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

Friday, January 25, 2008

Free time - free ranting.

I was sitting in a bathtub, very hot, something I can't do practically at all - first of all, I have no time, secondly, our tub at home never fills with hot water, the pressure is low, and water turns cold half-way through - I was sitting with a glass of my favorite wine and thinking - ah, good life...

See, I am house sitting/babysitting for Monika this weekend:) Well, her "babies" aren't babies at all, and Marina (who is 12) is at the friend's house for a sleepover, and Max (who is 10) is Stephen's best friend, so the two had disappeared after the dinner downstairs and it's like instead of 2 kids I have none...I picked Max from school today, then got Stephen and together we drove for boxing, where Stephen boxed, Max watched, and I ran my normal hour and half loop. I had enough time to look back at the week, as I often do when have no specific goals for the run, just go out and try to enjoy (as much as I can enjoy road runs). Speaking of roads, while I was excited a couple of weeks back when got "pushed" to run streets instead of getting in gym workouts, so much so that I almost announced I might be running a marathon in my future (glad I didn't say that out loud), I am getting tired of it now. I mean, I feel awake when go at night, and longer run allows me to feel smooth, but c'mon, dodging traffic! Half of the loop is alongside Capitol Hwy, and it's a crazy busy 4-lane road with cars zipping by at 45 mph and more. The other half is on very dark side roads with no sidewalk and no bike lane, and still for some reason very busy, what means I am running inside the white lane, and while some cars sway away from me, some don't, even almost getting closer and touching my elbow. Yes, I get to run all the time with no walking and feeling confident, but I also need to make a bathroom stop - you know, end of the day, all the food processed...thankfully, there is a gas station conveniently located half-way through, and guys there already know me:) I've had three very close encounters with cars (two of them were completely my fault, I am not that used to look around), one - with a biker (tonight, as I ran on a bike lane uphill and was looking down, because it's uphill, and because upcoming traffic's lights were blinding me, I almost got hit, we touched shoulders, and if she didn't yell, I would have just fallen over from surprise), and one - with a dog. Not that I don't like dogs, but I really hate owners (what do dogs know?) who don't care of a leash law on public property. That was Wednesday, I was almost done with the run, when a Rottweiler jumped from the opposite side of the road and charged me barking and doing those nice jaw motions a centimeter from my body. I stopped frozen, then dashed into the middle of the road, and only passing cars kept that dog a few feet away from me, until one car stopped and asked me if I am scared and need a ride. Hell, yeah! I was 200 yards from the boxing gym, so a man took me there - and the owner just showed up on the porch at that moment. Yikes, now I am petrified going this way, and it's the only return way!

So, speaking of road versus trails, I managed to come home early enough on Thursday, and days were getting long enough, that I hit the trails at the house! You know, those trails I so luckily live half a mile away from, but can't run due to complete darkness at 5:30 am in the winter. So I went, got carried away a bit with chippy feeling and found myself some distance too far and dusk lowering at me. I made a cut off to a bike path and ran fast and happy back home, charging those 3 hills in the last mile and half I usually hate so much. Woohoo! Nah, forget marathons, I am good with my shuffle up and down:)

Wed morning I woke up with some chest congestion - must have been all that deck pressure-washing on Monday at below zero and blasting wind. I made it to the track, but realized I can't breathe long enough to make long repeats, so I went for short version. Yeah, OK, wasn't what on the schedule, but my times improved by 10 sec since December, so I'll take it! By that night I felt good enough to have a second run - and meet the dog (see above).

I haven't had a day off (from running) this week. Actually, I am supposed to have it tomorrow, but been at Monika's house has a benefit to do that loop we ran together a week or so ago, so I want to put some time on it...shh, don't tell Lisa! OK, sorry, coach, I know, but I was a good girl for so long, I didn't deviate since beginning of training! Can I make one stupid mistake, please? Not even that much stupid - I won't run much, I'll just jog with Sarah and her "non-runner" hubby Marc. Because a group of us is heading for 28 miles on Wildwood on Sunday, a fast group may I add (it's like anybody's fast these days comparing to me?), and we'll have to battle rain and sleet (a normal Portland winter return) on top of mud and miles - looks like I'll catch Bushwhacker this week and make it 80! May be, knock on wood, keep me healthy...

I am getting easier with recovery from my runs, especially noticeable with road runs that used to leave me tight and sore just 2 weeks before. I guess body can get used to any abuse, huh? That said, my hope that next week will be a "down" week with less workouts, I think I need to be "ordered" some rest before blowing my limits and getting too carried away and excited. The 2008 had just only begun...


  1. I hate dog encounters like that. Don't know that I would have been creative enough to head for the center stripe. Good to know there are still helpful people in the world.

  2. Wow - you've had some scary road runs...I get nervous running in those types of situations, so much so that I just can't do it. I have to stick to trails or roads with wide shoulders.

    I've got the chest congestion too - it is killing me !!! I could use one of those hot baths with a tall glass of scotch !!

  3. I hope that congestion leaves you soon. There are so many germs floating around this time of year!

    Isn't it great how two kids can feel like no kids? And you know they are having fun together - that's so awesome.

    No running for me today - I'm off to 1st Aid/CPR re-cert while all my buddies are running Pigtails. I'm saving the fun for tomorrow with Rob. Have fun in the mud (and maybe snow) tomorrow!

  4. City running in the US sucks, no doubt about that. Makes me sad AND scared for your life (no joke!). In Scandinavia there are running trails everywhere (downtowns, coutryside), which I wish we could pull off here. Why not dream? Find somewhere safe to run and watch out for those hounds!

  5. Be careful out there! Do you run with a reflective vest? I have an extra one if you want it. I bought some pepper spray a few months ago but its still in its package. I'm not sure I'd have presence of mind to use it if/when I needed to.

    I enjoyed our little run today. I'm going to add that little loop to my collection. : )

  6. I just posted about my morning dog encounter(s). I love dogs - I have two - but I hate it when owners won't keep them contained. Not only can they hurt us, but what if a kid was out there?! And how about the poor dog? Anyway, I hope you figure out an alternative route because it sounded like a good time to get in a run.

    Glad you had a great week!

  7. 80 mile week? That's awesome and in the winter to boot. I am happy to say that it is 30 degrees right now so that's a 55 degree swing to the good! I am so into the winter bath, esp with wine and a good book, but I can also take a tub in the morning with coffee.

    Be careful playing in the street, drivers are so often distracted and not looking out for you. Dogs - bad owners, they should be tied up.

  8. Sounds like a good week! I hope coach forces you to rest in between even though you don't always listen. We all have a mind of our own. Have fun on Sunday!

  9. doesn't gaining ground on training feel GREAT?!

    Guess what - only FOUR weeks till I can give you a hug for real!!! :)

  10. Dogs are like 3 year old kids: precocious, short attention spans, and impulsive. Dog owners who don't leash their dogs in town risk a dead dog. They sometimes run out into street. I feel sorry for the dogs as well as other people.
    Road running freaks me out.
    Wow 80 miles in winter. I was proud I did 48 with off-season a few weeks back.

  11. Olga, do you wear headlight and blinking tail-lights on your runs? They usually help cars and bikers to avoid you. Yea, you look like a freaking Christmas tree wearing them, but safety is above the looks :)))

  12. You are the Olganator! Keep up the progress!

    Trail Scat

  13. I'm glad the Rot didn't get you! I have a neighbor about 2 blocks down the road. He had two Rot's and that is why I no longer run in my neighborhood. He always says they are 'nice' and I tell him, yeah that is what the dog owner said before the dog bit my ass I got 32 stitches. They are always loose, off leash and scare the hell out of me. It is the pits not to be able to run in my own neighborhood, but I refuse.

  14. ah, good life...
    GREAT POST I stopped reading after the first paragraph, was that wrong? cause that was GOOD for me --hehe