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

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Life after a DNF

is actually not bad at all. I can't believe how many emails and phone calls I got on Monday from friends worrying about me getting down on myself, and was happy to report I am totally OK with the whole thing. I mean, I am bummed out, but hey, all of it is part of that stuff we do and comes with territory! Long gone days when I defined myself by how I ran in a race (after Leadville DNF in 2005 it took me a whole year to get over it and be able to talk about it and not analyze it over and over again and accept it as a gift of a lesson), and the enjoyment of just going out there to beautiful trails and hanging out with my friends, along with picking new challenges, brings me just as much, if not more, satisfaction. That is not to say I won't try and train hard one year - next year, the year after... - and give my best to racing again, but I am completely wonderfully happy with the year 2007 too. I opened for myself new angles of ultrarunning I might have not otherwise.

I have no regrets about Cascade 100. I am glad I went further than many thought I should have (and may be could have avoided much damage) because it proved that the injury wasn't in my head (or I would have questioned myself to death). I am fine with a decision to drop and not try to crawl any further because I simply couldn't and would have timed out at the couple of later aid stations and made things worse as well as my crew more tired for nothing. I am sad I didn't get to visit with Lisa's and Co at their AS and missed out on Needles section - but I'll get on it another time. Glenn had great pictures taken at various points, and I missed out on the Thorpe Mt climb for that (this is one of his shots). I am sad the idea of trying to do two 100M in a raw was stopped abruptly, but there will be many more chances to make it happen (or not). And I am definitely happy things worked out for the best and Rob got to pace Shawn - and much better development for both of their future Plain 100.

I've been walking like a duck these days. From Sunday to Tuesday the blown up quad was my main concern (I couldn't even brash my hand over it, and when our cat jumped on my laps, I was ready to kill it), but today as it became tolerable and regular soreness type of thing, it is obvious my hip joint is bad. Almost makes me happy for the drop - yet unhappy for the time I have to take off, when the weather is most gorgeous in OR. I pulled myself out of Teton 100 and was about to cancel my flight, when my lovely friends offered to come and hang out anyway. How can I ever say No to Lisa and Jay, Bob, Meghan, Georgie and Jackie and many more:) So I get to enjoy the views, help out with the race and crew for my buddies (too bad no pacing) - all of that AND to take my younger son with me and have some quality time with him! As we say, things usually work out for the best anyway.

Speaking of pacing, I had a visit with a good friend of mine yesterday and it may happen I get to do that at SD100!!! I am very psyched about it, I'll let you know about it once it's final (I mean my commitment is final, friend's decision on registering is not quite yet). I am also going to hang out at McKenzie River 50k - final race in Oregon Trail Series - and distribute more hugs at the finish line. That is for the following weekend.

As for my running season, it's on hold right now. I am taking this week off completely and will see if I am able to cross-train comes next. After that I'll figure out if I can run and what it feels like and decide on Bear 100. While smart pants in me saying Bear should be out no matter how I feel in 3 weeks, the OCD personality in me whisper - wait, don't cancel quite yet. But I'll survive either way. By Firetrails 50 in October I should be up to at least finishing the distance - that's my priority hope (want to see friends in SF, yeah).

Have fun this weekend, guys, and I'll tell you all about Teton races next week!


  1. You sound upbeat as ever, and I'm glad you will be able to enjoy a week off.

    Have a great time at Tetons (they're so lucky to get a hug from you!) - and a good time with your son too.

  2. Glad to see your positive attitude about the DNF. It's all part of pushing ones limits, we occasionally push a little too far. It sounds like you were smart to drop when you did. I hope your recovery goes well and if you are better by Firetrails, I will see you then!

    All the best,

  3. Be sure to take the time you need to heal properly. None of these races are going anywhere and you have a lot more years of running ahead of you - assuming you take care of yourself. While it was a lot of work, I am considering what I would do to improve the aid station at Kachess Lake next year. Hmmm, applying ultra running mentality to aid station management. Of course, that means I couldn't run. Decisions, decisions. In any case, take some time off, relax, heal. KRK

  4. Glad to hear there are no regrets! And cool that you will be able to attend GT too. Let us know what Bob is really like, okay? : ) LOL

    I'll see you at McKenzie! Marc is running, the little guy and I will be spectating. It's my birthday so I should be running, but I'll let Marc do the celebrating for me this time. : )

    Take care of that hip!

  5. You couldn't have a better attitude about it, and glad you're taking it all in stride. Enjoy the Tetons and helping out with the race. I'm sure you're knowledge on the sport will translate greatly to much appreciated help out there.

  6. The best athletes in the world get injured. It is part of what we do. You now know you made the best choice. But I wonder how many times during the race you thought about the drop?? Hundreds I am sure.
    See you at the finish line at McKenzie River. Gail, Rick and I are running it.

  7. I'm so glad that I will get to see you this weekend!!!
    I was wondering if I should still run the GT 50, with everything going on in my life, but decided to just go for it and have fun. I'm not in great shape, but I hope for a fun day with beautiful trails and friends :)
    See you there Yea!!!!

    Thanks for sharing what you learned at CCC, your positive attitude is encouraging to me.

  8. See you in a few days!

  9. Olga - have fun this weekend! Wish we could go, I love the Tetons. Maybe another year...

  10. Have fun in the Tetons. Glad to hear the positive attitude.

  11. Sweet. Some fun and sightseeing, catching up with friends at the Tetons. Looking forward to the pictures and the stories. Tell Bobby I said hello. Slap him to his sense if he starts to lose it, he's so excited for his first 50 I don't think he'll sleep.

    Glad to hear your spirits are up. Ain't nothing but a bump in the road.

  12. I dig the attitude. It's the way to be. Life is short. Have a GREAT time at the Teton races. Wish I could be there to hang with you...but the bike calls this weekend. :)
    Love & stuff, Lisa

  13. Rest proudly Olga. It was SO GOOD to finally meet you this weekend. You are such a strong runner and life force. You totally made the right decision. I think that I will use your advice and get my blog going again. I need to keep positive...like I did on the trails. It kicked my butt but I was stronger. Hope to seya soon somewhere. (We HAVE to put in our HR apps next year!!)
    Take care of you! Hugs...

  14. Enjoy your rest time Olga and have a total BLAST in the Tetons!! You have a great attitude and you will be back to CCC I know. I can't wait to hear about your weekend.

  15. ooh, i hope you're referring to the dick collins race in oct....that's held it conjunction with my marathon...what fun it would be to meet you!

  16. Ditto what everyone already said Olga- glad to hear you are in good spirits again!

    Rest and recover!

  17. any hard situation you pass through, we see you smiling. This is so Great!