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

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Good runs happen.

Technically, I allowed myself to not think in terms of traditional training. Because every time I have an amazingly strong run, I get over-excited, start making plans on the next official running workout, get all hyped up - and then my body shoves some feces up my face and shuts down, again. So, I learned a new way of going on running: no expectations, but as soon as I sense today might be a good day, I begin pushing and testing step by step, until I am flying.

That happened last Saturday. I had a few pieces of gear to test from companies, so I carried a camera. Larry and I woke up at 5 am and drove up for an hour to a trailhead of a place we recently discovered (last Fall), truly enjoy and where one can be on trails yet run, not trip over rocks and roots - there are some, but God, it's like almost PNW trails, and it even has pine trees!

The loop is 7.2M, one can make some add-on's and do 8M (Larry's choice), we were off for 2 loops at 7 am. With the early wake up and the long drive it almost felt like we ARE training! It was a touch cloudy, but pretty humid right away. As I moved, resolution #1 came - run every step (I really never know if I'd be able to run the hills nowadays). As the miles beeped, I thought I am either going to blow up, or have fun - all the while snapping photos of my gear in action. Before I knew it, pace quickened a lot, and I was strong and having a blast. Larry's variation of a loop allowed us to bump into each other a few times (what saved me on the second loop, as I lost my 2 gels at the beginning of it), and that was uplifting as well.

That run was an exact repeat of a run I did 2 weeks prior Mt. Mitchell 40M (and without which I wouldn't have even attempted my trip to NC race), and if I was happy then, past Saturday I was on cloud 9. I took off 9 minutes off each loop (and 18 minutes total), and ran a 2 minutes negative split, and felt like nothing happened, turned around a tackled some change to make my run full 15. On a hotter day. With fewer water and calories (random gear failure, though mostly it all worked). Couldn't wipe a smile off my face...

Of course, Tuesday came with a road shuffle so slow, I was glad I made a decision to leave a watch at home. But Wednesday's suddenly resurrected morning run-commute to work felt like a slog, until I looked at the watch upon arrival - and turned out I made a pretty dang good time (all things in my own little world"good run" considering).

So, this is how life goes. Neal Gorman, who first was writing his experiences dealing with CMV tagging onto overtraining syndrome ("You had a great year? That's a pay-back") in 2013, was cleared to run in late April, was careful during the summer, had a cancelled Grindstone 100 in October, and came to run Rocky Raccoon 100 on February 1st, technically exactly one year after beginning dealing with his weakness and shortly prior his official diagnosis. While he managed to turn-around his race at Rocky after walking part of 2nd (of 5) loop and finish strong in 5th place and fast time, something snapped - he never wrote a report, never ran another race, and his blog is dead (and I am afraid to impinge and email him). I think that whole immune and hormonal systems shut-down for a variety of reasons is far less studied and more serious and less explainable than we'd like to assume.

What bring me to my own running. I am learning to take things as they go. I am trying really hard not to look into the future, and while I am toying with some ideas, I simply don't share them anymore, because, well, I just don't know. I even had a pretty awesome track run a week before a day after a fantastic hill run - only to get sick with cold 3 days later (didn't help to spend 6 hrs volunteering at the Hells Hills races, where it was overcast and windy and cool - awesome for runners who all PR'ed, not so awesome for under-dressed volunteers).
But just nobody think I had given up on my own fitness (though I bet nobody thinks that anyway), my gym attendance and effort had risen above and beyond anything in a very many years - it is also good that I totally love my new fancy non-crowded fully equipped gym. So, my cardio is highlighted with lots and lots of Stair-climbing, and I am getting better and stepping faster and working longer on it. Bring on the hills!!! Also having fun with solid plyometrics, along with regular weight lifting stuff. Yoga's always here too:) So, I am fit, watching my food, but not judging the little things if they happen.

Knitting new big order for thin alpaca hats, had to set aside my own projects - love good yarn! Wish everybody who orders hats or scarfs would be willing to pay that little extra that would allow me to buy a better quality yarn, a win-win for everybody. This particular requests involves being lightweight and lots of holes:)


Two of my running coaching clients had finished their first 50M races (in different places). I waqs thrilled to be a part of their journey. There was a question floating last night about why there are coaches for running and why folks need them. I had some thoughts on it that I offered (short version: some runners need accountability and structure and wisdom in one place vs internet search and asking other runners), and that I came to it via folks asking me for help long before doing it officially - eventually I took certifying classes and set a small fee (much smaller than any average coach in US I had heard of). Although I never turned away a free question (and those who benefited know about that), I also am aware of a way "if I don't pay, I will find excuse not to do something" (ask me why I have to be a member of the gym and yoga studio and not use dumbbells and mat at home). From the 10:19 Bull Run Run 50 finisher: "And not to be forgotten, thank you so much for your expertise, guidance, and enthusiasm. I can be rough on myself, sometimes unfocused, and be of the opinion that I'm never doing enough. But you set me straight and change my way of thinking. Thank you. I credit your training plan with making my day yesterday so very enjoyable." And from recent running beginner and now a finisher of hot and humid Possum Kingdom 52M race: " I know without you, I would not have improved my speed nearly as much as I have since August and would not have been able to complete PK 52 feeling as good as I do today." This makes me feel all warm and fuzzy and keep on helping even when I am tired starring at schedules and emails and announce to Larry I am done with this "business".

And lastly, Larry and I ventured for a date in the city on Sunday - (besides schedules for running clients) I didn't have to work one day this weekend. That felt awesome! We had coffee, walked Congress all the way to the river, set on the bench and talked, talked...That was wonderful! I am looking forward out trip to Bay Area in a week. I am having a great appreciation of having a partner I can share so much with, and who accepts me and understands me and looks towards the same direction as me - yet doesn't feel intrusive and overwhelming. This marriage may have happened "on the fly", and it took a lot of work, but it is totally worth it.


Anonymous said...

It sounds like things are going really well!! Glad that you had a good run and a great date time with the hubby!!

The DayGlo Orange Lightweight Alpaca Racing Beanie (anything else is just a wool cap) looks awesome! Glad that you've gotten some orders! :)

Dan C.

Kim said...

Good to hear from you Olga.

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