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.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Running logs: years 2001-2013.

My first official race (in US, as an adult) was Mother's Day 5k in 2001. I did it in 27:43, having jogged on and off for weight control through the years, loosing 60 lbs after my second child was born (and I mean "after"), doing martial arts for couple of years, breaking my back, being scheduled for surgery after no other methods of treatment lead to any good results, discovering Bikram yoga in November 1999, postponing, and later cancelling surgery - and starting a slow and painful 1 M shuffle around my block back in 2000.

In 2002 I was in love with running enough to start my Running Log. It lasted up until today - when I decided to let it go. Now, mind you, it does NOT mean I don't plan to run anymore, or enter a race, or train hard from time to time - hell, no! I plan on all of those, I mean to continue on, may be go back to some short road races, do some trail mid-distance ("mid" by ultrarunning definition), do a lot - A LOT - of hiking and backpacking, some ski trips, try rowing next summer, may be finally take a horse-riding lessons...and yes, run, run, and practice yoga.

But the obsessiveness of entering it all in a log was wearing off. For the last couple of years I kept lagging, often over 2 weeks behind, trying to remember what I did and what were my times. I didn't need the accountability system anymore, or inspirational quotes, or to make sure I follow the plan - I created the plans, I knew what to do, how to do, and how to not use excuses (I never did anyway).

Through those years I moved, Gosh, 8 times! And I packed my log books with me every time, as I would dispose of clothes, household items, even books, merciless. Running logs had to be with me at all times.

Until they didn't.

And today was the day I went through the pages, figuring out if I want to keep anything at all - any data, any numbers, any memories...

The Texas years were easiest to go. Not to be mean, but little inspiration - training, numbers, routes, 99% by myself, no specific notes.

Portland years were more fun to live through. So many various routes, abundance, friends, some conversations recorded, PR's, lots of travels, lots of goals, lots of soul - and hard work.

Then it was all the way to the NY - Bronx and later Dobbs Ferry. The Beginning of insanity. So hilarious! I pasted pictures from Fitness magazine to make sure I did glut exercises, stretches, exact notes how I felt...various calculations of paces and predicted race times. So fun! What great times.

Feeling grateful. So awesome to have seen all I had so far - and be able to plan and hope to see more. So many people to have met and still yet to meet. So many lessons, so much strength in so many ways...

The stats. I figured I might a well take at least the stats of the yearly running. Lets see the trend.
2002 - 1865 M
2003 - 2215 M
2004 - 2466 M
2005 - 3119 M
2006 - 3074 M
2007 - 3000 M
2008 - 2604 M
2009 - 3060 M
2010 - 2753 M
2011 - 2000 M
2012 - 2214 M
2013 - 2250 so far and will probably get another 100 for sure by the year's end...

The facts:
I always cross-trained quite a lot. Stairmaster was my first love - I lose weight working this machine back in 1997. Spin classes too. Always weight training and yoga (the years 2005-2007 lacked yoga very badly, too much running and reaching out for race results). I always seem to be running a hell of many miles into June, when my first goal 100M would be placed, then taking some back, ramping bit up, and taking all of October off (why in the world do I keep being surprised for the last couple of years when my body shuts down in the Fall??!! It knows the deal better than I do, and there is a reason people keep logs - to learn from mistakes and good things happened!). Then I'd run more miles in November and December, but always easy, before jumping back into new year's training.

I used to be fast. Not "wow, fast!", but heck, fast for me! And I used to do real workouts. Not 6x800 being the "biggest hit", or 3x1M, but stuff like 2000k-1600k-1200k-1000k-800k-400k-then back ladder. In solid times too. Crap, aging is lazy! Texas is lazy too, not having partners who strive to get better and encourage is lazy. Truth hurts. That's the truth. I train, but my intensity and volume is half.

Speaking of volume. My biggest week was at 121 miles, and my biggest month at 413 miles. Those were the days. Huge vertical too. The last 3 years my "peak" never went over 65 miles (may be 70 once or twice). Too many roads since moving to Texas. Too little elevation gain.

Lots of injuries. I am extremely prone to injuries, despite natural gait, good flexibility, incredibly high bone density, weight training and cross-training. WTH? Who knows, but here I am, facing the truth, always battling something, one or another.

The memories. Great races, some fast and solid, some fun with friends, some both. No regrets of any. I'll have separate write-out on that part, I've been thinking about it anyway.

Took down some local routes numbers, in case I ever run fast enough to hit those:) Tore off some body composition numbers too - yep, that obsessive. I am getting back into stricter eating plan these days anyway, my intestines and colon demand some care.

Inspirational quote popped up: "Obstacles are those frightening things that become visible when we take our eyes off our goals". Henry Ford.

So true. Whatever your goal(s) are - focus. It's possible.

I still have goals, not to worry. In many more ways than one. Racing too. Running. Country scouting. And I do have one dream which, God knows, I want to fulfill before I really go off this trail ultra scene.

But for now - it actually wasn't nearly as hard as I anticipated. Bye, logs. It's been fun. It's been real. Lets save a tree. Hello, life.


7 comments:

  1. I have records for some years and not others. All of 1983 is on one sheet of paper! I'm still keeping track, but it seems that now it's mostly to see if I have the same allergies at the same times. I look back and see I once ran 25x400m in 72 with 75 seconds recovery - and wonder how that's possible. 5000 miles in 1986, maybe 1200 this year. Most interesting to me are the notes like "12 miles with J" and I have no idea who that was.

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  2. You are to be commended as you practice those 17 habits and change the world of running in the process. Live On!

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  3. So cool that you kept running logs! I never did enough variation to need one :) - that is, with no speed work, etc. it was easy to keep track!

    Glad to see you are doing well, Olga!

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  4. that is a lot of miles....It is time to find a track group to do workouts with? they are out there! 5k and 10k runners are good training friends too...as long as you remind them you have a little longer to go than them.

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    1. I had actually been looking for track workouts groups. for the last 2 years, because I do realize the benefits of speed under "friendly pressure and a dude with a stop watch besides my own". The couple that I found are way far away from me and quite expensive too, comparing to what I used to pay and do in Portland and Bronx/Westchester. I couldn't stomach either - time commitment and cost.

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  5. Wow, way to go! Follow your heart and intuition and you can't go wrong. I absolutely love the Henry Ford quote. I look forward to see what comes next for you. As always, your blog speaks to me.

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  6. We ran our first official race the same year. :) My early logs were paper too...but since 2005 I've been online so not as easy to purge. Glad you were able to find many good memories!

    I've heard that too much flexibility is actually not that great for runners. Wonder if some of your issues stem from that....

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