If you're lucky enough to be in the mountains, you are lucky enough.

When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.

The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott

Friday, August 23, 2013

Running, but not the miles.

Rather a mild case of depression. Which I end up getting into every damn August since I moved to Texas! I can adjust to heat, pretend to get along with it, and even train in it...for a few months, but not for 6 in a row! And when the temps hit 100's for a stretch of weeks with no break, and even walking to the gym becomes a burden - the Universe tends to send me a signal and I get injured...since I can't darn pull myself back off! So, I end up not running because I physically can't, what doesn't help with that depression state - since running is the only way I know how to deal with depression!

Anyway, the hamstring strain is not healing, the sciatica nerve got bunged up inside it and inflamed from knee to glut, I make my morning outings at 11 min/mile pace (I dipped sub-10 on one run for 8 miles and was thrilled! on the road!), the 5 miles of rocky trails we have here (ok, may be 15 miles) are run in the last 4 years across and over every inch (and even that only happens once a week on Saturday, the rest is stuck to flat road loops around house)...the goals get fuzzy, and I am not a happy camper.

I am not too concerned about Grindstone, but may be it's not a good thing. As long as I get healthy by then, I plan to hike it up and jog it down (and pray for not many flat parts I am technically required to run, since that's the hurting part). I need a finish under 36 hrs (cut off) to qualify for Hardrock 100 lottery. I do hope to make it sub-30 - I'll be lying if I say I am ok to walk the whole thing, but if I need to, I will.

Because this winter will be my last time applying for Hardrock 100 lottery. It's just not working out for me here. And you can tell me to get excited, and keep on going, and suck it up...and if you think I haven't said that, or heard that, or done that, think again.

But sucking up still requires at least an inspirational point, which I ran out of. And as I tell my coaching clients, if the goal doesn't inspire you and doesn't mean something personal to YOU - forget doing anything serious and just power through. Like last season, when San Diego 100 turned in by accident and my whole first half of the year lit up all kinds of great colors...ain't happening now. Hardrock is changing, I am changing, my life is changing.

I am running low on mental and emotional fuel. The job job, the daily 8-5 one, provides security and stability (and means to run). The other things provide emotional and mental blessing, but little pay off. We can all talk about money in high-spirited terms, but the truth is, I am here, in this country, all with no relatives to help, with kids, future (very near retiring) and responsibilities to my partner in life and his goals. So, floating on dreams is not going to make me feel better if I can't pay for food - at the ripe age of almost 44 - or for those runs that still fill my soul. Lets set aside the "Ah" moments and get into real life. I work a lot and am totally wiped out, and the summer heat makes it worse, and the hard training overwhelms right now. This is THIS moment. I "coached" through this kind of moments my running clients - and I told them to drop me and pull back. So, who's gonna tell me that?

I took 8 yoga classes in the last 12 days, went to my chiropractor for some digging (and have 2 more sessions), got a massage, I stretch, I weight train per PT advice, and I shuffle flat roads to not aggravate the injury. It doesn't get better, nor does it fill my heart.

For a lot of other reasons, my life seems to be upside down right now, and I can't find a course. I will, of course, I always do...that "suck it up" part works like a charm, but right now I need to break down, to be able to re-build.

I wanted to plan on Bryce 100M next summer, and they cancelled a 100M option. No other 100M course inspires me enough in this country (or other country, which I wouldn't go to anyway) to train for. I had the same feeling last year, until, as I said many times, that email from Scotty Mills about SD100 came in. So, if I don't get into Hardrock 100 via lottery, the 100's are over. Should have done it on a high note after SD100, but wanted to give HR one last try, and signed up for qualifier...:) Well, lets make it happen then.

I never learned how to depend on anybody, and I don't know if I ever will. Sometimes I wish I could, actually, I often wish, it would make so many lives easier. But it can't happen at the snap of a finger when for 40 years nobody gave a damn.

So, here is my yearly angry post, take it for what it is. Tomorrow I am going to make 4 hrs of 3,500 feet of climb with hill repeats on trails, and I hope there will be running, but if I need to - I'll hike and suck it up. This could be my only chance to do so as a "long run", God willing. Gotta have one, right? (Actually, #4 for the 5 weeks span!)

Somebody throw some inspiration, or something. If I lived close to the mountains, I could have at least hiked up - and not care a tiniest bit about injuries, heat, training...but I don't, and I won't for a while. So, every summer, by the time August rolls around, and I am done with traveling to the mountains for the year (I only have so much vacation and spare change for that to happen), I am about to scream my head off - although more likely I end up crying my eyes out:)

Deep breath. See you on the other side of this crazy time.


Matt said...

Maybe a few episodes of 'Nu Pogodi' might cheer you up? :)


Larry said...

"I never learned how to depend on anybody, and I don't know if I ever will. Sometimes I wish I could, actually, I often wish, it would make so many lives easier. But it can't happen at the snap of a finger when for 40 years nobody gave a damn."

And, I'll keep chipping away at that mindset, one day at a time... ;)

justme_alive said...

Hmm, I took a look at your blog header and saw your answer right there. Chin up all will be well "Determination, Dedication, Discipline" ;-)

justme_alive said...

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

Steve Pero said...

Olga....about all I can say is I hope things turn around for you. Deb and I visited Fort Worth a couple of weeks ago and life was inside AC due to the 100+ heat outside, running only happened if you set your alarm for 5am. I don't know how you do it, I couldn't. Good luck with that, but I seem to remember you saying it was finite, that in X amount of years you and Larry could move back North.
Whether you know or not, Deb and I are moving back to NH as soon as we can sell our house....same thing, heat, drought and water disappearing are pushing us home where water drips off the trees.
Also I hope you get into Hardrock...I am done with 100's, possibly ultras. I am tired of running so slow, days when I can barely run under 12 mpm, I want to feel the breeze in my face as I run...so I'm starting from ground up, as I did back in the 80's. I'll train for the mile, which will help my 5K times, which will help my half marathon times and on up.
You have a great attitude for Grindstone, get that qualifier so you can retire from the longer races for good.
Best of luck and for Larry, at least, Smile! :-)

Steve Pero said...

BTW: Love the new photos on the header ;-)

Olga said...

Steve, I LOVE, love reading your comments, because they resonate with me so well! We both know neither is going to stop running or going out to the nature for adventures, but being competitive when it becomes sub-par to our own standards is not fun. Even at 5 am - when we run here, yes - it's nasty 85% humidity and 77F! Eww! Yes, 6 more years, and we're off to Front Range, CO. Hiking, backpacking, running some, volunteering at local races...not leaving the scene, just some of it. May be even participating at some races with no pressure - shorter, fun courses, may be new, may be to see friends and enjoy it together (hint!).
I think I heard you guys are moving...I hope it's a good thing, and that the house sale/buying and move itself goes well! I often think of you and Deb, how you met, how you have priorities straight...I hope we get to see each other many more times.
Yes, I'd like to "go" on a good note. It's next year, or else - because life is just taking over:) And it's not necessarily a bad thing!

Olga said...

Those 3 "D" require a goal that excites...which I have none of right now. I am also injured. But thanks for good wishes!

Olga said...

Because they relay what I love the most:)

ultrarunnergirl said...

Aw, Larry's comment is so wonderful.

Hot end of summer running weather is THE WORST. I really, truly sympathize with you. One thing that made it better for me is going to Bikram (HOT) Yoga. After sweating it out for 90 minutes in there, the outside weather always seemed much more bearable.

Keep your chin up my friend! Fall is just around the corner ... and with it, a little cooler weather.

Julie said...

I thought I was alone in my "summer depression" that I get every August. I lose all motivation and love for running in the early part of the summer and start questioning all of my fall goals and wondering to myself why in the world I signed up for them and why I ever thought I loved running? Going outside in the heat becomes a chore and not something I look forward to doing. I sit inside in the a/c and feel miserable. Then the first cool air of fall hits and I feel transformed and the life seems to come back into me and back into my legs and soul. Counting down the days here in Oklahoma until that first cool air comes back and hope that with it will return my energy, happiness and desire to run. I hope it come soon for you too and that you recover from that nagging injury very quickly..I know what you are going through sweet Olga and this is one low spots that inevitably happen through life and as runners but you are right in that sometimes you have to get to the low spots to start to rebuild and reform future goals in your head. Hang in there...better (cooler) times are on the way!

Olga said...

Wishing you patience:)

Olga said...

Or choose not to? Devil's advocate:)

Olga said...

Larry IS pretty good, bless his heart:)
I take Bikram classes twice a week, had been doing it for 13 years. I am a total Bikram devotee. It's even more weird that I love hot yoga and hate hot running. Not the same, for sure. And no, I don't feel bearable outside:) but my chin is much higher today, I needed this break out cry! Thanks!

Olga said...

Julie, thanks! I know you know hot in OK, we have it a tad longer - it also the fact that our trail running sucks by my personal wishes! And where are the mountains?? :) But yeah, I'll be ok, at least that "summer depression" will get over the hump, until next August. 6 more summers. Good thing is, there is an end to it in the future.

Sarah said...

I'm sorry :( I don't know about the summer heat but I do know about injuries. And it will get better. Sorry that's not very helpful, but just know I'm thinking of you!

Olga said...

Thanks, Sarah, sympathy is very welcome, especially because you do know a thing or few about injuries...

Unknown said...

You're an inspiration, Olga. You may be in tough situations, but you continue to seek for a solution in achieving your goals. Yoga classes, chiro, PT, massages, and more may not be a huge help for you, but at least you tried it. Sometimes, it's what we all need. One try is equivalent to one step of improvement. I hope you're feeling great now! Tyrone @ US Health Works (Redmond Center)

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