Breaking the Wall

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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 nine children: Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, William, Stephen, Matthew, and Mary.  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: 155.72 Year: 1615.26
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 606.85
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 120.59
Black Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 2604.35
Khaki Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1046.69
Camouflage Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1379.16
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2017-05-01 09:09:50
Workout Totals: Distance10.520Time1:22:40.00Pace7:51.48
Usual runs for everybody before we left for Indianapolis. First leg to Denver where we stayed with James and Lybi.
Leg 1:Distance1.000Time7:37.00Pace7:37.00
With Stephen, Joseph, Jacob, and Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance3.000Time23:40.00Pace7:53.33
With Joseph, Jacob, William, and Benjamin.
Leg 3:Distance6.000Time46:52.00Pace7:48.67
With Benjamin.
Leg 4:Distance0.520Time4:31.00Pace8:41.15
With Matthew.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2017-05-02 07:38:25
Workout Totals: Distance8.725Time1:11:09.80Pace8:09.38
In Denver. Usual distances for everybody except Julia - she had a stomach issue and ran only 3 miles. Joseph and Jacob raced each other in the 200 - Jacob got 32.2, Joseph 32.8 and he was mad. He tried again by himself and ran 33.9. William ran 37.8, Stephen 43.0. Then we caused some panic at the middle school as Jacob needs to go to the bathroom and somebody let him in through a back door. Police officer showed up, but we ended up not being terrorists or mad shooters, so it all ended well.
Leg 1:Distance2.000Time15:09.80Pace7:34.90
With Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance1.150Time9:59.10Pace8:40.96
With all the kids to the track.
Leg 3:Distance0.000Time0:00.00Pace0:00.00
False start.
Leg 4:Distance0.124Time0:32.80Pace4:24.52
Joseph and Jacob's race - this is Joseph's time.
Leg 5:Distance0.124Time0:37.80Pace5:04.84
William's 200.
Leg 6:Distance0.124Time1:11.50Pace9:36.61
A little jog.
Leg 7:Distance0.124Time0:33.90Pace4:33.39
Joseph's 200 attempt to swing his fists after the fight was over.
Leg 8:Distance1.500Time13:33.40Pace9:02.27
Back to the house.
Leg 9:Distance1.329Time10:38.00Pace8:00.06
With Benjamin, Jenny, Joseph, and Jacob.
Leg 10:Distance1.750Time13:52.50Pace7:55.71
With Benjamin.
Leg 11:Distance0.500Time5:01.00Pace10:02.00
With Matthew in Omaha, NE.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2017-05-03 07:06:02
Workout Totals: Distance7.550Time1:01:44.40Pace8:10.65
In Omaha, NE at Sarah's brother's house. 7.5 total - tapering. Benjamin did 7. Jenny 4. Other kids usual distances. Benjamin and I did a pickup on a marked 0.5 stretch in 2:48.
Leg 1:Distance1.050Time9:20.60Pace8:53.90
With Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, and Stephen.
Leg 2:Distance3.000Time24:58.40Pace8:19.47
With Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, and William.
Leg 3:Distance3.000Time22:51.30Pace7:37.10
With Benjamin - did 0.5 pickup.
Split 1:Distance1.550Time12:00.50Pace7:44.84
Split 2:Distance0.500Time2:48.80Pace5:37.60
Split 3:Distance0.950Time8:02.00Pace8:27.37
Leg 4:Distance0.500Time4:34.10Pace9:08.20
With Matthew.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2017-05-04 14:13:09
Workout Totals: Distance6.500Time54:00.10Pace8:18.48
In Indianapolis. Usual distances for everybody except Benjamin and Jenny. It was raining.
Leg 1:Distance6.500Time54:00.10Pace8:18.48

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2017-05-05 13:23:29
Workout Totals: Distance6.200Time51:24.40Pace8:17.48
Tapering. Ran in the park in Indianapolis.
Leg 1:Distance0.500Time4:31.20Pace9:02.40
With Matthew and I think other kids as well.
Leg 2:Distance1.100Time9:09.40Pace8:19.45
With William, Stephen, Benjamin, Joseph, Jacob, Jenny, and Julia.
Leg 3:Distance1.600Time12:40.90Pace7:55.56
With William, Jenny, Joseph, Julia, Benjamin, and Jacob.
Leg 4:Distance1.000Time8:04.40Pace8:04.40
With Benjamin, Joseph, and Jacob.
Leg 5:Distance2.000Time16:58.50Pace8:29.25
With Sarah.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2017-05-06 04:31:45
Workout Totals: Distance15.059Time1:33:25.70Pace6:12.25
Mini Indy 500 Half, 1:17:26, 44th overall, 4th master ($200).

Benjamin 1:11:53, 16th overall, finally his Crocs got noticed and it went viral. Crocs noticed it too, so we are now working with Crocs on a sponsorship deal.

Jenny ran 19:56 in the 5K, second woman, 9th overall (weak field, everybody went to the half) - big PR, qualified for the driver's license.

At the start it was raining a bit, and somewhat windy, although it did not feel too bad. However, I knew something was up when we went through the first mile in 5:54. It felt just like 5:46 in the Phoenix half. I was able to work with a pack up to mile 4 at which point the faster part of it took off, the slower fell back, and I decide to stay with one runner that seemed to have been maintaining good pace. Unfortunately, he started slowing down right before the 5 mile mark and then had to go to the bathroom. So I ended up running alone on the speedway for most or all of it.

I made a valiant effort to pick up the pace after 6:00, 6:05, and was able to speed up to 5:52 by myself. As we were exiting it, I got caught by two runners and was able to hang with them for a mile or so speeding up to 5:43. But this really took a toll on me, so when I lost contact I slowed down to 6:05. This allowed another runner to catch up to me and I was able to run the next mile (11th) in 5:46. I lost contact during the 12th mile, and ran it in 5:55. The last mile was really hard for me, and I think it was also marked incorrectly - the split was 6:10, but I think if we were to assume correct distance from 12 to the finish it was around 6:03-6:04. I got caught by one more runner here, and was able to run with him for a little bit until he kicked.

The time on my watch was 1:17:25, officially 1:17:26.

Benjamin did well for the first 8 miles. For the first 7 he sat in a pack going 5:20-5:22. Then he felt good and decided to make a move. It lasted for 1 mile in 5:14. Then he ran 5:30, and then completely blew up and could only do 5:45. He said his legs were shaking. This sounds like not enough glycogen. I think we made two mistakes. One was not enough long tempos. Two, breaks that are too long in the middle of regular aerobic base runs - we drop one set of kids off and pick up another, and it takes some time to gather the troops in between. Something to remember after his mission.

Nevertheless, this run has caused quite a stir in the media. Do a Google search for "Pachev crocs" to get the details. We got interviewed by Indy Star and Fox 59, and then it went viral. Everybody was making a big deal of 71:53 in Crocs. It is interesting that his "crocked" 69:34 at the Monumental Half last year went completely unnoticed by the media as far as we can tell. Nor did the commentator notice anything special when he ran 8:53 3000 in Sacramento last year at the USATF JO Nationals - even though in the race video you can see his Crocs and the commentator is clearly aware of Benjamin (he finished in 3rd place) mentioning him multiple times.

Jenny opened with 6:30, then ran 6:29, and then ran the last 1.107 in 6:57, which is 6:16 pace. She was able to cache out on her fitness quite well and earned her drivers' license privilege.
Leg 1:Distance1.250Time10:10.20Pace8:08.16
Leg 2:Distance13.109Time1:17:25.10Pace5:54.34
The race.
Split 1:Distance1.000Time5:54.60Pace5:54.60
Split 2:Distance1.000Time5:50.20Pace5:50.20
Split 3:Distance1.000Time5:50.50Pace5:50.50
Split 4:Distance1.000Time5:44.90Pace5:44.90
Split 5:Distance1.000Time5:53.20Pace5:53.20
Split 6:Distance1.000Time6:00.50Pace6:00.50
Split 7:Distance1.000Time6:05.30Pace6:05.30
Split 8:Distance1.000Time5:52.00Pace5:52.00
Split 9:Distance1.000Time5:43.60Pace5:43.60
Split 10:Distance1.000Time6:05.30Pace6:05.30
Split 11:Distance1.000Time5:46.60Pace5:46.60
Split 12:Distance1.000Time5:55.20Pace5:55.20
Split 13:Distance1.020Time6:10.00Pace6:02.75
Split 14:Distance0.089Time0:33.20Pace6:13.03
Leg 3:Distance0.700Time5:50.40Pace8:20.57
Fast Running Friend Workout - 2017-05-06 18:50:46
Workout Totals: Distance4.500Time37:47.10Pace8:23.80
In Omaha, NE at Sarah's brother's house. Benjamin ran with Stephen, I ran with everybody else.
Leg 1:Distance4.000Time32:48.50Pace8:12.12
With Joseph, Jacob, William, and Julia.
Leg 2:Distance0.500Time4:58.60Pace9:57.20
With Matthew.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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