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

Monday, May 01, 2006


After coughing and spitting some crap out of my lungs for 24 hrs – my regular response to altitude – I am back to normal. I did get dehydrated after all, because I developed bladder infection (urges frequently and painful), but it seems to subside. I am trying to drink lots and eat too. I slept through my spin class, so decided to go for a run after work. I think it served me better – I wanted to be outside and enjoy the slow poke, alone with my thoughts. I did my regular loop, taking my time, on nice trails for a change. It was fine, but obviously I was low on energy. Then I went to the gym for some upper body/core routine (prescribed by coach). I have a weird thing under my right heel that looks like bloody blister in deep tissues filled with dirt, but no matter how much I poke it, nothing comes out, and I am not willing to slash it. It doesn’t bother too much, just a bit (it’s more on the inside of a foot).

Knowing me, I made sure to wear a short skirt today to work to proudly display my splashed legs with blue areas (from my falls and sage brushing). I like to see the look on the faces of normal people. Krissy (Sybrowsky, Montrail team rep) emailed me back from my result report and seems to be genuinely pleased with my results (I’d say first time since I joined the team – what is understandable, because I delivered what I put on my goal list).

There are a couple of points I remembered on my run about what else I did right before the race. I went on no-gluten diet for a few days ahead of time and started hydrating 3 days prior. I also made sure to get 8 hrs of sleep for 3 nights that week. Very important – I was mentally prepared for a long haul, nasty trails, lots of climbs and hot weather, so I wasn’t disappointed or antsy at any point. I also used a sauna at the gym for 2 weeks twice a week (15 min a pope) as a heat training and did all my longer/stronger runs in a heat of the day (this is the only time I am glad I work on misery-paid part time job now).

Now, to Miwok, because nothing interesting is planned for this week (a couple of runs and a cross-training session) and I may not get a chance to post. Last year I had a chart for 11:30 and ran 11:07. I did pretty even splits there as well, and if I didn’t make a couple of small mistakes (like shoes were not good for downhill fire roads and caused horrible blisters all over my feet, and I ate too much at 49 miles and was afraid to puke, but should have), I might have run 11 hrs. Now, even though I didn’t taper last year before Miwok (Scott made it as a mid-season prep for WS), I obviously didn’t run a tough 50 miler a week prior. At the same time I seem to be in a better shape this year. If there is such a thing for me as peaking, this was it. I felt it going into Zane Grey (thus the positive attitude, what helped as well), I emailed Rob stating it. SO what I want to shoot for is same 11:30 – no need to change the pace chart (I save them just in case). Breaking 12 looks like should be visible, so that prediction would work either way (depending how I feel in a second half, it could go plus or minus 30 min). Of course, it could go much worse, as running one race well doesn’t make one invincible and in 62 miles anything can happen. But I’ll take my chances – having one good race is better than none. Jason (who paced and crewed me last year and this year at AR50) will be crewing me again. We decided against him jumping to pace me this year – to much hassle, and when we finished, he couldn’t stay and enjoy as he had to retrieve his car. Having my own food is by far more important for me than running with someone at that point, as I may not be chatty after all. He is also sheltering me the night before – make sure we have mashed potatoes, honey. He knows the course as his own hands, and I remember it very well (I have a tendency to memorize any trail in details once I run on it). My I-Pod is functioning properly (knock on wood) as I sent it for replacement (on warranty) last week and got it back on time for Zane Grey. My new Montrail Odyssey seem to be working fine, and I have only a slight reminder that I danced over rocks for 12 hrs. This race (Miwok) was not on my goal list for the team, so I have no pressure. Sounds like it should be fun either way it goes.

And the following week I am going to Moscow, where I don’t plan to run at all (by choice, to precious time that I’d like to spend with family and the Russia itself never felt comfortable for this anyway) and eat a lot of fat food cooked by my mother and very tasty food cooked by my sister. Hopefully my running shorts would still fit me when I am back:)


  1. I am with tc in wishing I would have been there with you even though I would have finished a couple hours later. Thanks for the tips on what you did right and I will try to follow some of your examples in prepping for McDonald Forest. If you get bored and need something to do you can always make me a pace chart for it. I need guidelines you know or else my testosterone gets the best of me.

  2. Um. I really want to respond to Rob's comment. About what gets the best of him...but that whole fragile male ego thing is stopping me.

    Lots of post-race thoughts from you Olga - you are really anaylzing it, which will surely help you later. Cool that you are going home for a visit!

  3. How awesome that you had such a great race. I like the wearing a short skirt to work to show off the scratches and bruises! I look forward to reading about Miwok - have fun! And Russia - too cool.

  4. I love the details - I feel like I have a complete training plan at my disposal here when I'm ready for an ultra. I'm fascinated by the sauna training relating to heat or hot climate running. I'm wondering why you stopped eating gluten a few days before. Enjoy Miwok - it sounds like you're ready - and enjoy those mashed potatoes!

  5. Is MiWok ready for you?

  6. Woow Olga I just read your report, I am speech less...
    Just wish to live my next life like you do!

    Looks like nothing stops you, recover from that bladder infection soon!

  7. Good luck at Miwok. Have fun and say hi to Carol O'Hear and Mike Adams for me. Tell Carol to make Mike work;-). Enjoy your trip home and the food. My beef consumption always goes up significantly when I visit family in Kansas.=>KRK

  8. Does a gluten free diet really help before a race? I had no idea, and I find that very interesting. Have you got any information (like a link or two) on that? I'm always very interested in nutritional advice.

  9. Good luck and have fun at Miwok! In my opinion, that's one of the most beautiful areas in California.

    I'm glad I'm not joining you, though - I can barely walk this week.

  10. Olga, interesting stuff. I've never heard of "wheat free, gluten-free diet." I gooled it and looked at some of the sypthoms as my daughter is having stomach issues that we cannot explain ... maybe we'll check into this for her.

    Much luck and have fun at Mi Wok. I look forward to the report and then the vacation report on the mother land as well. *tc

  11. Good luck at Miwok. I wish I could run it this year.

  12. Aiming for 11-11:30 those were the times I would have come in at had I not gotten lost both years. I'm using your pace chart from last year. Looking forward to running with you again.

  13. I thoroughly enjoy the details in your posts... and I am always amazed.

    The part about you showing off your "war wounds" is hilarious!

    Enjoy Moscow!

  14. Anonymous5/5/06 16:53

    most importantly, enjoy your time back in the mother country...it is good for your soul

    mystery person