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.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Spicing the burn-out.

We all had it, and we always will, at various times, for various reasons, and with various intensities.

I've had enough of long road runs and found a new local trail marathon around Georgetown Lake. I ran around it a number of times (and written a couple), the trail was familiar, 30 minutes away from home, the company putting it on was non-profit with dedication to offering trouble youth activities, Larry had 26 trail miles on his calendar (and I had something like 21 on road, gag), so we both signed up on Tuesday. On Wednesday the weather prognosis changed to 100% rain and thunderstorms. Texas floods when it rains. However, it held enough to not cause insane damage overnight, and the race wasn't cancelled.

We arrived to pick up our bibs (under rain, of course) and Larry discovered he left all his gels in a waist pack at home. Ha! Being a guy, he threw a fit and announced he is not running (the race offered only water and some chewy granola bars that would be impossible to process on the run). I offered to split my gels in half and make it a low-effort training run. He was still not convinced and claimed he's got no way to carry those gels. I gave up my Nathan pack I planned to wear. There was no way to back off for my precious honey anymore, so we settled in the idea we're going to just have "time on our feet".

Luckily I wore my "racing skirt", on which I had sawed pockets (the reason I didn't want originally go without a pack was that under rain the skirt slides down, and with weighted pockets I will be loosing it and having to hold and pull it up a lot).  So, nothing else to do but prepare myself to expose my spankies to those behind!

We started still in dusk, no headlamps, and made our way in first mile on rocks, twists, roots and single track. This trail combines the trickiest technical parts Austin has to offer with some double-track in a stretch that will come towards the end the way the course of this marathon was laid out. The rain magnified in about 20 minutes, and around that time we were having many stretches open to the sky's pouring waters, which was actually fun. Streams running down face, all clothes sticking in, and splashing around felt like being a kid - and I thought how ironic that two races I participated in TX this year both had weather more like in Oregon - Prickly Pear 50k back in March and this one. At least this time it wasn't chilly!

So I ran, listened to music, had some folks pass me, stretched my gels, and generally had a good time. By the road section of about a mile and half (a path and a dam over the lake) I was power-walking quite some, but not really concerned about it. A couple girls passed me, and I cheered them on.

On the other side of the dam we went into what was my personal favorite section, lots of sharp up and down hills, extremely rocky, very muddy too. Caught up 2 girls and 2 guys, and I think had way too much fun pushing (I did promise them the hills will be over soon).

As soon as the hills ended and we were thrown onto first a single track that was mellow, than a double-track, I had a feeling somebody just set on my chest and started squeezing it. I don't have allergies, and only have altitude-associated asthma problems, so I was surprised. I remembered how the past Tuesday's speed intervals caused a lot of breathing problems, wheezing loudly and feeling like I am about to have my lungs explode. The further I went, the worse it got - and I had to resort to power-walking, during which I still was breathing very loudly, very hard and seemed to not have been sucking any oxygen in.

Those 2 girls passed me back one by one, and I encouraged them - and I think surprised them about it too. Why? Not many people were friendly out there, whether it is a thing for ultrarunners, or the rain didn't make folks happy. By the way, the rain actually stopped those last 10 miles, which I power-walked all. I would try to run in splurges, 100 yards at first, then 50, later reduced to 20 at most. Even jogging 20 yards on a slight decline was cutting my breath off, and walking fast as well. I did manage to pass a couple of guys - and have them walk with me, which they couldn't keep up the pace (thank God I am a natural power-walker, and I practice twice a week while my son is in boxing, walking around the streets!). And another funny thing I thought about, good Lord I am an ultrarunner, because in my mind the phrase "Piece of cake, 10 miles, I can walk it easily" sounded normal and not discouraging at all.

I arrived at the finish line, and surprised myself to actually end up having time I kind of thought I would (due to caloric deficit and slippery rock), so I guess my walking saved me from sliding otherwise, or in theory I was better prepared than I thought I was. I bent over and tried to inhale some air, and the RD sent me to an EMT vehicle. They didn't carry inhalers (I have Albuterol at home for stuff like that, but obviously did not expect to have problems at altitude 100 feet), so they hooked me up to some bunch of devices. Overkill for sure. I finally stopped wheezing loudly and calmed down enough to walk away, change and Larry drove us home.



It was a lovely run, regardless. I kept thinking how much more I love trails vs roads, and may be I shouldn't be doing that marathon. Not to mention about this lack of breathing attack (still unidentified), I am not sure I want to be on roads for almost 4 hrs pushing, and surely will not be as happy if the problems come and I need to walk there (who walks in road marathons for 10 miles?). And my legs weren't nearly feeling a thing, unlike after each of my 20M training road runs. And I had been coming with typical road injuries - some shin splints, some plantar fasciitis, hamstrings shortened by an inch, TFL screaming blody merry...

Bottom line is, I have not a clue. And that's ok. I'll decide later.

In a meantime, I am taking an easy week to regroup. I had also signed up for Whole30 challenge from Whole9life. Just because. I am in general a pretty healthy eater and don't do carp-food (I mean, fast-food, prepackaged stuff and so on, cooking from scratch, and as gluten-sensitive, I had been really avoiding lots of things too and cut out pasta's, majority of breads and indifferent to cakes). I am kind of curious if the "cleaning your diet off sugar in any type, shape or form" (hot sauce, anyone? bullion cubes?) would make any difference in how I feel, since I am coming from a not-so-horri9ble start. And to make it more fun, to Bodyrock.tv (don't pay attention to sexist photos, please). While that latter program seems whacky and utilizes women almost wearing nothing and camera shooting angles questionable to general population, I did those 12 minutes today - and was beat up (and I used modified "slacker", or beginner' version!). And no weigh-in allowed!

So, we shall see. What the sugar elimination does to my shake-up metabolism and what the shake-up routine does to my funk.

Yeah, I also have my birthday to get through, and a BBQ for the running club I am responsible, and 2 days of volunteering at CR100.

Ha. Welcome to clean eating.

It is going to be fun!

p.s. On unrelated note, blogs are a dying art, nobody's writing or reading. But personally, I don't care. I need to write - when I want to put my thoughts down and see what it looks like for my own self, to pretend I am sharing with friends, to express clearly what I mean because when I speak I fail a lot, and simply when I am bored and got nothing to do. So, it's ok, don't read, don't comment, don't expect things meaningful. I'll be here from time to time anyway:)

23 comments:

  1. Don't worry Olga, I'm not going away and I keep both reading and writing, even if our road/trail preferences are completely reversed.

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    1. Thomas, I think lately people "pretend" they don't have time - to themselves, not others - and long posts are given way to short sentences on Facebook and even shorter phrases on Twitter. To commit to read almost doesn't exist. Fine. I still have a flip-phone with limited minutes and texts and read books in paper version.

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  2. Eek! that race sounds hard. I still think you should join me for Frankenthon which is a road race with a trail runner attitude: pretty, small, low key, and super nice folks.

    As for blogs...they are not dying! I keep reading and writing. Even if I struggle to find something "intersting" to write about, I figure I mainly do it for me anyways.

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    1. Clea, it wasn't bad at all! Not sure about Frankenthon, unless I want to pay for a training run. But I do keep it in mind, exactly for that:)

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    2. Olga, I love to read your race reports and hope you will keep writing. Wish I had your gift. Will miss you at Cactus again this year for the 2nd time. I've been at every one until last year. So, have fun for me and I'll be thinking of you and all my other peeps to. Love ya, Crash.

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  3. I just can't do long road runs any longer. My body rebels. I've only done two pavement runs this year over 10 miles and one was a marathon. Good luck with the clean eating plan!

    And contrary to my (lack of) posts lately...I'm still a believer in blogs. And I love yours, even if its more for you than for us. :) I think that's the way it should be actually. Come to think of it, my "blogger blocks" happen more often when I try to think of what I should write for an audience than for me.

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    1. Sarah, I really hope you decide to come in December - and bring the boys for a good measure! And thanks:)

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    2. I've been monitoring the flights! :) Hoping for a sale. Also might have a kid event that day...hopefully will find out for sure soon. But I meant it when I said I'm considering it. :)

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  4. I suppose I should stand up and be counted as one who regularly reads your blog, and who writes way too much on her own as well. Well done.

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    1. Laura, dearest, please do share! I'd love to read it! I have plenty of time - and compassion - to do so:)

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  5. Blogs do seem to be going the way of messaging boards (I got a message from one recently that I completely forgot existed; 600+ members, one message in 4 months!) - I think it's because reading just a few words each from hundreds of people on Facebook and Twitter take up so much time and people who can't write well enough to compose a blog post will still say "I ran such-and-such race" and post photos.

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    1. btw, I love that profile photo with the skull you're using now.

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  6. I am getting ready to do an elimination diet....oh boy. I am scared! But I am also excited to see what happens. I think I'm going to document it with photos. BTW, I like the bodyrock too, although I go to the ZuzkaLight channel, which I think it the former bodyrock. Those are some good quick qorkouts. But I blew my sholder on the honeymoon and can't use my right arm and I go in for surgery on my leg next week, so I will be getting very much out of shape. I'm scared about that too! Love your blog, glad you are still going to write!
    I hope you figure the breathing thing out, I had troubles too and it turned out that I have voacl cord disorder. Something to maybe look into. Great run in the warm rain and mud Olga!

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    1. Don't be scared! Look at it from the point what you CAN eat - it's actually lots. And how in the world did you manage to blow your shoulder on honeymoon, if I may ask? :)
      I'll see how my breathing makes it out this weekend, but I'll be doing a long road run and trails for short. If it is indeed some kind of allergy (her, in Austin, they say it's not "if" you get allergies, it's "when"), seems at least during the marathon it was worse on open grassy fields vs closed in tree'ed rails.

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  7. Hey, I read your blog! But I should comment more. But I do agree with you, the written blog is falling away due to Facebook and Twitter..but I CANNOT write a run report in 140 characters or less!

    You are always trying something different,it is always so good to see what you are up to. But you keep returning to..the trails.

    I promised the husband I would "not" run HR in 2013,so I cannot enter the lottery. It's killing me. (I understand how you feel now, about that!) Here's hoping the lottery gods will smile on me for 2014. I'm not getting younger!

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    1. Kim, I check into your often too! You're right, not much can be said in few sentences, nor will FB readers read more:) It takes a special breed.
      And yes, I always come back to trails...no doubts about it. I just wish I had more of those and more variety, then I wouldn't have to entertain myself with anything at all but trails! But, I shouldn't complain - I chose it, and at least it's not Florida.

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  8. I like your blog, Olga. And mostly stopped my blog (though I'm considering starting it up again) because I felt that the title didn't fit for where I was at that time. When I started, I wasn't fit, but now I am so I need a new blog title I guess. Good job hanging in there while not breathing! My poor little toe says that you must think I'm a total wimp!

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  9. So I checked out the Whole 30 thing after reading it here. I am thinking about it. I know I really need it. I still have digestive issues since before Hardrock, and I know it's my nutrition. I think I am going to do it. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks for the inspiration, and for the blogging. Yes, my own blogging will be sporadic for a while, but I still believe in it! I need the outlet, so I will figure out how to squeeze it in here and there.

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  10. I'm sorry to be a day late to wish you a Happy Birthday, Olga! I hope you had a wonderful day! And thanks for sharing your trail run - sorry about the breathing problems - you made it sound like a fun training run. Way more fun than the road runs I'm doing now. And I'm with you on the blogs - I write mine because I enjoy it and like to express what's going on in my mind and my life, even if no one reads it :)

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  11. How is the eating goin?

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    1. Holding my grounds. Guts feel awesome. Cravings are minimal and easily avoidable. Fat metabolism is not getting turned-on:) I'll have a write-up once it's over.

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  12. I do bodyrock sometimes too! Man, those workouts kick my butt. Still not sure why it requires certain camera angles though!! :/

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