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, December 09, 2007

December is really here

The weeks are flying by like crazy. Thankfully, I don’t have to be occupied with Christmas shopping on top of it as regular Americans do, but nevertheless, December always seems to be the busy month. After my East Coast trip I had lots of work piled up, and I thought taking a couple of days easy to get into this was good idea, but all it did mean was that I had much of cranking to do Thursday and Friday. I had about 20 emails that required my attention in responding, and on top of it it is time to start thinking about our PCT Mt. Hood 50M race we will hold on July 26th. It’ll be 10th anniversary, so we better get serious making it the best event ever! I contacted every sponsor we had and a few new ones (Montrail pulled away as a main sponsor, but others stepped in). It’s getting around nicely. I also went to parenting class for divorcing parents to learn ins and outs of dealing with child’s frustration, and it was very insightful (besides been a court order).

Workouts were great. I am getting used to track intervals, and while Lisa writes me schedule by hours and minutes, it is hard for me to keep track of the watch while going fast, so I transport those minutes of effort running into track repeats. Mike, as always, showed up with me on early Wednesday morning, and we went through 2x400m, 2x800m, 2x400m. It is not a blasting speed, but it is consistent between repeats, and it is same times as I did in the spring – at least I didn’t loose any of it in the 6 months of shying away from speedwork. Hopefully it’ll get better, and I be closer to what I was in 2006 (2005 is out of reach still, but that’s ok).

I am in for a couple of longer mid-week runs and still crashing my legs at the gym. A couple of guys at the gym noticed I am tightening up (they said I must have lost 5 lbs what is not true, but I guess I lost some fat around). I am delighted – things are moving along, despite my fall out of good eating habits (with a family situation as it is I am staying away of prepping right foods in the kitchen and grabbing anything in site I can get my hands on, often it been a noodle soup or a slice of pizza). I’ll get back on it once things settle down…

I was thinking of what makes me happy. I remembered the trip we made to Mt. Hood to snowshoe back in January, and I was driving with the kids back home. There were three of us in the car, “King Diamond” was screaming in a stereo, and boys were cracking stupid jokes. And I suddenly started crying – this is happiness. Me, the kids, and total peace between us. There was nothing else I wished to see in this picture…

Friday night I visited with Russian girls, and we had a blast arguing about world and politics (weird, I often state I am apolitical, but apparently I have an opinion too). I got home past 11 pm, what wasn’t a sin in its own, but my alarm clock faked me in the morning!

I woke up to a door bell ringing – Mike was there to pick me up for a 5 hr run. Ouch! Thank God I packed and prepared the night before, so it took me 7 min to get out, but I was still half-asleep when we got to Germantown trail head. We had a good group there again: Bret and Gail, Sarah, Adrien, Mike and I. We took off for the first 2 hrs out-n-back and chatted on the way out (guys went into “guy talk”, and I tried to open my eyes). On the way back I took off for some hard effort running and worked my HR high, until they caught up with me a couple of miles before cars. We re-supplied with bottles and only 4 of us continued further (Bret and Gail stopped there). Taking a customary picture set at the favorite spot on this stretch of Wildwood gave me some recouping time.

I went into a slow mode for about 40 min for no particular reason and lagged behind, until I saw Sarah turning around, and that snapped me silly. Suddenly things fell in place, and I felt strong and fluid again. We ran to our designated turn-around point and from there on it was a “home run”.

I took pictures of the guys, and shortly after let Mike go blast last 6 miles, while Adrien and I stayed together. I finally figured out I need to have gel every 30 min, not 45, to stay on top of my fueling. All in all we did 26.2M, and Adrien joked we should have strapped numbers and called it a marathon. Good run it was. I am so glad I have my boys to train with, but as I told them that day, they are not simply my running partners, not even simply my friends – they are my soul mates. Somebody I feel completely comfortable with, completely myself, accepting even if disagreeing, and fun to be around any time.

Mike took pictures as I was changing, trying to make fun how I can’t reach for my shoes, and we laughed silly. (I paid back by snapping Adrien changing). When the three of us together, we talk real trail-trash and it all fun and games. After that Mike and I went for a lunch and poured over maps – we have a secret and can’t tell you.

That night Monika had a pre-Christmas party, where Stephen and I went to. After first 5 names I got lost, as there were over 40 people, and since I am crowd-shy, I hid in a bedroom. Not a half an hour later I was found and Monika, Stan, Kelly and many others moved there for some great talking. It was awesome to meet their best friends! I clean up nicely too:)

Max spent a night with Stephen, and those silly kids didn’t sleep till 3 am! I woke up to their laughter and sent them to separate rooms to get at least some shut-eye, because today is my kids birthday – Alex’s and Stephen’s alike! We get a phone call to Alex at 2 pm, and later on going to a laser tag game with our and Monika’s family, followed by cake and pizza/beer combo. This weekend is surely packed with activities! And I still need to fit in a 2 hr run today. The morning is crisp and the ground is covered with frost – time to get out!

Oleg seems to have finally signed my lawyer’s papers, so it is coming to the end. Now we just focus on next steps: him moving out, me putting house on the market, figuring parenting plan and finances. I feel good and calm – we all are going to be just fine.


  1. bushwhacker9/12/07 15:59

    Nice pics. Glad to see ya had some fun to go with the pain. Be there Wed for sure.

  2. Nice pics of the run of course. Sounds like a fun time was had by all.

  3. Looks like fun Olga! I'm glad it's all going well for you, and you are peaceful with the finalizing details of the divorce. Keep looking ahead and you'll be fine!

  4. Sometimes its the simplest things that make us the happiest. Like running in the forest with friends! : )

  5. Ordinary moments spent with kids look extraordinary when seen in hindsight. Glad things are going well for you.

  6. Sounds like your training is going great and the everything else is falling into place nicely. Keep up the good work and don't let Bushwhacker go easy, he's got Bighorn to run. :)

  7. Well if you were looking in the 50 mile you did because I was in the 50km. I didn't do so hot because it was hot. I ran an hour slower than I wanted to. It was yet another crappy run for me. Still I had a good time considering the performance. I'm ready for some time off as my mind is completely fried. I have the report on my blog. And I'll get some pictures up as soon as I get them into the computer. Talk to you later.


  8. A nice Run with Great friends, doesn't get better then that...and love the pics!! Glad things on the personal level are getting worked out going into the New Year!

  9. I'll say that's one awesome weekend and nice pictures to go with. Btw, thanks for the compliment comment about my race wishlist...I'm gonna try. :)

  10. Olga,

    Hi! I hope you're doing well. Soon you will be jetting off to Russia!

    I'm glad to hear that some closure regarding your divorce is beginning to take shape. Peace and calm in that department is probably exactly what you need.

  11. Sounds like a busy, but fun, week. Sending positive thoughts your way.

  12. we can give you distance instead of time:)

  13. it's so awesome that you have such a great trail running community.

    and i'm glad he signed the papers and you can continue moving on. ((hugs))

    i got the shipment and i'll get the check in the mail this week.

    love you!

  14. The pictures are great. It looks like a beautiful run.
    Hang in there and enjoy December. I was listening to the radio today....NYC is expecting some snow, and they had a woman from Russia on who said "3 inches, what is that...we get 5 feet in Russia". December really is here.

  15. Wow what a life you've had lately! I've been busy. Not keeping up with blogs then I read all this stuff. Well I've glad you feel good and calm about it and things are progressing the way you need them too!!

  16. wakefield turned me on to your blog. like reading about your latest runs and enjoyed the photos.

  17. You do clean up good Olga! You sound like you are having a lot of fun. Now if I could only figure out what sort of fun you're planning pouring over those maps?