Breaking the Wall

June 15, 2021

Recent EntriesHomeJoin Fast Running Blog Community!PredictorHealthy RecipesSasha Pachev's RacesFind BlogsMileage BoardTop Ten Excuses for Missing a RunTop Ten Training MistakesDiscussion ForumRace Reports Send A Private MessageWeek ViewMonth ViewYear View
15% off for Fast Running Blog members at St. George Running Center!


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: 103.30 Year: 1747.58
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Brown Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 2191.97
Brown Crocs 4 Lifetime Miles: 595.71
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Stomach issues continued. Still not as hungry as I ought to be, not eating as much, plus the runs. But otherwise, surprisingly I am able to train. Started with 10.1 with Jeff, Josse, and Brad. They ran it in around 1:18, but thanks to 4 VPBs I ended up with 1:15:01 and about 1 mile worth of tempo running. Timed a 0.3125 segment at 1:40, exactly 5:20 pace. Then ran 2.1 with Sarah. Josse joined us for the first 2.1. The time was 21:05. Afterwards 3 more in 19:21, total time for 15.2 was 1:55:27.

Crocs - 177.96 miles.

P.M. 1 with Julia in 11:23, 1.5 with Jenny in 12:46, 2 with Benjamin in 16:01, and 0.7 alone in 4:50.

Crocs - 183.16 miles. 

Night Sleep Time: 7.17Nap Time: 1.50Total Sleep Time: 8.67
From wheakory on Tue, Mar 25, 2008 at 10:45:39

4 VPB's that has to be a record Sasha. With the Crocs not have much backend heel support do you feel any difference with that?

What do you hope on gaining in your training by using the Crocs?

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Mar 25, 2008 at 12:21:51

Kory - I've had more. I think the record is 6, all serious business. Today only 3 were serious. Not too bad for an upset stomach.

I think backend heel support is what kills your running form. I love having none. Crocs encourage you to not heel-strike. It hurts if you do. The ground contact time goes down. Overall, the stride feels more fluid, more efficient. I noticed less fatigue towards the end of a hard run, and a lot easier to deal with pace variations in tempos. You need to accelerate, boom, you're there in 3 seconds even if you are tired instead of 20. And when you put on racing flats afterwards, you are not afraid to hit the ground harder, which gives you more power.

From Guest on Tue, Mar 25, 2008 at 15:26:25

I get the gist of what a "VPB" is, but what exactly does VPB stand for? Very Private Break? Violent Projectile Barfing? Voluminous Potty Bottom?

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Mar 25, 2008 at 16:13:23

Virtual Private Bathroom

Add Your Comment.
  • Keep it family-safe. No vulgar or profane language. To discourage anonymous comments of cowardly nature, your IP address will be logged and posted next to your comment.
  • Do not respond to another person's comment out of context. If he made the original comment on another page/blog entry, go to that entry and respond there.
  • If all you want to do is contact the blogger and your comment is not connected with this entry and has no relevance to others, send a private message instead.
Only registered users with public blogs are allowed to post comments. Log in with your username and password or create an account and set up a blog.
Debt Reduction Calculator
Featured Announcements