Breaking the Wall

September 19, 2019

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Orem,UT,United States

Member Since:

Jan 27, 1986



Goal Type:

Olympic Trials Qualifier

Running Accomplishments:

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

Draper Days 5 K 15:37 (2004)

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


Short-Term Running Goals:

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

Long-Term Running Goals:

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


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

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

Favorite Quote:

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

Elder Bruce R. McConkie


Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 90.98 Year: 2713.79
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: 22.05
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Started the morning with a one mile jog, then went to the temple. It was raining hard went I got back. Waited a couple of hours, it calmed down as I expected. Here it Utah the rain fortunately does not usually last too long.

Drove to the Provo Canyon. Did 10x500 downhill. Fairly strong headwind. Got 14:48.2 for the sum of the intervals, which is a 5 K, 0.3 second faster than last week. On the last one, hit 1:26.3 with the last 200 in 33.5. I guess the marathon did not take that much out of me after all.

Afterwards, 1.5 tempo uphill to get the jacket in 8:44, and the same stretch down at a tempo pace in 8:30 this time I guess to get the whole thing over with quicker. 10.5 miles for the workout.

In the evening, jogged another 1.5 to reach 13 miles for the day.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From MikeBro on Thu, Apr 06, 2006 at 13:44:44

Sasha--Thanks for the advice about incorporating strides into easy runs as a form of stretching. I'll try it once this weekend's half is done with.

From BS Rools on Thu, Apr 06, 2006 at 20:41:12

Sasha, I am impressed with you quick recovery from the marathon, especially, given the amount of downhill. What is your secret for the shins and downhill running?

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Apr 06, 2006 at 21:46:18

Brent - I attribute the durability of my bones and muscles, and their high decrease of resistance to pounding, to a number of factors:

I have been running for over 21 years without a break that was longer than 3 days. I think this level of consistency gave my body a chance to adapt to the stress and always be ready for it.

In my early teenage years, I ran either in spikes on the track or otherwise basketball shoes. So my legs learned to deal with not having much cushioning.

Overtime, I maintained a relatively healthy diet, and it kept improving. For the most part, I ate to the best of my knowledge. I have never had alcohol in my entire life, a miracle for a Russian boy. I noticed that caffeine made my heart beat funny and irritated my liver, so I tried to avoid it as a teenager when my mind was in gear. When I joined the LDS Church, I stopped drinking coffee and tea altogether. When I came to America, I realized my choice of food has improved, and I'd better choose the good kind. I stopped eating sweets, drinking soda pop, and reduced my red meat consumption.

In 2002-2003 my progress in running has stalled. I searched a lot, tried a number of different things, and then decided to try a better diet - removed white flower, red meat, and milk products replacing them with nuts, fruit, vegetables, grains, and fish once a week. After the change, my recoveries from marathons have improved dramatically - I experience no significant muscular pain even after St. George. However, there is a limit - DesNews breaks me down. It takes me 3 days before I can run without noticable pain again. I believe a better diet increases the resilience of the muscles and joints.

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