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: 107.61 Year: 107.61
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: 1276.97
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 65.08
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Day of rest. Went to church.

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 - 2019-05-27 09:39:39
Workout Totals: Distance12.000Time1:33:25.80Pace7:47.15
Easy runs, total of 12. Julia was able to run better today, did a mile in 7:40. Matthew also felt better, though we still kept him at just 1 mile today.
Leg 1:Distance4.000Time31:41.10Pace7:55.27
I think this was with Jenny and Joseph.
Leg 2:Distance4.000Time31:18.60Pace7:49.65
I think this was with Stephen, William, and Jacob.
Leg 3:Distance1.000Time7:40.30Pace7:40.30
With Matthew, Joseph and Jacob.
Leg 4:Distance1.000Time7:46.70Pace7:46.70
With Joseph and Jacob.
Leg 5:Distance1.000Time7:18.60Pace7:18.60
Leg 6:Distance1.000Time7:40.50Pace7:40.50
With Julia and Jenny.

Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 12.00
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 - 2019-05-28 08:23:29
Workout Totals: Distance12.425Time1:35:01.70Pace7:38.89
Benjamin came home today. We met him at the airport. He was tired, and had a cold. He came home, took a nap, then jogged 1.5 miles, and went back to sleep. Joseph picked up a cold today, jogged a couple of miles. Jacob and I tried to do a points workout, started with a warm-up 0.25 in 74.9, that felt too hard, then we started the mile, but after the first quarter in 77 I felt we should do a different workout, so we coasted to 0.5 in 2:37, jogged back to the start of our 2 mile tempo and ran it in 11:16/11:17 with the first 1.5 at a bit slower than 5:30, and then we tried to run 5:20 pace for the last 0.5, but Jacob did not have it, so we only managed 5:28 pace.
Leg 1:Distance1.250Time10:11.30Pace8:09.04
Warm-up with Jacob.
Leg 2:Distance3.875Time30:59.80Pace7:59.95
Start of the points workout with Jacob + change of plans + jog to the start of the 2 mile tempo.
Split 1:Distance0.250Time1:14.90Pace4:59.60
Split 2:Distance0.500Time5:22.30Pace10:44.60
Split 3:Distance0.500Time2:37.70Pace5:15.40
Split 4:Distance2.625Time21:44.90Pace8:17.10
Leg 3:Distance2.000Time11:16.90Pace5:38.45
Tempo run with Jacob.
Split 1:Distance1.500Time8:32.90Pace5:41.93
Split 2:Distance0.500Time2:44.00Pace5:28.00
Leg 4:Distance0.300Time3:05.80Pace10:19.33
Cool-down with Jacob.
Leg 5:Distance1.000Time7:45.50Pace7:45.50
With Matthew.
Leg 6:Distance1.000Time7:50.50Pace7:50.50
With Benjamin, Stephen, Jenny, and Julia.
Leg 7:Distance3.000Time23:51.90Pace7:57.30
With Stephen - part with William and Julia.

Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 12.43
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2019-05-29 08:54:02
Workout Totals: Distance11.900Time1:32:15.20Pace7:45.14
Total of about 12. Did Sarah's 1.5 tempo + also did 0.5 with Stephen in 2:49.5 down the canyon. Joseph ran about 5.5, Jacob I think did 4+2. Benjamin did 6 + 2, his first real training day since he got back. Still recovering from the fatigue of travelling and the cold.
Leg 1:Distance0.730Time5:57.00Pace8:09.04
With Joseph, William, Stephen and Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance1.500Time11:48.40Pace7:52.27
With Sarah.
Leg 3:Distance0.500Time2:49.50Pace5:39.00
Stephen's 0.5 down the canyon.
Leg 4:Distance3.170Time26:07.10Pace8:14.35
With Joseph and Benjamin.
Leg 5:Distance4.000Time29:40.00Pace7:25.00
Leg 6:Distance2.000Time15:53.20Pace7:56.60
With Matthew.

Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 11.90
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 - 2019-05-30 09:14:06
Workout Totals: Distance8.150Time1:00:26.80Pace7:25.01
Eventful day. We are hosting two Ukrainian runners - Sergei and Ruslan, who came here for the Utah Valley Half Marathon. They had some adventures getting here - they were driving from Las Vegas, and hit a 3+ hour traffic jam caused by the fallout of the wrong way drunk driver between Cedar City and St. George.

Jacob and I did a fast finish 2 mile tempo run down the canyon. We started at the same pace as Tuesday, but both of us shifted gears much better in the last 0.5 and managed 2:35 - 11:08 for 2 miles.

Benjamin ran 6.25 with Sergei and Ruslan in the evening - Joseph did 6, William and Stephen 4, Matthew 2, Julia I think 3+2, do not remember what Jenny did.
Leg 1:Distance0.980Time8:06.50Pace8:16.43
Warm-up with Jacob.
Leg 2:Distance2.000Time11:08.50Pace5:34.25
Fast finish tempo run with Jacob.
Split 1:Distance1.500Time8:32.80Pace5:41.87
Split 2:Distance0.500Time2:35.70Pace5:11.40
Leg 3:Distance3.170Time25:33.00Pace8:03.60
Cool-down with Jacob.
Leg 4:Distance2.000Time15:38.80Pace7:49.40
First mile with Sergei, Ruslan, Benjamin, Joseph, William, Stephen, and Matthew, last mile just with Matthew.

Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 8.15
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 - 2019-05-31 08:50:36
Workout Totals: Distance6.000Time48:04.10Pace8:00.68
6 total, tapering for the Utah Valley Half.
Leg 1:Distance4.000Time31:41.30Pace7:55.32
With Benjamin, do not remember who else we had.
Leg 2:Distance2.000Time16:22.80Pace8:11.40
With Matthew, Joseph, and Jacob.

Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 6.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Race: Utah Valley Half Marathon (13.109 Miles) 01:18:28, Place overall: 19, Place in age division: 3
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2019-06-01 05:26:29
Workout Totals: Distance14.609Time1:30:46.60Pace6:12.82
Utah Valley Half Marathon, 1:18:28, 19th overall, 3rd master, $50.

I thought I'd be able to run 2 minutes faster, but long story short, I could not. Some of it is perhaps just getting a year older, some of it missed sleep, some maybe the day was not as fast - although the conditions - while not 100% perfect - were not terrible. And perhaps my recent experiment of 6+6 backfired and made my legs cave somewhat after 8 miles due to the lack of longer runs - though I did find a 5:56 mile for mile 12 when I focused. So maybe it was just the low adrenaline again.

We were not sure what kind of condition Benjamin was in after his flight, with a cold, having traveled cross-continent, and after two years of only 45 minutes of running a day with some missed days due to various contingencies + reduced sleep. But based on how his runs were going on his mission + how he felt in the easy runs this week I figured he should be able to keep up with me, and I was more than right. At 6 miles he told me he wanted to go faster, so I told him to shift gears at the 20 mile mark of the marathon (about 6.9 in the half) and he did - hitting 2 miles at 5:20, then after 9 he started running out of juice some and slowed down to 5:40 finishing in 1:15:28 in 13th place with the last 10 K in 34:38 (measured from the 20 mile mark of the marathon to the finish).

He told us at the end of his mission that he was dreaming of being able to run straight and as fast as he wanted - on his mission he had to be with his companion 24x7, which meant either running something no faster than 8:00 for a couple of miles, running on the track, or back and forth in front of the house. So I signed him up for the UVM half :-)

The kids ran 1500 in the Corner Canyon meet. Results:

41 Pachev, Matthew
7 Fast Running Blog
42 Pachev, Stephen
9 Fast Running Blog
43 Pachev, William
11 Fast Running Blog
39 Pachev, Jacob
13 Fast Running Blog
40 Pachev, Joseph
14 Fast Running Blog
37 Pachev, Julia
17 Fast Running Blog

Command to grab the results:

curl -s | pdftotext - - | grep -A 2 Pachev

Stephen got an almost 8 second PR. Julia and Jacob improved her time from the last meet. William ran about the same - except he started out even faster - 78. We need to do something about his third laps in over 90. I do not think it is physical. Clearly if he can run 78 thinking he has further to go, then after an 88 break he should be able to run at least another 88, if not 84-85. But I think what happens is that it starts to hurt and he starts feeling sorry for himself, and then just stops trying at 100% effort. Similar problems with Matthew, except Matthew is a temperamental 6 year old, so all bets are off :-)
Leg 1:Distance1.500Time12:19.40Pace8:12.93
Leg 2:Distance13.109Time1:18:27.20Pace5:59.08
Split 1:Distance1.000Time5:49.10Pace5:49.10
Split 2:Distance1.000Time5:40.30Pace5:40.30
Split 3:Distance1.000Time6:15.20Pace6:15.20
Split 4:Distance1.000Time6:10.50Pace6:10.50
Split 5:Distance1.000Time5:52.40Pace5:52.40
Split 6:Distance1.000Time5:45.50Pace5:45.50
Split 7:Distance1.000Time5:54.50Pace5:54.50
Split 8:Distance1.000Time5:53.70Pace5:53.70
Split 9:Distance1.000Time6:07.10Pace6:07.10
Split 10:Distance1.000Time6:07.00Pace6:07.00
Split 11:Distance1.000Time6:13.40Pace6:13.40
Split 12:Distance1.000Time5:56.20Pace5:56.20
Split 13:Distance1.000Time6:04.70Pace6:04.70
Split 14:Distance0.109Time0:37.60Pace5:44.95

Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 14.61
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 65.08
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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