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

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Thanks and random morning chatting.

It tunrned out to be a good thing to come out of the lurker world on the ultra list. First of all, I had started to leave comments to discussions – it’s nice to let the opinion known, because I always do have an opinion. I used to only respond privately and only to a question that I have any knowledge about – like: what to do with certain injury, how is that particular race course, what is the training suggestion. This week I let myself chat. Secondly, now I know my blog been read. As scared as I was about this part before, this week I had gotten a few (a.k.a. not one) nicest emails about it. Thank you, guys! Comments like that – between those left on the blog and those sent to me by email – are what makes my life so full! Not only the running part of my bloggings draws attention, people actually don’t mind my wandering about my personal life struggles! I am so glad about it, you have no idea! I often think that I have no right to explore details of “normal life” in posts as it’s a running blog, but after all – I am a “normal person”, just your next door neighbor, who’s life, although would have never been the same had I not found running, is so much more than just running. And no matter what I am going through, I am utterly optimistic, because I love life, love people and love outdoors! I had elaborated in email to Craig some time ago that I was told my passion for those things may interrupt with my daily life. As in “I only have that much love in my heart, and giving it away leaves less for other things”. This is so not true! My feeling is that the more I give, the more comes back to me. But even if it never does, I just can’t stop loving, it forfeiters the whole purpose of my living. And if I can’t be a Doctor who saves lives as I planned to be, I can help some people I meet to face challenges – whether on trails or in regular life, if not by giving advice, then by sharing my struggles.

On the running note: I was wondering why in the world my hamstring and my chronic compartment syndrome has gotten so much worse lately, to the point I only ran once this week so far, and it wasn’t a pretty time. I can’t sit in the car again, and it is just not nice…then George (my RDL crew) mentioned his hamstring injury kicked back, and proposed it might be due to cold front coming. I guess it could make sense – seems that I always have more shin pain attacks in the winter despite running somewhat less off season, and then it subsides, and I used to credit my summer relief to going to different medical wizards. May be it’s because of the weather? Interesting concept, and since I am out of “take care of myself” money, I might try and see next summer if I have less pain without doing any Graston or Rolfing. Kind of scientific experiment.

The RD of Autumn Leaves 50/50 had emailed me yesterday and said that I am appointed a Captain of Race Central before I even sent him an email about volunteering – this is the “job” I had been doing the previous 2 years. It’s so cool he wants me back! I love doing it. Autumn Leaves is a 5M loop course, and at the Central, besides serving usual AS supplies, I am responsible for time keeping of runner’s loop time. Basically, you get to make sure I see you to get credit for your run, and it is so much fun to cheer everyone on so many times! It’s also a quite local race for me, so I’ll only be away from home for a day, always a good thing for family. It will rain, guys, dress up in layers!

I had been contacted by Connor from home-made energy bars company to be a tester for their product. It is so exciting! I will make sure to post a review on it here and on ultra list/Maniac board, but for now you can read the recipe here. It seems to be a great alternative to those already on the market by nutrition, but it’s softer and cheaper. I can’t wait to get a sample!

Montrail’s rep has gotten busy with sending us updates and shoe review questions, so life is stirring up there for the next year’s team formation. If you ever wore Continental Divide and Hardrock, I’d like to hear from you how it worked, opinion on what is better and what would you like to improve/change/add/eliminate. You can email me off-line too.

Back to home life. My dear son Alex had forgotten about my birthday. I waited till Wed to hear from him by letter or at least from his rep – but nothing. He also didn’t “work” hard in school (by whatever they mean). Sad, as in “two steps forward, one step back”. I cried, but then – what can I do? Things do get forgotten (although it hurts), and as for not-moving-ahead – it is his life, and he needs to be accountable for every action. I will not be able to baby-sit him his entire life (as much as I’d love to, it just doesn’t work like that). I am not loosing hope for his change, but though he is definitely more open, sensitive and talking about not ever using drugs again, the peer pressure is still a major factor in his life forces. If he is accepted – he is happy. From one stand-point, I would like to do what I can to surround him with “working” teens so that pressure is positive, but from another- it’s a scary world out there, he will need to find strength to stand tall no matter who he meets on his way. Nothing is simple, is it?

Our house is on the market as of yesterday, and we might get a showing today. OMG, we haven’t even started looking for the future home! We did outlined the area that is closer to work, belongs to best school district and is very green with access to trails almost next door – but we also have an appetite. Meaning that even though the market for buying is huge, and there are houses in our price range, but things like “dead-end street vs road” are hard to fit in. Stephen needs to play somewhere, right?

There is a “Russian girl’s night” that I never went to before, and I plan to go today. They want to put highlights in my hair – should be fun, it always is. I'll make sure to post pictures.

Somewhere along the years, we grew up and not young anymore, and have adult problems and need to accept mature challenges and make mature decisions. Bummer! I didn’t expect it to happen, I am still stuck at been a 20 yo.

On that note I am off to soccer game with Stephen. Smile!


backofpack said...

First, I sent you an email. Second, our little blogging community is a wonderful place, and as friendships develop, it is nice to read about more than one dimension of a person's life. Keep writing!

robtherunner said...

I love hearing about what is going on in your life. I wish that your family life was better, but it sounds like you have a positive outlook on it all.

I will make sure to have a smile every time I pass by you at Autumn Leaves. And what do you mean it's going to rain? I am fragile you know?

Anonymous said...

it's great that you feel the way you do. i love your positive outlook on everything, and i do get inspiration from reading about your running.

Hilda said...

Your accomplishments are even bigger when we learn about your life and feelings. Is like you become more real as a human :)

Kim said...

Interesting comment about the cold. I found my hamstring pain was much worse in the cold than it had been all summer long.

turnip said...

my passion for running has only enhanced the rest of my life. I think when people have a passion for something, they are always more devoted to the rest of life than others! Sorry your birthday was forgotten, and hope your hamstring gets better!

Jack said...

I enjoy hearing about your non-running as well as running life. It's nice to know that you are human, not just a running machine. We all have our ups and downs, its a part of life and really does influence our running at times. You also have such a wonderful way of putting your thoughts in writing, something that I sometimes struggle to do. Keep writing, we'll keep reading and supporting.

Anonymous said...

I'm always interested in hearing about your non-running life. After all, if you can run like you do despite being challenged in the "real world", it just shows how you can work around those obstacles.

I hope the situation with Alex will improve soon. Young men can be so insecure, although they would never admit it.

Wes said...

Of course your blog is about running, but you are a person too, and we can all learn from the positives and the negatives in so many ways. It is us who should be thanking you for opening up yourself to the rest of us. It is a gift we do not take lightly.

TryAthlete said...

When the weather turns cold my bum knee starts to feel sore, and that's even when I've not run.

Hope you had fun at Russian Girls' night out!

LizN said...

Hi Olga,

Thanks so much for leaving a comment on my blog. I know you left one, but couldn't find it.

It is amazing, the world is so big and yet so small at the same time. It is wonderful to meet such kindred spirits in the world.

Best to you,
Liz N

Kris said...

Hahah, what's so bad about being stuck at 20 or so...it's awsome and you should never lose that, no matter how the rest of the world wants you to act, grow up blabla.

Congrats on your "Captain of Race" nomination. As for the "Russian girl night," enjoy! We have "Romanian club nights" too, heheh..
Nonetheless, go get those highlights! They should be fun!

Julie B said...

Enjoy Stephen's soccer game! Smile and laugh and feel like a kid again. I agree, somehow I became a 41 year old with adult problems..but still feel like the 20 year old with many years to try and figure it all out. I don't think we ever figure it all out. I'm sorry Alex missed your birthday. That's a tough one. But, congrats on the race captain, that is awesome!

Anonymous said...

Olga, thanks for sharing so much of yourself with us. You express yourself very well and many of the things you say ring true. There really is no tougher challenge than raising kids, especially when we never quite feel grown up, ourselves. 20 years old? Hmmm, I think we male types tend to regress back even further than that.

About the shoes. I have the Hardrocks and liked the fit and cushioning. However, switched out of them because they felt too "clunky" on runs beyond 3 hours. However, I switched to some TNF shoes that I think are way to stiff and have aggravated my PF. I am now trying the Hardrocks again while looking at new trail shoes.

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