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, February 12, 2007

Good runs and insecurities.

Weekly runs. Besides going to see a chiropractor on Monday, I did 10 miles and worked out at the gym while Stephen was in his boxing class. Tuesday was done with 13 miles total and included a track workout of 8x600m in pretty even 2:47 with 300m recovery in-between. Wednesday I hit my yoga tape with Bryan Kest in the morning hours and ran at-work Marquam trail system which was slow after Tuesday, but worth returning to after a long break from these monster itsy-bitsy hills. Thursday I ran early on a bike path for 6M with pick-up last 2.5 miles and felt good. Later that day Alex showed me an abs exercise with 25lb weight, and although my abs weren't suffering, my back got a free adjustment and cracking and felt it at night. I took Friday day off.

Saturday Gail and I planned to take on a 25M on a hilly part of Forrest Park (first half of it), but we changed it to a "flat" alternative of a second half of Wildwood. And we could do 2 out-and-backs for a decision on the fly of where to drop off. We arrived to Germantown Rd (mile 24.5 on WW) at 7am – and who else but Sarah came right next after! We had identical plans, but Gail and I departed a few minutes earlier. As always, there was a lot of talking and news/opinion exchanges. WW ends at mile 30.1 (or 30.2, nobody can say for sure), and we turned around and headed back. So far it felt great, we were conserving energy and enjoying the companionship. Sarah and her friend showed up quickly after the turn and we waved at each other.

Back to Germantown, drop empty bottles, get a fresh one and a water pack – and on. At this point, it just suddenly clicked. It felt effortless. For the first time this year, the long run felt exactly the way it should, well-oiled, no push, no struggle, no negative thoughts…Gail turned back to make it 20M total, and I had another 2.5M to my turning point. Although I completely agree that jumping from 18 to 25 is too much and not wise, I am sad for a minute, then think of my i-Pod left at home - and then fall into a wonderful Zen zone. Not even a half a mile later who do I see but Tom! He is on his own mission of 25, but the opposite direction He joins me and we go on, catching up on things and running nice easy pace. I didn't even realize when I came to 17.5M mark for me to head back, how a good company keeps you.

We parted our ways, and I had 7M left. Soon after I look at my watch – and see I am really going faster than 2 weeks-ago-25. Wow, how come? At first I sped up for a minute, but then relaxed – why do I need to push it on a training run, when the sun is out, the day is warm, the trees are wonderful, and the trail is practically empty? What would 15 extra minutes do for me? Don't take me wrong, it's not that I don't want to go home, but I love my "me" time too, and I have it, I am not expected to be home, and I am going to use it, damn it! So I slowed down and inhaled fully. Nice…2 and half miles to the end my calf cramped, weird, haven't happen in a very long time, so I walked…and walked more even as the spasm left…and walked more. I just didn't feel like leaving this quite yet…

An hour after a shower and a meal I took Stephen to his boxing club for a farewell party of a main coach Bill. It is unbelievable, all he did as a volunteer for 30 years, running a club out of his pocket, teaching kids not only boxing ABC's but self-respect, teamwork, respect for others and hard work in life. It was a very touching event.

Sunday rolled with some rain, when I drove with Alex and Stephen to volunteer at Hagg lake to clear trails for a race happening there in 2 weeks. Photos curtesy of The Beast. Ronda and Stacey, co-RDs, Bushwhacker (who can’t believe I am capable of using so many words in one sitting - I missed you, darling, thanks for reading!), Caroline (a gal who we ran together here for 2 years in a raw, and a wonderful person), and a few others were there. We split in two groups and went on our assignments. Stephen and Alex (Ronda's son) picked up trash (we got a few bags full, but not as much as I heard last year was), 2 guys dug water drainages, Mike, Caroline, Alex and I worked on berry brushes, and Stacey raked the trail. Grooming! Our group had the last 4.5M of the loop, the "mudfest". To those who are racing here this year – it is not bad. We were tired afterwards – time on your feet is crucial, and we all joked how many miles we can put on our running logs for these 4.5M in 4 hrs? Remember, walking is training for an ultra, we do walk there, and often quite slowly! I did sneak in a short run later in a day, but mostly I wanted to sleep…

p.s. don't judge me. we all be at the higher justice court one day, and we never know how soon.


  1. holy moly that is long, I look frwd to finish reading during lunch! :

  2. crying is good, it's a good release. i bet running was your release, and with less running will come more crying.


    can't wait to see you in april.

  3. Olga, you ran 25 miles on Saturday, the day after the injection?? That's a lot more than 5 miles, flat and easy! Hope you rested after that. Let the cortisone work. And let us know what the MRI shows (though you didn't need that to verify you've got some awesome legs, girl!) :)

  4. Oh, and thanks for the advice on Barkley vs. the 100k. David and I signed up for the 100k and I am cancelling the Barkley travel plans today.

    Save the ankles!

  5. Lot's of ups and downs, it sounds like. Hang in there.

  6. Thanks for your work at Hagg! I can relate to those highs and lows, doubts and self-confidence. I was feeling a few of those myself yesterday. Maybe there's something to those endorphins surging through the body.

    And I was really hoping (and expecting!) that you'd catch us at WW.

    P.s. I love your long posts...however if I commented on every aspect, my comment would be just as long... : )

  7. Anonymous12/2/07 18:51

    'stop the insanity' or is it self-destruction? egads, woman, let yourself heal!

    Running 25 miles after a cortisone shot? The reason you felt so good was because of the shot.

    I'm curious to see how you feel when the effects of the shot wear off. Mayhaps the running gods will smile on you.

  8. Sad news about your father in law. I enjoyed reading and catching up on how things are. Now I should go do some homework like a good little boy.

  9. Olga,

    2 questions must be answered by the sports medicine doc that ordered the MRI: 1) Does your physical exam suggest that this small labral tear is symptomatic? (The MRI was ordered "for possible stress fracture.") A full hip exam is absolutely necessary to see if this thing is the cause of your symptoms. 2) Is this tear the underlying problem and therefore the cause of your other symptoms (bursitis, sciatica, piriformis), or is this a result of those problems (like due to altered running gait because of pain)?

    In either case, the tear suggests overuse - whether it is symptomatic now or not - and the overuse must decrease or this tear will likely become symptomatic if it's not already, or become worse if it is already symptomatic. You don't want to mess with hip joints; they're important.

    Thing is, you have other things going on on the same side, so something like a cortisone shot for relief or surgery to repair the tear (which is NOT recommended!) is unlikely to resolve the problem in the long term because your mechanics will not have changed, more overuse will occur, and your symptoms will progress. You must adress the big picture. Personally, I don't think this is your main problem. However, I do think it can become your main problem unless you reduce the wear and tear on your hip.

    If I were you, I would: 1) Get a thorough hip exam (if not already done to see if this is symptomatic. I also presume your reflexes and sensation were carefully tested to see if your back is contributing to your problems). An MRI cannot substitute for an complete exam. 2) Treat this holistically with your other symptoms, which are not coming from the hip joint per se. Look at the big picture. 3) Treat with physical therapy and get a running gait analysis done. It can be informal, done by a therapist. Other helpfuls include chiro, massage, accupuncture, strain-counterstrain, but the PT is going to be a must. So is reducing your mileage.

    If you want, email me off blog.

    These things heal up if you let them.

    And always remember, sweet Olga:

    Speed is Sex
    Distance is Love

    We're in this for the LONG RUN!

  10. Olga,
    Sorry to hear about your father-in-law. That is rough for Oleg - to be so far away at a time like this.

    Hope your running progresses smoothly and your tear heals quickly. And - you guys are great for going out and working on the trails!

  11. Life is never just simple these days, is it Olga? *sigh* Ya know it scares me too when you go out for a 25 mile run after the doctor told you not to run for 4 days. Sounds like lisa b is a wise woman. Your (extended) family is in my prayers.

  12. glad you know what's up with the pain.

    so sorry to hear about oleg's father...

  13. Sorry to hear about your father in law. I'd tell you to take it easy and be careful with that injury situation you've got going on, but something tells me you probably wouldn't listen.

  14. This post only confirmed what I already know. There really is no stopping you. Sorry to hear about Oleg's dad. I know that's a lot to deal with both physically and emotionally.

  15. Hugs and well wishes for Oleg's father. I look forward to the day I can go out and run 25 and not only feel great about it, but look forward to planning the next run. :)

  16. So the doctor told you not to run, lisa b told you to run 5 miles, and you went our for 25? I'm not sure if that was wise.

    Very sorry to hear that about your father-in-law. That's always a terrible thing to happen to a person.

  17. I had my first MRI last fall to scope out my achillies tendon injury and I hope that I never have to go through that again. I can't imagine an hour in there! My thoughts and best wishes are w/ your father-in-law.
    Be safe...

  18. Looks like the running is going good!!! Rock N Roll Olga!!!!!!!

  19. Sorry about your father in law.

    You are one tough cookie - Olga!!

  20. Sorry to hear about your Oleg's father. You have alot going on. Take care of yourself.

  21. Keep On Truckin'! I know all about Piriformis as I had it last year for a bit. I found the right stretches, strength and massage on a ball!! got rid of it real quick.

    ~save me the gristle

  22. Very sorry to hear about your father-in law. That's tough.

    Don't know if your 25 miler was the best idea right now, but oh what a feeling to fall into that Zen-Like zone and just cruise.

    Great description.

  23. Love the part about your long run starting to feel natural, things just falling into place. I'm starting to get there, slowly. I'm getting glimpses of my fit, faster self but not the whole picture yet. 1:47 on the 600m! Great job. I'm 20 seconds off that pace.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the research, emails and set up that you did for Bighorn.

  24. Sorry to hear about your father-in-law.

    Zen zone is a great way to describe that feeling. I actully forget that I am running sometimes when that happens. I'm signed up for for pct 50 miler!!!