I am a girl who loves mountains, changing seasons, running, true backpacking, strong coffee, and knitting with high quality yarn.

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, May 24, 2006


I think this is the stage of my life I am in right now. I just can’t comprehend that there could be anything wrong with me. Back home I am called “a working horse”. I don’t have problems. I deal with things without anyone knowing that. Of course, there were 5 cases of pneumonia and numerous bronchitis as well as a gazillion of strep throat infections and a staphylococcus intestine infection (requiring 16 days of IV - but I got an easy ride through State Exams in finals at my Med School with teachers visiting with questions!), but something that would puzzle me, have no explanation fitting 100% and require so many tests?

The battle with the pain continues. I went for another doctor appointment, re-did ultrasound and a bunch of blood work, and all cleared up (yep, whatever was floating in my gallbladder couldn’t be found anymore). I am turned out to be anemic, but it has nothing to do with pain. Clinical picture is so typical of gallstone attack, sans the nausea; we don’t know any other options. I did like this new doctor better, at least she was asking lots of questions and talking aloud of any remotely possible diagnosis. I am up for a CT tomorrow.
Interestingly, this woman turned out to be the one who treated my husband a year and half ago in ER, and she remembered me. I liked her then too, as after two other doctors who ran a bunch of high-profile tests, x-ray, US and such couldn’t figure things out; she came up with a fresh medical article. Oleg had just come down from climbing Mt. Rainier (in December 2004), was really dehydrated, and also caught up flu the day of his leaving for a trip. So when he was back, he had a fever, aches and whole nine yards of the flu plus peeing blood. She said it called “marching syndrome”.
Anyway, CT and a follow-up on Friday. Also some pain meds in a meantime (mmm, Vicodin...too bad I can only take it at night). She said she remembered me because there is not that often you get a family of crazy endurance athletes who are also MDs. I guess all Portland ultrarunners have their doctors elsewhere and not at OHSU.

This whole ordeal does bug me. I have 4 weeks left to WS100. This week and 2 following weeks are supposed to be my peak training (including SP50, what is my big training run, that’s all). My body feels great, and it pushes through every workout I come up with without any pain or soreness. Yes, I keep on high quality runs, rain and all (this is for you, hun). Unlike was suggested some time ago, I don’t have any gifts. Anything I ever achieved, running including, is due to my training. I also like it this way. I love running a lot, and no-one can put me on cross-training – hey, I ran through 4 stress fractures and a torn ligament (kids, don’t do it at home). I don’t back off – I have a thing for that, bruised ego or something. I am afraid if I ever succumb to my own complains, I’ll keep making excuses more and more, so I don’t start. I go on. Besides, if I don't, Rob will call me a sissy:)

Speaking of SP50. Last week I finally looked up at the race website and had my usual “OMG, why am I doing it again?” I guess Theresa Schut summed it up nicely (she happened to call that day) – because it’s interesting to see if we can. So, now that I am done with my fears ahead of time (the course goes between 7,000 and 9,200 feet, expect my altitude lungs shut-down report), I can focus on making through, hopefully not in a much more time than 12 hrs. I can’t afford to leave my training on this course, so it will be kind of what Capitol Peak 56 miler was last year 2 weeks prior WS100. Nice and easy, reaffirming the fitness and taking off the pre-race jitters.

Enough boring you with my little problems. I am sure it will get sorted out, somehow things always do.


Sarah Elaine said...

You are one tough, determined woman!... With a great big heart.

Here's hoping this new doctor can help you make sense of things.

backofpack said...

Olga, you'll figure it out. I agree with you about listening to your own complaints and quitting. It's what I'm afraid of too. You are like me, a talker, so we talk it out and go on. I hope the CT finds something for you tomorrow!

rick said...

Have a good time at SP50. It'll be work/training but I hope you have a good time too. Thanks for all the encouragement and advice.

Thomas said...

Nice and easy, 50 miles at high altitude - you make it sound like a walk in the park. You sure are tough, and whatever problems come your way are there to make you even more determined.

angie's pink fuzzy said...

good luck with the CT today. your problems are not boring! we care so much, of course they are not boring :)

they didn't find anything in your gallbladder? no stones, period? or just no stones floating?

above all, I hope you can continue training (glad the pain is gone then), and go on to WS. I like it - we do it because it's interesting to see if we can. Very cool.

robtherunner said...

You know I would never dare call you a sissy. I feel I have to earn the right to ever call you a sissy if you were slacking off on your training, which you never do, and I have not earned quite yet. WS100 will be here and gone before you know it.

TryAthlete said...

I hope the pain clears.

I don't think anyone who reads your blog has any doubts about your toughness and grit!

Sarah said...

I hope you get some answers from the new tests.

Your attitude is inspiring!

Hilda said...

Olga you are all the superlatives words that exist.

I just think it was not time for this to happen, just when you are STILL feeling that strong! Not fair at all!

Ben, aka BadBen said...

I hope the tests will give you a diagnosis.
Please take care of yourself.

Donald said...

It's never a good feeling to be a medical mystery. I hope they figure something out soon.

Anonymous said...

"Anything I ever achieved, running including, is due to my training."

That's true of most things in life isn't it. We get out in proportion to what we put in.

Liv said...

Olga, I love how you attribute your success to your training and hard work, rather than to the kind of "gift" people allude to all the time. You inspire us all to reach for something extraordinary, because you make us believe that, with enough effort, anything is possible. Thank you over and over again for making me want to rise to the challenge.

turnip said...

I sure hope hope you feel better. I think running always makes you stronger, someone who is not as fit would not do as well.

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