A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn....

It's gonna get harder before it gets easier. But it will get better, you just gotta make it through the hard stuff first.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Tahoe Rim DNF

I'll be short, I've got a presentation at work this week I need to focus on, but I want to get it out of the way and satisfy the possible curiosity since the website is not fast on updates. I made my flight on Sunday, and even got on an earlier one - but not the way I would have liked to. However, I have no regrets. At first, I regretted not recognizing I need to give my body, mind and soul some rest and respect by switching to a 50M option (which I could do even on the race morning), but after spending time thinking it through, I realize with a 50M finish, while I would justify the money spent and travel time, and get a recognition, I wouldn’t make many of the soul-searching I did. I needed a lesson, and I got it.

From emails Larry sent to a local trail group:
“According to the live updates, Olga has made it through the first 50 miles of Tahoe Rim in 12:10:25. They took an already difficult course and added another 4,000 feet of gain to it this year for a round number of 24,000ft gain. At the pre-race briefing yesterday, there was mention of a big bear that has been harassing people on the trail. Hopefully, the bear stays away as she is still recovering from the two bear encounters, very large ones I might add, when we were out in the Sierra a few weeks ago. :) The course consists of two 50 mile loops in the mountains along the east side of Lake Tahoe, all, mostly above 8,000ft”.
“Just got a call from Olga. She’s dropping at mile 61. Hasn’t eaten since mile 40 and was throwing up quite a bit during those 20 miles. Also, was dealing with a pre-race injury. Still, very, very proud of her and I’m glad she didn’t get eaten by the mean bear.”
And here is mine response:
“It was absolutely beautiful and the views are magnificent, so was the single-track trail. I didn't find the course to be too particularly difficult, but I am comparing to the mountain races I had done, and I tend to lean towards the harder ones. The combination of the altitude with heat (not "hot" TX style, but hot 80F at 8,000 feet) and general fatigue from previous 100's, along with long-lagging injury had taken its toll, and worrying about making my flight didn't provide incentive to slog through the night and next morning without possibility to put any calories in. At the end, I could "gut it out", but I had nothing to prove and had done it before. I am just not interested in "gutting it out" that much anymore, more in having quality runs. I had fun times in the first 50 though! So many wonderful folks I ran and chatted away with, so awesome views, fantastic race organization, and just happy to be alive, able and willing.”

photo by Scott Dunlap
I am thrilled to have been there, on this course, and meet so many friends, some old, some new. Rick Gaston and Glenn Tachyama, thanks for taking care of me at the 50M point! Annie C-T and Rob Cain, it was awesome to spend time pre-race and chat Oregon! Joy, what a joy to have finally meet you in person, and spend fantastic 45 minutes climbing the ski pass talking non-stop and passing guys like they were standing still! Gretchen, you rocked! And Donald, always a pleasure! To co-RD George Ruiz – thank you, thank you, thank you. You guys put a lot of effort, and you personally were so tending to me all the time, I really will never forget it. It’s a beautiful run in a beautiful place with beautiful people behind. Brian Myers, the miles we ran together, whether at SD100 or (even more so) at TRT, were priceless. You win our own “quest on most 100’s” – and the summer isn’t even over – because I am not going for P2P. I wish you all the best! To the Tunnel Creek AS guys who tried to change my mind – thanks for the thoughts, and mostly for recognizing I had made the decision and was ok with it. To Kirsten Ramage who dropped with me and made it possible to arrange a shower and a shut-eye at the hotel room - thanks. And the biggest thanks - to Larry, my "biggest fan", who had patience and wisdom to let me make my own decisions. I love you, honey.
It was awesome to cheer runners coming through while waiting the ride back off the mountain, and having a most fulfilling conversation with young Mark from BC who was there (second time on trails, may I add) to help his friends celebrate their 40th birthday. This is why I am in it – to talk about what’s inside you. Because it’s here where we open up to the true “us” and allow “us” to come out. I am not in it to prove anybody, or even myself, what I am made of – I know what I am made of. I have a passion. I never want it to become a burden or an obligation. I am pleased I was able to sense the difference. I am glad my body spoke to me loud and clear, and I listened. I've had a fantastic 11 months of hard training and great racing season since last fall. I need a rest. I’ll be back on my own terms. Now, "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."

For more pictures of the course and for a wonderful description of an awesome race head over to Gretchen's blog.

21 comments:

  1. The stopping because "I don't have anything to prove" is very familiar territory for me. Unfortuantely, it's been keeping me from finishing anything at all, including a little road 10K. I have to teach myself to really want to do something and then do it with gusto, something you seem to have worked out.

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  2. Olga, it was great to see you at the race (it's been too long!), and I was very sad to see you at the aid station after dropping. But I know that you made the right decision for yourself in that particular situation, and that you'll get back to kicking butt in other races sometime.

    Get some rest, take care of yourself, and I'll hope to see you again soon.

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  3. The only thing that matters to me is that you're happy, regardless of it being running or anything else you choose. :)

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  4. rest up and heal soon! sorry to read that you won't be at Pine to Palm? :( i was looking forward to seeing you again.

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  5. It was so great to see you out there Olga! I'm glad you enjoyed your time on trail, and will be taking a little recovery time for yourself. I think you deserve it. You're a badass, girl!

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  6. Sorry to hear about the DNF. We hung around the 50 mile point for a while, hoping for an Olga glimpse, but I guess we scurried off before you scurried in. Recover well, and make sure you come back to the ultra thing when your mind and body are good and ready. Hugs!

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  7. I'm sorry for my own selfish reasons that you won't be at P2P....was looking forward to seeing you. :) But I'm not sorry at all that you are listening to your body and mind and taking some time to regroup and recharge. Take care!

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  8. My comment disappeared. . . but anyhow, I'm sorry it didn't work out and hope you're feeling better now!

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  9. Hey girly, sounds like you had a great day and got home in time. You are certainly correct in that you have nothing to prove. No need to set yourself back in any way at Tahoe. Rest up!

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  10. Great to meet you at TRT. Thanks for your encouraging words and I'm sure we'll run into eachother again sometime. You're a badass tough lady!

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  11. You knew when to step aside. And you still enjoyed it. There is much to our life. And just because we don't finish a run in the woods doesn't take anything away from us. Good job friend.

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  12. I need to first offer congratulations on your amazingly fast first 50 miles on such a tough, mountainous course in the heat. You have had a huge race-filled spring and summer. You have run (with great success) 4 ultras since our meeting at Hells Hills and I have run... none. At least not until Saturday. Far be it from me to give you ultra advice, but it sounds like you diagnosed yourself with needing a little mental and physical restitution. Well, anyway, you got to see some beautiful sights, run on amazing trails and meet people like Joy! So lesson learned? Who knows. We just know you'll be back out there kicking booty in a short while. Good luck with the presentation.

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  13. It was great to see you out there!! It's all about "what you get out of it" ~ Not, what others get out of you! Have a great recovery & enjoy some time with your sweetie!

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  14. I'm sorry about your DNF, Olga, but it sounds like you were being smart. I love what Larry wrote, he is so sweet! Take some time to recover and get strong again. Hope to see you sometime soon, too.

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  15. Olga it was so nice to see your smiling face again at Tahoe. There is never any shame in knowing when to call it a day when it is just not your day. There are many more good days in your future. Take care of yourself and I hope to see you again soon.

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  16. Great attitude Olga! It's so true, you have nothing to prove. To reconise that and live accordingly is like running an ultra in itself! Great job at taking care of yourself. Recover well and I look forward to seeing you at CCC!

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  17. I did get a great photo of you, but have been to busy to download the photos. Will send! Great to see you out there.

    Cheers, SD

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  18. It was great to spend those miles with you. You are an inspiration with your positive attitude and demeanor wether it is the first 20 miles or those late pukey ones. Enjoy your well deserved rest and recovery. Every time I trip on a rock, I will think that you subliminally mentioned something about sex to me :)
    Your trail friend,
    Brian Myers

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  19. Доброе утро: Dobrah Ootrah Olga! You and Joy passed me going up the ski slop like two Gazelle's enjoying a run in the hills. Awesome work this year, and good job at TRT. I thought about DNF'ing several times, but wanted this one bad enough. Rock on, Sultan!

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  20. It was great to see you too lady. I was surprised to find out that you had dropped and feared the worst since you are usually too tough to drop however I totally understand - you've got nothing to prove. Curiously I came to the same decision when I ran TRT in 08 and had to walk the last 22 miles due to a bum knee. I told myself no more gutting it out in that way, just not fun anymore and nothing to prove. Heal up, recover.

    You're right, been writing less these days. Eh just like the run, some days it's fast and some days it's slow. No worries I still plan on being around.

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  21. Very nice story...I love it...I remember my old days with my friends...

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