Breaking the Wall

Utah Valley Half Marathon

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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: 88.07 Year: 2386.98
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: 1257.89
Race: Utah Valley Half Marathon (13.109 Miles) 01:15:54, Place overall: 11
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2015-06-13 05:29:38
Workout Totals: Distance19.609Time2:09:42.80Pace6:36.90
Utah Valley Half marathon - 1:15:54, 11th overall, 1st master, $150. Benjamin did 1:10:27, 5th overall, $75. New course record in the 15-18 age division. He almost got his driver's license - 27 seconds to go. This was the first time Benjamin earned cash in a race. It just happened that I earned cash as well - it was a special occasion for both of us to share the cash podium for the first time. We also set our father/son double-half PR - our times added up are 2:26:21, improvement of 1:30 from Top of Utah Half.

As for my race, I ended up in more or less no man's land after the first half mile, and ran there the entire time. First mile was 5:34, then 5:46, 22:59 at 4, 28:34 at 5, 57:19 at 10. I ran the next uphill mile in 5:55, and then just did not have the adrenaline to push for the last two, so I ended up coasting at around 6:00 pace to the finish.

Got to watch Ryan Hall do his workout. His original plan was to alternate 5:00 and 7:00 miles, but he did his recoveries somewhere closer to 6:00. Apparently he stopped to visit a port-a-potty somewhere around 3-4 miles because I saw him ahead, never passed him, and then saw him come from behind around 5 miles. For the next few miles I would pass him on his recovery, and then he would pass me on his interval. Then in the last three miles I slowed down and he maybe sped up, so I was not passing him anymore. He ended up doing the whole thing in around 1:14 - including the pit stop.

The day before at the expo he gave a good talk on how to train and race. A lot of inspired ideas. You get faster when you sleep. You have to see yourself better than you currently are. Find something to be thankful for when you race. Make yourself slightly uncomfortable in training. Expect gradual, almost invisible, improvements - not quick immediate jumps. He quoted the Bible frequently, which I appreciated.
Leg 1:Distance1.500Time12:29.80Pace8:19.87
Warm-up with Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance13.109Time1:15:54.60Pace5:47.44
The race. Decided I did not want to mess around with the split button, so no Fast Running Friend splits.
Leg 3:Distance5.000Time41:18.40Pace8:15.68
With Joseph and Jacob. Pushed Mary and Matthew in the stroller so that Sarah could get some sleep. She had to get up early to take Benjamin and myself to the start.

Nike Double Stroller Miles: 5.00White Crocs 1 Miles: 19.60
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 2.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From RileyCook on Sun, Jun 14, 2015 at 07:04:45 from

Congrats on the Master's Victory. It was a great day for the Pachev family!

It was fun having Ryan Hall there, even if he didn't race. He seems like a great guy and I hope he can get back to olympic form.

From steve ash on Sun, Jun 14, 2015 at 07:34:48 from

Congratulations Sasha to both you and Benjamin. Nice work.

From SlowJoe on Sun, Jun 14, 2015 at 14:32:23 from

Congrats on the masters win, and to your son!

Good thing I didn't have to run a 1:10 to get my driver's license - I'd still be taking the bus.

From jtshad on Mon, Jun 15, 2015 at 13:17:57 from

Congrats on strong races for both you and Benjamin!

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