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, November 25, 2007

Vacation time...I mean Holidays:)

Having 5 days all to myself without going to a race or flying across the ocean is something that doesn't happen that often in my life. I took Wed off and made the holidays into a little home vacation...

First morning started with track repeats of a mile. I made my way to Stephen's middle school and did the first "trial mile" prescribed by Lisa all by muyself - and was pleased (it was fastre than a mile last year at the same time, although slower than one would want - in fact, Tuesday night Monika's husband Stan laughed at me: what is speed work for an ultrarunner, a 10 min/mile?:)) Then Mike showed up and ran a second mile with me, using it as a warm-up for his workout. As he went to blast to his three 6:30 miles in a row, I tried one more and gave up at the end of first lap, so I just did "lap faster-lap slower" type of thing waiting for him to finish. Back to the track I am...it is not as scary as it seems once you're done:) On Wed Stephen had Monika's son Max over for a sleepover from the night before. While they were pretending to still be in bed, I ran to a DMV, and after an hour (taking a written test) I emerged as a legal OR driver license holder (duh, aftre 3.5 years living in OR!). I had to say good bye to NYS ID, and thought of shedding a tear, but I didn't:)
I drove kids to the movie and ran some errands while they watched "Enchanted", then picked them up, fed them lunch and dropped them back at Moniak's, while the girls of the house (Monika, Marina, Amanda and myself) wentr for a pedicure...where I scared the heck out of thos oriental ladies by dispalying my non-exsitent toenails. They tried hard to find what to paint on, but did a good job, considering...The day ended with gym/boxing combo and a stop at Gail's house to pick up a key to their place - guys were leaving for SF, and I was to housesit their cat.

Thursday begun with meeting Rob for a run on Wildwood. We chatted a lot, filling the gap of news and thoughts, and the day was beautiful - crisp and sunny. back 2 years ago, in 2005, Rob and I spent a whole year racing together in various PNW runs and becoming good friends, then life took its turn, he focused on school greatly and ran less, I traveled a lot and didn't go as often to WA, and we kind of had a sparce meet here and there. Every run is used to get back on track talking. 2 hrs didn't seem enough, but was better than nothing. We took it slow - I had quads talking back at me after the track, and in general it was just not right to go faster while enjoying the company. Not to mention it was supposed to be my day off...

As the day rolled, I stopped at work to feed my cells and at Gail's to feed the cat, then came back home to pick up Stephen. See, we had no plans - and suddenly, absolutely out of nowhere, Bret and his wife Gail came to the resque. they invited us over for Tahnksgiving dinner! It was such a great gesture on their part, and more importantely, we felt right at home from the minute we walked in. I set down with Gail and in a matter of minutes managed to tell her a whole story of my life, while she actually listened:) Bret did the cooking, and his Dad did the turkey carving. On a completely different note, I also was served wine that I was looking for for the last 10 years! I couldn't remember the name, and what do you know - it was the one the had! We ate, exchanged stories, talked about WS100 (both Bret and Gail are in the lottery), Dad told us about his rac-walking adventures (at 72, no less), and the time flew. Guys had to leave for another visit, and Stephen and I went to gail's again to take care of the cat.

Friday was a quiet home day. We did the go to work for a bit, bought grocery, houseset the cat, came home and cooked bunch of meals with turkey dinner left overs (that Bret supplied us with). Then we skipped the boxing/gym thing, I did spin a bike for an hour and did yoga, and we watched a movie on TV. It was great to do nothing...if only by night I didn't realize I am coning down with some serious infection. My throat and chest got stuffed, voice cracky and cough developed. Hmm, and I planned a big bang running party for the next day...

The sleep was restless, as I hurt and was sweating/chilling in waves. I woke up and felt like crap. Had I been by ,yself, I would have stayed home, but there were 6 people coming over to a trail head, so I gathered myself together and drove there.
Sarah, Rob, Bret and his friend Rick, and Adrien were all ready to rock-n-roll for my proposed 4.5 hrs. I couldn't even give them a hug or chat much:( Wondering how the run would go for me, I kind of slipped on the back, but of course, the excitement took over, and soon I was leading and fully participating in conversations! We were clipping a good one, and I surely didn't feel even close to how I felt a week ago, despite now running with a fever and real body aches. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera at home, but Adrien didn't - although a dork he is, he was taking videos instead on pictures, so no proove of the fun we had:) Technology sucks sometimes, too many buttons to press. We ran out for 2:12, a tad shy of 12 miles, quickly changed bottles from the pack (as to not freeze down) and ran back. The weather was chilly and somewhat cloudy, but still perfectly beautiful for a great long run. I started working more to keep the pace, and with 8 miles to go let Sarah ahead to lead - and she soon was pulling away. Another short time after I offered Adrien to go ahead and catch up with her - what he did. A mile later I thought it would be fair to Kick Robbie out and let everybody go faster, as I was feeling energy sinking down bit by bit. So soon I was all by myself, and for the last 6.5 miles I pulled my i-Pod out (I knew it would happen and came prepared:)) and submerged into music. At 5.5M left I sunk deep into bonk. It took me a whole mile to realize I still have a gel I should probably eat, and another mile for it to digest and kick in. But last 3 miles I picked it up - by the way, I never slowed down nearely as bad as I was dragging last week, and hardly walked, even if my running pace was often pathetic. I screamed on that last downhill into the parking lot, where guys rested, exactly at even split, in 2:12! That means they must have had at least 5 min (if not more - I didn't ask) negative split - way to go!!! Oh, and Bret and Rick turned around a bit earlier with a marathon coming up following weekend, so they did 16M and left by then. Of course, been a number freak I am, I had to go out for that little tiny bit I was missing to make a full 24M run, but it only took me 3 min, so I was back in no time. Fun day, thanks, guys! At that point I actually felt really good, thinking how endorphines act as natural anti-inflammmatory....and continued to feel good for all of about another 3 hrs. Between swining to feed Gail's cat, taking a shower, getting Stephen and myself to watch "Bewwoolf" at the movie theater, the effect of those endorphines started to wear off, and by the time I rolled to work and later to my friend Anna's house, I was sick as a dog, with congestion in my chest, swollen glands and lymphnodes, cough with some crap coming out, and a fever. How and why I set with freinds till 11 pm - I don't know...

Better would have been to use this time to sleep, which, again, was far not enough and superficial. So instead of having rested for good 10 hrs with nothing to do this morning, here I am, typing in, and trying to keep my head from spinning down. Oh, well, haven't been sick in a lo-ong time...since January 2006, so it's ok. I think I am getting better, antibiotics always help:)


  1. Well better sick now than later during the holidays. Never a convenient time to get sick anyway. Cool that it didn't bother your running plans. Get better.

  2. What a good weekend for you! It sounds like you had lots of fun, even after you got sick. Hope you are feeling better soon.

  3. Yesterday's run was a butt-kicker! Thanks for bringing me along the extra miles. : ) Take care and rest up!

  4. I'm glad that you got a good long run in, now you can rest and know that you did it :)

    Sounds like you had a nice mix of rest and fun on your holiday weekend. That was mine too- now I don't want to go back to work!

  5. Thanks for inviting me out on the long run. I ended up with about a 5 minute neg. split and Adrien was about a minute ahead of me. I hope you feel better soon. It was nice to catch up on the trails a bit.

  6. I am forming a new running group. "Olga's Turtles". You break the trail and we follow!:) Thanks again for the run invite, I had a great time even tho I was late.

    Glad you had fun on Turkey day. We all really enjoyed your company.

    Bummer on the cold but sounds like it was nice to get a bunch of time off from the grind at work.

  7. Amazing that you can run 24 miles while sick! You are so strong! I'm glad you had a nice holiday, though, and I hope you feel better soon.

  8. That sounds so fun! The Wildwood trail has got to be one of my favorite running memories/trails from March Mudness a couple years ago. I remember you were there voluntering and I pointed you out to my brother ... psst, that's Olga!! :)

    Sorry you're sick. It is going around. I just got over it myself this week.

  9. I've been sick too. Not so bad with the aches and pains but more so with the respiratory stuff. I've had this cough I haven't been able to get rid of for about 6 weeks now. I keep praying that I don't fully come down with something just before Sunmart. That would really suck.
    As far as running the Jemez 50miler next May I maight have to take a rain check until 2009 to do that one. I've been really thinking about throwing my hat back into the ring at a Hundred miler again. As I'm getting pretty tired of these 50km and 50 milers. So I'm leaning heavily toward Kettle Moraine in the begining of June which just wouldn't work doing Jemez a couple of weeks before. If your going to Hardrock this year I'll probably see you there. I'll be pacing my good friend Paul Schoenlaub for 40 to 50 miles there this summer. I'm glad to hear that you had a great Thanksgiving and take care.

  10. You just crack me up, Olga. It sounds like so much fun with your running friends. Hope you feel better soon!

  11. Rest up a bit this week now, you'll feel better! At least there isn't a 100 mile race in a week :) Get well soon!

  12. Ha! Here's to "endorphins as a natural anti-inflammatory"! I couldn't agree more. So, anyway, what's the diagnosis, Dr. Olga, if you are taking antibiotics???

    Whatever it is, get well & stay happy.

  13. So funny about having to take the OR written drivers test. I had to do that for CA, too -- first "test" I've taken in years! BTW, SB9T was *hard*!! Missed seeing you out there...

  14. Get better soon and get some Rest Hun and Sounds like you had a good Turkey Day Weekend!!

  15. Great photos here, I just have to say. And that group training run sounds very impressive to me!!