Breaking the Wall

August 04, 2021

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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:

Russian champion tries Crocs, commits to racing a marathon in them

Nikolay Chavkin in the video below did 3x1000, first two in Adidas carbon-fiber models, the last one in Crocs. Surprised by the result (2:52, 2:52, 2:50) with the fastest interval done in Crocs, he committed to racing a marathon in Crocs if the video gets 42K likes and 195 comments (for 42 km 195 m, the marathon distance). Nikolay's current marathon PR is 2:14:00. The video was created by a Russian sporting goods store chain. Their moto is "more sports - brighter life", which we think is wonderful, and also deserves a Like. If you want to see a fast marathon in Crocs, go to the video and click the Like button. And make sure to share it with your friends.

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 0.00 Year: 2298.64
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: 1237.96
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran the Big Workout at 5:00 AM with Ted. Adam joined us for the first 4 miles. Warm up 6.22 in 45:49. Decided since it was early, I had stomach issues the day before and might possibly be a bit dehydrated or carbo-depleted, it was dark, plus I was just feeling plain lazy to hammer out 7.5 all by myself - so I decided to take it easy and run with Ted at whatever pace he wanted as long as it was sub-6:00. This could potentially be a hard workout as Ted sometimes has really good days and gives me a run for my money.

We went through the first 2.5 in 14:50 trading quarters. Sped up a bit on the way back - 14:34. The pace felt odd - no man's land. Too fast too be easy and relaxing, too slow to make me focus. So I kind of mentally drifted and suspended myself. Then Ted had a very serious VPB stop, some serious stomach problems. I told him I wanted to catch the 44:00 guy. With the stomach issues, he was not sure he'd be able to. So once we got going, he overcorrected and really put the hammer down hitting a 1:24 quarter. I was taken by surprise, but was able to refocus and come to grips that we were now in a different pace zone. So we hit the mile in 5:38. Then it was Ted's turn to lead. He thought I was not letting him lead, I thought he was too tired to lead and would not pass me. So I hit a quarter in 1:23, eased off a bit on the next one to 1:24 hoping that Ted would be able to draft, but he was falling behind, and I was already in gear. So I just kept going. Ran the last slight uphill mile in 5:29, 13:54 for the last 2.5, 43:18 for 7.5. Ted finished in 43:38, leaving the 44:00 guy in the dust as well.

Cooled down the last 1.38 in 10:45, 1:39:52 for 15.1.

P.M. Started with 0.05 to get Julia from her friend's house, then 1.05 with her in 11:15, then 1.75 with Jenny in 16:17, then 2.1 with Benjamin in 17:27, and 1.05 by myself in 7:35. Pushed Jacob in the double stroller the entire time. Felt strong.

Quotes from our kids at different ages:

Benjamin at the age of 3 after another kid took a toy away from him in church: "Sam, you must not do this, you must repent!"

Jenny at the age of 3: "When I grow up, I want to be a Lamanite so I can kill sheep!"

Julia at the age of 5: "...and the most expensive kind of love is marriage!"

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From marciej on Tue, Nov 13, 2007 at 15:30:42

Thanks for the welcome and the advice! I never really thought as being tired at the start as a good thing but it makes sense. Thanks (when i respond to a blog do I post on your page or mine?)

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Nov 13, 2007 at 15:48:24

Marcie - when replying you should respond at the same place where the original comment was posted. This allows others to follow a discussion.

From crumpyb1 on Tue, Nov 13, 2007 at 21:42:20

Sasha, I want to see if I understand the couple running terms you were explaining to me yesterday.

Fartlek--a run were you increase your pace for a certain amount of time. Example: Run 10k pace for three minutes, run normal for two minutes.

Tempo Run--where you run a certain course as fast as you can with a mile or more for a warm up and a cool down

Strides--sprinting for a hundred meters during your run (how often do you repeat the stride--I noticed you wanted Sarah to do six today).

So how close am I? Let me know when you have a moment. Thanks.

From Clay on Tue, Nov 13, 2007 at 22:43:33

Nice Quotes from your kids Sasha, they say the funniest things. Nice job on the workout, you and Ted are nuts, but you guys inspire me every day, keep it up...

From Dustin on Tue, Nov 13, 2007 at 23:39:57

Sasha I like the new feature with the Lost Sheep and the Lone Faithfuls. It seems the blog has really taken off in the last few months, and I haven't been able to keep up with all the new people signing in. I also like the feature you added which now allows us to have our favorite blogs on our individual blog pages, this has made things much easier for me.

From James on Wed, Nov 14, 2007 at 14:51:31

Good new features. I was going to mention we should do something like that, but you are on top of it already.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Nov 15, 2007 at 12:41:55

Adrianne: Basically right, with some clarifications. On a tempo run you do not go all out. Rather you run about the race pace for twice the distance or more. For example, you can run a 3-5 mile tempo at half-marathon race pace, or 10-12 miles at marathon race pace. Tempo runs should ideally end no slower than they start, you should be well in control of the pace.

Strides should be done somewhere between 5 K and 1 mile race pace, they are quick but not all out sprints. The length of a stride should be such that you are enjoying the speed but your legs do not get heavy at the end. Somewhere around 10-20 seconds. Somewhere between 4 and 8 during a run. The idea is to teach your body to run fast with the minimum stress impact.

From Kim on Thu, Nov 15, 2007 at 12:57:28

I just have to add this quote my friend's son told her the other day. It kind of fits on a fitness blog like this.

She scowled at him for something he was doing and he said, "Mom! You have a 'six pack' on your forehead!" (She told me she is glad she at least has one somewhere on her body!)

Moral of the story, let's try to have the six packs on the abs and not the forehead!

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