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

Sunday, May 28, 2006

The colors of the weekend.

Just to let anybody who’s actually worried about me know – I met neither bear nor cougar, only many deer, and I am not even sure if I am sad or happy about it.

Saturday was good. In fact, Saturday was REALLY good. I did 2 hill repeats of 55 min on PCT (and, for references, I reached the lookout in 45:10 and 45:50) and a total of 31 miles in six and half hours. I’d have to look into the elevation change, but it was somewhat less than last weekend (planned), I’d guess 6,000 feet gain? I didn’t do the Nick Eaton loop, instead went to Bridge of the Gods on PCT and back and out-back on Herman (which at that point also is not crazy hilly…well, by Gorge standards). On the first downhill I ran into Ronda, Stacey, Mike M. and Bill, but they had a cut-down week, so we parted our ways. I felt great, strong and mentally pumped about it. I found out it is a good thing I’ve been training alone so much lately on my long runs (not by choice, but) – it gives me a confidence that I can do it as well as a focus to train instead of talking too much (you know, me and my never-closing broken English word flow). I always knew I am my own worst judge, and would never ask for a break from myself. I didn’t bring enough water again and although usually drink freely from the creeks, decided against it just in case – with WS100 4 weeks away, better safe than sorry.

Sunday, on another hand, was not as good. It was a shorter run on Wildwood trail in Forest Park, and as soon as I started, I felt that this is an end of a 105M week…or so…may be I should go check the journal and enter all runs…yep, close enough, 108M. Anyway, I felt sluggish and it took me a whole 40 min to start moving more or less fluidly. Then I kind of got in a groove and was already thinking what a joyful time I am having, when – boom – my right calf muscle locked up. It had a twinge yesterday on the last hour or so, but I hoped I stretched it well. So for the second part I was doing something – my legs feel OK and I want to run, yet my calf seems to have a strain, and it hurts, and I better nurse it, but I have to hurry home to take Stephen to music class, though it really is painful and I don’t want to make it worse… There was a race going on and I bumped into a few runners (very few – low turnout?) and into Ronda/Stacey/Bill again! It was funny. Bill and I stopped and chatted for a few (oh, relief!) minutes before continuing on. All in all, I did this whole loop 15 min slower than normally. The wonder of overuse injuries…

The weather went back to usual rain/dark/wind type of PNW, and it’s gloomy. I’ve got a million things to do, but can’t bring myself to it, nor can I take a so desired nap, so I am here to shake off a dream-state. Then I go pack. Yep, it’s that time again, packing for my next race. Despite my statement that it’s not a race for me but a training run (thus no tapering), it is still a hell of a long way to run and even more hell of a hard course not to be taken lightly. I mentioned before I would love to spend on it a touch less than 12 hrs, but now may reconsider even this proposal. For now I call my “pace chart” my “general guidance”, just to see when will I meet next people on Earth with food and warm blankets. I better carry lots of warm/rain stuff with me, as the last pass at 9,200 feet threatens with thunderstorms, just as Hope Pass at Leadville, every afternoon.

I understand many of my silent audience won’t be interested but there was a great post and discussion at Craig's – thanks to all for wonderful insights. Also to officially clarify, Black Saturday name came from Ronda and Co and I am simply using it as the main idea is doing long hill repeats inside a 5-6 run. However, I do a variation of their BS and Red Sunday – 6-7 hr run with over 7,000 feet gain (these runs are Scott Jurek’s training Ronda and I were on last year) due to family obligations and differ Sunday run depending on how much time I am allowed to absent from home, so may be I, too, as Rob, should rename it into some other color…blue been my favorite, lets make it Blue Weekends!

Oh, and my weird pain…is better. Honestly. Unless I push onto some spots. And the biggest mass has gotten smaller, especially after Saturday’s run – as it were shaking away and melting. The most important thing for me is to know what is wrong, however bad or not it can be. I hate guessing and being afraid of complication not sure where and what kind, now I am calm. Charles, nope, what I have is not normal, but it's not (yet, hopefully ever) life threatening either. And so that no-one makes mistake about my Lance line, the comparacing was cool, but it's simply because endurance athletes of any kinds don't walk in to a hospital every day and get angiography done - pretty expensive and un-needed unless there is a suspected stuff, but then again, people who require angiography are ususally not into endurance sports. If we take an (almost) any marathoner or centurion biker, their blood vessels would be just the same. I just found it entertaining:)

Miwok 100k, Van Phan and I having a great time, mile 10(?)

Miwok 100k, Jas and I are chatting about guys wearing skirts and high heels:)


  1. (54 x 2= 108) Yep, that confirms it. You ran twice as much as I did this week. No wonder you always kick my a**.

    Maybe I should rename my Saturday workout "Pink Saturday." (No offense to those who love pink)

  2. Olga, you are my hero!
    31 miles as a training run, of hill repeats!! Wow!!!! And 108 mile week, that is just incredible. I won't even say how many miles I ran this past week!!!

  3. Holy cow - I've NEVER done a 100M week. You're totally tough, regardless of what color you call yourself.

    Glad the pain is better, too.

  4. Olga...That was a Pacific Coast Trail Run you encountered on Wildwood. I was helping out at the start/finish. About 75 runners total but only about 20 doing the 50K.

    Congrats on a great running week despite all the pain you've been going through. My current running mantra is "No Whining" and you certainly embody that! : )

  5. Sheesh Olga! 108 miles is incredible. And a 6.5 hour training run? Wow. You are awesome.

  6. Nothing ever slows you down, does it? Tough lady!

  7. reading about your workout gives me a lot to think about. after my difficult bout with hills on my long run this weekend, i just want to try harder and get better. seeing what you do with them, how you incorporate them into your long runs excites and inspires me to do more with my training. you are right when you say that they are our friends :)

  8. From where do you take so much energy? Most books say 50 is a great milage for athletes, you are incredible!

    Tell please, is it natural or you just struggle through it as the rest?

  9. Anonymous29/5/06 12:20

    “Know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, and know when to run.”

    - A Song by Kenny Rogers

  10. Great job on Saturday. I'm glad your "weird pain" is better. It is kind of strange to have that stuff in there while you're doing your 100+ weeks.

    Good luck on your race and be careful with that calf.

  11. rob, "pink saturday" ? are you trying to tell me something??? ;)

    Olga, 108 miles, whew! sounds like a fun weekend, even though sunday's run hurt. good luck with your race.

  12. Angie I would never say anything bad about you. I would be honored to someday spend a "Pink Saturday" with you. It seems I must have forgot about my pink fuzzy friend when I wrote this. My sincerest apologies.

  13. Olga...thanks for visiting my blog! You're out of my league but maybe our paths will cross someday on the trails.

    This native Californian misses those California hills!

  14. Thanks for the mention and for participating. I'd call 108 miles a "golden" week no matter what color the Saturday run is.

  15. Amazing training, I think my wife would leave me if I ever ran so much. Of course being 10 years older than you and a "late bloomer" on the running scene I have to progress a little slower so I don't break something. But really I've given up comparing my training to others, I just do what I feel I have to do to meet my goals.

    I chuckled about your remark about your "...never ending broken English word flow...", it sounds like me when I run with German friends, only mine is a never ending broken German word flow...mixed with a little gasping as I'm usually the old man running with the "kids" :-)

  16. Good job on the traing (as usual!)

    My favorite part though was when you said it didn't hurt unless you pressed on certain areas.

    You're a doctor, right? I'm no medical expert, but I suspect that if you poke something long enough, it will start to hurt, right?!

    You're priceless!

  17. Not only did you complete a 31 miles workout, you also make it sound like a walk in the park.

    Maybe you ARE alien.

  18. dang girl you are hard core. love it!! I'd say maybe we'll meet up in a race one of these days... but considering your distances, I'm not so sure :)

  19. What an awesome week of running!! You're an inspiration to us all!!

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