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, April 05, 2009

A wonderful weekend

Actually, the whole week was nothing short of wonderful. And since this is some kind of running blog (more or less, at least it started that way), I can even claim I kind of trained...nah, I ran and was happy:) I'll add some stats since I am not sure if I come around them again, in case some minds wonder. I ended up with 197M for January, 286M for February and 300M for March. Mile-wise, I am in good shape. Speed and hills - not so much...but then again, we talked about it enough lately.

So, Monday I had a nice solo run along Barton creek in Austin for 10 miles. I planned to make it my longest day of the week since Larry was at work, but while the weekend was warm, it was pretty dry (air), unlike on Monday it was 85F and humid. I can honestly admit I can't deal with humidity well. I was dripping and had general fatigue, so called the turn-around sooner. Oh, well, I enjoyed it still.

Tuesday was self-imposed rest day, which I needed (or not, but I got one anyway). I spent it still in Austin and then flying back home.

Wednesday was back to schedule. I didn't wake up early enough for a morning routine because I wanted to see Stephen (who was asleep when I made it home at 1am), but I did my usual "boxing loop" of 8M just fine. What I keep noticing is that while I don't do any traditional speed work, and keep my runs rather mellow and joyful for the soul, my effort to get same routes in same (and even faster) times is getting much less demanding. It feels that I slog hardly moving, and I think - this run will definitely add on 10 minutes - and end up beating my usual time. So, may be there is something about that Maffetone method or the Van Aaken Method...may be I'll even dig out my HRM one day to see what I am really doing out there.

Thursday I ran to work. Yet again, the time was good, it felt like I am walking yet apparently I wasn't. Also, my school - spring term - started, and I have class of Massage Lower Body (don't we all need it??) on Thursday nights now. I just have to figure out when to squeeze 2 hrs of required massage practices weekly in my life...

Friday I made it to the gym. Gym is something I fall out of easily once I take a short break. Either that or I overdid it while was dealing with hip stress fracture and got fed up. Just not excited about prospect of going there, but once I am in - I work out hard. And it leaves me sore:) I also did 4M there for kicks. So, at night, per Stephen's schedule, I was back for "boxing loop" 8M, running well and happy.

But the real deal was on the weekend. Portland got blessed. On days like we have now I understand why I love to live here - it's 70F, sunny and beautiful. I packed 2 bottles and was off to the Gorge, all by myself, and oh, what a majestic morning it was! As I was driving, I still had no idea what is that I will do, and came up with a loop of 15M and about 4700 feet of gain. I am alone, right, who cares how long it would take me? Well, first of all, I had to be home at certain time, secondly, I always claim I run better alone. So I did, despite sore muscles from weights and minor aches of dragging injuries (which never stopped me, although it is likely very stupid of me). What a day it was! The views! I swore on myself for not taking a camera, but then decided - what the heck, I am taking it all in to the heart! I have enough pictures of Gorge to last a lifetime, but this day I was looking at all of the beauty not through the lens of my camera, but with eyes wide open. I couldn't stop getting tight chest, and at few places yelled "I love you" - yes, to the Gorge, silly me. Boy, this place truly treats anything, from depression to injuries. I was done sooner than anticipated, and with a grin that a lottery winner would be jealous of.

The day was crazy. Come home, clean up, have "showing" (my condo is on the market, interested?), take Stephen, grocery shopping, Home Depot shopping, library time (books for Stephen's school), drive back, watch a movie together "Supersize me" (Yuk!!! A whole topic of conversation! Holly cow! Kind of obvious points, but put together make life simply gross!). Then jump in the car - and drive Stephen to boxing tournament, to cheer on the team (he wasn't matched, but we still went, and had a good time there). By the time we were back, I could only crash in bed, thinking I have another long run planned...

That I wanted to do alone again (see above), but Gail called and offered a company. Honestly, I was "thinking" while agreeing - I had such a fantastic time by myself...and I keep feeling guilty about slowing my friends down these days. I didn't go to Rumble for many reasons (mainly because I wanted and needed to spend a weekend with my kid between my travels), and Gail bailed out as well. She was coming off a cold earlier in the week, Sid was tired and decided to stay home, she wanted to be with him, and she didn't feel fit enough...but what totally made my day today was when she said somewhere in the middle of our run: I weighed options of running at Rumble, taking early start, being alone for the most part - or running with Olga and talking about things...and Olga won. If that doesn't melt your heart, I don't know what will. And talk we did. I think in the whole 21 miles (and we picked the hilliest route since I am at least pretending that I am thinking about training for Hardrock) we were quiet for a mile, between 10 and 11, just to get over a hump. What I love about Gail is how deep our conversations go, where they lead, and what we discuss. How can we ALWAYS have topics and never run out of opinions, I don't know, but we do (have)and don't (run out of). And it was another warm, sunny, gorgeous day! Me in skirt and one shirt - that's unheard of! I am always cold and wear jacket, Gail was surprised to see me not having one this morning! What a beautiful day...beautiful run. In the last 6 miles I officially announced that my legs are mushed (ha! and this week only accumulated 72 miles, just tells you how soft I got with no weekly Gorge outings, one day - and I am beat up), but she stayed with me, and we chatted, and still ran, albeit slowly, and still made it in time I wanted to.

I have another busy day with my kid and general life ahead, and next week the cycle starts again. When I woke up at 5am this morning, I thought what a crazy sport we have that makes us do such thing day in and day out, when will I ever get enough sleep, when will I ever wake up when it's light outside, why do I have to get my ass out the door...but miles and hours pass, and I wouldn't change it for the world.

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive." Howard Thurman.

Waddle on, my friends. Waddle on...


  1. Love the ending quote! Sounds like the busy life we lead these days. More focused on family and other things. It's all good! The Gorge will miss your presence.

  2. The gorge loves you too! : )

  3. Awesome weekend around here huh? Good job on your miles...I am way behind but loving the weather and being back in the gorge.

  4. Sweet! The weather WAS gorgeous, wasn't it? Even up our way. Was in Yakima again today - 70 degrees! We didn't run today though. It was nice to have another "normal" day without having so much time taken up by back-to-back long weekend runs. Hope I don't get too used to this! Glad you are feeling and running well. Love ya!~

  5. I don't know how you find the time to get that many miles in? Good for you.

    How is selling the Condo going? Price ok?

    Yeah was a great Sunday wasn't it? I'm so ready for summer.

  6. I have to admit, the Gorge is the best running place I've ever been. And, I know I've only been to a small portion of the trails.

    Are you sure you were in Portland with that kind of weather? ;)

  7. Learn, learn, learn, then later I will visit and have a great massage:) I'm waddling and waddling, truly. I was due for a break after the last race but I kept training hard the last two weekends. Should have taken that break but it's taper time anyway, I should recover. This weekend was sunny here too, just beautiful weather. For someone who isn't training you sure are cranking out those miles and still getting up at 5am.

  8. sounds like a great time(s) and awesome weather! Keep enjoying it, that's what its all about.

  9. Wow, your life is as crazy as mine is...an I don't think you ever get used to the humidity...you just deal with it...and Super Size me...yeah...great discussion topic

  10. Hey Olga, thanks for calling me the other day...good ole' lessons learned huh, looks like you have been busy as usual :-)

    Happy Training Hun ...

    HR Baby HR!!!!

  11. Welcome back from Red Rock! Looking forward to seeing and hearing about it. :)

  12. I am all inspired now to head out to the gorge for a run soon! we live in one of the most beautiful places, don't we?

  13. Great Blog and wonderful pictures of your latest trip! I find your thoughts motivating. I am currently training for a half marathon-- Would love if you could check out my blog sometime and give me any feedback-- Thanks so much for your time and inspiration!