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, January 13, 2008

Girls rule the trails!

It was an awesome day today. In fact, I had a great week, and Sunday been "old New Year's eve" (don't ask, it's a Russian thing with Orthodox calendar move), I propose to myself it means I am going to have a great year.

As I mentioned before, I sent out a somewhat wide email to have a group of local ultra-jinkies for a Forest Park run. I wanted to start at the Zoo again and run out-back for 25M total, to employ all the hills, although some opted to do a point-to-point from other end into the Zoo. So at 7:30 am we had Sarah, Caroline, Liz and Kamm, and Kamm's dog Appollo tasking the hills. It was great to catch up to their lives and plans, I haven't seen girls for such a long time! Liz and Kamm were doing their 20 miler on a 5M section, and I snapped a picture while we were all together.

Soon after it was 3 of us. Caroline is a fastest one in the grouo, but she graceously did my pace, and we continued to chat. At some point I let her and Sarah go ahead and took a walk break (I was so elated to slow down! - not for long, LOL) - as I come around a bend, they had run into and were talking with the rest of the gang: Gail, Amy, Kyly and Tom! Hey, there is a bunch of best buddies, I almost forgot to take another picture - but I didn't!

We continued moving forward while they went towards the Zoo, and at 11M mark Caroline turned around - I think she was getting tired to slog and decided to blast on the way back:) Luckily for me (may be not so for Sarah), Sarah hadn't run long in a couple of weeks, so she stuck with me, slow and long. We had awesome times, and my energy level never seized down, was pretty even with no obvious bonking (may be new fueling system?). I think we ran back somewhat stronger (I never looked at the time, but felt better), and last 3 miles I felt just great! The only thing was I managed to stick my foot in a paddle of mud,
and it sent my flying down. While I am kind of clamsy and stumble often, I most likley catch myself, so this fall was so unexpected, I planted my whole weight on my knees and fingers. When I got up, my fingers felt like they were broken (they were not), my toes jammed into my shoes and my knees hurt. I worked it out rather quickly, but soon felt burning on my right knee and looked down - heck, I had blood! Of course I took a picture of it, I don't get bloody on trail, it's a badge of honor:)

The day was so nice and sunny, the trails were occupied with what seemed like a hundred of runners and hikers, some familiar (I even got a treat to see Carry Miller), some not very. The warms of the sun was so special for Portland winter!

I also had a couple of other great runs, one been 11M on roads, where I took a new loop in a different neighborhood, and it didn't bother me to run alongside the cars, not to mention I ran the whole time - I honestly don't remember whe was the last time I did that, likely due to my anything longer than 8M runs done on trails, and I usually find an excuse to walk the hill or few, but on roads I don't use that excuse. I actually felt I could run for another hour non-stop! Another great one was with Monika, when I showed up at her house for no specific reason, and she put me in her running clothes and took me for her local favorite loop. It was a good loop: about 1.3M of rolling trails and 1M of flat bike path. We clipped! I mean, really, last time I had run at this pace (6M took us 51 min) was may be 2 years ago? And we talked the whole way too!!! It never stops to amaze me how much more meaningful conversations are on the run versus sitting at the table, we had a real "girl talk" better than during last 6 months of my visits every week! It was also very funny how it was obvious I am a trail runner, I flew on trails, mud and small hilld they were, and once on bike path I could feel slowing down - yet Monika wouldn't let me and kept pushing the pace. It was such a great companionship, we decided to try and fit it in once a week for both of our benefits.

I got home (limping) to find real estate agents in the house - apparently, we are putting the house on the market in 2 weeks, not in March as I thought, but Oleg found a condo, and now I need to add to my daily life frantically looking for a new place to move. Oh, well, as I said, I love challenges and changes:)

Wonder if my runs improved because I don't do leg routine at the gym anymore? Or am I running on "high" of good mood? But I am liking it!


  1. Nice war wound! You all look like you were having fun. Hope your weather was as beautiful as ours today!

  2. It was a great day! And the start of a great year! Until the last mile, those 25 seemed like they flew by. : )

  3. I am NOT fast!! I just wanted to get back in time for lunch with Erik...which I did and which was lovely. Thanks so much for the great company on the trail! The miles flew by. Awesome that your last 3 miles felt so good!

  4. Nice lookin' boo boo on the knee, there, Olga! Good luck with the search for a new home. That's a challenge worth putting time into! I myself hate change but I hear it's better to embrace what you can't control! I'm sure you'll find a perfect place to begin new memories in.

  5. OUCH !!!! Great to hear you had such a great run. I have no doubt you will conquer the challenges ahead.

  6. There's nothing more fun than a run with a bunch of girls! Nice wound....

    Good luck with the house stuff and searching for new digs.

  7. oooh looks like a great day of running with peeps. Nice one with the knee, good thing you didn't break anything, did you curse loudly as you went down:) Anyway it's good you've been having some great runs, way to start off the year. Good luck on finding a new place, I hope it's close to a trail.

  8. Rick, the fall was so unexpected, I forgot to curse! You and I (and a few others) know how well I usually do that...

  9. It sounds like such a great run! Great war wound - I always feel tougher after a good fall.

  10. Olga,

    Nice knee! It's nice(?!) to see that others are as clumsy as me. I fall all the time.


  11. awesome bloody wound! :)

    wow, moving - good luck

    and yes, i totally agree with the girl talk, it comes out so much more and better when running

  12. Looks like a great run with the ladies. It's amazing how energy of others rubs off and makes you faster. And it's a great way to catch up with old friends. Good luck with finding new digs!!

  13. Sweet Kneee pic :-) COngrats!

    Best wishes on finding ur new home, only one requirement trail must be in walking distance right?, right!

    Heal up fast!