Breaking the Wall

November 30, 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: 304.65 Year: 3606.17
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: 806.96
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Started the morning with a 1 mile jog before going to the temple. The foot was still hurting. I wondered if I should really do my scheduled 12x400. In the afternoon went to the Provo Canyon anyway. During the warmup, I figured out a way to plant my foot to minimize the pain. I decided to go ahead with the workout. Strong headwind, although I've seen it stronger. Again 12x400 downhill with 200 recovery. First one in 69.3. Others in the same range. A couple around 70.5 when the wind got stronger. After a few repetions the foot started feeling better. Always a prayer before each repetition and one after. This is the type of workout that makes me remember Alma 34:18-27 very vividly. Before the last repetition I notice that I need to run in 66.6 to hit the average of 69. Brigham Young once said that you should pray as if everything depended upon the Lord, but then work as if everything depended on you. I followed his formula. The head wind eased off a bit, I ran relaxed on the first 200, and gave it all afterwards to hit 66.5 for the split, and the desired 69.0 for the average. After the cool down I expected the pain in the foot to increase after the wear off of the endorphines, but it kept feeling better. Go figure. BF & C magic kicking in? The pumping of the blood cleared something up in the affected area? Maybe it is just time for it to start healing? I guess we learn from this that the next time you have an injury, 12x400 downhill is an effective treatment. In the evening ran with Benjamin and Jennifer, and a little bit more on my own to make the total 13 miles for the day.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From brent on Wed, Mar 15, 2006 at 21:02:12

Sasha, I am amazed when I read your workouts. How much of a recovery between the 400s? Thanks for your comments on my training.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Mar 16, 2006 at 08:13:29


I jog 200 meters back up the canyon for my recovery. It actually ends up being a little bit more than 200 meters because it takes a while to stop after finishing the repetition. I estimate the time of rest is about 2 minutes. For me, this is essentially full rest. I do not think I'd be able to do 12 of them any faster if I rested 4-5 minutes. At least if I am forced to take a bathroom break in between, I actually run the next repetition slower. The purpose of this workout is to improve my running economy, so I make sure I am sufficiently fresh for the next repetition. I tried doing them with 100 m recovery in between but did not get good results.

From Dallen on Thu, Mar 16, 2006 at 21:16:13

Sasha, I've never known you to get injured. When we ran together everyone else always had aches and pains, but you were always 100%. Heal quickly.

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