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, July 12, 2006

Life, interrupted

Everybody knows by now, I have a severe case of OCD. I register for all my races a year ahead of time, and plan my schedule another two in advance. I don't deviate. When I was 10 yo, I knew I'd get married at 20 and have a kid by 21. I needed to have my homework done in school right after I am back home. I count my vacation hours more honestly than any boss and let him know when I am short so I need to overwork. If I said I am hiking this canyon/running this route, it's hard to talk me into a different one, even more spectacular. You know, stuff like that:)

First came a bomb by new Montrail rep at the WS100 housing when he told me we don't have 50 mile MUC (Montrail Ultra Cup) - only a combo of 100M, 100k, 50M, 50k. I registered for a 50M cup and planned all my races around those where I want to perform well. Thus Masochist was cancelled - I ran it before and had no big reason to come back this year unless it's in a cup (no offense to David Horton, he puts a great race, but I like to try new places).

Then IRS scared a bo-jesus of me by auditing me for $27,000 (like I ever made enough to owe so much in taxes??). It took a whole month to settle the mistake.

Then it was a race that didn't go according to plan. Not the time, but just in general...hard to pin-point, just wrong.

Then that hike I had to give up for Oleg's injury (although a new run was absolutely the best I had in a long time!)

Now a new mess challenged my insides. Alex is in boarding school in MT. For trouble teens. It's been 6 months. We get to visit him and go through PC1 seminar (Parent-Child) once we as parents finsih Discovery seminar first. Oleg went for it in San Jose while I was doing WS100 (here again, OCD - they schedule seminars only a few weeks in advance, and obviously I had my eyes set on WS for a year). So I registered for Discovery in Los Angeles for August 4-6, knowing that PC1 is going to be August 11-12, so I am good. Tickets bought, hotel reserved, vacation days asked for. Then this Monday we get a phone call from the school - they moved PC1 a week earlier! What means I can't make it - first of all, I should be in LA, second, I am not eligible without Discovery! And if Oleg goes alone, it's kind of weird, like I don't care what happens to my kid in his program! So today on our regular Wed call we got to talk to ALex, and he was SOOO disappointed we wouldn't come, it was heartbreaking. Shoot, the kid needs us! I frantically get online, find another seminar in Dallas, TX on July 28-30, register, call airline and after loosing some money and overpaying for such a short notice trip ticket get an airfair, email boss with my new vacation plan (and promise to work extra hours for 3 days next week), make this hotel reservation/cancellation switch...whew, done! We are going to see our son in 3 weeks!!!

What also means I am not doing White River 50M. Though considering a reason, I didn't even blink once. Next year. Hopefully, Rob would be able to use my registration there. I did plan to race there, but heck, minor point.

Another one I planned to do is SOB 50k this coming weekend. Actually, the whole deal was to have Oleg run it as a first official ultra. He ran it last year as a bandit (decided it's boring waiting for me, so took off 10 min after the start, passed me by mile 8 and finsihed 30 min ahead - all on no training in traditional terms and no water/gu carrying). That's not to say he doesn't train. He does, and much more seriously than me, at least it seems this way. He also runs 4 times a week on trails for about 2 hrs and at times goes longer - but gets bored (unless I am desperate for a partner, he doesn't run more than 3 hrs). So I bet him to break 5 hrs on that course. And signed myself up as well - in case I am feeling well and would be able to find a sitter for Stephen at the start/finish. Now...Oleg is injured and I am having trouble breathing. Like a dealyed altitude sickness syndrome. I was fine there, especially at the end of the week, and as of Monday having problems with chest tightness and "heart up my throat" thing when I run. Even at the spin class standing climb was not my usual favorite drill. What the hell?? So we'll see how it goes, I plan to run to work tomorrow (12M) and test it on moderate terrain (vs trails I did Mon and Tues).

Speaking of plan changing, since I am not going to VA to run Masochist, I had a thought about Javelina 100 on the same day...talked to Ang and Johnny, they got superexcited, and it looks like this is what I will end up season with. Just need to see if I have enough points to get free tickets. These kids are so great, they bombarded me with course description, promised to have Ash throw a fit at the AS (so I would want to leave sooner and run away faster), make me "moon" volunteers while wearing Russian folk dress, and even sent an RD my way to talk me in! Can you ever say "no" to them?!:)

Oh, and since all my tarining looks like going down due to all the family traveling (there will be no long runs, lots of moving around, and lots of work - and little short runs during weeks), my AC100 will not be my "top hope". What, you know, at this point of my life is also very good! Because I will not be able to not get stressed over it yet - I need time to learn this new thing, and knowing I am not ready will help me relaxed and have fun. I will go into this to test some new things like puking on the run when gut shuts down, carrying extra bottle, sitting down at AS for like 30 min (hmm, not sure about this one, but may be 10 min), and most likely having no pacer for the night (cougars! here I come! I will poop my pants, I am such a wuss for wild animals at night). I also want to get a new green headlamp (people swear it doesn't make you fuzzy) and try to eat real food (more puking to come?). It has high promises for sick adventure!


backofpack said...

Oh, man. I totally understand, and would make the same choice in a heartbeat, but I'm bummed we won't get to see you. I am thrilled for you though that it all worked out and you get to see Alex. That's worth it all.

I hope you get to do all your other fun stuff too! And if you see Angie and Johnny and Ash, tell them hi from me!

angie's pink fuzzy said...

AC100 = sick adventure, here comes Olga! woo hoo! ;p

Okay, I just have to say that everything you mentioned in your paragraph about JJ is what Johnny sent your way! :) I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you get free tickets. Once (okay, if) you get it confirmed, I'll announce it on my blog.

YAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!! About seeing Alex! Sounds like a flurry of activity, that must have been stressful to figure out. I'm so excited for you, that is AWESOME!

I get cranky when things don't turn out like I had been planning. That's a tough, not-fun adjustment to make, but it sounds like you are making it well.

Robb said...

Amazing that you plan your races and the details of life so far in advance but yet are able to allow for last minute changes too. Good that you'll be seeing your son soon.

robtherunner said...

You made my head spin on this post thinking about making all those arrangements. Okay, I need to go e-mail Seattle Running Club now before I forget.

Jack said...

Sometimes life deals us cards that don't allow us to continue the way we planned, then it comes down to setting priorities and rearranging the rest. You seem to have everything in the proper order and I applaud and respect this!

I think you would have a promising career as a professional organizer, whew!

Kim said...

Sorry we won't meet up at Mountain Masochist, I'll have to come out west sometime and run your trails.
You really did have to re-schedule everything! But it's all for family, so that's for the best!

Anonymous said...


Regarding breathing, I've been having trouble with asthma these last two weeks. Since mine has always been entirely allergy-induced, I'm guessing that either grass pollen or pollution levels have been high. It was really bad biking home yesterday...after the rain we had. I'm thinking the rain might have stirred up a little mold, to which I am always sensitive. That's what hit me so hard at McKenzie last year. Anyway, do you think allergies might be playing a role in your breathing difficulties?

Caroline (who also lives in Portland, for those who don't know and are wondering why I'm writing about local conditions :-)

Ben, aka BadBen said...

It's hard to be an ultrarunner without having OCD! Ask my family, and they'll agree that I'm OCD. I organize every bit of my life and the life of my trailrunning group, track club, etcetera. I've learned to "roll with the punches" that life deals us. For instance, I'm hoping that I can still come to PCT50 in Oregon, this month. My son may need us to be here for him at that time, so who knows? I will still plan to go, though.

JJ100 is a fun race. Gaiters help to keep the fine dirt/sand out of your shoes, there.

Happy trails,
Bad Ben

Hilda said...

Six months had gone so quickly, hope he is doing well and you enjoy the visit!

More and more to learn from you :)

Sarah said...

So glad you'll be able to see your son!

Yeah, I think you have to be a little OCD to be an ultrarunner...

Liv said...

Um, do I detect you sounding excited about throwing up during a race? You really are crazy....

Lol Olga I've realzed how much I missed reading your blog (that would be me being a slacker) - now that I'm caught up, I'm just mad I'm stuck here at work for another 6 hours, because you make me want to get up off my butt this very second and ruuuunnnnnnn!!!!

Julie B said...

Does ultra running and OCD go hand in hand? For many of us, it does! I have a group of teens at the school which I work that are attending a facility in MT. I hope Alex is doing well, I'm glad you are going for a visit, it will be nice to have your family together again. As for the races and planning, you are getting it all together and all will be well. I hope the breathing/chest is figured out soon. Do you have asthma/allergies? Keep racking up those flying miles!

D said...

Your organization skills are amazing Olga. The photos on your last post were great. Nice that you'll get to see your son.

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