you raced at 5:40 pace at Sandy, and you couldn't get going any faster. You need faster workouts and you need to make your recovery days very easy so that you can rest, recover, and get stronger. The major principle in "overload" is rest. If you overload and your muscles don't have a chance to completely recover, then you will get stuck in a rut, if not decrease in strength. I think that you can make a good run at the trials this year, and you definitly deserve it, but if you run 5:40s every day like you are you won't run much more than 5:40s in St. George 2:25-2:28. I would love to be stuck in that 5:40 marathon rut myself, but you have more potential than that. These are just my observations as of late. I would love to see you break that wall, but I think you need to break through that 5:40 wall to reach your goals.

From bc on Mon, Jul 09, 2007 at 17:46:45

Sasha when I got the results for Sandy I saw you listed as unknown runner but took care of it in the LDR scoring.


Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran alone this morning. Decided to be extra-cautious and skip the 2.5 tempo I normally do Monday mornings. When you start getting into a good shape, you are usually just one wrong step away from an injury. Started out at a slower than 9:00 pace. After about half a mile, eased into 8:00. After 2 miles worked my way up to 7:00. When I got to the cow field stretch, the fly were out in full sway. So I picked it up a bit to get through the mess. By the time I got out of it, I got into a nice sub-6:40 rhythm. I figured as long as my HR stayed below 130 on flat parts, this would be OK. It did, so I maintained it to the end. With a quarter to go decided to pick it up to threshold, ran it in 1:23. Ended up with 1:09:38 for 10.04.

A short while later ran to Computune to pick up VanGoGo. This time it was the fuel pump. Fortunately, it was under warranty. We count our blessings. The run was 2.25, I ran it at 6:40 pace.

In the evening ran with the kids to Kiwani's park dropping them off according to their level of ability on the way as Sarah picked them up. Played tag with them there, then ran back, added a bit to make 6 miles exact.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I think some runners feel they need to match the air temperature highs with their weekly mileage. I've counted 4 runners who cracked 100 mile barrier last week - Clyde, Dave Holt, Bill Cobler, and myself. Back in our old ward a few years ago our Elder's Quorum President was also a state trooper. He told us about the 100 mile club - any time they write a citation for 100+ mph, they put it up on the board and the person joins the club. In that spirit, I am going to start a new club on the blog. Anytime a runner cracks the 100 miles in a week, he will be inaugurated. A word of caution - do not do it just to join the club, but only if your body is ready for it, and you can do it productively. 

Ran with Jeff this morning. 3x2 miles on the Provo River Trail workout with full rest - jog around until the next repetition starts to sound appealing. Warmed up 1.84. The goal was to run 10:50 for each. Did all of them on the standard 2.5 stretch from 0.5 mark to the turnaround alternating directions with the first one going towards the Utah Lake.

Ran the first one in 10:36.1 with the splits (by 0.5) of 2:41 - 2:36.5 - 2:38.5 - 2:40. That one felt a bit hard for me, and very hard for Jeff, although he made his way through it.

Jogged 600 meters. Found Karl Jarvis on the trail. He decided to join us for however long he could make it. On the next one, just to keep things in check, and to keep myself from working too hard as well, I invited Jeff to lead without feeling the pressure to perform, just run whatever pace felt right to him. He started out with a 1:25 quarter. I really enjoyed it, but knew it would not last. Next two quarters in 1:22, then the fourth in 1:19, 5:28 mile. Karl made it to the mile. Now it looks like we can actually hit this one on target in spite of the early relaxation. Jeff started fading a bit and fell back. I continued at a steady  5:20 pace. Finished it in 10:49.6. Jeff ran 10:57.

Jogged 0.75 before the next one. I wanted to make sure I was fresh for the last one. Karl joined us. I set the pace on this one trying not to drop Karl or Jeff for as long as possible without letting up on the pace. Hit the splits of 2:41 - 2:39 - 2:39 - 2:36 (1:18, 1:18) for the total of 10:35.0. Felt good until I started going 1:18 per quarter pace on the last 0.5, but it was not a near death experience like it used to be. I would call it just uncomfortably hard. 1:20 was almost relaxing. Karl made it a bit past 0.5, Jeff fell back early, but then finished strong with the last 0.5 in 2:33 and 10:43 for the whole thing.

Ran back home from the turnaround where we finished. Total of 12.8 for the run.

Did another 6 miles in the evening, which included kids' runs. Each running child got in his own run. It was not a super easy pace - Benjamin hit his 2 mile run in 15:27 with the last mile in 7:13. Jenny ran 9:00 for the mile. Julia ran 5:36 for 0.5.

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From James on Wed, Jul 11, 2007 at 00:24:40

Nice workout! That is what I was talking about the other day, extra easy easy days and faster hard days. 5:20 pace is where you want to be for trials training.

Who is Jeff?

From Superfly on Wed, Jul 11, 2007 at 12:03:16

I guess I get to post 5 notes on the board so far for 2007. I think? I'd have to go back and count for sure but some where around there.

From Paul Petersen on Wed, Jul 11, 2007 at 13:25:42

Sasha, I think the blog could have a mileage club beyond "in spirit". I always thought a cool idea for the blog would be to have a series of public "Top 10" lists that are updated dynamically. For example, top 10 mileage of bloggers for:

A)the given day

B)the month

C)the year

As people post, the public lists are updated. Also, if you standardized the race reports (ie - have a preset list of distances to be selected through drop-down box), then you could have Top 10 race performance lists for each pre-set race distance - by year and by "all time". I think public summary lists like these would really motivate people at all levels. It may become peoples' goal just to get on a Top 10 list, even for just one day. I imagine this would be a bit of work, but should be doable for a database-driven site like this one. Plus, many other online running logs (your competitors) have features like this.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Jul 11, 2007 at 13:36:29

Paul - good idea. I'll try to get it done in the next two weeks.

James - Jeff used to run for BYU. His last name is McLellan. He is planning on running St. George this year.

From Cody on Wed, Jul 11, 2007 at 14:02:52

Great Idea!

Another fun list would be the top ten lame excuses for not running that day. Not practical to implement but entertaining.

From Maria on Wed, Jul 11, 2007 at 17:02:55

I second Paul's idea for mileage leader board. It will definitely be a motivational tool (well, for me at least). I hope there will be two separate lists though, for men and women, since women are usually running less mileage than men. You can check for one example.

From ashman on Wed, Jul 11, 2007 at 19:27:19

Word of caution on 100 mile weeks in the middle of summer, Everything works harder for a given pace. Chronic dehydration, electrolyte depletion becomes a hidden snake pushing the body into a state of overreaching and then bam! OVERTRAINING sets in. Very tough to recover from in the dog days of summer. Bill Rodgers never did a high mileage buildup in July, they always took place before Boston in the winter and then in late August before the New York City marathon.

From Mike K on Wed, Jul 11, 2007 at 23:19:16

Can I join the 100 km club? 100 km club on a treadmill?


Are you planning to go for a OT qualifier at Des News?

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Jul 11, 2007 at 23:41:00

Mike - somebody who cannot run St. George in under 2:18 should not attempt to run a Trials Qualifier at DesNews. The DesNews course, in spite of the many efforts to make it faster, is still quite slow. That is where you really get no bang for the foot of elevation drop. My goal for DesNews is to put in a good tempo with a strong finish and not to have sore legs afterwards. On that course this approach gives you a better time anyway.

It also gives me an excuse to take it easy for a week, I probably need it anyway. And if things play well, I might even get some decent cash as a bonus.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run on the 10.04 course in the morning. I came up with a new standard easy run plan. First 2-4 miles just warm up, go whatever pace the body wants. It usually starts out at 9:00 pace and warms up to 7:00 by the end of this stage, which it did today. Then on the second stage, run the fastest pace possible with the heart rate not exceeding 130. This usually results in about 6:35-6:40 pace. Then with 0.5 to go run threshold pace if I feel like it, no HR limit. So that is what I did today. Hit the first half in 36:52, came back in 33:02, 1:09:54 for the run. Timed the last quarter, it was 1:23.

A little bit of motivational bragging about the evening run. Sarah went with Julia to help a friend paint her house, so I was in charge of everybody else, that is Benjamin (8), Jenny (6), Joseph (2), and Jacob (almost 1). No treadmill. How to get in a decent run, get the kids runs done, and keep everyone reasonably happy?

Solution: Put Joseph and Jacob in the double stroller. Benjamin gets on a bike, Jenny runs a mile. She did it in 9:08. Then Benjamin and Jenny trade places. Benjamin runs 1.48 at about 8:20 pace. Then we stop at a park, Benjamin, Jenny, and Joseph play, Jacob watches from a stroller, I go back and forth on a 200 meter stretch nearby for 2.25 miles at about 7:00 average, and catch the 8:00 mile guy for the whole run. Then I tell Benjamin to stay ahead of the 8:00 guy for me on the way back home, and he averages 7:00 on the way home for the remaining 0.52, and almost catches his 8:00 mile guy finishing the run in 16:10. I get 41:06 for 5.25, 54 seconds ahead of the 8:00 pace.

Before that adventure, I ran with Julia, and a little bit more to the church and back. So that gives me 16.04 for the day.

I got started on the top Fast Running Blog performance list - so far just men in the marathon. To make it more meaningful, I adjusted the performances for the course quality and weather conditions on the day of the race when ranking different runners. This, of course, to an extent is a matter of opinion. If somebody has a reason to challenge my adjustments, or if you discover a factual error, feel free to send me a note.

I also got started on  the live top mileage list, but there is nothing to show yet.


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From bc on Thu, Jul 12, 2007 at 00:32:57

Sasha looks good to me. just a thought and not just because I'm a master. But have you thought of age grading. I Know people like Dennis usually have some of the best times in the country at most distances when you take into account age.

From Jon on Thu, Jul 12, 2007 at 01:02:10

This performance list may get complicated...

From Lybi on Thu, Jul 12, 2007 at 12:05:08

Sasha, I just have to take a minute to say thanks so much for taking such an interest in every single person on this blog! You are a GREAT motivator. I am so happy to see James injury free and running like he wants, and I think a lot of it has to do with your experience and advice. Thank you!

From James on Thu, Jul 12, 2007 at 13:18:02


I was wondering how you were ranking your top runners? Is it a list of alltime best performances or current performances? I noticed Ted is #6 with a 2003 marathon time, and you are at #5 with this years Ogden time. You have ran better times, even at Ogden.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jul 12, 2007 at 16:30:53

James - check out the Flat Sea Level Ideal Conditions Equivalent column. That is what the performances are ranked by. According to my calculations, my 2:32:00 on the Ogden course with a hot second half when properly adjusted is worth more than my 2:24:47 in St. George in ideal conditions.

From James on Thu, Jul 12, 2007 at 16:39:04

So do you think your 2:32 at Ogden this year was better than last years 2:30 because of heat?

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jul 12, 2007 at 16:52:23

About the same, leaning towards slightly better. Until it started to get warm, 5:30-5:35 pace early on felt very relaxing. The year before I ran the same pace in the early miles, but it was tactically motivated, and I was forcing it knowing that I would have to slow down later. This year around the 10 mile mark all of a sudden I was going 10 seconds per mile slower than the year before, and I was starting to labor. Other runners reported similar experiences.

I believe I personally lost more than 2 minutes on the heat. But a more heat-adjusted runner like Steve or Joe would lose about 2:00.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran with Scott Hillman this morning. I figured it was about time to show the 5:30 guy who's the boss over my standard 5 mile tempo. Scott paced me through the first and the last 1.5 of it. It was very helpful.

Splits by 0.5 - 2:43 - 2:38 (5:21) - 2:38 (7:59, alone after that) - 2:44 (5:22, 10:43) - 2:44 (13:27 at the turnaround) - 2:45 (5:29, 16:12) - 2:45 - now Scott joins me again - 2:41 (5:26,21:38) - 2:42 (uphill) - 2:35 (5:17,  26:55.7 for the whole tempo, last quarter in 76).

This is not only my PR for the course by 40 seconds, but it is my loop course 5 mile PR period, including splits from 10 Ks and adjusted 8 Ks. If you add up my first 2.5 K and my last 2.5 K this comes out to about 16:31 5 K, which is the fastest loop course  5 K  I've run this year. Right before Ogden and after a back off week, I ran the out and back  3 mile tempo in 16:11. Today the sum of those 1.5 segments was 15:57.

HR hovered around 159 for a while, then made its way into 163 area around 3.2, then climbed to 168 on the last mile and peaked at 171 on the kick. The best results from high mileage I've seen so far in my running.

Ran a longer cool down - 11.18 for the run.

Ran with the kids in the evening plus some more. Total of 6.25 in the evening. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Cody on Fri, Jul 13, 2007 at 00:48:55

Nice running! Things are looking better for you.

From James in Sunny AZ on Fri, Jul 13, 2007 at 12:12:06

Way to go, Sasha! Looks like your training is paying off. Do you have another marathon coming up prior to St. George to give you an indication of what you can expect?

From Cheston on Fri, Jul 13, 2007 at 20:21:10

Wow, too fast for me. I can't believe all the miles you've been logging. Your an inspiration to us all. Keep up the good work.

From Brent on Fri, Jul 13, 2007 at 21:28:22

Wow, impressive workout, I wish St. George Marathon televised the race. It would be great to have it recorded and see yourself and the other top runners go for an Olypmic Trials Qualifer.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy 10.04 with Jeff in the morning. Followed the easy run protocol - warm up, then fastest possible pace with HR 130 or under, then threshold pace at the end. Took a while to warm up. Hit the first quarter in 2:26, and it felt fast. At around 0.4 mark my HR was still hovering between 95 and 98. Then I gradually woke up. After two miles we finally started cracking 7:00 pace. Hit the turnaround (5.02) in 37:16. On the way back settled into a steady 6:40 pace. It was tempting to go faster, but I was very strict on the 130 HR rule and backed off whenever I saw it going overboard. With about 0.64 to go Jeff asked me if it was time to speed up. I was originally planning on doing it at 0.5, but I was getting bored with the pace a bit, and tired of the HR restriction, so we decided to pick it up a bit earlier. Timed a 200 up 0.5% grade on the trail - 42, and also the last quarter (flat) - 1:21. Total time 1:10:13.

Interestingly enough, in 3:40 of running at that effort my HR gained only 20 bpm from 130 to 150. But I still felt like I was working. I think most of the work went into overcoming the inertia. Also, it started to get a bit warmer. When it gets warm, I first start feeling lazy with the HR dropping a bit for a while, and then after a while dehydration sets it which brings back and HR over the limit.

Ran with the kids in the evening. We ran/rode in the stroller/rode a bike taking turns to the swing on a tree and back. Added some more to make the total 5 miles for the run afterwards.

Starting a taper for Deseret News Marathon/Draper Days 5 K. The long run tomorrow will be shorter - 13 miles, and easier - no serious speed scheduled in the middle.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Nick on Sat, Jul 14, 2007 at 11:27:49

Hey Sasha,

Quick question - can I have your address to put down on the Draper Days race registration? I want to make sure that my packet/bib is not sent (if they even send out packets) to my appt. after I leave. Thanks a ton.

From Bonnie on Sat, Jul 14, 2007 at 12:05:23

Sasha, thanks for the information about Ted. Dean and I were directed to your website by our friend, and colleague, from Nashville - Bryan Shepherd.

Nice site,


From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Jul 14, 2007 at 16:56:10


You can use my address if needed - 339 N 1120 W, Provo, UT, 84601. However, I do not think Draper Days will be mailing out packets.


This is a small world. You happen to know two of my friends who have not met each other (at least to my knowledge). Bryan and I ran lots together in 1997. I always told him that 5:15 was the time we were leaving, not the pace we were going to go.

From Brent on Sat, Jul 14, 2007 at 19:16:24

Sasha, thanks for the offer on the 5 mile pacing, maybe in the fall after the marathons. I still feel my best races this year are ahead on me. Best to you at Des News Marathon.

From Logan on Mon, Jul 16, 2007 at 12:29:21

I am glad to say that I hit 100 miles in one week. Thanks for the encouragement and good luck at the Deseret News Marathon.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran with Scott Hillman this morning. Very easy pace most of the way, just a bit faster than 8:00. Chatted in Russian, told him some Brezhnev jokes. It is hard to believe that I am old enough to remember Brezhnev speaking on TV. There were 4 channels available in Moscow back in the early 80s, and he would be on 3 of them at the same time. I am not sure if the 4th had him too. One of the jokes goes like this - a man is watching TV in Moscow. First channel - Brezhnev. He tries another - Brezhnev. Third one - same luck. Forth - a KGB man with a fist saying:'"If you keep switching channels, I'll show you where lobsters spend their winter!"

After about 6 miles were were done with the jokes and the Russian instruction, and got down to a bit of business - 2.5 tempo on the standard stretch from Utah Lake to Geneva road, so a slight net uphill. Ran the first 200 in 44, and it felt hard. Then ran the next 200 in 42 and it felt a lot easier. Settled into a nice a little slower than 5:30 pace. First mile in 5:35. After that Scott started struggling, so we backed off to 5:40. Went like that until the last quarter. Then picked it up a bit, and even more on the last 100 - ran in it in 16 seconds. Total time 13:56, last mile in 5:30 thanks to the kick.

Scott was really out of it afterwards for a bit - he laid on the ground and said he was dead. The Russian word for Sunday literally translates as Resurrection. So I told him in Russian that there was a reason for the day  after Saturday to be called the day of the Resurrection. That got him up and we finished the rest of the run. Ended up with a 13.16 total in 1:37:10, incidentally, just a bit over the half marathon.

Middle distance runners (Scott being one of them) are interesting creatures. On Thursday, after a warm-up of 2.84 Scott was able to do 2x1.5 at sub-5:20 pace with hardly any apparent struggle. So I thought 2.5 at 5:35-5:40 pace would be anywhere between relaxing and comfortably hard for him. But this time the warm-up was 6.2 miles! So apparently his slow twitch muscles tired out some, and he had to use more of his faster twitch ones more. Today after running 1.5 in 8:26 (5:38 pace) he felt like throwing up. And yet, he still had a kick of 16 seconds on the last 100 meters! Granted, he has more speed than me, probably 1.5 seconds faster in an all out 100. But still, adjusted for that, if I feel like throwing up with a mile to go, I will not run 17.5 on the last 100 meters, maybe 19 with a super-human effort. The difference is that he has some super-fast twitch fibers that do not work at all in a long race or interval. So no matter how badly he is hurting, they are going to be available for the kick. Whereas my fast-twitch fibers are really mid-grade - if I am pushing it even in a very long race, they are working their tail off. So come the finish, I have no kick, I've been kicking the entire race already. However, give me a slightly easier pace to where my mid-grade fibers do not have to work, and I'll run the last 100 almost as fast as I would if I were fresh.

Ran with the kids in the evening, and added some more - total of 5 for the evening run.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From adam on Mon, Jul 16, 2007 at 15:44:57

I thought it was you guys out on that stretch running. Seeing you all out there made me pick it up a bit- I got paranoid because I figured you were doing a 5 mile tempo and would catch me on the return to Utah lake, and I didn't want to get passed! I had these images of you two running me down the being chased mentality kicked in.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy 10.04 according to the protocol. I read on today that you are a real runner if you combine the words "easy" and "10 mile run" in the same phrase. Seriously speaking, I think the key to a successful marathon is making your aerobic/recovery run no less than 10 miles daily. The second run can be shorter, but there should not be a day without at least one continuous (aside from brief bathroom/water stops) 10 mile run. One should of course not try to jump into this without proper preparation.

Went through the first half in 35:47. On the way back, sped up to 6:40 - 6:45 pace. Was religious about keeping HR below 130, perhaps too religious. With 1.25 shifted gears into threshold. Ran the last 1.25 according to the GPS, which I think is a bit short based on the splits, closer to 2000 meters (1.24) in 6:52. This felt good in spite of warmer conditions and a less than terrain - bumpy trail in parts, lots of dips under a bridge and climbing back up, lots of turns, and about a quarter mile of straight uphill at 0.5% grade. Total time for 10.04 was 1:08:18.

For the second run, since I am tapering, just ran with the kids. 0.5 with Julia, then 2 miles with Benjamin and Jenny. First mile was 9:39, then on the second the fire breathing dragon Jenny picked it up - we ran it in 8:04.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Paul Petersen on Tue, Jul 17, 2007 at 10:53:25

Although I generally agree that longer continuous runs are better, I have had a lot of success doubling with 2 moderate-length runs during recovery days. During marathon training I'll do two Big Workouts a week that are 14-16 miles continuous, plus a weekend long run (18-20 miles). Everything else is anywhere between 4 to 9 miles, and allows good recovery between Big Workouts (where all the real training takes place). I think variability all things - speed, distance, and surface - are healthy for the body. See Tinman's rule of multiples:


Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran with Jeff and Scott in the morning. Did a warm-up, 4x100 17.3 - 17.1 - 16.8 -16.6, then a fast mile. The goal was to run around 5:00 pace and then kick a bit at the end if there was anything to kick with. This was supposed to be a practice run to figure out how fast to run the first mile in Draper Days. Jeff's best 1600 is 4:34 in practice in racing flats in college. Scott's best 1600 is 4:24 in high school. My best high school 1500 (!) is 4:26 - in spikes. The fastest mile I've ever run on a course I would consider comparable to the track is 4:42 - Provo Canyon, from the Timpangos Park to the mouth of the Canyon, 0.5% downhill, but a bit rolling and with a headwind. Before doing that, I trained for two months with a middle distance focus. Jeff is 25, Scott is 23, I am 34. I've been running 90-100 mile weeks for the last two months with the emphasis on the marathon. What would you expect to happen in a fast mile with three of us running it?

This mile was on a course that I would consider at least 2 seconds slower than the track. There is no apparent elevation change, but there are a couple of sharp turns, and  slight barely noticeable rises and drops. We started at the mile mark of the standard 5 mile tempo and finished at the 2 mile mark.

Scott set the pace in the first 200 (more precisely 0.125) - 34. Too fast, and I felt it. Then we eased off closer to the target pace. 70 at the quarter, 2:24 at the half (74),  3:37 at 0.75 (73). Scott started pushing the pace, and I was somewhat happy to go with him. So we got into a bit of a duel and dropped Jeff. Next 200 in 35, followed by the last one in 34. Scott lost some steam with 100 to go, so I pulled away just holding a steady pace. This gave me 69 for the last quarter, and 4:46.6 for the mile. HR maxed out at 173. Scott finished in 4:47, Jeff got 4:48.

While I've run this fast before, I've never felt that good after running this type of effort. When I ran my 4:42 mile, it took a good 3-4 minutes of jogging before my breathing returned to normal. My legs were like led for the rest of the workout. It felt like a good all out mile. My splits were 68 - 70 - 72 - 72, as opposed to 70 - 74 - 73 - 69, which also is a sign of a lesser exertion in the latter run.

Ran a cool-down - total of 8.2 for the run. Then in the afternoon ran 0.25 to find Joseph - he escaped again. The kids were sick today with a stomach flu, all except Jenny. So she and I ran a mile in the evening.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Maria on Wed, Jul 18, 2007 at 02:26:48

Great time in the mile, Sasha! It is impressive, but hardly surprising, despite you being in marathon training. It just shows you have gone on to another level. High mileage is known to produce qualitative shifts across the board, starting from 800m and up. Speedwork can sharpen you and bring that time down more, but now your body "plumbing" is able to sustain faster pace with the same effort as before. You should feel it in your next race.

From James on Wed, Jul 18, 2007 at 11:44:59

Nice mile! I used to be a pretty decent miler a few years ago, but I don't know if I could run a sub 4:50 right now. Where did you do your speed mile?

I did get that course tool to work finally. I was using the newest version of Internet Explorer and all I would get was a blank gray box. When I used Mozilla is worked fine. Paul gave me the idea this morning on our run together.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Jul 18, 2007 at 11:59:48

James - it was on the Provo River Trail goings towards the Utah Lake from the 1 mile mark of Provo River 5 Mile Tempo. Hawk, or somebody under his supervision, wheeled that stretch and marked every 1/16th of a mile with the standard Hawk triangles. I have re-wheeled it to verify the accuracy of the marks.

From Paul Petersen on Wed, Jul 18, 2007 at 12:01:19

Nice work. It looks like you are sharpening up nicely and will run well at Draper.

From James on Wed, Jul 18, 2007 at 12:04:25

Hawk walks that trail every Spring and re-paints all the markings. It makes is nice for speedwork, especially if don't have a Garmin like me.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Jul 18, 2007 at 12:06:16

Garmin is useless for speed work anyway, at least for me.

From James on Wed, Jul 18, 2007 at 13:59:33

How do you get the elevation to come up on the course tool? Everyone else seems to show their elevation and mine just says 0.00.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Jul 18, 2007 at 14:10:33


Looks like you are running into one of the intermittent failures of USGS server, which I use to get the elevations. Just save the course, and load it up again - on save my code will re-try zero elevation lookups and will succeed if USGS server cooperates. If that does not work, just try again 5 minutes later.

From Paul Petersen on Wed, Jul 18, 2007 at 14:16:54

I'm having the same issue. The USGS server is notorious unstable. Not only is their elevation web service reliable, but it's often difficult to retrieve raw GIS data as well. Tax dollars at work...

From Adam W on Wed, Jul 18, 2007 at 16:19:51

Exciting recap of your workout, like watching a movie. Good effort and good time.

From James in Sunny AZ on Wed, Jul 18, 2007 at 22:04:23

Impressive workout, Sasha. Your entries over the last couple of weeks have been encouraging. Sounds like the higher mileage is paying dividends for you. What was your 5K PR again? Based on your mile effort, what pace do you feel is sustainable at Draper Days?

From James on Thu, Jul 19, 2007 at 11:22:09


I just talked to Curt today and he is giving me a comp for Provo Canyon. I guess he was serious afterall, so I'll be down for that. I am kind of excited since I haven't done it in several years. That is where my half marathon PR is.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jul 19, 2007 at 11:57:03

James - I consider 15:37 in Draper Days 2004 my true 5 K PR. I've run it faster on courses with extreme downhill. Draper Days is 0.4% net downhill with some uphill involved. I consider it 10 seconds faster than a perfectly flat course at the same elevation. I would probably equate my 15:37 performance to about 15:20 at an ideal sea-level course in ideal conditions.

Based on my recent workouts, I have a very good shot at setting a PR in Draper Days this year.

From Clay Simmons on Thu, Jul 19, 2007 at 12:38:28

You guy's are a bunch of animals. Good luck this weekend, run like the wind. I wish I was 15 years younger and I might have a chance against you kids, then again probably not.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy 8 miles in the morning with a short tempo in the middle. Originally wanted to do just a mile. Then I thought I'd be too far away from home when I ended the tempo, and this would tempt me to race the 7:00 mile guy for the entire cooldown. So I decided to make it 2.5 - this would put me ahead of the 7:00 mile guy, and would cut my cooldown to 1.34, on which I would not have to break 7:00 mile pace to beat the 7:00 mile guy. Also, even though it takes more effort, sometimes I feel more at peace with the ground moving at 5:40 pace, and today was the day.

So after running a bit over 4 miles, I started the tempo. Was a bit sluggish at first, first quarter in 1:29. Then settled into a nice 5:40 pace, and coasted. Felt tempted to beat the 5:40 guy, but decided to focus on maintaining a very honest marathon pace, and keeping HR in check. It maxed out at 156. Total time for the run was 14:12.

Finished 8 miles in 55:51 still showing the 7:00 mile guy who's the boss.

Ran with the kids in the evening. Total of 2.5 for the evening run.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran with Scott and Jeff this morning. Easy run with a 1.5 mile tempo. Ran 1.5 in 8:12. The intention was go the marathon pace, and some of it felt like marathon pace, but some was too aggressive for that category, more of a surge during a marathon. Kicked with 100 to go with Scott's help in 17, that brought the average under 5:30 pace. With about 200 to go Jeff almost got bitten by a dog on a leash that was longer than the dog's power of self-control, so he swerved to avoid it, I in turn swerved to avoid him with a maneuver that was more appropriate for basketball than distance running, but we all recovered graciously. I find that with three guys running a fast pace on that trail things sometimes get interesting. I can just imagine the BYU cross country team running a tempo. Finished 8 miles in 54:59.

Ran 0.5 with Julia in the afternoon. Everybody else was sick. Discovered the lack of zip lock bags during clean-up after dinner. Put Jacob and Joseph in the stroller, and ran to Reams and back, this was 0.9. 

Was supposed to pick up Nick at the airport today, but he was not able to get on a flight. He'll try again tomorrow. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Nick on Thu, Jul 19, 2007 at 23:24:22

Ahhh! I'm so sorry for today and all of the confusion. It has been a total catastrophe. I will see what happens tommorrow, but once again, almost all of the flights look full. On top of that, my bags are still in SLC. I thought that they checked if the person was on the plane before they loaded their baggage, but apparently I am sorely mistaken. I will get to the bottom of this whole endeavor tonight, hopefully to give it another try tommorrow. I can't really think of much more that could have acted against me. In all actuality, I would have been much better off just staying at home with my luggage. Anyways, I will try my best to work things out and make it out to Draper Days (which I have already registered for). I am sorry for the confusion.

From Lybi on Fri, Jul 20, 2007 at 13:41:17

Addictive Behavior?!?! Were it not for the fact that I know you are a super nice guy I might bristle a little at that. Although deep down I know you are right... Grrrr. Darn you! :)

PS You've been running so well lately! Great job. I can't wait to see how your Draper Days thingy goes. Do you attribute your recent success more to the higher mileage, or the good sleep? Maybe it is both--you are able to run higher mileage bc of the great sleep? Anyway good luck tomorrow.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Jul 20, 2007 at 14:20:50

Both sleep and mileage are important. I compare mileage to going to work, while sleep is like depositing your paycheck. Without mileage, sleep is like hanging out at the bank begging the teller to up the balance on your account without anything to show for it. Without sleep, mileage is like working hard but putting your paycheck on a shelf and letting it expire time and again.

From Maria on Fri, Jul 20, 2007 at 14:56:49

This is a very good analogy, Sasha! I'm not too bad in the sleep depatment, but I certainly could do much better with mileage.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Final taper day before Draper Days 5 K. I am also running the Deseret News Marathon, and am tapering for that as well for several reasons:

  • I need an excuse to back off the mileage
  • If the standard three Kenyans all run 2:27 this year, 1 minute could be worth $2000. Of course, if all the Kenyans that finish run 2:22 or faster, and there are no dark horses running under 2:35, the taper is a waste of training. But I would rather err on the safe side.
  • Having fresh legs would not hurt the recovery - this one is debatable. One could argue that you can push the fresh legs much harder, and make it much harder to recover. But I think if you avoid the temptation, fresh legs recover faster from the same stress than the tired ones.
  • It gives me a chance to run a good 5 K right before it without wasting a week of training on the taper.

So today I ran alone. Jogged 3.5 miles out, then turned around and ran a 1 mile pick-up. First 0.75 at marathon pace, then the last 0.25 at 5 K pace. Ended up doing 1:25, 1:23, 1:23, 1:14. On the last quarter, had a hard time catching that 5 K pain feeling, so I thought I was going slower, about 1:17-1:18 maybe. So I was very pleased with 1:14. This gave me 5:25 for the mile. Finished 7 miles in 48:39.

Ran with Julia in the afternoon (0.5), then took Benjamin out for a health test - he said he was feeling more normal. He failed it - 0.25 in 2:44 and it felt hard, lack of energy, etc. Brought the stroller along just in case I would need it, and ended up using it to bring him back. So he is still too sick to race and will not be running Draper Days tomorrow. It is a miracle that I have not yet gotten sick - everyone else in our family has already. I count my blessings and pray that they will continue.

Added the Mileage Board. Feedback is welcome, and very much encouraged.

Latest web traffic news - we are now getting about 75,000 page impressions a month with about 9,500 unique visitors. 95% of our visits come from the US, 3% from the UK. Of the US visits, 58% are from Utah (down from 75% a few months ago),  10% from a location Google Analytics could not identify,  5% from Arizona, 4% from Idaho, 3% from Colorado, and 3% from California.

Does anybody have any experience/understanding of the online coaching market? There is a lot of informal coaching happening on our site. However, I have been thinking about adding some kind of a formal arrangement as well. Some questions need to be answered. What should be the qualifications for someone to be a coach? What programs do you offer? How much do you charge?

My goal is to create an environment that allows the sub-elite runners (for male marathoners,  the 2:20-2:30 range) to really focus on running and move up to the next level while helping runners with less talent and experience achieve their full potential. One idea is to have a setup that allows them to work as online coaches. The question is - is the market for formal coaching deep enough for us to tap  into it?

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Scott Browning on Sat, Jul 21, 2007 at 00:03:15

The online coaching market is still pretty much emerging with most coaches charging a weekly or monthly fee for updated training. The most advanced coaching program I have come across is from Chris Carmicheal - Lance Armstrong's coach. He has a series of coaches working for him. Qualifications of coaching seem to vary quite a bit, USA track and field offers some certs, but that may not qualify someone as a good coach. There currently are no set standards that regulate the coaching industry so pretty much anyone can say they are a coach. My view of online coaching would consist of an interactive web application which allows for multiple types of communication between athlete and coach. Tracking software to not unlike what you are using for the blog and a way collect fees online. In my opinion the online coaching has not been done well yet and has the potential for growth, the obstacles that remain are how to determine if someone is truly qualified to help runners achieve their goals. I could go on forever on the topic and I have done a fair amount of research on the topic, if want to chat about it, call me and we can talk more in depth. I look forward to seeing you at Draper in the morning.

From Scott Browning on Sat, Jul 21, 2007 at 00:05:41

By the way, I like the mileage chart, it puts things into perspective - cool stuff.

From ashman on Sat, Jul 21, 2007 at 02:40:15

Sasha, The hay is in the barn as Bill Bowerman would say, taper as much as you can while maintaining quality. You will lose nothing and gain very little training heavily. To back off would be I think a good decision. YOU ARE SUPREMELY FIT! JUST DO IT!

From wheakory on Sat, Jul 21, 2007 at 04:22:56 is a very popular place for coaching

From Scott Zincone on Sat, Jul 21, 2007 at 05:46:23

Just reading the different blogs has changed my attitude and knowledge towards training. I beleive I would be interested in online coaching. Not many runners where I live. And as slow as I am I usually place in the top 5 in local races running around 7 min. per mile in 5 and 10 k's. The chance to get the most out my running is my main goal. I feel at 37 I may have missed my best years but I am going to give it a shot. And would take all the help and advice I could get. Especially from someone who would be able to analyze my workouts and push me to do more. Even if it is an online coach and someone I may never meet in person.

I do feel silly though seeing my cross training miles in a top mileage running chart since I have not run a step in the last 3 months.

From Maria on Sat, Jul 21, 2007 at 09:40:58

I've been working with an online coach since mid '05 and, in combination with this site, I believe it was highly beneficial for me. I'm somewhat familiar with the world of online coaching, and I can confirm Scott B. assessment: it's not a regulated industry. You can have no qualifications whatsoever, but if you manage somehow to get clients, there's no one to stop you from coaching. Most coaches do have USATF certifications, at least level II, but it's not a requirement. There are several online businesses that are known nationwide (US), but a lot exist more locally, centered around running stores and clubs. I'm not aware of any online coaching in UK, but I'm sure they exist. Charges vary, but I'd say most are now ~100/month or ~300/quarter. Some charge monthly, others quarterly, saying that you can only see results in a few months. Levels of service vary too - some have bronze, silver, gold type of packages with increasing levels of interaction and increasing prices, others have just one offering with 24x7 access by phone, email and/or IM. Carmichael's is indeed one of the better known businesses, although I've read that quality of coaches can vary wildly. If you're a high-performing athlete and pick a premium package, you get top coaches, otherwise, you may get an entry level coach.

I think your idea is good, and I support it, although I have some reservations. First, being a sub-elite athlete does NOT mean a person would be a good coach. He would probably be more experienced with his own running, but I think it's more important that the coach has solid understanding of physiology and training methods, and some coaching experience already, regardless of their own achievements. Second, if you think that it is possible to make a living solely by means of online coaching, you may be too optimistic. It is possible for a well established coach with many clients (and possibly other coaches working for him), but initially athletes should plan to supplement their income by other means. It doesn't mean this shouldn't be pursued, just that people need to be realistic.

If you want to take a look at some sites, let me know, and I'll dig out my list.

From Maria on Sat, Jul 21, 2007 at 10:29:14

Sasha, on another note, I checked again, and Alexander Gladkov's site has now English version, and international currency account information. With 9,500 unique visitors a month and so many hits, it may make a difference!

From James in Sunny AZ on Sat, Jul 21, 2007 at 10:58:28


Love the new mileage chart! I am amazed to see where my weekly mileage stacks up in comparison to others. I had also mentioned in my blog I thought it would be neat if there were a way to reset the mileage counter on trainers and racers to account for new shoes that you buy. Some may have more than 2 pairs they rotate, who knows - but it seems like this would be a good way to be able to see how many miles you have gotten out of your trainer. Also, I though there used to be a year view in a chart format - don't see this any more, unless I was just seeing things in the first place . . .

From Paul Petersen on Sat, Jul 21, 2007 at 16:20:40

Sasha, the mileage chart is great, just what I had in mind. I think it will serve to both motivate people and help track progress. For instance, I can already see that I have ran several hundred more miles than last year! Also, I'm neck-and-neck with Dave Holt for miles this year, which is kind of fun.

Regarding coaching, I've seen online coaching for as low as $60/month, but most qualified coaches go for well over $100/month. I think someone with zero coaching background and whose only qualifications are being "fast" would have to charge less than that until they built up a worthy "portfolio". People with lots of formal coaching experience may be able to charge more.

From James on Sat, Jul 21, 2007 at 16:26:36


How do you hyperlink the course tool to your entry, for those of us who aren't to computer savvy.

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Jul 21, 2007 at 18:10:09

James - look at the top of the Edit Entry screen - it has an example. Also, you can use the same syntax in the comments.

From James on Sat, Jul 21, 2007 at 18:16:38

I like the mileage chart too. It is interesting to see and compare weekly, monthly, and yearly mileage.

From Adam W on Sat, Jul 21, 2007 at 21:22:11


The mileage chart is a good idea. I think runners like all different levels of competition. One comment, when I plan out my weeks I plan them Mon-Sun, I know a few other people on the blog do this as well. Not that it makes a huge difference but is it possible to have the choice of seeing the "weekly" mileage broken down with different start days. I have no experience with programing so I do not know how much of a challenge this would be. Thanks!

From Bc on Mon, Jul 23, 2007 at 11:16:57

i would also like to start my weeks on Monday. For the seventh day was Sunday a day of rest. I think I heard that some where. Sunday is not the first day for me.

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Jul 23, 2007 at 14:04:55

Everybody thanks for the feedback. Maria - I have created a News/Special Announcements section and put a link to Alexander Gladkov's site there. This would hopefully give them some traffic, and maybe generate some donations. It would really help if they had a PayPal account, though. A lot of people would be happy to send a few bucks, but not many will take hours to do it.

Bill, Adam - to change the system to start the week on Monday will take 2-3 hours of work. The code that controls the start of the week was written a long time ago, and the logic is scattered all over the place. I will take care of it once I collect enough reasons for a full rewrite of that code, but for now there are some other priorities in the development.

Race: Draper Days 5 K (3.107 Miles) 00:16:04, Place overall: 6
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Draper Days 5 K, 16:04, 6th place.

Caught a bit of a bug that my kids had, but not too bad. Felt a bit dehydrated during the night, got up a few times to drink, eyes a bit tender and throat a bit scratchy. Was concerned about how that was going to affect the race, but I do not think it was a major factor.

Warmed up with Paul, Cody, and Scott Browning the Siren. Noticed HR was high, probably had to do with 75-80 degrees at the start. Felt sluggish, again probably for the same reason.

Was concerned about the stomach, it felt a bit funny, but probably more from the heat than from the infection. Nevertheless, decided to stick with the plan - follow Paul until I can't, then survive. Figured if this plan produced some vomit, well, this will be the first time I've ever vomited during a race in over 22 years of running. At least I would go away knowing that I've done my best.

The heat was affecting not just me, so we all started slow. After about a quarter, Nick McCombs, Seth Wold (wearing Nick Miller's bib for some odd reason), and Paul started to pull away. This was not a good situation - Paul being dragged ahead by Nick and Seth, this means he'll keep the pressure on trying to catch them or at least keep them within reach. I considered staying back with Neil Gassmann, but figured if I were to have a shot against him, I need to have a safety buffer. If I stay with him, it will amount to signing a verdict of defeat right away. So I went with Paul.

Nick and Seth gapped us by a bit. I made it to the mile - we hit it in 4:40. This is slow for that mile, it is 2% downhill, so at that point I knew this was not going to be a fast race for anybody. After that, I did not have the juice to run with Paul anymore, and backed off. Tried to make the pack not want to catch me, it kind of worked for a while. Josh Steffen pulled up. I hoped he would pass me so I'd tuck in behind him, but he did not, I think he was just happy to draft himself. 2 miles in 10:07 (5:27), second mile is uphill.

Neal Gassmann caught me around 2.25. I tried to latch on, failed, did not have the juice, but had enough juice to separate myself from Josh while trying. At about 2.75 Gray Augustus went by me, again tried to latch on, no luck. However with about 200 to go, I found another gear. Where did it come from? Maybe I was finally rested after 2 miles of 5:27 pace? Caught Gray, tried to pass, but he found another gear. Ended up 1 second behind him, and again, just like last year, 1 second out of money. Only $20, but still. 16:02 on my watch, 16:04 officially.

Nick McCombs won with 15:16, Seth Wold 15:16, Paul 15:23, Neal 15:54, Gray 16:03. Ken Richardson was 7th with 16:10, and Josh Steffen 8th with 16:12. The gaps were correct, pretty much what I expected to see, however, the times were about 20-30 seconds slower than what I anticipated, probably because of the heat. On the positive side, I got beat by 41 seconds by Paul instead of 1:06 (half of what he beat me by in Sandy 10 K), and by 48 seconds by Nick instead of 1:22 - half of the Sandy gap.

Turned around, found Alexander Barry, he made me work with his kick - he got 22:08. Then went back again and found his dad, and paced him to the finish. Ran back to the car.

Afterwards, drove up to downtown to pick up the DesNews packet. Found out I'll be racing Jon Ndambuki, Paul Rugut, Peter Vail, Peter Vail's training partner, and Jared Nyariki.

Ran with the kids in the evening. They are starting to feel better.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Superfly on Sat, Jul 21, 2007 at 19:17:28

Good job Sasha.

I'll be up there Sunday night so I could meet you for an easy run Monday morning before you run Des News. I was thinking of maybe meeting you at the half or with 10 miles in and runnning in with you...Let me know if you want to run on Monday and we can talk then about Tuesday.

From James on Sat, Jul 21, 2007 at 19:39:23

How did Seth get Nick Miller's bib, and why did he pull up and let the other Nick win?

From Paul Petersen on Sat, Jul 21, 2007 at 19:42:11

Is Seth still running for USU or is he graduated? If he still has eligibility, it makes sense for him to pull up, since he can't accept money and Nick can.

From James on Sat, Jul 21, 2007 at 19:57:32


That is a good point, I bet he couldn't accept the money. But didn't they give money more than one deep? Seth is on the BYU running plan, I think he has red-shirted in track and cross country on different years. He will either be a junior in cross country and a senior in track, or a senior in cross country and is done with track. Either way I think he is running this fall. The reason he was wearing one of Dave Bell's store singlets is because he is from down there somewhere close to American Fork.

From Michael on Sun, Jul 22, 2007 at 14:29:47

Good Luck in the Deseret Martahon, hope you do well against the Kenyans and other top runners! Thanks for encouraging Alexander and me. Sorry Benjamin was ill as he ran that race good last year

From bc on Sun, Jul 22, 2007 at 22:19:52

Sasha, Kurt Black told me there was a group coming from Colorado are any of these from there. Usually 1 or 2 drop when they see they are not in the top money. How high do you think you can place? Top Utah I would expect? Looks like the temps will be down some so it could be a faster race than last year. The construction in the canyon will goof up running a few tangents. Wish you the best, you have been running well. Check out the last verse of Come, Come, Ye Saints -- We sang it in church today and it made me think of the end of a marathon and making through to the parade. "And should we die before our journey's through, Happy day! All is well! We then are free from toil and sorrow, too; With the just we shall dwell! But if our lives are spared again To see the Saints their rest obtain, Oh, how we'll make this chorus swell-- All is well! All is well! Kim is running the full to hopefully the heat holds off for her. It is going to be her second marathon and 5 hours on this course will be tough.

From Bc on Mon, Jul 23, 2007 at 11:21:32

Sasha, saw that Peter Vail is from Colo. so that is probably who he was talking about. I don't know of others coming and I still think only a couple of them will finish. So you have a better shot for good $ Tuesday. Good Luck.

From Lybi on Mon, Jul 23, 2007 at 11:49:03

Awww man! Sorry you got a little sick. You still did an amazing job, though. Even more amazing that you feel "rested" after running 5:30 pace.

From Bc on Mon, Jul 23, 2007 at 13:40:06

Sasha, You love to crunch numbers so I did a little while I'm resting today. We have done several of the same races and both hit high miles in most weeks. So I compared our times in the races to see how we stacked up pace wise against each other assuming our efforts were the same in each race and here is what I found. You generally run an average of 33 seconds per mile faster than me. And we both should use Ogden Marathon as a guide to what our time in Des will be. If the heat doesn't effect us in the negative you should hit 2:28 - 2:30 and I should hit 2:42 - 2:45. Your perdictor is usually pretty accurate, but I think H of H 5K needs to be updated to the new course. It makes everyones comps slow. Do you think my perdiction on our times is close or do you think you will be able to run faster. I would be happy with my time if I can hit in that time range.


From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Jul 23, 2007 at 14:41:31

Bill - I think your calculations are fairly accurate. I also agree with your estimation of Heart of Holladay. I had not changed the predictor since the course was changed. However, the empirical data defies all logic. The change eliminated 1.5% up and down + 180 turn and replaced it with no more than 0.5% grade up, probably only 0.3%, and actually a part of that is being run in the down direction. And yet people have been running the new course about 5-10 seconds slower! Is it possible that the earlier certification was not properly done?

I have always wondered how I managed to run a course like Heart of Holladay so fast.

From Mike K on Mon, Jul 23, 2007 at 19:45:35

Good luck tomorrow! It is raining right now so hopefully you will have a cooler than expected start.

I hope Benjamin is better and back training.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran 6 miles with Clyde in the morning. We did a mile in 5:26, felt good. Later started feeling the symptoms of a sinus infection. Attacked it with Dr. Christopher's Sinus Formula, it was effective. However, it reduced my appetite, which is a big minus when tapering. Nevertheless, I did not try to force the food intake beyond the natural levels dictated by hunger figuring it would go to waste anyway.

Was concerned about running the marathon with a sinus infection. Then I sat down for my daily mini-piano practice (I try to do 10-15 minutes a day), and learned the right hand of Come Come Ye Saints. As I played it several times and contemplated the words, and the context in which they were written and often sung, as well as the final stage of the route of the Pioneers, which is the course of the marathon tomorrow, I realized that the early Saints had to deal with much more than a sinus infection, and many of them made it to the finish. I also felt thankful for those pioneers, and the pioneers in general. Most the good things we have in life and often take for granted would not be available had it not been for the sacrifice of some pioneer. With that perspective, my sinus infection was not a matter of concern any more. Maybe I will run a bit slower, but I can still run a decent race even with a bit of a challenge to overcome. In fact, having a bit of a health challenge on top of a tough course makes it a more realistic experience in the context of the celebration.

Ran with the kids in the evening, this added 1.5 miles. Then headed over to Chad's house to stay with him overnight.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Race: Deseret News Marathon (26.22 Miles) 02:32:54, Place overall: 3
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Deseret News Marathon, 2:32:54, 3rd overall ($500), 1st from Utah ($500), total of $1000, finally a race with some good financial luck. I have not had very much of it this year. In Ogden, I ran a race that deserved $500-$1000 pay off, but the field was crowded, somebody had to miss the money, and being a bit less fit than the competition gave me that lot. Similar stories in shorter races - crowded field, this is a qualifying year, and the Fast Running Blog has been helping crowd the field as well. Nevertheless, I would much rather see/help create a strong field, and wait for/encourage the race directors/sponsors to make the purse match it than rake in all the money racing against a weak field.

Stayed with Chad the night before. Got to see his wife Heather and his little son Jack. Had a nice visit with Paul and James there. Had a runny stomach during the night, got up a few times. On the way to the race was concerned about that. Why? A marathon is a long way to go. Little things tend to escalate. Malfunctioning stomach means the carbo-replenishment will not go in as well. This often leads to an early bonk. Nevertheless, figured if I run conservatively, I could offset the stomach glitch, as well as the effects of the sinus infection the day before, and still run a decent race.

Weather conditions were good. Cloudy skies, no extreme temperatures.

Got to the start, usual routine, then the gun went off. Bill Cobler went into the lead. I stayed with Steve Olsen, Walter Brown, Jon Ndambuki, and Paul Rugut. We coasted at around 5:20 pace on the steep sections. Then Ndambuki and Rugut decided to take a potty break. I picked up the effort (not the pace, as the drop grade decreased), and ended up running alone. Ndambuki and Rugut wasted no time bridging the gap and caught me pretty quick. At around the same time (near mile 4) we went past Bill Cobler. I saw that the Kenyans were slowing a bit, and caught up to them. We ran together until mile 6. 6 miles in 32:43. HR was very reasonable on that section. Down 7% it hovered around 140, then it was around 155 as it flattened out.

Then they started pressing up the Little Mountain. I decided to keep my heart rate around 160 on the climb, and if I could keep up with them at that effort, go, otherwise, just let them take off. They were going significantly faster than what I could manage comfortably with the effort appropriate for the marathon. I ran the 7th mile in 6:25, and they put about a 20-30 second lead on me, this is up a 3-4% grade. On the 8th mile my runny stomach gave me some problems, and I had to make a quick bathroom stop. No big deal, lost no more than a few seconds on it. Got over the Little Mountain, 45:18 at 8 miles. Just trying to run relaxed.

Hit the little uphill subdivision loop. The Kenyans now had about a 2:00 lead. Saw somebody who I at first mistook for an early started, should have paid better attention to his form, it was Peter Vail (I think). He was maybe 40 seconds behind. He was surprised to see me, and made a comment to the effect of, what? you're third? I did not understand the meaning of the comment at first.

10 miles in 56:40, 13 miles in 1:13:16 (this gives me about 1:13:52 half), 15 in 1:24:12. Then to my surprise I heard steps behind me. Peter Vail was gaining on me. I did not like that, but I did not know what to do either. Then I noticed he was not gaining as quickly on the downhill sections as he was on the flat ones. I also remembered that he struggled quite a bit with the downhill in 2004. So I started surging on the downhills.

Clyde joined me soon after 15 miles. I kept doing my downhill surges, and it worked. First I increased the gap to a minute, and then there was no sight of Peter (or whoever that was). Felt strong 15 through 20, and thought that for sure I would run no slower than 2:30 with some seconds, and maybe even a bit under 2:30. Hit 20 miles in 1:53:42, and it is all downhill from there, and with a cloud cover to make things easier. However, my downhill surges combined with not being in the best health combined with a less than normal taper (only one week of 60 vs 80-51 the year before) started to take its toll. I slowed down to 6:20-6:30 pace and did not feel like I could go any faster. The legs felt beat up, and I felt a little weak (although not terribly). Not feeling a threat from behind, and knowing that the Kenyans had a mile lead and not slowing down was also a factor. So I coasted to the finish at that pace. The last 2 miles seemed to take forever, but not too bad.

For some reason there were several timing mats at the end separated by quite a bit of distance. I assume one set was for the 10 K, while the other set for the marathon. Not sure which one was which. So I made sure to keep running until I've crossed all of them, and timed myself on the last one. Based on that, my finish time was 2:32:54 with the last 10 K in 39:12.

Ndambuki won with 2:22:24, Rugut was second about a minute behind. Steve Olsen was 4th with a low 2:44, Bill Cobler 5th with a low 2:48, and Walter Brown struggled big time on the last 2 miles, but still managed a 2:51 finish. Carol Cabanillas won the womens with 2:53. She hoped for a trials qualifier, so she is probably disappointed. However, I am sure she does not mind a $2507 paycheck. 

Legs were sore afterwards, but I think not as sore as last year, which would be good. We'll see tonight and tomorrow.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From rdrunner on Tue, Jul 24, 2007 at 14:58:28

Nice run Sasha! Congratulations on the financial rewards! Great job on the mid-race adjustments to surge down the hills to maintain/increase your lead. Contratulations!!

From Mike K on Tue, Jul 24, 2007 at 15:09:39

Good race Sasha! I cheered for you at 21 from the car. I should have turned around to tell you how big the gap was. Glad to hear you're feeling better. I hope you recover quickly so you can push on with your training.

From Paul Petersen on Tue, Jul 24, 2007 at 15:11:49

Way to go! That is a great effort, both physical and mental.

From Brent on Tue, Jul 24, 2007 at 15:21:17

Congradulations, how did you drop the other runner with you at mile 18? I did take a picture of you two as you went by. Let me know if you want it and I will email it. Great job on the cash. By the way, many runners behind the front runners really looked like their quads were gone.

From James on Tue, Jul 24, 2007 at 15:28:51

Nice job Sasha! We tried to run up to see you after the 10K, but we missed you. I am glad that you posted your race because I wanted to know how you did. $1,000 is a chunk of change, don't spend it all on poweraid and honey!

From Scott Browning on Tue, Jul 24, 2007 at 15:51:46

Nice Job Sasha!! I talked to Peter Vail, he was walking when I saw him, he tore his hamstring on the way down and bailed at about 16 or so. You looked great when I saw you, good to see you get some money too!

From Clay Simmons on Tue, Jul 24, 2007 at 15:57:25

Nice job Sasha, with all the hard training you do this was well deserved!! You are inspiring I am truly amazed by your fitness, it makes me want to work harder...

From "D" Ence on Tue, Jul 24, 2007 at 16:02:43

Nice work Sasha! Hopefully you can use the money for something fun and not something like paying for the door to get fixed on VanGoo!

From Kerry on Tue, Jul 24, 2007 at 16:29:10

Great job, Sasha! You've shown all of us the link between preparation and performance. Thanks for your example of hard work and determination.

From Chad on Tue, Jul 24, 2007 at 17:03:43

Sasha--it's too bad we weren't able to see you on the course after the 10k. Would have been great to give some encouragement. Nice job and nice payday. Go buy the Fast Running Mommy something nice (!)

From Maria on Tue, Jul 24, 2007 at 17:46:49

Congratulations on a great effort and a nice payday, finally! You really deserve to be making more money from racing as you work so incredibly hard.

From wheakory on Tue, Jul 24, 2007 at 17:58:59

Nice run Sasha and way to grab some cash. Your time is impressive considering you pushed yourself this week with no taper.

From Michael on Tue, Jul 24, 2007 at 18:26:10

Wow, terrific race Sasha. 3rd place is something to be proud of, being the best from Utah is fantastic and only loosing to 2 fast Kenyans is not bad at all. Your strong training definately paid off. Congrats on getting some well deserved award money

From Superfly on Tue, Jul 24, 2007 at 19:04:32

Good job Sasha. I had a great time running in with you. I hope your recover fast.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Jul 24, 2007 at 19:46:54

Everybody - thanks for the comments and encouragement. Brent - the other runner with me was Clyde, he was just pacing/encouraging/getting some marathon pace miles in. Later on, we were in the easy miles mode for him.

When I get extra money, I always put it either towards the savings or towards the mortgage. I believe in living with minimum debt, and being prepared for emergencies. With 5 kids, and possibly more coming in the future, you cannot or at least should not spend your money on fun things left and right until your debt is zero, and there is a bit of safety net in the savings, and we are not there yet.

From James in Sunny AZ on Tue, Jul 24, 2007 at 21:03:54

Congratulations, Sasha! Glad you were able to do well in spite of the recent health issues that certainly played a factor in your time.

From Cody on Tue, Jul 24, 2007 at 21:40:38

Nice Job Sasha!

Way to show why you are one of the top marathoners in the state. Well deserved.

From JohnK on Tue, Jul 24, 2007 at 22:36:33

Congrats on the excellent performance. I think we all get motivation and encouragement from your dedication and hard work. Glad to see you got the nice payday.

From Lybi on Wed, Jul 25, 2007 at 01:31:16

YEA! Way to go get 'em, Sasha. You are an animal! If you're having a hard time figuring out what to do with your cash (ha ha) you could always put it toward a piano. :)

From Lybi on Wed, Jul 25, 2007 at 01:33:00

Oh--I just saw your comment about debt. Too true, too true.

From jtshad on Wed, Jul 25, 2007 at 12:45:23

Congratulations on the great race! What a time and a strong 3rd place finish is fantastic. You are an inspirational runner, keep it up.

From Nick on Wed, Jul 25, 2007 at 22:00:12

Nice Sasha! That is way cool that you got 3rd place, especially since it has financial payoff! Too bad I couldn't have been there to run the last bit with you.

From Michelle on Sat, Jul 28, 2007 at 13:43:46

Wow Sasha! Congratulations on your excellent race. You are an inspiration!

From Tom on Sat, Jul 28, 2007 at 14:02:50

Super race Sasha! Glad to see you get rewarded in more ways than one for all your efforts both on the roads and with this website. One of these days I need to actually meet you face-to-face so I can shake your hand and give you a big THANK YOU!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Legs, mainly quads were to sore to run productively this morning, although I could have forced it, and a year ago actually did when they hurt worse. This time I decided to wait until the evening. In the evening, they were slightly better. I ran a mile in 9:17 with Jenny and pushing Jacob in the stroller. The pain was bearable, but I still felt running more would not have been productive, so I decided to do some biking instead. So I rode my standard 10.04 course. 28:07 on the way out, but I made a few stops and did not stop the watch, 22:33 on the way back. My bike has some issues with gears, the frame is too short for me, and it is a 30lb mountain bike. It also took me about 8.5 miles to figure out that if you stand up and pedal really hard for a bit, then you can sit down and just coast, and you end up going a lot faster with the same effort. So I was going about 4:20-4:30 pace most of the way. At the end, once I figured out the trick, I hit the last quarter that had 2 90 degree turns in 62. So I figure two miles of biking is about a mile of running, so I'll count this ride as 5 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From wheakory on Thu, Jul 26, 2007 at 01:27:28

I've got a 30lb mountain bike and the effort is definitely difficult compared to a standard road bike. God has blessed you with your running skills and there's better PR's to come for you. Good Job in the Marathon.

From Wildbull on Thu, Jul 26, 2007 at 15:55:09

I hope so shasa, because i feel so slow now! I think i am still recovering from the half.

From Mike K on Thu, Jul 26, 2007 at 16:25:23

You were smart to bike today. I think there are two parts to soreness: soreness from running hard and soreness from impacting the ground. You won't loose any fitness in two or three days but you can beat your body up pretty good if you push it too early.

What is your next race?

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jul 26, 2007 at 16:38:46

Mike - my next race is Provo River Half. My next tapered race is Top of Utah. I think most of the soreness is from the pounding. Based on the HR readings prior to the time when my HRM quit (mile 16), energy utilization wise most of the race was a jog. I had my HR around 156-158 during the 2 flatter East Canyon miles with the Kenyans, 158-160 going up the Little Mountain, and around 155 trying to discourage Peter Vail from pursuing me. Other than that, HR never cracked 152. For a comparison, when I ran St. George last year, it was fairly consistent around 157, and I felt the difference in the breathing as well. I thought that putting in a lesser cardiovascular effort would help reduce the impact, but it did not. Compared to last year, my legs gave out just the same in the last 6 miles, I am almost as sore, just a little better, but still DesNews style of soreness for me.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Legs still sore this morning, so I biked my 10.04 course. For a change, took off the Jones counter and wore tights instead of my regular street pants the night before. This made quite a bit of a difference. I rode the course in 39:05. First half in 19:12, second in 19:53. That includes a number of slow downs due to sharp turns, getting through a construction zone, and going around pedestrians on the trail. When there were no obstacles, I was going 3:30 mile pace (around 17mph) fairly comfortably. This is on a 30lb mountain bike that is not in great condition - the main problem is that the frame is too short and the saddle does not get up high enough. The chain is also rubbing some against the gear shifting lever and on top of that you cannot go into the highest gears, but on that trail I did not feel the need - the position of the seat relative to the pedals would not allow me to put forth enough power for a higher gear anyway. However, when I got up, I finally started feeling right, except there was no seat underneath me. And, of course, no clips.

Would anybody familiar with biking venture to predict how fast I might be able to go on a nice road bike with everything in proper condition? And what rank this would earn me in a bike race. Ted suggested at one point that my quads might be better suited for biking than running, and in theory that could be a reasonable idea - in running you are pretty much stuck with your biomechanics, while in biking there are a lot of things you can change - the size of the bike, gears, etc, so if you have raw power, it should be easier to find a way to use it. But theory is very different from practice.

 Ran 0.5 with Julia in the afternoon, and then 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in the evening. The leg pain is gradually going away, but is still making me run funny. But at least I feel like screaming only half the regular volume. You can see why the prize money at DesNews attracts so little competition relative to other marathons. My legs are not even sore after any other marathon, and this one brings me to this!

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Scott Zincone on Fri, Jul 27, 2007 at 00:01:30

Sasha -

I am not qualified enough to answer your cycling questions. But I can say it is fun to ride every so often just for a change of pace. And you can still get in a good workout in the process. And screaming down a big hill is always good for a big dose of adrenaline.

From "D" Ence on Fri, Jul 27, 2007 at 00:09:50

Sasha, glad to hear the legs are recovering some from the marathon. Regarding your biking questions Steve Olsen does quite a bit of biking and could probably answer some of your questions. Like Ted suggested your quad muscles are very strong, so it would be interesting to see how well you could compete in an endurance bike race using a decent road bike.

From Maria on Fri, Jul 27, 2007 at 08:45:42

Sasha - another update from Alexander Gladkov's friends: they have finally set up a Paypal account! How do you get that Paypal Logo button that says "Paypal Donate" and takes people directly to your payment page? I assume you have to configure your custom payment page, but where is that HTML snippet that would give you the logo to put on your site? They just listed the email address of the recipient - it works, but you have to login to Paypal first and then go to Send Money. It would be nice if they can put a visual aid on their site that would take people to Paypal directly.

There was also an article about Galdkov's situation in Ukranian newspaper 2 days ago, and apparently, his condition is getting worse and worse:

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Jul 27, 2007 at 12:57:20

Maria - they sure try to make it difficult. I just tried to send a payment, and got the error message from PayPal about recipients with accounts in Russia not being able to receive funds.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Jul 27, 2007 at 13:04:58

I just read the article. It is in Russian. Here is one thing that impressed me - they asked him if he would not have gone into the sport had he known about his condition, and he says, no way, I cannot imagine my life without the sport. He is also getting married on September 1.

From Maria on Fri, Jul 27, 2007 at 13:07:32

Thanks for trying, Sasha! I was just linking my other account to Paypal so I can send a payment too. Arrgghh...I guess they need to find a person in US who can collect the funds and then make one lump sum bank transfer to them. Very cumbersome, but that just shows how CIS countries are not integrated into the "global" world yet! I'll let them know...

From Steve Olsen on Fri, Jul 27, 2007 at 13:54:43

Great race this week. My quads are not too bad, but I have some horrible blisters that have slowed me down some. As far as the bike question, there are many variables when it comes to calculating your speed. Based on the information you provided, I would say you could pick up 5 to 7 miles per hour in speed on a flat road with an average road bike. Any speed above 20 miles per hour riding alone on a flat road is pretty good. It's a great way to cross train, but it can pull your focus from running if your not careful. At least it does for me. I was going to ask you what your Garmin recorded for distance at the Marathon. I have asked a few people and everyone is reporting about 26.41 or so.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Jul 27, 2007 at 14:09:48

Steve - thanks for the info. My Garmin lost signal at around 16. However, for a while it was right on with the race mile markers. You can easily pick up as much as half a mile extra distance on the DesNews course if you are sloppy on the tangents.

From adam on Fri, Jul 27, 2007 at 23:29:54

sasha- hopefully you get this before tomorrow. I have been sick all day since getting back from the run. I will have to see how I'm feeling tomorrow, so I won't meet up.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Jeff and Adam - 10.04 course. Legs still sore, although a lot less. Could not break 8:00 pace for a while. Got to the turnaround in 41:01. On the way back started edging up on the 8:00 guy. Finally around 7.5 accidentally accelerated to 7:00 pace, and then the legs were too sore to slow down. Picked it up on the last quarter, ran it in 1:28. 1:17:51 for the run.

Ran with the kids in the evening, total 2.5 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From James on Sat, Jul 28, 2007 at 14:17:11

You've got to love the post marathon legs! Glad you are recovering well.

Hey, I shot you an email, so check it out.

From Mike K on Sat, Jul 28, 2007 at 14:47:38

Glad to see that the legs are coming back.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

And should we die before our journey's through, happy day all is well. We then our free from toil and sorrow too, with the just we shall dwell...

My legs were still sore today, but not as sore as yesterday. I could walk down the stairs without the urge to scream. My intuition told me they will not get any worse from running 15 miles with a 5 mile tempo in the middle. I thought it would give me a nice "big workout" (term borrowed from Tinman). I think he is on to something with that. Best marathoners train in a number of different ways. But one thing in common is that they frequently run for 90+ minutes at once. It could be Zatopek's 40x400, or it could be Viren's 50 mile jog around a big lake, or it could be something more conventional - 20 miles with 10 hard at the end. There is a common theme around my good marathons - frequent and properly balanced runs of 90 minutes or more.

So I ran with Jeff to the end of my 10.04 course, then back to the start of the 5 mile tempo. It started to get warm. My legs were feeling the pain. Jeff noticed that my stride was shorter than his. Normally it is longer. I did not have my normal quad power, so I had to compensate with higher turnover. Nevertheless, we managed about 7:00 average for the first 8.7 miles of our run. I had second thoughts about the tempo, but figured I could slow down to whatever I needed to be able to finish it, and whatever I got would be a benchmark of my current level of recovery.

Splits by the mile - 5:51 - 5:47 (11:38) - turnaround 14:33 (2:55) - 3 miles 17:25 (2:52, 5:47) - 5:47 (23:12) - 5:46 (28:58). Jeff was running strong around 3, and I thought he might drop me, but then he ran out of gas and fell back a bit on the last mile. The run fell tough. I think there were several things that made it so:

  • pain in the quads - every step hurt, not much, like a mosquito bite maybe, but this makes it hard to concentrate
  • loss of power in the quads - this a big deal for me. I have thought about this issue for a while. My opinion is that one's ability to balance the quad and the hamstring well is a function of the condition of the lower back. A more biomechanically talented runner (minority of the runners) will have the lower back in proper balance and will use quads and hamstrings in a more effective proportion. A less  biomechanically talented runner (majority of the runners) will have issues in the lower back that will force him to rely on the quads more. Thus he will  never negative or even -split a marathon without  running below his potential because even though he may have the fuel reserves left in the second half, his quads are partially disabled due to the cumulative pounding impact in the first half, quads being the primary shock absorber, and he cannot do much without them. Whereas the other type of runner does not suffer as much from the loss of quad power because his hamstrings are better utilized, and they are not a major shock absorber, so if they have the fuel in the second half, they can go.
  • heat
  • having run 8.7 miles earlier
  • lack of glycogen from the marathon 4 days ago

So I was pleased with the run. Finished the rest barely fast enough to keep the 6:40 guy off our backs - 1:39:41 for 15.04.

Ran with the kids in the evening - total of 2.5.

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From Clay on Sat, Jul 28, 2007 at 23:44:59

Way to hang in there Sasha, you are amazing...

From wheakory on Sun, Jul 29, 2007 at 01:34:07

Very nice run to finish the week, especially four days from your last marathon, very impressive.

I think the quad theory you talked about is true, because you will see in races where runners will run the downhill well (example Des. News, Pocatello Marathon) then when the flat part of the course comes some runners have relied so much on the quads alone, and maybe not the proper conditioning that they have nothing left when the flat or rolling hills come in the second half of the course. Then there are runner's that just adjust from the downhill to the flat. I think that involves proper conditioning and your lower back theory.

From Brent on Sun, Jul 29, 2007 at 11:20:30

Sasha, you must be an eagle scout, excellent survival skills. Adaptation to the situation at hand. I certainly agree with Wheakory, it is a real challange after the downhill to adjust to the flat.

From James on Sun, Jul 29, 2007 at 17:58:44

Nice run. Wow! You really got beat up from that marathon! Your not one to mention being super sore too often. I am like that after St. George for the better part of a week. I heard that this new Des News course beats you up worse than the old one.

I noticed that you, Bill, and Steve all ran similar times at Des News and Ogden this year, what is your take on that?

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Jul 30, 2007 at 13:45:47

James - my take on that is that courses are equivalently slow. The elevation drop in DesNews happens in a very performance-destructive way. You drop 3200 feet net, and then on top of that you climb the Little Mountain, then of course you have to drop down, then you have a whole bunch of little climbs that you have to drop down more to compensate. I think it is really hard on the quads if you work them climbing, they tighten up, and then while still tight, you start using them as a shock absorber going down.

I also think that I was mistaken earlier thinking that most damage to the quads happens in the first 4 miles of this race on the 7% down. I took the first 4 very easy compared to last year (5:20 pace vs. 4:45), then ran the rest of the race a only little bit faster and ended up pretty much with the same level of soreness in the end. I think the two most destructive punches are Emmigration Canyon 10 - 15 (Little Mountain and the subdivision detour prime you for this), and the rolling hills of the Wasatch Drive and Foothill (16 - 20). If I were to do it over again, I would run the first 4 miles at about 4:50-5:00 pace, and really ease off on the Little Mountain, the subdivision detour, and all other uphills. Also, make sure the quads are relaxed before starting to push the downhills.

From wheakory on Mon, Jul 30, 2007 at 14:16:18

Last year when I ran the Des News my calves were sore after the race, and my quads were fine. Like you I took the first four miles a bit slower, and pushed really hard in the end. My calves are really the only part that get sore after a

marathon, so I think I need more strength training in that area of the body. I'm not sure why my quads don't get sore, but I do a lot of downhill running in Pocatello, or maybe I just don't push my legs hard enough.

I would say your absolutely right on the areas of the course that are a punishment on your legs.

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Jul 30, 2007 at 14:35:42

Kory - I think the reason your quads do not get sore is that you do not use them as much due to your form. This is not necessarily bad. Can you have somebody video-tape you and post the video on YouTube?

From wheakory on Mon, Jul 30, 2007 at 14:47:54

Sure I can have that done. I'd like to do anything to get the maximum ability out of my running to become better/fast.

What about my calves do you think strength training would help in that area? It's not real bad after a marathon. Their maybe sore for a couple hours and then I'm fine. For instance, I ran the Teton Marathon in June and afterwards they were sore, but by two hours they felt fine. I could even walk up and down the stairs without a problem and mowed my lawn that same day after the race.

Thanks for looking into this Sasha.

From wheakory on Mon, Jul 30, 2007 at 16:50:47

Sure I can have that done. I'd like to do anything to get the maximum ability out of my running to become better/fast.

What about my calves do you think strength training would help in that area? It's not real bad after a marathon. Their maybe sore for a couple hours and then I'm fine. For instance, I ran the Teton Marathon in June and afterwards they were sore, but by two hours they felt fine. I could even walk up and down the stairs without a problem and mowed my lawn that same day after the race.

Thanks for looking into this Sasha.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Legs felt a lot better today, although still not 100%. The quads are still weaker, and fatigue easily. The plan was for an easy 10 in the morning, and then go another 2 in loops around the block if that felt right. Had to be back by 7:30 for Sarah to leave on her run, and I left at 6:21, so I had to hustle. After one leisurely quarter fairly quickly got up to 7:10 pace. Then saw Lance Barker, and ran with him. He originally was going to run up to the Y, but I was able to persuade him to run a 5 mile tempo. I did not have any desire to run through town to get to the Y trail, nor to climb the Y, nor did I have the time to do it. And I did not want to run alone. I am glad Lance was so easy to persuade.

Our original plan was to run 6:20 pace. Lance did not think he could sustain 6:00 or even 6:10. We ended up running 30:39 (avg 6:08) with the splits of 6:10 - 6:09 - 6:17 (going around a fallen tree twice and with a 180 turn) - 6:05 - 5:58. Lance outdid his expectations by quite a bit. My legs felt more tired from this run than they should have been. So I decided to do only 10. Total time for 10 miles was 1:09:31.

Ran with the kids in the evening. 0.5 with Julia, then to the swing and back with Benjamin and Jenny trading places on the bike, and pushing Jacob and Joseph (another 3.5). Afterwards added a mile in 6:57. It felt very good form-wise. I attribute this to the effects of increased time on the inversion table - I went from 2 times a day of 5 minutes to 2 times a day of 10 minutes. But again, I've seen so many random fluctuations while trying new things, so I am not that excited yet.

Running puts my mind into a higher thinking plane. I am able to think more positively, solve problems, and look at things with a better perspective. Tonight somehow the meaning of the phrase "faith of a child" caught my attention. Having run without prolonged breaks since childhood has done something interesting to my memory. I believe because there is a connecting theme since I started running, I remember that portion of my life very vividly, like it was yesterday. Anything before that I remember no better than the average adult. So in a moment of contemplation the time came into my view when I was about 14 years old. Many of my friends had quit running at that time and were asking me why I still kept going. I did not have a reason to give them. I felt stupid not being able to give them a reason, but I did not even have a reason to give myself. But something very deep down in me that I did not understand, but I could not deny or ignore was telling me that something precious would die if I went along with my friends and quit just like them.

Of course, now I see the wisdom of that decision. I am better off than them or where I would have ended up otherwise because of that choice in many ways. I was able to stay away from alcohol and tobacco, learn how to work, learn how to overcome challenges, and eventually ended up finding the LDS Church, developing faith in Christ,  and being able to have my family thanks to that decision to keep going early on. But how did I know? And how did I find the strength to not only feel the right way, but also follow it when nobody did. At that time, everybody who I would have considered a possible role model had disappointed me in some serious way. There was nobody to follow. I believe God gave me a gift, and did so for a purpose. I am thankful for that gift. I hope that same gift I could use a child will be available to me for the rest of my life.

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From BC on Tue, Jul 31, 2007 at 00:49:05


Looks like your legs are coming back just fine. Good work out. yes I agree with some of your statements today, like running, the gospel, can fill different needs for different people at different times in our lives. It is not always in the same way for everyone and some don't realize how each of them can control our lives both for the good and bad in some circumstances.

On a lighter note, In the news and special announcement box would it be appropriate to list Our 1st Annual East High School XC Alumni BBQ and Fun Run. It will be from 6-10 pm, Sugar House Park West Hill terrace. The new team will do a time trail on the state course about a 4K, following will be a 3K fun run for alumni, family, friends, siblings and any other who wants to come run. After we will have a BBQ and some picnic type relays. It should be a good dinner. The race is free but the dinner will be $7 adults, $5 12 and under. This is just to cover the catering costs. Anyway as a new coach it is hard to find past runners and maybe someone on the blog might know of someone or would like to attend themselves.

From bc on Tue, Jul 31, 2007 at 00:51:23

Sasha, Sorry forgot to put the date. It is this friday, August 3, 2007.

Thanks Bill

From Lybi on Tue, Jul 31, 2007 at 01:26:25

Sweet! I love how you pour your soul into your running, Sasha. Now you are a role model for a lot of people yourself. No pressure.

From Paul Thomas on Tue, Jul 31, 2007 at 09:52:09

Thanks, Sasha, for sharing your thoughts on how running has impacted your life. They really resonated with me. Like you, running has had a tremendous positive impact on my life. At age 12 I was labeled a "wimp" by a school coach, at age 14 another coach said I ran "like a girl" (which he intended as an insult but which I would now accept as a compliment). These are just two examples of many experiences that led me to have very low confidence in my physical abilities. After knee surgery for a football injury in 9th grade, I started running. Long story short, I ended up being successful in track and cross country in high school and ran a 2:52 marathon in 1982 (I was 22). Even though I only ran sporadically for the next 20+ years, the self-confidence, work ethic, and endurance I learned from running contributed so much to my life. Now that I'm running again (since 2002), I draw so much positive energy from the experiences and relationships that have come from running. Running is not just something I do, I feel like it's part of who I am. I'm grateful to be a runner. Thanks again, Sasha, for this blog site and for sharing yourself with the rest of us.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Sasha House 10 miler in the morning. Legs are not sore any more, but feeling still weaker. Got bored, threw in a 1.5 mile tempo to wake up/get going in 8:30. First mile in 5:46, the remaining 0.5 in 2:44. Total time for 10.04 was 1:09:41.

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Julia has been having some motivational problems lately, not uncommon for a 4 year old. We addressed them by reading the Little Engine That Could. So she yelled I think I can pretty much her entire run. That made it quite a bit faster. Instead of her standard 5:30 - 5:50 for 0.5 she ran 5:07. Then ran with Benjamin and Jenny for 2 miles (pushed Jenny after the mile in the stroller) in 18:13. Then ran 2.5 on my own in 17:28.

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From rdrunner on Wed, Aug 01, 2007 at 17:40:39

Did I read on one of your entries that you use and inversion table? I have been considering getting one for my ailing back. Had a herniated disk repair surgery 15 years ago and am now feeling some of the same symptoms as before (tight muscles in the leg and back, numbness and weakness in the left leg). Let me know if you use one and what your experience has been. Thank you.

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Aug 01, 2007 at 23:51:16

rdrunner - I just started using an inversion table about a month ago. I have not seen any huge miracles with it, but I do like the way I feel when I get off. I think to a great extent for me it is a matter of figuring the right amount of time, the correct angle, and proper relaxation. I do not believe I have any serious issues in the back for somebody who want to run a 2:40 marathon, but I think that even a couple of compressed discs in some critical areas can very well keep you from going under 2:20.

Your bad back does explain to a great extent why you have such a hard time at 6:00 pace. Your heart and legs should be able to do it comfortably by now with a healthy back. So I think as far as your running performance is concerned, anything you can do to restore your spinal health is just as important as building your strength and endurance.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Sasha House 10 miler this morning at 5:20 AM. Because of the early hour felt sleepy and sluggish. Did a couple of tempo pickups to freshen up. Ran a mile in 5:33 ( the last one of the standard 5 mile tempo), and then ran the last 0.65 at about 5:40 pace. Total time for the run was 1:11:00. The form did not feel good even though I did 5 minutes of hanging upside down on the inversion table before the run. I think that position was not effective because I tense up while trying to maintain it.

Tried a different position in the afternoon, not quite a 90 degree angle between my body and the horizontal plane, maybe only 80 degrees, but I could maintain that position relaxed - 10 minutes. The form felt much better in the evening run. Ran 0.5 with Julia, then 0.4 while the kids played, then Sarah came back from her run, and I took Benjamin and Jenny. Jenny ran her mile in 8:56. She picked it up to 8:00 pace at the end to catch the 9:00 girl, and Benjamin started complaining. I told him his little sister was going to beat him if he kept complaining, that woke him up. On the way back he maintained the 8:00 pace, then saw two dogs, shifted gears, and started going 7:12 pace. With Jenny now in the stroller this gave me a good workout. His last quarter was 1:46, and total time for 2 miles was 16:30. His health is returning, he is starting to act normal.

Dropped Benjamin and Jenny off at the park with Sarah, and continued the run. Saw a potential running partner, ran with him. His name is Roman. Then after about a mile it was time for me to turn around. There was another guy going in the opposite direction. I jogged a bit at around 7:00 pace, he was not coming to me very fast, then figured I wanted to run with a partner for any considerable amount of time, I needed to pick it up. So I sped up to 5:20, and it is amazing how much faster somebody running 7:30 is coming to you at 5:20 vs 7:00 - took me only about 0.2 miles to catch him. Chatted with him a bit, his name was John, then it was time for me to go home. Ended up with a total of 5.5 for the evening run.

Afterwards, picked up a hula hoop and after  a couple of tries was able to spin it for about 15-20 seconds. I have never been able to do that before.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Tempo 5 miles with Nick McCombs on the Provo River 5 Mile Tempo.  This was going to be a test of recovery. A year ago I ran it in 28:26 with a positive split, dying off as I went. 

Splits by 0.5 - 2:49 - 2:47 (5:36) - 2:47 - 2:49 (11:12, 5:36) - 2:48 (14:00) - 2:47 (16:47, 5:35) - 2:49 - 2:48 (22:24, 5:37) - 2:48 (uphill) - 2:42 (quarters of 1:23 and 1:19) - last mile in 5:30, last 2.5 in 13:54 - 6 second negative split - total time 27:54.0.

The pace did not feel super-easy at first, but it just did not get any harder. I kept waiting for a crash to happen, but it never did. This is very encouraging - being able to run 32 seconds faster that last year around the same time away from the marathon with a negative split, which means I had more juice left. 

Nick was being nice to me, did not push the pace, and kept asking me if I was doing OK sympathetic to the post-marathon recovery syndrome.

Total of 10.8 for the run with the warm-up and cool down.

Ran easy 5 miles in the evening, including 2.5 with the kids. Got soaked in the rain.

Went to a church meeting in the evening. In a group of about 10 people there were several Spanish speakers and one Russian. This is actually typical for Provo, even though we are in a small town in the Western United States.


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From James in Sunny AZ on Fri, Aug 03, 2007 at 01:03:21

Wow, I agree that this sounds encouraging for you. Have you been putting in more miles this year than last year?

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Sasha House 10 Miler in the morning with Jeff and Nick. Started out really slow, first quarter in 2:25 - that is 9:40 pace! Jeff told us about being caught in a flash flood while hiking at Zion's Park this week. After about 4 miles we finally started breaking 7:00. Then gradually increased the pace to around 6:30. Finished the last 0.3 at 5:40. Total time for 10.04 was 1:10:59. It was very humid.

In the evening ran with Julia (0.5), then with Benjamin and Jenny to the swing - they brought a bike and took turns (3.5), and then added a mile in 6:58.

Abs started hurting a bit. They are naturally weak probably because I do not use them much while running. I always hope it is because the form is changing for the better when they start to hurt.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Felt since I was still not 100% recovered from the marathon, I needed to do something mild today. Decided to try Tinman 1 mile easy/1 mile marathon pace long run. I absolutely cannot stand a 20 mile run at an easy pace. It takes forever, and I feel more tired afterwards than if I run at least half of it at marathon pace. And I have not had good results with those slow runs in the past.

Started with Ted and Jeff from the finish of the Provo River 10 miler (Riverwoods), and ran up to the start and back. Forgot The Toy, so decided to do the mile pickups by the Hawk's marks when they were there, otherwise just go roughly by time. Started out with a jog, took about half a mile before we started breaking 8:00. Ran the first tempo mile up 0.5% grade into a headwind in 5:58. Before the start of the second, Jeff and I had to make a pit stop. Ted went ahead at an easy pace. It took us a bit too long, and we fell further behind than could be covered with one tempo mile. We did the first tempo mile into a headwind and up about 1.5% grade in 6:06.

After that, there was still no sight of Ted, so we kept going at the same effort further up. After about another mile, we still could not even see Ted. So we eased off thinking that perhaps we might have missed him somehow. Then a couple of minutes later we passed some runners and asked them if Ted had passed them. They told us he was about 200 yards ahead, so we picked up again. It took us about 0.8 at about 6:00 pace to finally catch him. Ran with him until his turnaround - 7 miles, and then started the tempo. By that time we were going up South Fork. Jeff had to be to work early, so he turned around at 7.5. I figured a tempo effort up that grade would be about 7:00 mile, so I decide to go for 7 minutes. However, after the 7 minutes were up I did not feel like losing the momentum, and decided to go another 2 minutes to make the total tempo mileage on the odometer around 5 before the turnaround.

Hit the turnaround in 1:09:17 - not bad for 800 feet of climb with only half done at a tempo effort. On the way back, decided to make my tempos a bit longer to get the whole run over with quicker. Figured I'd do the stretch from the start to Vivian Park (3.23) and the standard 3 mile tempo from Nuns to the mouth of the canyon. Felt sluggish starting out, but after two miles got into a good rhythm. Finished the 3.23 stretch in 18:16, which is around 5:40 average.

Jogged from Vivian Park to Nuns at around 6:40 pace. Then started the second tempo. First two miles were sluggish again - both in 5:44. I felt a bit low on fuel. However, when I reached a little deeper, I was able to find more. The third mile was 5:37, giving me 17:05 for the 3 mile stretch. Then I could not bear the thought of dragging along for another mile at 6:40 pace. It would have felt like hitting a construction zone at the end of a 15 hour drive. So I decided to keep the tempo effort to the end. It was actually a bit more than a mile, but I timed a mile stretch on the trail in 5:34. Total time for the whole thing was 2:09:11, ran the Provo River 10 miler coming back in 59:54.

Ran 2.5 in the afternoon by myself in 18:14, then 2 miles with Benjamin in 17:07 (Jenny ran the first in 9:11, then rode in the stroller along with Jacob). Another 0.5 with Julia in 5:42.


Felt good, on the second run could not really tell I had done the first.

Benjamin looked great on the last 0.5. At 7:30 pace he looked like he was out for a stroll - very relaxed stride.


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From sarah on Sat, Aug 04, 2007 at 23:45:48

Myskhke privet ya tebya loobloo!!!!

From bc on Mon, Aug 06, 2007 at 01:06:18

Sasha, I was just showing Demetrio the blog pages and the mileage board. He said he use to keep track of weekly average miles, can we add this ? It would be helpful to see what we are averaging weekly for the whole year. When we go up and down based on our races it shows highs and lows but keeping track of an average for the year would be helpful.


From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Aug 06, 2007 at 11:30:53

Bill - good idea, I'll add that in the next couple of weeks. I also need to fix the updating bug - for the first week of the month, it shows last month values in this month column for the people who have not updated the blog since last month.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran with Ted in the morning. His son James joined us for the first 3 miles. Had a very sluggish start, and I was the initiator of it - I was actually dragging behind Ted and James on the first quarter which we did in 2:25. Took us a while before we started breaking 8:00. Got to the turnaround (5.02) in 39:13. Eventually sped up to 7:15, and then 6:40 at the end. Finished 10.04 in 1:14:47. Dropped Ted off, then added another 2 miles, first in 6:42, second in 6:32. Total time for 12.04 was 1:28:01.

Ran 2.5 by myself in the evening in 17:59. Then ran with the kids. 2 miles with Benjamin, Jenny, and Jacob in the stroller. Put Jenny in the stroller at 1.5. Finished 2 miles in 16:28. Ran 0.5 with Julia in 5:25. Total of 5 miles. 

 During our Family Home Evening we read a funny scripture in Acts 19:13-16:

 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the LORD Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.

 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.

 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?

 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

 On a day like this I noticed I consume about 300 grams of honey in addition to regular meals.

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From Lybi on Mon, Aug 06, 2007 at 23:59:45

Huh? I find that whenever I read scriptures about possessed people, I tend to crave honey too...

From Shauna on Tue, Aug 07, 2007 at 00:31:58


Is this the right place to respond to your feedback of my race? I'll try it.

Thanks for your feedback. I think my 10K time ended up being just over 59 minutes, a 9:35 pace. With the 10% slowdown, I would have run about 8:30-ish pace in Phoenix. The last time I ran this race, I finished in 54:00. I had trained with a 50:00 goal but didn't make it, probably due to the hills and altitude. I went on to run a 3:54 marathon (my PR) that season, which was 14 minutes shy of my goal to qualify for Boston. My goal again is to qualify for Boston at the PF Chang's marathon in January. I'm concerned because I'm slower now than I was before I started my training last time, but I need to run the marathon even faster!

From Aaron on Tue, Aug 07, 2007 at 01:48:17

This *is* a funny passage. I think it's actually making fun of a specific sect, the Cynics. The Greek word translated as "vagabond," perierchomenos, means 'someone who goes around,' and was used by Epictetus in the late first century A.D. to describe his ideal of the wandering philosopher or hero.

I met some of those exorcists at the University of California. But back then they were into vegetarianism and crystal healing.

From wheakory on Tue, Aug 07, 2007 at 12:17:33

Good scripture. It shows you need faith in Jesus and his direction to overcome and have the authority to use his name for that situation.

From Maria on Tue, Aug 07, 2007 at 14:51:11

Sasha, I'm looking to buy couple of running books from Amazon, and I checked the Fastrunningblog store. Both of the books are not available. Would it be possible to add them? They are "Running with the Buffaloes" by Chris Lear and "Paula: My story So Far", by Paula Radcliffe. Thanks!

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Aug 07, 2007 at 15:22:18

Maria - I've added them on the second page. Thanks for your support.

From Dave Holt on Tue, Aug 07, 2007 at 17:52:31

Sasha, thanks for your math update for me. I've said it before, and I will say it again... It is a good thing I don't teach math! Truthfully, I was wondering why I was so far off on my times for that workout... there it is.

I was also wondering if you have a little time, maybe you could give me a little more detailed description of the Provo River 1/2's course, so I could be a little ready for it mentally. Thanks.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Aug 07, 2007 at 18:06:09

Dave - to start, read my report from last year, the splits should tell you a lot. In summary, you get 800 feet of drop, a good portion of it in the first 3 miles (2-3% grade). There is a mile long uphill from about 5.5 on which you get a strong headwind more often than not. Otherwise it is mostly 1% down. Last mile is essentially flat. Prior to 2006 the course was short by about 0.1, and my predictor right now is tuned for that version. The current version could be slightly long, maybe by about 0.05.

From Maria on Tue, Aug 07, 2007 at 18:41:11

Thanks Sasha, I hoped it worked. I started from Fastrunningblog store, but then was taken to a regular Amazon page for a checkout.

On another note, check out this interesting blog from South African exercise physiologists (one of them works directly under Tim Noakes, so I tend to listen to his opinion): Interesting entry today (as well as on Aug. 4) stating that developing speed in shorter distances is crucial before moving up to the marathon, for all levels of runners. That resonates with advice I read from Leonid Shvetsov, and lead me to believe that I shouldn't be so keen on marathon until I can bring my 5-10K times down. I think you also expressed similar ideas regarding your own ability to run OT standard relative to your 5K time.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Aug 07, 2007 at 19:05:59

Maria - thanks for the link. I posted a brief comment in that blog. I do agree that if your 5 K speed is slow, you need to figure out why. But in many cases a partial cure is a marathon-focused training.

From Cody on Tue, Aug 07, 2007 at 20:47:08

I like the new article "Top 10 excuses for missing a run". I would be interested to data mine the blog to see what is the one used most often. Although many people perfer to not fill in an excuse, they tend to leave the day blank. Still very interesting.

From adam on Tue, Aug 07, 2007 at 22:46:29

here's an intresting scripture that's a bit running oriented:

1 Kings 18:41-46; Elijah is the fastest ultrarunner in the scriptures, beating a royal chariot, on foot, a distance of about 50 kilometers-in the rain.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

The Big Workout in the morning. Ran with Ted, Jeff, and Ted's son James. Started slow as usual, then gradually warmed up. James turned around at 3 miles. We gradually picked it up to about 7:00 pace. Hit the turnaround point (5.02) in 38:32. Started the tempo run at the 2.5 turnaround of the standard 5 mile tempo (about 6.2 into the run, 46:38 time wise). The plan was to go 7.5 and hold 5:40 pace, faster if possible, slower if not feeling good.

Splits: 5:38 - 5:37 (11:15) - turnaround (2.5) in 14:05 (2:50) - 5:42 (16:57, 2:52) - 5:33 (22:30, dropped Jeff off at 4) - 5:37 (28:07, 2.5 in 14:02) - 5:37 ( 33:44, Jeff rejoined for the last 2 miles) - 5:36 (39:20) - last 0.5 in 2:42, total time 42:02, last 2.5 in 13:55, last 5 in 27:57, last 2 miles in 11:03, last mile in 5:30, last quarter in 1:18, and last 200 in 37. Incidentally, the last 10 K was 34:49 (from calculations, there was no mark), which is the fastest non-downhill 10 K I've run this year so far anywhere, in training or a race.

The pace felt easy at first, and then become a bit harder later on, after about 1.5. Then it did not become any harder. Having Jeff around certainly helped. I particularly enjoyed his company on the last 200 meters, if one can use the term enjoyable in reference to running anaerobically at the end of a 7.5 mile tempo and with over 13.5 miles on the odometer already. But it felt so good to just finally be able to tuck behind him and kind of coast. Before that, we ran mostly side by side.

Finished the 15.04 with the total time of 1:39:48.

Overall, the workout shows that I am recovering from the marathon through/in spite of the high mileage. On Thursday I did the 5 mile tempo only 3 seconds faster than the last 5 miles of this run, and that was with only a 2.5 warm up. On this run I was also alone for 1.5 miles, and even when running with Jeff, because the pace is hard on him as well, I cannot tuck in behind him for too long when I need a break. With Nick I get more drafting.

In the evening, started with 1.25 in 9:50 pushing a stroller with Jacob, Joseph, and some misc items for playing at the park, and Benjamin and Jenny alongside on their bikes. Got to the park, a little bit of badminton with Sarah, then took Julia for 0.5 in 5:22. Then took Benjamin and Jenny. We ran the first mile in 8:33, dropped Jenny off, then Benjamin went for a chase of the 8:00 guy. He got him - 7:22 last mile, 15:55 for two miles. On the way back, ran 1.25 with the stroller loaded the same way, and Benjamin and Jenny alongside on their bikes. Total of 5 miles with Benjamin's help averaging sub-8:00.

Afterwards, was very hungry, eating everything in sight for a while.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From bc on Wed, Aug 08, 2007 at 00:59:46

sasha Could we add an am and Pm box for the template.


From ArmyRunner on Wed, Aug 08, 2007 at 09:22:14

Good idea.

From ArmyRunner on Wed, Aug 08, 2007 at 09:29:00

Also it would only seem fair to add a Top Female Runners and a Female Mileage data bar as well. I like these additions but it does not seem that it includes the top female runners on the blog. If you really wanted to be all inclusive I guess since there are more and more younger runners on the blog you could add under 18 years old data tabs as well. I know James would like that.

From Lybi on Wed, Aug 08, 2007 at 15:01:22

Thanks for the advice to James about pacing me, Sasha. You have many good ideas! I shouldn't like to miss out on a benefit prescribed by cockroaches. : )

Out of curiosity, are you still practicing piano every day?

From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Aug 08, 2007 at 16:03:28

Bill - will put this on the TODO list. Ted - right now I do not think we even have 10 female runners that have run a marathon. I will make a list when have at least 10 women that are regular bloggers and have run a marathon. With younger runners, it is hard to compare them due to the difference in age. But I will make a list once we have enough runners for each age group. Same for masters, etc.

Lybi - I am still practicing the piano, not a lot at once, 5-10 minutes, but have not missed a day for the last couple of months. I am currently working on Come, Come, Ye Saints. I did have a dream last night about cockroaches, lots of them.

From Maria on Wed, Aug 08, 2007 at 17:05:22

Sasha, was your dream in any way connected to your Moscow apartment? That's my usual association when cockroaches are mentioned :).

From Lybi on Wed, Aug 08, 2007 at 17:35:20

Bravo Sasha! I'm proud.

As for the cockroach dream, anyone with an imagination can see that it is symbolic of all these runners getting the teamwork advantage from you and all your hard work.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Early morning run with Ted at 5:00 am - 10.04 in 1:14:33. James joined us for the first three miles. We got him through his 2 mile tempo at sub-7:00 pace using the locomotive sandwich method - Ted was the pace setter locomotive, and I ran behind creating the threat of a trailing locomotive that will run you over if you slow down. Few 12 year old boys will get up that early to run period, and even fewer would be able to run sub-7:00 for two miles. We also barely missed a skunk.

In the evening first ran 1.52 with Jenny running, Benjamin on a bike, and Jacob and Joseph in the stroller to the swing in 13:40. Then met Sarah and Julia at the swing, left Benjamin and Jenny with them, and ran 3.5 in 25:00 with Jacob and Joseph in the stroller. Then ran 2.02 in 16:19 with Benjamin running, and Jacob and Julia in the stroller. Julia ran 0.5 with Sarah earlier, then rode in the stroller the rest of the way to the swing. Total of 7.04 in 54:59, with more than half done with the kids, and all of it with the double stroller.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Christi on Thu, Aug 09, 2007 at 10:22:50

I'm glad I was able to supply you with some good material for your article "Top Ten Excuses for Missing a Run" ! Seriously though, great ideas on avoiding these pitfalls. Thanks again for all your work setting up and maintaining this blog- its been an amazing help to me.

From David on Fri, Aug 10, 2007 at 11:28:14

Sasha --

This is a blog question rather than a comment on your workout. I'm unable to load Paul's blog this week. All the others I read are no problem, Paul's ('Welcome to Aneorbia') crashes my browser (Mozilla Firefox on a Mac) every time. Any idea what's wrong? Just wanted to bring that to your attention.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Aug 10, 2007 at 12:52:45


The problem is probably in the Javascript that Paul added to his blog. The users can now put fancy stuff on the side, and I guess his turned out to be too fancy for your browser. One thing you can do is upgrade to the latest version of Firefox or try Safari instead.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Another Big Workout. I wonder now if 20x400 can be effective because time-wise it is a Big Workout, with the warm-up and cool-down it lasts forever. That is not what I did this morning, though.

A big group today - Ted, Nick, Jeff, James, and Breanna. Ran the first quarter in 2:08, and I knew that I was going to have a good workout. Now this may sound rather humorous. Most runners in my bracket, and even as far as a minute per mile slower at threshold, would not think so from such a measurement. But this week I have been hitting 2:25 on the first quarter without fail, and it felt hard. Now 2:08 felt easy. Of course, this has nothing to do with the aerobic fitness - my HRM has not been working, but I am fairly certain my HR was at 100 or below. It is all about the neural drive, and for some reason my body has been chosing to inhibit it to the extreme during the warm-up stage. So I was excited to see the change.

We quickly progressed into about 7:10 pace. I was very happy to see that Breanna was still conversational. Just in June she was racing Heart of Holladay 5 K at that pace. Looks like she is getting over whatever it was that inhibited her endurance. Breanna and James turned around at 3 miles. We ran to the turnaround (5.02), hit it in 37:08, and then got back to the start of the tempo workout (2.5 mark/turnaround of the Provo River 5 Mile Tempo , about 6.2 into the run) in 45:14.

The workout was 3 - 2 -1 with 0.5 brisk jog in between to make it more of a fartlek that repetitions. Ted paced us through the first quarter of the 3 in 1:20, and continued to run easy after that. We took turns every quarter, and the pace was all over - the fastest quarter in the middle was 1:18 while the slowest was 1:25, and I believe we hit everything in between at least once. This made it lean away from the steady tempo towards a fartlek within a fartlek. First mile was 5:26, then 5:23, and the last was 5:27 for the total time of 16:16. There was a 180 turn at 2.5 which cost us probably around 3 seconds total.

Nick was running out of time, so he ran to his car after the end of the 3. Jeff and I jogged the next 0.5 in 3:57 (first 100 in 35), and then started the 2 mile tempo. Jeff took the lead on the first quarter and did it in 1:22, then I took then next 0.5 a little faster, then it was Jeff's turn, but he was struggling, so I moved up again after 200. Hit the mile in 5:27. At the point my face started developing a grimace, but I could still hold the pace even being up front. Jeff fell back maybe a second, but then pulled up with 0.5 to go, and helped with the pace quite a bit. We had a 180 turn at 1.5 mark. Finished the repetition in 10:51, last mile in 5:24.

Jogged the next 0.5 in 4:00 (first 100 in 36). I had to make a pit stop in the middle, so this made the recovery a bit longer than 4 minutes. Then went for the mile. Did it in 5:15 with the quarters of 79 - 80 - 80 - 76. Last 200 was 36. The third quarter was uphill (0.5%), the last one rolling. Jeff did well on this one, although he was hurting quite a bit after the first quarter. I think he is starting to get into really good shape for the marathon if he can be so lively with 12 miles on the odometer, 5 of them being a fairly brutal tempo.

Ran to the house, 1:39:12 for 15.04.

In the evening it was hot - 90 degrees. Had to run earlier to make it to some Church meetings/activities during the nicer part of the evening. Ran 0.5 with Julia in 5:36, then 2.5 in 19:47. Found a friend on the trail - his name is Ken Montgomery. He ran with me after 1.25. Then ran with Benjamin and Jenny. First mile in 8:40, then put Jenny in the stroller, Benjamin ran the next mile in 7:38, total for 2 was 16:18.

Noticed an increase in the neural drive. Feeling more energetic, more interested in pushing the pace, the legs feel snappier. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Paul Petersen on Fri, Aug 10, 2007 at 14:41:45

IMO total time is what qualifies a Big Workout. Anything over 90 minutes of continuous running meets the bill, so it doesn't matter if you do 20x400 or a fartlek or a tempo (or all three). I generally think of it as 15-20 miles with over half that distance being hard running.

From Mike K on Fri, Aug 10, 2007 at 15:16:29

Are you running the Provo 1/2 tomorrow?

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Aug 10, 2007 at 15:51:12

Mike - yes, I am running the Provo River Half.

From Mike K on Fri, Aug 10, 2007 at 15:56:09

Good Luck Saturday. The way you have been running I expect you to do very well.

From James in Sunny AZ on Fri, Aug 10, 2007 at 23:35:23

Sasha - good luck at the 1/2 tomorrow. Can you pinpoint anything that may have resulted in the increase in your neural drive, other than perhaps total recovery from the marathon?

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran with Ted, James, and Breanna in the morning on Sasha House 10 Miler. Breanna and James turned around at 3.5. Our pace gradually progressed to 7:10 in the middle, and then 6:40 towards the end to catch the 1:15 guy. Finished 10.04 in 1:14:50.  Checked on the state of affairs at home to see Sarah needed me to take anybody for the remaining 2 mile, she did not, so I ran 2 more miles by myself, the first in 6:29, the second in 6:11. Felt very good, at 6:11 pace the stride felt sprinty, but the effort was still very much in the easy range. I knew that it meant something, just was not quite sure what. Definitely an improvement in the neural drive, the race the next day would show if it also meant an actual increase in fitness.

It was hot in the evening, probably around 85-90 (St. George runners would call this nice and cool). Felt properly motivated for the conditions, but otherwise I would call this lazy. Ran 2.5 in 18:26 by myself, then took Benjamin, Jenny, and the stroller, a mile with both in 9:00, then put Jenny in the stroller, and did the last mile with Benjamin in 8:08 (17:08 for 2 miles). Then ran 0.5 with Julia in 5:09.  Total of 5 miles for the run.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Race: Provo River Half Marathon (13.1 Miles) 01:09:38, Place overall: 2
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Provo River Half Marathon - 1:09:38, 2nd place.

This race race was supposed to be just a glorified tempo run. I had run 91 miles in the 5 days prior with no day less than 17 miles total, and two Big Workouts. However, I ended up with a non-Hobblecreek trusted length half-marathon PR, as well as the course PR, even faster than any time I've run it from 2003-2005 when it was about 40 seconds to 1 minute shorter. I did run the Provo River Half in 2002 in 1:09:45 on a course that somehow lost about 0.5 mile and did not have the uphill section on the old highway, and I was still able to beat that time today. So in short, I've never run a half marathon faster than my time today on any course I would consider being of the accurate length except Hobblecreek, which is an entirely different animal.

At the start I found Dave Holt and asked him if he would trade leads with me every quarter. I figured he was in shape to run about 1:12 on a good day, and 1:13 on a not so good day, but he has been starting out a bit faster in his races and he would not mind doing it today especially if he gets to draft half the time, so hopefully if we bring him alive to the old highway hill, then I would not be alone on that tough section. After that, if he cannot go, then I could just press really hard and maybe catch the 1:11 guy by the finish.

But, as it often happens, things do not quite turn out as you expected in a race. Early on, I noticed that I was feeling better than I expected and was going faster, which would have been bad news for the old Dave, but we had a different Dave today. He was doing the pace I wanted to go during his lead shifts of his own free will. To make things more interesting, Mike Dudley happened to be in the race, and caught up to us around 2 miles. I asked him if he wanted to participate in sharing the lead, and he agreed. So we went like that taking turns every quarter for most of the race from that point.

We hit the 3.23 mark at Vivian in 16:23, 5:04 average . This is actually my PR for that section by 5 seconds, with the earlier being set in a workout where Steve Ashbaker and I did it trading leads and 3.23 was all we were doing, not a half marathon.

From Vivian to the bridge at Nuns (around 5.5) we were a bit slower than 5:20 on the flat section, and then around 5:10-5:15 on the downhill. Then on the uphill on the old highway we ran a bit under 6:00 (going by the GPS), and then around 5:10 pace on the way down.

Hit the official 10 mile mark of the race around 52:30, which I believe was accurate. This is very good - I raced the Provo River 10 miler in June in 54:13 which is identical to this 10 miler with the exception that you have and out and back on the old highway (with about a mile uphill into a headwind, and then back down) in the half marathon instead of a nice gradual 0.5% down 2 mile stretch in the 10 miler, and the 10 miler has an additional 15 second stretch across the bridge. So probably this 10 mile split is about 30 seconds slower than the 10 miler race.

We were going about 5:20 pace down my standard stretch from Nuns to the mouth of the canyon early on. At about 10.5 Mike cranked up the gears, Dave fell back, I tried to hang in there with Mike. He dropped me shortly before 11. I hit 15:55 for my standard 3 mile tempo.

Held 5:20 pace for a bit longer, up to the press building ( 11.7), then we turned, instead of a gentle 0.5% down we now started hitting minor rises and no elevation drop, so slowed down to around 5:30-5:35 going off my GPS. Mike won with 1:09:03, I got 1:09:38, Dave got 1:10:06 - 39 seconds faster than his Bryce Canyon time!

Then ran back with Dave to find the Fast Running Mommy. Dave turned around after a couple of miles. I found Sarah at around 9.8 mark, and then ran back with her. She finished in 2:08:21, but she took a couple of long bathroom stops (I told her I'd teach her how to make them fast, but she said no thanks) which she estimates cost her about 6 minutes. With the warm-up, total of 20.25 for the whole run.

In the evening ran 0.5 with Julia in 5:15, then the run to the swing with Benjamin and Jenny trading places on the bike, and Jacob and Joseph in the double stroller - Jenny 1.52 in 13:53, then Benjamin 2.02 in 15:48. Afterwards, a mile in 7:08 without the stroller or kids. I am happy to have the need to specify that mile was without the kids. Benjamin could have kept up with me for sure, and Jenny possibly could too with some extra motivation.

Life time record for the mileage in a week. Previous high was 111.92 earlier this year. I do not think of 116 as high any more. With my recovery routine this feels like routine training, like I am not running the mileage just to prove a point. Based on the feedback from my body I feel this is the optimum healthy training volume for where I am at. I do not feel tired, in fact without the memory and the record of everything I did this week I would not be able to tell. Legs are not sore at all, and I am not feeling any unusual fatigue, in fact, rather energized compared to normal.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Logan on Sat, Aug 11, 2007 at 17:13:43

Great race today and it was nice that you were able to run with Dave today. Another awesome week of training.

From Maria on Sat, Aug 11, 2007 at 18:01:27

Great time, Sasha! How does your running now feel compared to 2003, when you ran 2:24 at St. George? If your race times are faster now, it may point towards possible 2:22. It would be nice to be in 2:20 shape to give yourself some cushion in case of bad weather or some other thing can go wrong. One thing is clear - high mileage does work for you very well. I remember you said somewhere that you tried 100+ mpw before and it only made you feel tired, but this time your level have clearly increased. How do you explain this?

From dave holt on Sat, Aug 11, 2007 at 18:22:14

Sasha, thanks again for the help and confidence booster today. That was a great race!

From JohnK on Sat, Aug 11, 2007 at 18:28:14

Great race & very inspiring to hackers like me. An especially strong performance given the tough week you've had. You are on a roll!

From steve hooper on Sat, Aug 11, 2007 at 18:28:16

Sasha - you guys did a great job in the race today. I'm impressed with how well you felt after so many miles this week. Keep it up!

From Brent on Sat, Aug 11, 2007 at 19:00:18

Sasha, what is there to say, except your awesome. Great race.

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Aug 11, 2007 at 19:10:48

Everybody - thanks for the comments. Maria - in 2003 I ran a shorter course (by about 40 seconds to a minute) that was identical to the current up to about 12.3 mark in 1:10:05 in a competitive situation with only 64.5 miles in the five days prior to the race, 3.2 of them at marathon pace, and 11.7 at threshold. This year I had 91.2 miles in the five days prior to the race with 13.3 at threshold and 0.2 at VO2 Max. I would say this is the first race I've run, this year or ever that points to the reality of being able to qualify for the Trials in St. George, where it is not "I hope for some invisible luck or miraculous breakthrough to carry me through the race". It is rather ironic that it happened at the end of a record mileage week.

Regarding the reason that made high mileage effective this time. I believe in the past I just hoped that the magic number 100 would give me a miracle, and when it did not, I'd assume that it would not ever work and would go back to 80 and occasionally 90 mile weeks. This time I planned it a lot better. Three key principles - beds make champions, do doubles, and stay lucid. Beds make champions - in bed by 10:30pm or a Russian dictation for me, and smelling the socks for Sarah (credit goes to Lybi for coming up with the idea, and to James for stinking up his socks bad enough), plus a nap after the morning workout if the body requests it - blessings of working at home; do doubles - always split the mileage into two runs, no less than 5 for the shorter; stay lucid - the blood sugar must not go down , a doze of Powerade and honey sandwiches after every workout, good nutrition overall, and always a snack with honey when the mind refuses to concentrate during the day.

From James on Sat, Aug 11, 2007 at 19:12:43


Awesome race today! I think you had one of, if not your best 1/2 performances ever! You have to be pleased with cutting 4 1/2 minutes off of last years time. You are running strong right now, and if you keep it up you could be very close to a trials qualifier at St. George. That was the same course as last year, right?

From Paul Petersen on Sat, Aug 11, 2007 at 19:19:30

Sasha - nice job. Your three key principles are very similar to what I am doing. I've managed to take 7 naps in the last 8 days, totaling about 9 hours of extra sleep -- tacked on to the 7.5-8 hours of sleep I get at night as it is. Although I am not self-employed, I may as well be, as far my work hours go. The extra sleep, along with splitting easy runs into doubles, has helped me do high mileage and actually feel good (ie - quality workouts), which has eluded me during previous high-mileage attempts. I think I am eating about 4000 calories/day as well. Pretty much if something is in my viewshed, I will eat it. Just ask Chad.

It all surely adds up.

From Clay on Sat, Aug 11, 2007 at 19:33:01

Nice job Sasha, it was good to see you guys again at the start... It was good to meet Ted as well...

From Lybi on Sat, Aug 11, 2007 at 19:54:11

Yea! I'm so excited for you Sasha! What a good year to be having PR's in the longer distances! I'm sooo glad you are benefitting from more sleep. Thank you for crediting me for the consequence idea, but I have to say that all the credit has to go to you for consistently following through. I am learning about consistency from this blog.

From Mike k on Sat, Aug 11, 2007 at 21:06:20

Good job Sasha! You are ready for an A attempt.

From Tom on Sat, Aug 11, 2007 at 21:28:53

Congrats Sasha! you deserve this.

From Michael on Sat, Aug 11, 2007 at 22:37:46

Fantastic effort Sasha - I admire your dedication and effort

From Chris Rogers on Sat, Aug 11, 2007 at 23:00:07


Outstanding race today. It definitely shows how great your training has been over the last few weeks, and gives a glimpse of some great fall marathons to come!

From Cody on Sat, Aug 11, 2007 at 23:03:15

Great race! I have to agree with everyone that this is a great sign of a realistic shot at OTQ. Best of luck in your continued success and in your training. We are all rooting for you!

From James in Sunny AZ on Sat, Aug 11, 2007 at 23:40:58

Sasha, congrats on a great race (especially considering you were just planning on it being a glorified tempo run). I agree with the others, all indicators are pointing to an OTQ race at St. George. Thanks for the example of consistency and dedication.

From Holly on Mon, Aug 13, 2007 at 10:52:14


From jtshad on Mon, Aug 13, 2007 at 11:54:55

Nice race Sasha, man your mileage and times are impressive and inspirational!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

course {Sasha House 10 Miler} with Ted in the morning. James joined us for the first 3, then ran back.  I made a bathroom stop, and then caught up, so my time was faster than Ted's - 1:12:32. Then added another 2 miles in 13:00, making the total time 1:25:32.

Ran at 8 pm in the evening. First 2.5 in 17:11, then 0.5 with Julia in 5:23, then 1.5 with Jenny and Benjamin running, and Jacob in the double stroller in 13:19. Jenny almost spoiled somebody's date. There was a young couple in front of us, he was running and she was riding a bike. Jenny was gradually pulling up to them, he apparently heard us and made a surge, but it did not last. The fire breathing dragon Jenny started to close again, and almost passed them, but ran out of road - her run was over. Then put Jenny in the stroller, and ran the remaining 0.5 with Benjamin in 3:56 which gave us 17:15 total for the 2 miles.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M: Big Workout. Warmed up with Ted and James (James turned around at 3). 38:57 at 5.02, 47:29 at the standard start of the Big Workout (2.5 turnaround of Provo River 5 Mile Tempo). After a good race at the Provo River Half I did some calculations and realized my chance of winning prize money at Great Salt Lake is sufficiently greater than 0 to merit a mini-taper. Plus a faster time could act as a confidence booster going into St. George, and a back-off week is a nice pre-caution against overtraining. So the plan was to do something mild of the Big Workout, skip one altogether on Thursday replacing it with an easy 10 in the morning, and then easy 10 Friday + only 2.5 with the kids in the evening.

I thought 8x1000 at 5:20 pace with 400 recovery at 8:00 pace + a short tempo to the house at the end would do the job, so that is what I did. 1000s were actually 5/8 of a mile, which is about 5 meters longer, and 400s were actually quarters, which is about 2 meters longer. The workout is outlined in the chart below:

Interval time
Recovery time after (first 100)
Recovery time after (quarter)
Missed 1000 mark, and went to 0.75

Had 180 turn right after the intverval, lost 3 seconds.


Ran 0.5 to use the credit from 0.75 first interval since I would have had to do 180 in the middle of the interval otherwise. First 100 was slow in the recovery because I had to do a 180 immediately after the interval.
Ran 0.75 because there was no mark at 1000.
Ran 0.5 to use the credit from 0.75 earlier. Launched into the final tempo immediately after the standard recovery.

Then ran 1.83 tempo home in 10:56 which is 5:58 pace average. I was actually going steady 5:52 on the good sections of the trail, but I had to cross Geneva Road, go under a couple of bridges, run uphill (0.5%) for a quarter mile, and deal with a few standard minor annoyances. This gave me 44:07 en route for 7.5 (5:53 average), which I consider a decent time for a fartlek, and a total time of 1:39:36 for 15.04.

A little bit of bragging - I have filled out the chart above entirely by memory. I actually never use the split function of Garmin, only look at it, then calculate and remember the split. I can do it because a running time to me is more than just a number. It has a life, maybe even some color, feelings to go with it, maybe I remember somebody who ran that time on some distance, etc.

P.M. 95 degrees. Ran to Benjamin's soccer practice. First mile, Benjamin and Jenny running, Julia in the double stroller, 9:18. Then ran with Jenny and Julia in the stroller and Benjamin on foot to Grandview, this gave him a total of 2.07 in 19:15. Then ran with Julia, 0.5 in 6:09 on grass, watched the rest of Benjamin's practice, Sarah came for the kids, and I ran 2.56 on the way home in 19:02.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Ruth on Tue, Aug 14, 2007 at 16:08:36

The course tool still isn't working correctly. I am quite completely confused.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Aug 14, 2007 at 16:12:14

Try hitting the Reload button on your browser while holding Shift. If that does not help, clear the cache (remove temporary files). If that does not help, describe the problem in detail.

From Lybi on Tue, Aug 14, 2007 at 16:33:12

Great run Sasha! Geez, I knew your brain was part running computer--like having perfect pitch, except with numbers. Amazing. You know that people who are good at math also tend to be good at music, right?

From Scott Browning on Tue, Aug 14, 2007 at 19:22:25

Thanks for the comments, it would be hard for me to disagree with your observations, my mileage has been pretty weak, it is a goal that I am working on. I am hoping over the next couple months to be much more consistent. I appreciate your feedback, nice job this weekend, it good to see all your hard work paying such huge dividends.

From Chad on Tue, Aug 14, 2007 at 19:37:28

Here's an interesting link about another person who sees numbers as colors, etc.,,,1409903,00.html

From Superfly on Wed, Aug 15, 2007 at 11:41:47

Oh man Sasha. That little touch at the end is too funny.

From Jon on Thu, Aug 16, 2007 at 10:29:27

My running numbers are all green... maybe because of my shorts.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Sasha House 10 Miler at 5:00 AM with Ted in 1:18:52. Ted was tired, so we took it very easy.

P.M. 1.25 in 9:38 to the park with a stroller, Jacob and Joseph in it, and Benjamin and Jenny on their bikes. A little bit of badminton with Sarah. Then 2 miles on my own in 13:39. Then 0.5 with Julia in 4:57. Then a mile with Benjamin and Jenny in 8:41, dropped Jenny off, one more mile with Benjamin in 7:38 (16:19 for two miles). Then 1.25 back home with Jacob in the double stroller, and Benjamin and Jenny on their bikes in 8:14, last quarter in 1:24 to catch Jenny who was leaving me in the dust while I was running easy. There was no hope of catching Benjamin, at least not with the double stroller and Jacob in it.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Mike K on Wed, Aug 15, 2007 at 21:19:48

Based on last week's performance, what do you think you can run this weekend at GSL 1/2?

From Ryan on Thu, Aug 16, 2007 at 10:40:40

Thank you for the welcome to the Blog and for posting the 1/2 Marathon results.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Aug 16, 2007 at 22:04:21

Mike - the Sasha science predicts a low 1:11 if the race starts and finishes at the certified locations, which is a big if. It always did up until 2005. Let's hope Bill and/or Demetrio can get to the start and check it before it is too late Saturday morning.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Sasha House 10 Miler with Ted in the morning. James joined us for the first 3. Started out slow as usual, but fairly quickly eased into 7:20-7:30 pace. At 4 miles I asked Ted if he wanted to chase down the 7:00 mile guy, and about a mile later he tacitly consented as I picked up the pace. We hit the turnaround in 37:02. On the way back, I felt some turbo engine power in my legs, but to keep it on the easy side for the race on Saturday, and to keep Ted alive I tried to not exceed 6:25.  Running your training partners into the ground should be done only in moderation. We ended up with 1:09:34, 32:32 for the last 5.02.

In the afternoon, ran with Benjamin and Julia in the single stroller to Benjamin's soccer practice (2.07 in 17:45), then helped the coach there, on the way back ran 1.5 with Jenny in 13:07, then put her in the stroller, and we beat Benjamin's time for that stretch , which The Toy measured now at 2.10, quite possible as I did not start from the same place - the time was 17:36. Then added another mile in 7:30.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From James in Sunny AZ on Fri, Aug 17, 2007 at 00:01:18

Sounds like you are ready for the great Salt Lake 1/2. Turbo power your legs sounds encouraging . . . good luck on Saturday. Are you doing TOU this year as well?

From Wildbull on Fri, Aug 17, 2007 at 13:44:53

Good luck saturday. I am use to having my training group run me into the ground! They keep me humble!

From Andy on Fri, Aug 17, 2007 at 22:54:41


I need to add the email address that the comments come from to my whitelist so they can get through my ISP's spam filter. Is it still blackhole or did it change? I am no longer getting email notifications and thought this might be the reason.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Aug 17, 2007 at 22:56:11

It is

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Sasha House 10 Miler with Ted in the morning in 1:15:34. James joined us for the first 3. I made two pitstops, caught up at around 6:40-7:00 pace the first time, and ran a 600 to catch up the second time in 1:57 with the splits of 41,38,38 (by 200). The good news is that the 38s (5:04 pace) felt like threshold. We'll see what that means tomorrow in the Great Salt Lake half.

In the evening, just ran with the kids. 0.5 with Julia in 5:10, a mile with Benjamin and Jenny running, and Jacob in the double stroller in 9:08, and then one more with Jenny and Jacob in the stroller and Benjamin running in 7:58, this gave Benjamin 17:06 for 2 miles. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Race: Great Salt Lake Half Marathon (13.11 Miles) 01:14:10, Place overall: 6
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Great Salt Lake Half Marathon, 1:14:10, 6th place.

The race was very competitive - Teren Jameson, Patrick Smyth, Paul Petersen, Joe Wilson, Dennis Simonaitis, and Nate Hornok were the big trouble makers. Teren and Patrick took off from the start at sub-5:00 pace, and Paul followed them. I ran with Joe and Dennis. We had Bob Hintze with us for the first mile and a quarter. Joe asked if we thought there would be any road kill. After identifying Pat, I told him extremely unlikely, near impossible.

We went out at a steady, a tiny bit slower than 5:20 pace. The mile markers were the most reliable this year that this race has ever had, and it even started where it was supposed to. This is a big improvement over the last two years. Hit the official 5 mile mark in 27:01, the GPS showed 26:51. I drafted behind Dennis and Joe, that helped a lot. I managed another mile with them. After 6, the pace started to feel a lot harder. It is possible that Dennis picked up the effort trying to hold the pace as we started to get the cross wind. After another quarter mile, I could not hold it, and backed off.

I slowed down to 5:40 pace at first, felt pretty good, like I could rest a couple of quarters, then pick it up to 5:30, but then something strange started happening. I felt I was running strong, but the pace kept getting slower and slower. I started seeing 1:27 quarters, then 1:28, then 1:29. Joe and Dennis opened up a 43 second gap in 2 miles.

Then I began to realize what was happening. We were getting a gradually increasing cross/head wind. It did not feel too bad, but I guess it was having more effect than I thought it would. I slowed down to a 6:01 mile, then 6:06. Then I noticed that Joe and Dennis were not moving away any more. Odd. Then I noticed that Dennis dropped Joe, but I actually started gaining on them a bit. For a while, I started to hope that if I ran strong I might catch up, but they were not that weak, and too far away.

Just like Paul, I now looked forward to going up the hill, an odd feeling in that race. Better uphill than into the wind. Felt really good on the first hill. The second hill was bad, as it was into the wind again - slowed down to a 1:44 quarter. Finished in 1:14:08 (official time) . Joe outleaned Dennis at the end, 1:13:23 for Joe, 1:13:24 for Dennis. Teren was in 1:07:41, Pat was second in 1:08:51, Paul finished third in 1:10:22, and Nate Hornok was 7th with 1:16:59.

Not sure what to think of the results. Being able to run low 5:20s for six flat miles and feel in control is good. Only 45 seconds behind Joe and Dennis is good unless both of them underperformed today. 3:46 behind Paul is bad, unless he over-performed. Based on Draper Days he should have been 3:11 ahead. 6:27 behind Teren is bad unless he did something really amazing, worth a 1:02 on a good sea-level course. Paul should have been 2:55 behind Teren based on Deseret News instead of actual 2:41, so he is actually within range. Dennis, on the other hand, should have been only 51 seconds behind Paul (based on DesNews 10 K) instead of 3:02, and only 3:46 behind Teren instead of actual 5:43. 77% humidity + the wind may have become a separating factor. Some people handled it better than others.

Around 1:23 into the race started a cool-down with Bill Cobler and Paul. At first we were going slower than 8:00. Then Paul turned around. Bill suggested the idea of running all the way back to the start. That would give us a marathon + a quarter or so to the car from the start of the race. I was a bit low on blood sugar, and was not thinking straight, and also feeling adventurous, so I said, yes, let's do it. We sped up to around 7:20-7:30 pace and coasted. Quite a bit of cross-wind. With 4 miles to go, Bill said he'd better back off. I was getting excited about a few things - wanted to qualify for Boston in this odd manner with a 9 minute break after the first half (and including it in the time), wanted to break the time of my first marathon (3:05:51), and just wanted to have the run over with. So I continued alone at about the same pace. Hit the marathon mark in 3:04:07 from the gun of the half marathon (BQ by 6 minutes!), which gives me around 2:55 of actual running time, then continued on to the car.

Interesting observation - at 7:20 pace, it seemed like I was not dipping into blood sugar. The level of lucidness remained the same as the miles progressed, and I did not feel a typical sense of weakness associated with hitting the wall. But I knew I would if I tried to go much faster. And was getting progressively hungrier for food.

Ran with the kids in the evening - 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 13:22, then another 0.5 with Benjamin and pushing Jenny in the stroller in 3:47, this gave Benjamin 17:09 for 2 miles, and then 0.5 with Julia in 5:14.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Paul Petersen on Sat, Aug 18, 2007 at 20:48:47

Sasha - good job today. Just out of curiosity, what was your Garmin distance for the race?

From Lybi on Sat, Aug 18, 2007 at 21:04:47

Good job Sasha! I can't believe you turned around and ran it again after a hard race effort like that... How old were you when you when you ran your first marathon?

From Jon on Sat, Aug 18, 2007 at 23:18:04

Good job Sasha, nice time on a hard and windy course. I wonder- do you think the fact you had enough energy to run all the way back to the car is an indicator that your 1/2 marathon was not as fast as it could have been? I know I would not be able to do 13 more if I ran a good race.

From Brent on Sun, Aug 19, 2007 at 10:56:17

Sasha, you certainly have the distance and speed stamina. Very impressive, that course is dreadful, it might as well be death valley. It seems if the race was a Marathon, a few of the runners would have came back to you. Your races seem to be extremely strong this year.

From Paul Petersen on Sun, Aug 19, 2007 at 11:10:21

Jon - I've noticed that the higher and more consistent my training volume gets, the better my post-race recovery gets, including the cool-down. Although I only did 4 miles afterward yesterday, I threw in some tempo at the very end, and it actually felt pretty good. I could not have done that a few years ago. It is not surprising to see mileage-mongrels like Sasha and Bill be able to do a second half marathon after an all-out effort.

From Superfly on Sun, Aug 19, 2007 at 22:46:59

Good job in the race, and also on hitting a Boston Qualifier... Your a crazy man. If you don't have anything planned this Saturday you could meet me @ mile 7 or so and pace me in at Hobble? It could be a little tempo run for you. Or are you doing TOU half?

From Katie on Mon, Aug 20, 2007 at 06:47:14

Sasha, would you please explain how this fits into a post-run recovery routines?

I am a mileage hog myself(at times peaking at 140/wk) but this seems like risky behavior.

*What was the purpose of the run?

*Have you yet qualified for the trials?

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Aug 20, 2007 at 14:43:02

Paul: it took me 43 seconds to run from the Garmin 13 to the finish, so probably 13.15, I imagine. It was showing 13.23 when we started the cool down after some walking around to get food.

Jon: I definitely think the lack of neural drive was the limiting factor. When Dennis and Joe dropped me, I was not breathing very hard, and overall not feeling too bad, but for some odd reason just could not go. Getting up at 3:30 AM the morning of the race did not help either, nor being in the middle of running high mileage, but I think overall I experience a pattern where my aerobic fitness improves much quicker than my neural drive. Eventually the neural drive catches up, I just need to be patient.

Clyde - I am running Park City Half that day.

Katie - the "recovery routine" was one of those things runners do sometimes. I was in the middle of a cool down running towards my car at the start, had somebody to run with, the wind was blowing mostly in my tail and picking up, I was not looking forward to turning around and facing it, I had no business at the awards ceremony (I wish they had an option Exclude From Age Division Awards for races where age division prize is a ribbon or a medal then somebody who does not have enough of those yet could get it instead of slapping somebody who was racing for cash and did not make it with "you're good enough for a ribbon!"), and I was not sure how long it was going to take before they start busing people back. And I did not want to do an evening run on top of it. So I figured, I'll just run back to the car to get it over with.

I have not yet qualified for the Trials, but hope to pull it off in St. George.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Easy run with Ted in the morning. Had a new running partner - his name is Ken. He joined us for the first three. I stopped to go to the bathroom, then did 4x100 strides, two in 18, and two in 17 to catch up. Felt good, speedy, the form felt good, slowed down to 7:12 pace in between for recovery. Saw Sarah (the Fast Running Mommy) on the way back. Got to the house, and ran back with Ted to meet Sarah, but she went another way. So we ended up doing 13.05, I got 1:37:08, Ted was about a minute slower due to my bathroom break.

No ill effects felt from the Saturday adventure. Lydiard said you could run a marathon once a week if you did it slow enough. I suppose he was right after all. Not that it is necessary to do it to train for a marathon, but if a crazy urge strikes you one week, and you slow down sufficiently, it can work.

P.M. Paul was driving through town, so I went for run with him. It was hot, but not as hot as it used to be - only 90. We started at Jiffy Lube where he was getting his oil changed. Ran on the Provo River Trail, crossed Geneva Road, then turned around and came back to my house. This was 5.75 in 42:37. Took Benjamin and Jenny with us, hit the next mile in 8:47, then Paul went on to Jiffy Lube, while we turned around and ran back. Jenny ran the next half mile in 3:49, which gave her 12:36 for 1.5. Put her in the stroller, Benjamin hit the next 0.5 in 3:23, which gave him 15:59 for the 2 miles. Then ran 0.5 with Julia. She hit the first quarter in 2:22, on pace for a PR, so I told her she would get a special prize if she would keep the pace. She picked it up, and hit 2:07 on the next quarter, which gave her 4:29 for 0.5. Afterwards we went to Reams and got her a toy pony, a chess set, and some balloons. She was very happy. Interestingly enough, she did it wearing Crocs - she actually rans better in Crocs than in regular running shoes.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Lulu on Mon, Aug 20, 2007 at 22:02:47


I've had a question I've wanted to run by you for a while. In your articles on this site and in your posts I read that you stress mileage as being extremely important for marathon performance. Because of this, I am considering doing two-a-days for my next marathon training. Currently, I am running a maximum of ~40 miles a week which is high for me. My longest weeks will be about 44-46 miles. I've done many other marathons on less mileage. I am still trying to get in shape after the baby - not to lose weight but rebuild lost muscle etc. However, in considering increasing my mileage for the next marathon (possibly in January), I am concerned about whether my body will "hold up" to that kind of mileage. I wear two pairs of shoes (alternating) and replace them often. My somatotype is mesomorph (muscular), while most marathoners are ectomorphs (thin). I am by no means thin, but am not fat. I look like I spend more time lifting weights than running, and I do not! So I am wondering how your advice translates to someone who is probably "heavier" than most marathoners. Will my joints, bones, and muscles take more mileage? In the past, I have felt like I am riding the line of overtraining and ironically now I do not feel like that.

Sorry this is so long. I was hoping with this information you would give me your opinion.

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Aug 20, 2007 at 23:44:51

Lulu - appropriate daily mileage is critical to improvement in longer distances, and especially the marathon. Running twice a day is a good idea, if you can find the time. Increasing the length of the runs is a good idea if your body can handle it. What you should do is increase the mileage a tiny bit at a time, and then wait a few weeks to see how you adapt to it. It may take years to get used to the kind of mileage that will allow you to reach your potential in the marathon. You are focused on Chicago right now, perhaps even too focused. What I recommend to all runners regardless of their current level is to never train for a race, but rather for long-term fitness. There will always be a race to prove it once that is achieved. This view allows you to train more consistently throughout the whole year, and overtime reach the point where you are not getting injured while training at much higher volume and intensity than you could not even think of in the past.

From Paul Ivory on Tue, Aug 21, 2007 at 09:12:42

Sasha, I love the advice you have given in your above comment. I'm going to copy/paste it to my running gems. I just completed the Pikes Peak Marathon this past Sunday. If you get a chance to read my report I would like your recommendation regarding my comments about blood test iron levels and testosterone levels.

From Jon on Tue, Aug 21, 2007 at 17:05:36


I gave my opinion on your blog for 2-a-days, as well.


Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Big Workout. Ran a warm-up of 5.02 with Ted in 37:19. Legs felt snappy. Wondered if this was just the nervous system being a bit wired, or really a sign of fitness. Made the pessimistic assumption. After the warm-up started the 10.02 tempo back to the house with the Provo River 5 Mile Tempo detour. Going off the pessimistic assumption did not have any goals, just run comfortably hard, starting out at a conservative marathon pace, then picking it if feeling good and coasting otherwise.

Got to the tempo turnaround gate in 6:44, this was around 5:45 pace. Ran the next 2.5 in 14:22, then 180 turn, next 2.5 in 14:00, then another 180 turn, next 2.5 in 13:58. This gave me 42:20 for 7.5 en route, with the last 5 of it in 27:58. Kept going past the end of the standard tempo start at Geneva Road to the house. Ran 7:38 for the last 1.33, with the last quarter in 1:22. Total time for 10.02 was 56:42, a slightly under 5:40 average. I was very pleased with the results - I usually run this tempo in a different flavor (faster and shorter course, only 10.00, not 10.02, no running under the bridges, and not net uphill), and my PR on that course is 56:42. This was done with a furious drive on the last 2.5 in 13:32, and with a shorter warm-up. Today I was just coasting, no shift to threshold at the end except maybe on the last 100 meters when I saw a garbage truck and realized I had not put my garbage out.

Total time for 15.04 was 1:34:01.

Interesting events during the run: around 6.75 into the tempo a dog tried to attack me. It was too big to kick (I think it was a shepherd) so I stopped and invited it for a boxing match. It backed off, I advanced, it backed off again, but the moment I would turn and try to run, it would back to its old tricks. So I just waited for the owner to get it. And, I passed a guy on a bike that looked like a farmer. He had a dog on a leash. I wonder if the dog's name is BINGO. The dog did show some interest in me, so I had to swing out wide enough to avoid trouble. We actually see him out almost every day. That dog really likes Nick, always tries to get him.

A little later ran 0.5 with Julia. She liked the stuff she got for her record yesterday and wanted to set another record today. So she ran 4:16 with the splits of 2:09 and 2:07. This is the family record in the 4 and under division. Her run yesterday was the family record as well, but prior to that Jenny held it (4:31).

P.M. Ran 1.53 to the car shop to pick up VanGoGo with Jenny in 13:07, then 2.05 with Benjamin to the soccer game in 16:33, then back (2.06) in 14:00. Benjamin's team won 7:1.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Brent on Tue, Aug 21, 2007 at 20:49:15

I gave up kicking dogs, carry pepper spray now. Your blog is interesting to read, the workouts are amazing after 31 miles last saturday. Mortals can only read your blog and imagine such fitness. Best to you at St.George.

From Michelle on Thu, Aug 23, 2007 at 10:32:48

Thanks for the Bingo reference! Thanks to your humor I spewed oatmeal into my new keyboard through an involuntary guffah!

I do enjoy reading your blog though I don't comment much. It's hard to comment on the "coach"es training.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Easy run with Ted on Sasha House 10 Miler at 5:00 AM. The run was pretty much an extension of my sleep, especially the first 3 miles on which we averaged 8:20 with the record slow first quarter in 2:27. Then we woke up a bit on the second half, but not much - 7:30 pace. Total time was 1:18:29. I told Ted I could tell my legs were feeling snappy yesterday when I hit the first quarter in 2:05.

P.M Ran with Julia in the early afternoon. She wanted to set another record. I told her she needed a recovery day after two records in a row. She ran 0.5 in 4:50. Later in the evening ran with Benjamin and Jenny. First mile in 8:34 with Jacob in the double stroller. On the way back, put Jenny in the stroller (took 7 seconds) and went after Benjamin. I usually catch him pretty quickly, but this time it was different - it took me a whole quarter of decent effort. No wonder, he ran it in 1:51, so that made mine 1:44 which is not slow with a loaded double stroller and having to go under the bridge and up by 800 North in Provo. I timed a couple of his 100s, and gave him a challenge to break 7:00 on the last mile. He hit the next quarter in 1:41, followed by 1:39, and another 1:39. His last mile was 6:50, only 2 seconds off his PR set on a track in a race, and this gave him 15:24 for 2 miles. Incidentally, this became my fastest mile of the day up to that point. Afterwards, went for another 4.54, Benjamin went with me on a bike. His bike riding skills have improved greatly, he was very conversational at 6:40 pace. Total time for 4.57 was 30:14. Benjamin pulled away from me on the last quarter. At first I hesitated and coasted, but then with 0.15 to go decided to pick it up. Tried to keep it at no faster than threshold effort. This gave me 1:23 for the last quarter.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Big Workout. Ran the warm-up with Ted, Adam, and Jeff. Stopped at 3.5 to visit a bush, Ted and Adam went on, as Ted was on a tight schedule and they were not doing the workout anyway. Jeff and I did our standard 6.2 warm-up, and started the workout at the end of the official Provo River Trail gate as we usually do. The workout was Ted's idea. I asked him yesterday if he had any suggestions on something that would not run Jeff into the ground. He came up with something that had the potential of running me into the ground as well - 2 miles in 10:40, 3x1 in 5:10, then 2 miles faster than the first time around. I modified it a bit - made it only 2x1 instead, and made a bit of a leeway on pace. Also, if 5:20 pace did not feel right on the 2 mile interval, back off to 5:25 or even slower.

Jeff had had only 3 hours of sleep, so to make things easier for him, we made the 0.5/0.25 lead trade off on the first 2 miler. Ran it with a slight net uphill, mostly from 1.5 to 1.75 (0.5% grade). Nearly perfect pacing - never more than 1 second ahead or behind at any of the checkpoints. This is with me cheating and checking the split every 200 meters (0.125 to be more exact). Got 10:40.0.

Jogged 0.5 untimed, very slow, then ran the mile. The target was 5:15. Jeff took the first and the last quarter, I handled the 0.5 in the middle. Started out right on target, 1:19 for the quarter, then I pushed it a bit during my turn, and Jeff kept the pace during his - we ended up with 5:09.4. This section had a 0.5% down grade from 0.75 to 1, but it also has places that slightly roll, which would make it still slower than perfectly flat.

Jogged 0.25, slow, untimed. Another mile the same way. This time we ran more even and a bit slower, got 5:12.2.

Jogged 0.25, slow, untimed. Jeff was getting tired, so I suggested he should run just the first mile instead and pull me through it. He did a good job, we hit it in 5:18, and I thoroughly enjoyed drafting behind him, it was almost relaxing, as much one could possibly relax that late in the workout and at that effort. Then he was done, and I was left alone. Being alone made the pace a lot harder. I hit the next 0.5 in 2:41. Now try not to lose ground on the uphill quarter. Managed 1:21, now the 5:20 guy caught up to me. To hold him off, I picked up the effort, and ran the last quarter in 1:19. This gave me 10:39.2 for 2 miles.

Cooled down to make the total 15.04.

Interesting events: passed our favorite farmer with the dog named BINGO again, twice. Some background for those not familiar with this inside joke. My kids used to listen to a tape with BINGO on it, so the song got firmly ingrained in my head (being raised in Russia, I did not grow up with it). One time during a tempo run it came into my head, and that seemed to do a nice job keeping the neural drive going and helped me sustain the pace. Then this year during the Del Sol relay my teammates asked me if I wanted them to do anything for me during the night leg. I asked them to sing BINGO around mile 2. So around 2 AM somewhere on a country road near Scottsdale, AZ Paul, Jon, Clyde, Dan, and Dave Nelson got out of VanGoGo and did the gig. Since then, the song kept popping up in various contexts. Paul told me during the 30 K in Ogden he had BINGO in his head. I knew I was in trouble. Now every time I do my Big Workout, often trying to get my brain to fire with BINGO, I pass that farmer-looking guy riding a bike with his dog.

Then on the last 0.5 of the workout I saw the Fast Running Mommy again. She looked like a blur by that point, but I nevertheless recognized her and waved. She ran 5 miles in 48:10.

P.M. Ran with Julia in the early afternoon. She was supposed to do an easy 0.5 run, but after a quarter in 2:40 she said she wanted to do a mile. So she hit the next quarter in 2:13, followed by 2:10, and 2:12. This gave her the time of 9:15 for the mile, a 42 second PR, and the family record in the 4 and under age division. The previous record of 9:32 was being held by Jenny. I was very pleased with Julia's initiative on going the distance, picking up the pace, and exhibiting a degree of mental toughness above her age. She was breathing pretty hard the entire time once she picked up the pace after the first quarter, but was maintaining a good rhythm nevertheless like a mature elite runner.

I dream about being 90 years old, looking at the IAAF top rankings in the distance races and seeing the name Pachev all over. Today when runners see the last name of Rono, Ndereba, or Bekele on the start list, they become seriously concerned even when they are not recognizing the first name. When I am 90, I want them to feel the same way when they see my last name. Not so much that I want the glory, but I want to demonstrate the power of one, how much can be accomplished by being consistently productive, challenging the false dogmas without questioning God-given laws, and reaching out with faith for the seemingly impossible. Today we got one step closer.

Ran with Benjamin in the afternoon to the soccer practice (2.12 in 17:53 for him, I was about 40 seconds faster due to a bathroom stop in the middle), then back with Jenny, she got 12:37 for 1.5 then rode in the stroller the rest of the way, I got 17:06 for 2.08, then I was running late to a church meeting, and ran 0.12, actually made it before the meeting started. It is amazing how much difference relaxed running makes over relaxed walking for me even over such a short distance.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From wheakory on Thu, Aug 23, 2007 at 18:17:51

Sasha I'll I can say is your amazing... nice workout. This song came to my mind last week on my Tempo run (Bingo song), "after reading your blog about the motivation it gave you", and it helped me out. I grew up with this song as a kid. Maybe this is what I need to sing when I'm doing speed work. To not allow the brain to shutdown the legs.

From Jon on Thu, Aug 23, 2007 at 19:00:22

Hey Sasha, do you have my first aid kit (from Clyde)? And who ended up with our WBR award batons?

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Aug 23, 2007 at 19:06:33

Jon - I do not think I have it, but I'll ask the Fast Running Mommy just in case. I think Clyde has our batons.

From Mik'L on Thu, Aug 23, 2007 at 19:43:02

Actually, we gave the Fast Running Mommy the first aid kit and all the batons at Deseret News. So Sasha has everything.

From Jon on Thu, Aug 23, 2007 at 21:09:26

Sasha, if you are going to see James this weekend (Hobblecreek?), could you give him that stuff? Then he can get it back up to Cache Valley.


From Paul Petersen on Thu, Aug 23, 2007 at 21:57:27

I've got batons too.

From Jon on Thu, Aug 23, 2007 at 23:35:48

You guys need to share the wealth

From Jon on Thu, Aug 23, 2007 at 23:40:22

Is anyone from Logan going to Provo this weekend?

From Katie on Fri, Aug 24, 2007 at 07:17:09


Is 5:20 your marathon pace?

Is this a marathon paced run or a tempo run?

What was the purpose of the workout?

Just curious. I like the sound of this one and might like to try it.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Aug 24, 2007 at 12:18:01

Jon - the Fast Running Mommy said we have both the batons and the first aid kit. I am not running Hobblecreek, but my house is on the way. Whoever wants to pick it up should call us at 801-788-4608 to make the arrangements.

Katie - the two mile tempos were done at threshold (aggressive), the miles were probably around a tactical 5 K/aggressive 10 K pace. I am doing those at 4500 ft on a slight rolling course, so everything is going to be quite a bit slower than the speeds on the St. George course, which starts at 5200 ft, and finishes at 2600 ft with a mostly gradual drop. I would say on average, the same effort on the St. George course would result in running about 15 seconds per mile faster, or possibly more.

This workout was focused on threshold development in the middle of a medium-long run (The Big Workout). I feel I have good speed in a marathon on the first half, but then around 15-17 I go into a coast mode. I do not really hit the wall, the speed is just not there once the glycogen is gone from the muscle. I do have good fuel absorption capability (one time I ate 4 bananas during a marathon at full speed and experienced no side effects), and can run fairly well on just fats, so I can still hang in there and finish decent, but I am afraid this would not be good enough to hit the qualifier. What I am hoping to do with those Big Workouts is to increase glycogen storage, and improve its utilization well enough to avoid this bonk at 15-17. And improve the threshold as well as a side effect.

From Katie on Fri, Aug 24, 2007 at 14:45:10


I'm so tempted by St. George's promises of a fast time!

I may still try to beg my way in depending on how my races go this weekend and on Sept. 9th.

About the fuel, have you tried VAAM? It's a Japanese sports drink of Amino Acids. It supposedly helps your body utilize fats more efficiently. It is the ONLY supplement that I have had good results with. It seems to allow me to work much longer at a fat burning pace. I do add a small amount of Gatorade to it to keep blood sugars up. I assume any similar product would work, but VAAM is the only one that I have found to work for me without fail.

How do you swallow bananas at a 5:30 pace? I bet that gets ugly!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Sasha House 10 Miler with Ted and Jeff in 1:14:10. Hit the first half in 38:41, then woke up a bit. 2 more miles after that alone, first in 6:45, second in 6:25, this gave me 1:27:20 for 12.04. Started asleep as usual, felt progressively better as I went. Interesting events: saw a skunk, he did not spray us, then discussed skunks for a while. I learned that dogs gets sprayed a lot by skunks. Also, saw a pit bull, no owner, no leash. Ted yelled at him to go home while I pointed the way. That seemed to work. He kept running ahead and looking back, checking his lead I suppose. Finally he got off the trail, and headed into the trailer court.

P.M. Flooding in Michigan apparently affected the Fast Running Blog. Our ISP Sectorlink was apparently struggling with the power outage, so we were down for a few hours. Fortunately it lasted less than the worse possible case that I anticipated, and we are back in business. Ran 0.5 with Julia in 4:42, then a mile with Benjamin and Jenny in 8:39 (Benjamin was a bit a head with 8:38), and then 3.54 in 27:21 by myself. Park City Half tomorrow.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From steve hooper on Fri, Aug 24, 2007 at 23:56:03

I just got up online at the hotel here and it looks like we're back up to normal. Thanks for the call earlier. Good luck in your race tomorrow! Steve

From Lybi on Sat, Aug 25, 2007 at 00:29:05

Goooooooooooooooooooo Sasha! Have a great race!

Race: Park City Half Marathon (13.1 Miles) 01:14:18, Place overall: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Park City Half Marathon, 1:14:18, first place. Today was Jenny's 7th birthday. Winning the race has a historical significance. I won Hobblecreek in 2000 about 10 hours after she was born. I do not always get to celebrate her birthday by winning a race, but I try.

Drove up with Ted and Jeff. Warmed up 2.3 miles.

Saw Bob Thompson. Bob is recovering from a calf injury, but knowing his previous fitness level, it was a possibility that he could cause some trouble, and definitely be able to run with us at least for a while. So I invited Bob and Jeff to share the lead every quarter. We went like that for two miles at about 5:45-5:50 pace. The course is a beast - starts at 6400 feet (Kimball Junction), climbs to 6900 at the half-mark (somewhere in the middle of Park City residential area), then back down the same way. About half of the way on gravel/dirt. Lots of 90 degree turns, and the narrowness of the trail makes them a true 90 - no room to swing out. To make things worse, the climb is uneven - some places flat, some near flat, some even slightly down, and some steeper, reaching perhaps a 3-4% grade, which really hurts at altitude anywhere, and on this course those parts are towards the end of the climb - a higher elevation for the steep parts, double trouble. So on that climb anything sub-6:00 is really good.

That pace was too much for Bob after two miles. I suppose he would have done relatively better at a lower elevation - the gaps in the aerobic conditioning from a forced break would have had less effect. Jeff and I went on trading quarters. Jeff was very strong and was making me suffer. By around 3.5 I knew that the only thing that would save me would be the distance to soften him up, and I hoped 13.1 would be long enough. Nevertheless, I was taking my turns every other quarter according to the plan. Our slowest quarter (off Garmin) during the entire climb was 1:34. At first I rarely saw anything slower than 1:30, but as the grade became steeper, I started seeing 1:31s and 1:32s more often. We would occasionally hit a 1:27-1:28 when it flattened out for a brief moment, or when Jeff would really turn up the heat on me.

We reached the turnaround in 38:56, and my Garmin 305 showed a reasonable distance, good sign. Most of the mile markers agreed with Garmin as well, another good sign. On the way down both of us press hard on our turns. I started seeing sub-1:20 quarters quite frequently. Saw Chris Rogers in third, he passed Bob, then Bob not too far behind, then a while later a group of runners and Ted. By around 8 we were in the thick of things - lots of runners going the other way.

I kept waiting for the distance to soften Jeff up, but it was not happening. I began to realize that I was dealing with a different Jeff. That is good news for his upcoming marathon in St. George. Today with no taper he could have definitely made it to 16 in one piece if not further, then it is only 10 to go. Additionally, St. George is a much more fuel efficient course. I've felt pretty bad on it around 13-15 and was still able to finish decent, without a forced premature cool-down. If I am feeling that bad at the same point in Ogden or Top of Utah, things do not look good, the cool-down is bound to happen.

With a mile to go, it was apparent that the race would be decided with a kick. We were still trading leads on quarters, but now it was more tactical and ferocious. Jeff is not a kicker, so he was trying to drop me with a fast pace. I am not a kicker in a 5 K, and I will not kick well off a faster pace, but in a threshold race (15 K to half-marathon) it is a different story. If the pace softens up to as little as 5 seconds per mile slower than my threshold, I will have a good kick. At 12.75 it was my turn to lead, but I figured waiting another 200 meters to take my lead would be fair game that late in the race. Jeff had soften up just a tad, and it was enough for me to have a kick. So I waited until I thought we had 300 meters to go, and then went for it. Jeff did not expect me to start the kick that early, so I was able to open up a small gap. I eased off a bit, then once we hit the grass, I realized I was in trouble - Jeff was closing, and he has done a lot more cross-country running than me. So I pushed as hard as I could, and ended up beating him by a second. The time on my watch said 1:14:20, the official time was 1:14:18. Jeff had 1:14:19. Chris was third with 1:16:59, and Bob fourth with 1:17:37 (I think). Ted was 6th with 1:23:37 (I think).

After the finish the announcer did not have us on his list, so he asked me my name. That 300 meter anaerobic interval at the end put me on the edge of losing my breakfast had I eaten one in the morning, but fortunately I did not, so there was nothing to lose, but I was still not able to talk. So I waved to him, and he said he would get to the business later.

One great thing about this race was the food. I think this race had the best food selection I've ever seen in a race. Lots of natural, organic stuff. I ate a lot.

Ran a 3 mile cool-down with Ted and Jeff. Then stayed for long enough for the awards ceremony, and watch the finish of the marathon. Dave Spence made a come back and won with a high 2:49. Steve Olsen was second with 2:53, Bill Cobler third with 2:57.

P.M. Ran 0.5 with Julia running and Joseph in the single stroller in 4:49, then 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny, plus Joseph in the single stroller in 13:27, then 3.04 in 21:30 with Benjamin riding along on a bike. Hit a bit over 120 miles this week, highest ever.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Adam RW on Sat, Aug 25, 2007 at 14:52:37

Sasha, Great win. Was your race report cut-off half way I was just getting into it when it was over? I'm eager to hear the rest. Also, do you know how Bill Cobler did in the full?

From Jon on Sat, Aug 25, 2007 at 15:01:10

Nice race- can't beat a win!

Do you think it would be possible for you to add the TOU 1/2 marathon to your race predictor, too? It is growing in number and would be nice to have on their.

From Jon on Sat, Aug 25, 2007 at 15:01:22


From Paul Petersen on Sat, Aug 25, 2007 at 15:23:27

Exciting finish! Way to kick.

From Christi on Sat, Aug 25, 2007 at 15:33:43

Awesome win! Way to push at the end!

From Lybi on Sat, Aug 25, 2007 at 15:53:09

What an exciting race! This seems like a fabulous time on such a difficult course and at super high elevation. Great job!

From James in Sunny AZ on Sat, Aug 25, 2007 at 16:39:10

Way to go, Sasha. We had firsthand experience last night how gravel slows you down. The bloggers are taking over!

From Chris Rogers on Sat, Aug 25, 2007 at 16:51:18

Good job today Sasha. I liked the course and I think that even though the uphill was a challenge, it was a great workout in prep for SGM. Strength building uphill and speedy downhills all in one!

From ashman on Sat, Aug 25, 2007 at 19:04:25

Sounds like a gut buster! Good job!

From Michael on Sat, Aug 25, 2007 at 23:21:30

Way to continue that winning and great race performance streak Sasha. Sounds like a tough course

From Tom on Sun, Aug 26, 2007 at 07:44:31

Great race report, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Sounds like quite the exciting finish to a well fought race, congrats on coming out ahead.

From Paul Ivory on Sun, Aug 26, 2007 at 23:53:03

Sasha, awesome race!! You make us feel like we were there with you. Congrats and all the best for you in St. George.

From Clay on Mon, Aug 27, 2007 at 15:29:44

Great race Sasha. you and Paul and Clyde are the Men, so to speak... Inspiring. Keep up the hard fought workouts and weekly mileage, your awesome!

From Logan on Mon, Aug 27, 2007 at 17:24:57

After running the TOU/half and running a little bit with Paul I feel like I am going to give it my best shot for a 2:22 at St. George. A lot of it is mental for me but I feel pretty good about it now.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran Sasha House 10 Miler with Ted, Jeff, and Adam. Saw the Fast Running Mommy, came then came back to her with Ted after we were done. She was going pretty fast, ended up doing 44:43 for 5 miles. I did not even recognize her form from a distance. Then Ted wanted to run a bit more for a round number, so we did. Ended up with 13 miles in 1:38:12.

P.M. 0.5 with Julia in 4:45, then 1.5 with Jenny and Benjamin running, and Jacob in the double stroller in 13:26, then put Jenny in the stroller as well, and ran 3:25 (actually a bit faster, but Benjamin did run that time) for the last 0.5. This gave Benjamin 16:51 for 2 miles. Then ran 2.5 by myself and without the stroller in 16:31. Legs felt snappy and energetic. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From adam on Tue, Aug 28, 2007 at 00:14:51

sasha- 6 or 6:15 tomorrow?

From JohnK on Tue, Aug 28, 2007 at 09:33:29


You are running great and I look forward to seeing how you do at St. George. Would you mind taking a quick look at my training the past 4-6 weeks and make a very few suggestions for between now and Chicago Marathon on 10/7? (My goal is sub-3:00. I was thinking 2:55 a few months ago but I've had several marathon blow-ups over the past four years and feel I should go out more conservatively. I ran Chicago in '04, taking it out in high 6:30s and was ~1:27.30 at the half then bombed to a 3:05. Thanks!)

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Aug 28, 2007 at 17:01:53


Your training looks very solid. Lots of long runs with MP/threshold mixed in, and good overall mileage. Sasha science says you should not blow up regardless of how you start, at least if you do it would not be because of bad training. I'd say just keep it up for as long as you can until it is time to taper, then do a short taper and you are good to go. I would not be surprised if you run a low-2:50, or even faster.

Adam - we are meeting at 5:00 AM tomorrow (Wednesday) if you can make it. If not, t