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, December 20, 2006

Hill options

I had been - obviously - exploring Marshall Park this week. I was wrong in how big (read - little) it turned out to be. All the trails combined, with out-backs, double-loops and dead ends account for may be 3 miles. Plus that 0.5 mile to the park (and then back) can make it up to 4. But the hills - those are yummy. The park (just as Tryon park) is an area around a Tryon creek, what means the main spot is at the bottom, and then you have those sharp hills to the side of it. They range from 0.1 to 0.2M, not long, but great as hill repeats at early stages of training - that should come around mid-February, after a few weeks of speed work. Some are going straight up (the shorter ones), some have a couple of switch-backs for a more mellow grade. All are nice packed dirt with pine needles. I did quite a hill work on Monday night, while wondering around, and was a bit sore in my calves.

The shortest route to get to Tryon Park takes 1.5M - 0.5M roads to Marshall, 0.5M on trail, 0.5M on road. There is only one dangerous road crossing right before you enter Tryon Park, and I have to run alongside it for about 200 feet. Then I am in my kingdom of various loops. What I did on Tuesday - pretty cool! Did I mention this house is also closer to work? It's less than 5M, 10 min drive (versus 40 we used to commute)! That meant I finished run at 8:30 am, had shower, coffee and a toast and still made it to work by 9! Although this will end once the school starts again:)

We still haven't gotten to the end of the property - my dad was making fun of us. I guess we are not that desperate. It goes on a slope down to a creek (BTW, there is supposed to be a public trail along the creek that would eventually bring you also to the same Marshall park, and it's been unused for years), and the backyard (if I can call it this way) is overgrown somewhat, and since we get home when it's dark, we haven't had a need to get there. It is funny though.

Somewhere along the way I crossed 3000 miles point and didn't notice it. Not that important? I've been doing OK on some of my challenge. It worked up to a 10 lbs weight loss (and 2 dress sizes – all the shopping my friend and I did on Sunday after I came from Russia – for nothing! and no, it doesn't mean I suddenly gotten skinny, it just means I was really fat lately), all the "no eating after 7pm, fruits and coffee limit", but I am not up to par with water drinking. Just not a drinker. I might do better during a summer, but in the winter - it's barely a couple of glasses. May be some of the loss is liquid? But then again, I just never drank before either. Oh, well.

Oleg went to Mt. Hood yesterday. You might have heard about 3 climbers lost, and he was eager to join a search the whole time. I can't say, even though I never say "no" to his climbing ventures, I was happy at that time - weather bad, I didn't need to loose him. Honestly, those guys were dead for a long time, knowing some of mountaineering from close source. Just not survivable conditions with no gear, first time up Hood (what is billed as a ground to train for Denali and Everest by difficulty) and no sleeping bags/tents. I am sorry for the families. Have very mixed feelings on that. Anyway, Oleg and his friend went on Tuesday, and avalanche danger was super-high. They reached something like 9,000 feet or so and were called back by rescue team. Those guys work their behinds very hard and don't need extra effort at this time.

Talked to Alex today. So, it's our last phone call...since we are going to MT on Sat...I haven't been sleeping well, waking up every 30 min since 2 am, worrying if he'd want to come home or stay and finish the program. Because he still doesn't know anything - school requirement. My heart tightens of all of this...but he sounded good, optimistic and “little home-sick". 3 more days...but may be, at the suggestion of his family rep, we'll wait a couple of weeks for him to reach the next status...we have to decide this week...he seems to really want it, to join his friends on upper level and feel like he is not a failure. Hard decision. January 7th is our Christmas...what's two more weeks in a span of a year of this? But New Year's eve might be missed...

It's official - I am co-RDing a PCT 50k/50M race next summer! Check out the website, there is no mugshot added yet, but my name is already there:) I am trying to work on getting some shwag from Montrail for prizes (working is a big word, and Montrail was already co-sponsoring this race, but I emailed Paul, our rep, with a bunch of questions, and hopefully will hear from him soon). Come over to OR and run at the foot of most beautiful mountain this side of the world - Mt. Hood! It's a great 1st timer race for either distance, not too easy, but absolutely not hard! Did I mention how gorgeous the views are?

The weather has been wonderful, crisp, bright and no rain, with frost on the ground and trees in the mornings. Love this kind of winter! May be a bit of snow would help to make it even better.


Wes said...

Bless your husband for making sacrifices for those poor souls, and you too! Keeping a warm place in my heart for you and your son. Have a wonderful Christmas...

angie's pink fuzzy said...

wow, so much happening, olga! sounds like your new home is good, and congrats on 3000 miles! and 10 lbs lost. yay for alex coming home.

Co-RDing, woo hoo! that was a race I wanted to do!

Thomas said...

Wow, you're really organising a race? That's so cool! You'll be a great RD (well, co-RD).

rick said...

Nice. Those hills close to home sound like a piece of running heaven. Jealous...very. Glad to hear that Oleg is okay, really great of him to go out there and help despited the danger. I hope everything works out with your baby Alex.

As for the PCT race. Very tempted. It's only a week after The Tahoe Rim Trail 100, which I haven't decided on yet. If I run Tahoe, I very much doubt I'll be in good condition to run your 50m. But still deciding on things, stay tuned. Maybe I can hike your 50k:)

Bob Gentile said...

3000 miles ...wtg Olga great milestone and even great achievement considering u where injured too, so way to GO...

U are a great inspiration !! Best wishes with your son coming home soon ,


robtherunner said...

Hmmm...maybe I will skip out on punishing myself at White River this year and come down to PCT 50 miler. How can I resist with you as race director? One of these days I think the dates need to be rearranged so people can run both White River and PCT 50. Maybe a back to back 50 miler. One on Saturday and one on Sunday.

Jamie said...

Congrats on 3000! Would you say you've run a plethora of miles? :-)

Awesome about your son coming home. Nice about co-RD'ing as well. You've got a lot of cool things happening in your life right now. Merry Christmas!

Backofpack said...

It's so exciting that you are gonna be an RD! What are the temps like there in July? Hope, hope, hoping that all works out well with Alex and he's home with you soon.

Sarah said...

That's so exciting that Alex will be home soon. I'm sure you'll make the right decision about the timing.

I popped over to the Mt Hood PCT site. There you are! : ) I think I'll sign up on Jan 1. : )

Mike said...

Olga nice to hear you hit the 3000 big ones- that is awesome!! and congrats on the 10lb weight loss too...can you work on 10 of mine now!?!;-)

mtnrunR said...

Good to hear you are RD. The logo asways says 50/50? What the hell does that mean? Yea, I know, 50k/50 mile but a none ultra person has no idea what that means.

Off my soap box now. I am closing in on 3000 also. I was lame after States though. There was one month that I only ran seven days!!!!!!! Heck I had 2000 by the time I crossed the finish line that day. I'm pathetic.

Don't know if I will do PCT this year or White River. Haven't done WR yet you see. Now it's my turn to loose 10 pounds. Maybe I should put down the beer??? Nahhhh. I'll just run more.
see you soon,

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