Breaking the Wall

USATF Utah Liberty Park 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: 211.63 Year: 851.13
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: 1679.47
Race: USATF Utah Liberty Park 5K (3.107 Miles) 00:18:05, Place overall: 3
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2019-10-11 09:46:38
Workout Totals: Distance11.669Time1:36:12.50Pace8:14.69
USATF Liberty Park 5K, 18:05.60, 3rd place.

We put together an experimental free no-frills 5K. USATF Utah covered the sanction fee for us. The Salt Lake City said if we have fewer than 50 people we did not need a permit. I discovered by going through the USATF certified courses database that there was a course that was still current in Liberty Park. For the timing, we just used multiple cell phone cameras with Timestamp Camera app that overlaid the frames with millisecond timestamps. This way we could know exactly when the race started, and then used frame analysis with the help of a little bit of code I wrote to navigate the frames and match the runners. So this was basically like timing a track meet, and since we knew who everybody was, we did not need bibs.

Results are below:

"Benjamin Pachev","20","M","15:34.51",""
"Jacob Pachev","13","M","17:56.40",""
"Alexander Pachev","46","M","18:05.60",""
"Joseph Pachev","14","M","18:55.17",""
"William Pachev","10","M","19:53.13",""
"Jennifer Pachev","19","F","20:31.97",""
"Bonnie Gow","13","F","20:47.10",""
"Stephen Pachev","9","M","22:07.60",""
"Julia Pachev","17","F","23:08.90",""
"Matthew Pachev","6","M","23:57.70",""
"Stephen Robinson","44","M","23:57.93",""
"Sarah Pachev","43","F","27:11.80",""

Benjamin set a road PR of 15:34.61, only 6 seconds slower than his sea-level track PR in a solo effort. Jacob broke 18:00 for the first time with 17:56.40. I was doing well up to the 3 K mark, and then fell apart, but sort of held together to finish in 18:05, which may not be that bad for an old man. The rest of us struggled for various reasons, but we still managed 20:44 "official" 5 K family average PR.

One mistake we made was miscalculate how long it takes to get things set up - we were rather awkward with the tripods, and setting them up took more than just a few seconds. Plus it took some time to mark the course. So we started almost half an hour late, and by that time it started to get dark. And when it gets dark it is harder to run hard as you cannot see the remote landmarks that pull you towards them anymore. We will plan better next time, which will probably be in March.
Leg 1:Distance2.000Time15:44.00Pace7:52.00
With Joseph and Jacob.
Leg 2:Distance2.000Time15:36.60Pace7:48.30
Leg 3:Distance3.200Time26:07.90Pace8:09.97
Warm-up/marking the course.
Leg 4:Distance3.105Time27:10.90Pace8:45.25
5 K race.
Split 1:Distance0.621Time3:29.30Pace5:37.04
Split 2:Distance0.621Time3:31.60Pace5:40.74
Split 3:Distance0.621Time3:37.20Pace5:49.76
Split 4:Distance0.621Time3:41.70Pace5:57.00
Split 5:Distance0.621Time3:44.80Pace6:02.00
Split 6:Distance0.000Time0:49.90Pace0:00.00
Split 7:Distance0.000Time0:57.70Pace0:00.00
Split 8:Distance0.000Time0:38.80Pace0:00.00
Split 9:Distance0.000Time0:15.20Pace0:00.00
Split 10:Distance0.000Time1:20.70Pace0:00.00
Split 11:Distance0.000Time1:01.40Pace0:00.00
Split 12:Distance0.000Time0:48.80Pace0:00.00
Matthew and Chad.
Split 13:Distance0.000Time3:13.80Pace0:00.00
Leg 5:Distance1.114Time8:54.50Pace7:59.80
Leg 6:Distance0.250Time2:38.60Pace10:34.40
With Bella.

Neon Crocs 1 Miles: 11.67
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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