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

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Living from weekend to weekend.

Sometimes it seems pathetic, but the daily life is boring. I mean, things are happening, I go to work, take care of Stephen, visit with friends, talk on the phone, email, exercise, read...and can't wait for the weekend to come. This is where things unfold...

I had a pretty good run on Friday at Marquam hill. Really good, actually. I got within less than a minute of my best time there. Have no idea how it happened, just clicked and it was flowing...

I paid for it on Saturday. I had to diss Gorge due to time pressure and went for a Maple loop 15M run in Forest Park. Nothing was "feeling it". I had my hips and glutes hurting, I pulled a muscle on my back on the right side from the gym on Wed, and on top of it my compartment syndrome got ugly - and I thought I was having it good this season. Not to mention I was PMSing and feeling sluggish, fat and slow. So, during the next 3 hrs I went through every emotion, at times picking up the pace and thinking "life is great", at times whining why in the world do I make myself do this things. At the end, I wouldn't change it for the world. Long solo run was all it is supposed to be - a soul cleansing experience...

A short stop at work, wake up Stephen - and off to Malden Street Fest! This is a block where Monika's family lives, and they are real family all around there! So once a year they barricade the street from both ends and have lots of fun with games, competitions, talent show and food! Below are just mere few photos from the fun. Oregonian newspaper sent their photographer and dude took another 800 shots!

Relay : Guys vs Gals, older male pushes a garbage bin with younger kid in it carrying a torch with a cup full of water. The agenda is to fill a bin at the end of the street fatser than an opposite team. Boys won!

Using anything with wheels, go around obstacle course the fastest. Monika and Stan won for performance (as they did for every competition, so the rest of the crowd was judged separately).

I am getting over my sad mood rather quickly watching the fun unfold.

Balloon fight: each 2 people team throws water-filled balloon, and each time they step further back. Team that still has intact (not fallen down and burst) balloon wins.

Monika and Stan at the Synchronized Swimming competition.

Stephen and Freddy won this one! As well as Stephen won "longest jump into the pool" and took 3rd in "Underwater swim" - only due to straying off course into the girls on the side! Mom needs to watch out for this growing up pre-teen:)

Sunday was a 3:45am wake up call. Man, how do I live?? But Mike is always on time, and there is no escape:) We drove to Clackamas ranger station and began our journey onto south end of PCT for the OR100 race. So, after the initial 50 miles runners repeat following PCT50 course, there is a 2.4M slight uphill on a dirt road pass Indian reservation entrance to meet Pacific Crest trail again. It is purely a SINGLE-TRACK trail, soft dirt, no rocks or roots, the ONLY trail in this section with dirt/logging roads crossing perpendicular (hard to mistaken for trail) and it has usual PCT marking on the trees every 0.5M or so. Common, people, you DON'T NEED no stinking extra markers here! That would be really really immature! We decided to live with only a glow stick half a mile from an AS as a warning it's coming. There is NOWHERE to get lost!!! Trust me on that, please. Review the 15M trail photo-documentary and see for yourself!

So, the terrain...slightly long rolls, totally under shade the whole time! What actually surprised me:) I expected something reminding the high desert around Smith Rock Park. So that is good. Total elevation gain on the PCT part (12.5M) from the dirt road to Pinhead Saddle is 2500 feet and elevation loss is 1100 feet (that's one way). 5,000 feet (right before the saddle) is the highest point on the second part of the 100 mile course, and there is only one climb right before that that will force to walk the front runners (most anyway, and only in parts).
The rest of it is basically incline/decline, very gentle. It was a beautiful day spent in discussion where the aid stations should be, what will they serve, what the cut off's going to look like (I get to impose rules, yeah, baby!), about "no crew access" in Warm Spring territory till the turn-around at Ollalie Lake campground and so on. The bad part (the only) was my stomach that was churning like crazy, forcing me to stop and squat every 15 min or so. Despite that, I was on cloud 9 for having come there and spending some over 6 hrs exploring. Welcome to Oregon 100, meet the RD's!

The day ended with a movie out with Stephen, and miraculously I didn't fall asleep (hard to do when watching "Mummy").

I slept in on Monday morning. I got 9 hrs of sleep!!! Can you even believe it?? You read it right - 9 hrs! I turned off all alarms, phones and such and closed the curtains. Didn't even blink the whole time! That was great, I needed it. An evening workout at the gym was successful...

Unlike this morning's track visit. My left leg cried and cursed with pain of compartment, my hips and back-side hurt, and I had to really use a lot of talking to myself to finish everything up. What brings me to this weekend. How in the world do I ever end up picking fast boys to pace, who's recovery runs speed is faster than my interval pace?? Just as "Hardrock 50" was a goal for the first half of this year, now I fear to be dropped at "Headlands 50". I am at awe of some weird universal law how I so far was able to find that extra-gear and kick some booty while pacing all my precious Nick's, Rob's, Mike's, Larry's...one day my "good karma" may end, and I am ready to face it:) Bring it on!!!


  1. Funny how you have a fear of getting dropped this weekend. Because, I fear you're going to kick my ass for 50 miles this weekend and turn me into a "zombie on a leash"! ;)

  2. Larry, dude! I would not want Olga yanking my leash for 50 miles. Good luck with that.
    Olga - sorry. LOL
    Hey, I love the contrast between "boring" every-day life and my ultra-life. It's my yin/yang.
    Have fun!

  3. You still look svelte, strong and fast lady! I'm really excited about this weekend myself and am looking forward to seeing you again! You are a great pacer and I'm sure will have no trouble rising to the occasion!

  4. So you're really NOT out of shape you sandbagger! Sorry to hear about the compartment syndrome though. Way to go on another soul run, I just had one on Saturday too, feels so good. So that kid has the Philippine flag painted on his shirt, interesting.

    Ok ok, you get lost and if you say that there's no way to get lost in this section then I'll take your word for it. The buckle is sweet by the way. I like how you guys had some fun with it. Question: You guys don't want to put Oregon in there somewhere? I know, I know, people should just know from "Hood". "Oregon" brings up a lot of running related emotions and images so I thought I'd bring it up.

    See you this weekend. The second half as you know is two 25-mile loops. It's a good place to get dropped by Larry and you already know your way around from all those times running Miwok. Donald will be there as I'm sure a lot of other folks that we know. Pssstttt...introduce me to the other cool kids that I don't know.

  5. Running with the fast dudes and leading them around on a leash...that's one reason why you're The Sh!t! : )

  6. Hey, how COOL that you're coming down here this weekend, Olga! It'll be great to see you again!! Perhaps you told me that you'd be pacing - I'm getting too old to remember stuff!

    See you in a few days - hope you have a blast out on the CA trails!

    Sarah (PCTR)

  7. You had fun last weekend. We know you'll be having fun this weekend. Guess that makes all the stuff in the middle worth it. Enjoy.

  8. Have a great weekend, last weekend sounded pretty great. Good luck to Larry at Headlands; hope he doesn't think he's going to hang around the aid stations too long.

  9. Anonymous6/8/08 11:32

    Nice Photos of the new "100 in the Hood". Now if we only get a few runners.
    Larry it is now your turn in the Olga 50 mile Torture Chamber. Get the Leash out.


  10. Olga!

    Dudette! 3:45am on a Sunday? OUCH. You are my hero.

  11. Sorry to hear about the compartment syndrome. You are such a trooper though, always moving forward.

    I agree with you, too. Sleep is a blessed, beautiful thing.

  12. Oh this race of yours is looking mighty tempting!

    Have funy in Cali this weekend, Olga, and best wishes to Larry!


  13. Gawd that garbage can race thing looks fun!

  14. Sounds like another great weekend. Make sure to save me a spot for the 100 in the Hood. I have a feeling it will sell out quickly.

  15. Olga,

    Hey it was so neat to meet you this Saturday at the Headlands. I must apologize for my comments about your appearance. it must have been someone else I saw in a picture on the internet. Keep me updated on your adventures.