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

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Back to cool and being cool.

It was below 100 all week! Simply amazing what makes you smile these days...I think I am finally ready to get back to do some running. Last week I had an ache to go out for more than twice-a-week slog, and I did two 10M loops on each day of the weekend. The second time around it felt incredibly fluid, and the running time was rather good. Perked me up, at least for a bit.

Sometimes we face challenges. Let me rephrase it - all and each of us faces challenges often enough to get tired. Tired of dealing with them, fighting obstacles. We want to just sit back and float along the calm river waters. Sometimes, even though we always know that we'll fall, dust off and move on, we get tired to even think that we'll dust off and move on. Sometimes the question rises: why bother? But we get up, dust off and move on. And routine certainly helps with this...

For the last 9 years my routine included running. It's nice to find time for gym visits, get re-addicted to Bikram yoga, do all kinds of other things. But routine is exactly this - a routine. I think I was somewhat scared that I may not want to ever run again. I mean, I took breaks before, but all of them were enforced upon me - whether by injury (and it never was more than a week break), or once I forced myself into a month off because I was told to do so. I never not wanted to run. I was lost in a search of what is my identity.

It is not that my identity is running. But I need running to keep figuring out what my identity is. To calm my mind. To find peace in my heart. To push through and enjoy it, or to back off and forgive myself.

It was good on a running front this week, somehow, somewhy. After the first couple of days, I joined (just as I had been for the last month, despite my official break off running) Larry for his Wednesday morning hill repeats (you know, so I hear no complains of what I prescribe as a workout, I am there as well, and I don't even need to be!), then ran Thursday to work, and Friday - back home from work. And funny thing happen, going opposite direction, what meant more net uphill and all incline, in the heat of the day at 4pm, happened to be faster. And it also happened to bring joy to work harder and start lans of races to be at next season. It was fun...despite the pain.

The pain...with finding another Bikram (real this time) studio in the area and getting 2 free weeks as a promo, if you know me, meant I squeezed every class out of it (every day, if I could find time, I'd have been there twice a day). It also meant that, while my left hamstring was healing nicely, I managed to push, proving some wacky point to myself, and get a tear in my right hamstring, now smack in the belly of it. At least muscle has more fibers to compensate for work and has more blood supply to keep healing quicker. That's what I tell myself. When did injury stop me before?

So Larry and I went to Bastrop park for a long run today. Haven't been there since October, man...beautiful trails, nice and soft, covered with pine needles and under pretty tall trees. Having weird temperature drop down to below 70F in the whee hours of the morning was an added bonus that made it a paradise! I practically froze on the first 3-4 miles, wearing no shirt. And it felt wonderful running long...Funny how our bodies may loose speed when not training for anything specific, but not the endurance part of it (by the way, my last loop gave me my second best time on this loop ever ran). I made 18 miles today, just like that, out of the blue. I always said, I can give up any runs, but not my long runs. Not the times when all is moving like a well oiled machine, the pace don't matter, stride is easy, breathing in tune...they lough at me at work because I mentioned I don't bother to come out for under 4 miles runs. It takes me that long to have any kind of natural movement, and I don't like having to feel like crap and remembering only this part once home. So I ran, and I smiled...all challenges be gone. At least for that part of the day:)

With 12-13 miles tomorrow we're doing (Larry is in best shape for his upcoming Bear 100 and going extra 5 on that), the week will round up to a nice number 50. This is where I like to be when I am off season:) Lets the real off-season begin...


  1. Once again your words ring true for me as well, my long lost twin sister :-)

    Though my lack of running lately has mostly been due to work, I have also experienced a sort of ennui towards training. Since MMT my running has basically felt like junk miles filling in between 100s. At least those have been good!

    Speaking of which, I guess I may be seeing you and Larry once more this year. I signed up for Bear 100 when Plain no longer fit into my work schedule. See you there!

  2. Stumbled on your blog through Rick Gaston and just wanted to tell you I really enjoy reading your posts and the quotes you have throughout your site. You have a great attitude! Here's to unlimited adventures ahead...

  3. "It is not that my identity is running. But I need running to keep figuring out what my identity is." I like that alot, well said. I don't know what my identity is and I don't want to have to answer that question but running is a part of it. After P2P I am looking forward to some downtime and no more double days in the weekend for awhile. Looking for that fluidity that comes from a well rested body and I'll strive to be more like you with my cross-training, umm except for the yoga part:)

  4. It's good to take a break from running, no matter how important it is to you physically or mentally. I think. It makes you like it more in the end!

  5. It sure has been feeling good these last few days. Finally, my running is feeling natural and not forced, even with Pb DNF. When it's time, you will know.

  6. YOU are cool :)

    Hope the running smiles continue.

    Was too bad you didn't make Waldo but will see you at Hellgate!

  7. I'm still trying to work up to your off-season mileage. lol! :)

    "It is not that my identity is running. But I need running to keep figuring out what my identity is. To calm my mind. To find peace in my heart. To push through and enjoy it, or to back off and forgive myself."

    That quote reads like a beautiful poem. You definitely need to write that book! You have a gift for putting into words thoughts that I feel too when running/thinking (and many other runners I'm sure), but can't express nearly as well.

  8. Welcome back to running!! Does this mean I get to bug you for a run?? I ran with Rick in the Headlands on Sunday :)

  9. "It is not that my identity is running. But I need running to keep figuring out what my identity is. To calm my mind. To find peace in my heart."

    Awesome quote. That is me to a T!

  10. Okay, so everyone else already quoted my favorite part of this post. Obviously you have struck a chord with us, Olga. Beautiful post. I do think it's important to let your running come back naturally, as you have done. You needed a break, sounds like mentally more than anything, and you are smart to listen. Isn't it nice to feel good and excited about running again? I'm super psyched for you! Keep enjoying the journey and listening to what your mind and body need from you.

  11. Under 100?? Where's the summer gone? :)