When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.

The heart of the difference is not ability or even talent, but desire

The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Gorgeous Gorge

I am really sleep deprived:)
I decided to do my long run at the Columbia river Gorge today, alone. I needed some sorting out to do and just be with myself. I got up, yet again, at 4 in the morning and milled around the house for quite some time. I didn’t really need to wake up at that time, but it just been happening. I always try to do my runs before the family is up, but for the long run it’s not really possible - and I am not Dean Karnases to run 3 to 6 am on local roads. The light doesn’t come till 6:30 and I have anywhere between 30 min to an hour to drive to trails - they are not next to my door steps. I got to trailhead exactly at this time. But I almost dosed off at the steering wheel and decided to close my eyes for a few minutes. When I opened them up - it was 7 am. I physically pushed myself out the door and started up.

Any Gorge run begins with steep hike, something that would have around 800 feet per mile, and will last at least a couple of miles. I power-hiked with short bursts of jogs for an hour, contemplating to shorten the loop. But by 8 am, as I reached the first peak 2400 feet, the sun colored in golden shades everything around, and it was beautiful! There was never a day that Gorge wasn’t breath-taking. I started to feel better, though my legs felt heavy after yesterday’s 15 miles - and 10 morning miles included 5x1200m intervals. The views are simply unbelievable! I took the connecting rarely-traveled path from Devil’s rest to Angel’s rest and ran. At the intersection who do I see but Ronda, Stacey, Steve and two Mikes - local bouquet of ultrarunners! They were set on pretty much the same loop but in opposite direction. We chatted for a couple of minutes as they asked me how are my hip injuries doing, and Mike pointed out that having too much hips is my problem:) Hello, I know that, not like I can do anything about it! We bid adieu and went our ways. I ran down to Bridal trailhead, turned around and went back to 1600 feet. This was the trail I intended to try and run some (2.2M) to simulate Rucky Chucky conditions, that goes down first and then uphill all the last third. I probably managed to run only 30%, but hiked fast enough. From there I took another connecting trail to Wakheena falls (I planed my route with as little repeat as possible), and on it my legs went pretty much dead. But I pushed, knowing I only had left less than 6 miles, and 3 of them were downhill. From the bottom it was a short daunt to Multnomah falls where my car was parked. The whole run took less time then I expected and needed (3:20 vs 4 hrs), but I wasn’t about to turn around and add on. I wanted to come home and spend this gorgeous day with my family. All in all the run had at least 5,000 feet of elevation gain and I believe just under 18 miles (or close to it).

I wasn’t too tight. When I saw Lisa’s schedule for this week, I thought she wants to kill me:) But the week is almost over with one more 2 hrs run tomorrow, and I am OK, surviving. I ahd never been so religious on my rehab, but these days I use The Stick every night on my shins and hamstrings, foam roll on my hip joints and baseball to sit on with my butt. I also saw John on Friday for some Graston torture. I hope it’s paying off.

I don’t know if any of you subscribe to Marathon & Beyond magazine, but it has a few nice articles in latest issue. One was on race tactics, how to plan intelligently, don’t get sucked in to a negative thinking and run the plan. Of course, Dr. Sheehan book. And another is on Patti Dillon, one of my favorite characters in female marathon history. I can relate to many of her stories (none of her incredible times and wins though!). She’s got great advice at the end. I figured I’d include it here.
-when you find something in life that stirs your passion, don’t let it get away.
-when it starts to hurt, run harder (it applies to life - work harder)
-don’t be afraid of the unknown - most times it turns out to be not worth anxiety
-don’t put burden of creating your happiness on someone else
-train with people who are faster
-dream big, but don’t get discouraged if it takes a lot of little steps to reach your dream

With all that - enjoy your weekend!


  1. Sounds like a great run in the gorge. It was a beautiful day here as well.

  2. Sounds wonderful Olga. I liked the advice at the end!

  3. I'm going to get killed if I run out west with the elevation. Here where we run Rocky we get 400 feet of elevation change.

  4. Beautiful picture and a great run. Keep it up but be careful with your aches and pains. Maybe you need a 'little' break instead of more 4 hour runs? But you can't tell a runner anything can you? Have fun!

  5. Good luck getting Olga to take a break. The woman is unstoppable, a bit stubborn, but quite lovable.

  6. The last third of Rucky Chucky is uphill! If I get in I'm going to need to get my hands on some race reports.

    Thanks for the pic, it's nice to finally see a glimpse of this gorge that you keep talking about. It's beautiful! The pic reminds me a little bit of CCC 100, it's the trees, the rocky trail and the body of water surrounded by hills.

    Good luck with your training and injuries. Have a good rest of the weekend everyone.

  7. That seems like a dream run for me, fantastic scenery.

    When you said you ran 30% I ended asking myself how can you do that, but definitely it is still very tough, and you made that many miles!! That means your pace was nice enough to fit 18 miles in 3.20 the same I do in a flat road...

  8. Hilda - I ran 30% on that particular last hill. I ran total of may be 70%, but I don't calculate it precisely on those crazy Gorge trails.

  9. The photo is just beautiful. Looks like you have a stunning area for you trail runs.
    Well done on that run.

  10. You're one hard worker! It's so awesome to have trails like that.

  11. You never cease to amaze me!

  12. I sure miss running on trails in the NW!

  13. I set the picture of the gorge as the background for my computure desk top. I don't wish I had that particular trail to run on because that would be coveting. But I wouldn't mind having a trail to run that was just like that.

  14. That sounds like a beautiful run! It made me envious.