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, January 20, 2007

A cut-back week

After jumping accidentally from 51 mile week right into 66 mile week I longed a cut-back week (once-a-month prescription), and lucky for me, that was what Scott's 2005 plan had on hands. Smart man he is!

So here is how it went for me. I cancelled speedwork due to snowy conditions from Tuesday to Thursday (and icy stuff on Friday). As I said before, Monday was 6M recovery trail run followed by 45 min Power Yoga. Tuesday was 4 better quality (but still slow on the sno) and 30 min Cross-Fit. I took Wed completely off. Thursday came with 11 miles on roads (some 4 of them were good pace), but since I had to get off the sidewalk and run on the side of the road, that slanted thing caused pain in my left ITB. I did yoga for 45 min. Friday was easy 4, CrossFit 30 min (including burpees and squats with 110 lbs weight plus various lunges) and yoga practice 45 min. I am getting a hang of it and feeling much looser, but still struggle a lot with CrossFit regular workouts, turning them more into weight routine (hard to stick without Oleg, though Alex is a big help to at least doing what I can with no slacking).

Saturday was a day of my long run. What a great day! The plan was to do some miles before Gail comes to join me and then proceed with her for 15 miles. I went to Germantown Rd on Wildwood trail (Forest Park) and started at 6:50 am in a complete dark walking (no light, duh!). After the sky got some gray in it, I began to pick my feet into a shuffle and in 30 min or so was running. I made 7 miles and got back to the parking lot exactly on time. The trails had it all: snow, mush, ice, water, as well as some stretches of soft even dirt. At the parking lot, besides Gail, there was Sean Meissner and some of his friends doing a 28k run (for the girl Kelley's 28th birthday). I changed my water bottle and we headed to Newberry rd (end of WW trail) for 11 miles. We chatted a lot, and on the way back stopped to converse with trail workers - great people they are, and since Gail is a director of non-profit Forest Park organization. We also ran into John Coffey, and good friend and a super-fast runner (he holds a record of Mt. Hood 44 mile circumnavigation in 6:30, though now is getting...hmm, mature is a better word than older, and still kicking, moving into Ironman lately). We passed our cars once again - and were committed not to stop, and went out on trails again for 4.5 miles. This is where it was obvious having a running partner on a long run is essential. First Gail was going to turn around after a mile and I said no, then I made to whatever I thought was enouhg and she pushed me for some extra marker. We were even able to pick up our pace on the back 2 miles, planning our next week's route and car shuttle (so she can do 18 and I can go 25)! It felt awesome! Don't take me wrong, those 22.5M (what do I do with 0.5M now?) were still slow, but there was no pain, no tightness and no lost power! Favorite trail system, a good friend and some yoga would do it, I guess, as well as finally getting into a grove of long-distance running. I was thinking of a word and found it - conditioning. Back in days when I was into Martial Arts, my last pick was Kajukenbo, what is a Hawaii street fight combining a few styles in one. Besides all those jabs, leg kicks, push-ups and flowing forms, we did lots of conditioning. Mutai kick into the pole untill the shin stops feeling pain. Letting your partner hit you on the bicep and you go around black and blue - but in a week the bruise doesn't get to be so bad until it almost not happening. Stuff like that. In every corner of life. Long distance is just that - conditioning to run long. Fats running - same thing: conditioning to run fast. No science to it, really, only patience.

It was a blissful day, and only reminder is a bit of hurt behind right knee going into the upper part of right calf (who knows why). Tomorrow will be a 9-10 mile trail run at recovery pace to round up a week, and I am happy to think I am getting back on track with training. The year doesn't seem so daunting anymore.

On this run I also decided to break down my new shoes that happened to be a whole size bigger than my regular. I figured I'd keep them for the end miles of 100s when the feet are swollen. They worked beautifully and I got no blisters.

Have fun making small goals and kicking them!

p.s. Oleg is a celebrity! His picture had appreared in The New York Times.

21 comments:

  1. Good running partners are the best! Looks like we almost bumped into you today, but we went to the middle section of WW instead of Germantown at the last minute. Lots of snow, ice and slush! Glad you had a great run. : )

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  2. Very nice, Olga! You are kicking booty. Nice to have a friend with you to inspire you for that little extra!

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  3. Running with a good partner on a long run is always easier than doing it solo. You'll well conditioned indeed.

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  4. Nice job on the long run. You're getting in a lot of great workouts even for a cutback week. Keep on, keepin' on.

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  5. Olga,
    I thought of you more than once on the trails today! I thought of you running the 50 mile here last year, and of things you've said about trails, and of "keep moving forward" (which I did!) Thanks for being an inspiration to me even though you weren't right beside me. You were certainly there in spirit.

    I'm glad to hear it's all coming back together for you!

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  6. Your cut back week is my long week right now. Keep up the solid training!

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  7. Yeah I'm with Donald on this one, your cut back week sounds like one of my big weeks. Those Burpee look fun yet brutal...whew, more so than the martial art stuff.

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  8. marathonP21/1/07 09:40

    Hi Olga,

    You are the ultimate networker, so I was wondering if you know of any good write ups from the recent Avalon 50 Miler on Catalina Island.

    I am training for next years race and am dying to read from people who just ran it, but haven't been able to find anything yet. I'll keep looking.

    Thanks, love your blog.

    phil

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  9. Sounded like a fun weekend of running! I got the pleasure of meeting and running with Sean out at Quad Dipsea. Hope the weather is cooperating out there!

    Saturday was bitter cold in the Northwoods up in Duluth, MN.

    Wynn

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  10. Glad to hear that you are running relatively pain free. I've never been a big fan of weight lifting for running but I've started doing some squats, lunges, and working with the leg machines at the gym. At this point they won't need to replace any of the machines due to wear anytime soon but at least I'm going through the motions.

    That's a great shot of Oleg on Mt. Hood. What a beautiful day! It looks like it's about a zillion degrees below zero!

    Your snowshoe trip looked like a really fun time. Something I've never tried. XC Sking is my preferred method of snow travel but we have not ventured up into the snow for about three years.

    Take care!

    Eric

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  11. Hi Olga, did you get all of your new stuff from Montrail? Whaddya get? Nice picture of Oleg; now HE is a celebrity too, just like you!

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  12. You're cranking out the miles with ease, what a great feeling. That is a majestic photo Oleg on Mount Hood.

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  13. Answer to MarathonP about Avalon:
    nothing was around for this year - not yet anyway, but you can find old reports on this (and any other) race here: http://www.run100s.com/reports/index.htm. I also wrote up my own version here: http://vctc.org/varlamova_catalina.html
    If you have questions about this run, you can email me directly, I tend to remember details of the courses I run rather well:)

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  14. One more for Avalon:
    http://ultrachick.blogspot.com/index.html

    I am sure if you do search on blogs or look up south CA runner's blogs you'd find more, but it does require time:)

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  15. Great Week Olga!!

    and that is a SWEET VIEW Picture of Oleg on MT HOOD...very Cool!! and Way to make the NY Times!

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  16. Yup it's good to have those cutback weeks, I'm glad the running is going good!!!!!

    Oleg in the NY Times, that's killer!!!!!!

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  17. wow, Oleg in NYTimes!

    and your post is so inspiring, makes me want to get back out there and get my mileage up!!! i miss long runs.

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  18. Great post Olga! And I really liked the LA Times article. Thanks for sharing it.
    ~kim

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  19. nice job on the long run. Your blog is so full of adventure!! I just want to find my first 50K and just do it!!!

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  20. Hi Olga,

    Thanks for your comment over on my blog. Yeah for CrossFit, I love what I've been doing so far with it, too!

    Enjoy your cutback week!

    Meghan
    www.running-blogs.com/meghan/

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  21. marathonP26/1/07 05:58

    Thanks for the great info Olga. I'll be emailing you soon!!

    :) phil

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