Breaking the Wall

January 25, 2020

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Orem,UT,United States

Member Since:

Jan 27, 1986



Goal Type:

Olympic Trials Qualifier

Running Accomplishments:

Best marathon: 2:23:57 (2007, St. George). Won the Top of Utah Marathon twice (2003,2004). Won the USATF LDR circuit in Utah in 2006.

Draper Days 5 K 15:37 (2004)

Did not know this until June 2012, but it turned out that I've been running with spina bifida occulta in L-4 vertebra my entire life, which explains the odd looking form, struggles with the top end speed, and the poor running economy (cannot break 16:00 in 5 K without pushing the VO2 max past 75).  


Short-Term Running Goals:

Qualify for the US Olympic Trials. With the standard of 2:19 on courses with the elevation drop not exceeding 450 feet this is impossible unless I find an uncanny way to compensate for the L-4 defect with my muscles. But I believe in miracles.

Long-Term Running Goals:

2:08 in the marathon. Become a world-class marathoner. This is impossible unless I find a way to fill the hole in L-4 and make it act healthy either by growing the bone or by inserting something artificial that is as good as the bone without breaking anything important around it. Science does not know how to do that yet, so it will take a miracle. But I believe in miracles.


I was born in 1973. Grew up in Moscow, Russia. Started running in 1984 and so far have never missed more than 3 consecutive days. Joined the LDS Church in 1992, and came to Provo, Utah in 1993 to attend BYU. Served an LDS mission from 1994-96 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Got married soon after I got back. My wife Sarah and I are parents of eleven children: Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, William, Stephen, Matthew,  Mary,  Bella.  and Leigha. We home school our children.

I am a software engineer/computer programmer/hacker whatever you want to call it, and I am currently working for RedX. Aside from the Fast Running Blog, I have another project to create a device that is a good friend for a fast runner. I called it Fast Running Friend.

Favorite Quote:

...if we are to have faith like Enoch and Elijah we must believe what they believed, know what they knew, and live as they lived.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie


Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 151.02 Year: 151.02
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1576.28
Neon Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1353.22
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Sarah woke up shortly before 2:00 am, and had strong contractions. We called the midwife, shipped the kids off to a neighbor's house, and got ready for the baby. Jacob Alexander Pachev was born at 3:56 am at our house, weighing 9 pounds and 5 ounces, and 21 inches in height. We believe it is a record in weight for the 22 grandchildren of Sarah's parents. It is also the first time she went into labor in the middle of the night. And she ran a record 100 meter sprint within 36 hours of delivery while trying to go into labor - 35.2.

She very impressed me when she said "I love you" in the middle of a hard contraction. She has never said anything unfriendly before during labor in the past, but I do not remember ever hearing "I love you" in the middle of a contraction. Having children definitely has had a refining influence on her.

Interestingly enough, the pushing stage lasted about 16 minutes - about the time it takes me to run a 5 K, which is something I get to do tomorrow. I consider the 5 K to be the most painful race when I am in shape.

After things had settled down, I put up "It's a boy" sign that has already been prepared, finished my scripture study (interestingly enough, read the last 2 chapters of Jacob in the Book of Mormon), and got ready for my run.

Still tapering, so only 4 miles + the kids run. Ran with Steve Hillam and Danny Moody. We did a 0.5 in 2:27.3. Danny helped with the pace quite a bit, and I really appreciated it, because otherwise I would have been falling asleep. Still, this is nothing compared to the sleepiness on the last leg of the Wasatch Back Relay.

Then later in the morning took a nap, and then ran with the kids. Our neighbor Abby joined us, and did pretty well - we went her pace, and ran the mile in 9:33.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Andy on Fri, Jul 21, 2006 at 14:29:11

Congratulations to you and Sarah.

From Maria on Fri, Jul 21, 2006 at 15:11:21

Big congratulations to the Pachev family! Wow, Jacob is a big baby. Sarah is amazing. With all due respect, Sasha, pushing a baby out is A LOT more painful than any 5K, at least in my experience. Of course, it was more like 2 hours for me rather than 16 min, so it was more like a half-marathon I guess :).

Good luck to you and Benjamin in the race tomorrow! Is Jennifer running as well?

From Dallen on Sat, Jul 22, 2006 at 10:54:25

Congratulations on the baby and good luck in the marathon.

From d-enz on Sat, Jul 22, 2006 at 21:07:44

Congratulations on the new addition and hope all is well with your family. Also thanks for the advice and posts, I feel like I am getting stronger and my running has been improved quite a bit in just the last six months. I am really looking forward to the St. George Marathon this fall.

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