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

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Week's getting longer

Well, sadly, week still stays the same in nature - 7 days 24 hour a day, but the workouts are increasing slightly. I only wish I had a couple more hours a day stashed up somewhere...

Monday I ran 7 miles and worke with weights at home (including lower body).
Tuesday was already described, with 12 total miles.
Wednesday was off (some tightness in hamstrings) and 45 min of yoga that helped me get loose again. This yoga thing really helps, I highly recommend it! I can feel how I get pretty close to what I was before with practice, and I feel the difference on the run. Even when I lift straight legs up for ab excercises, I couldn't keep my left leg upright without bending at the knee after the hammy tear, and now I can.
Thursday was 9 in the morning. I am so glad I found this bike path along the Tryon park, so when it's dark (what is always for my morning runs, and I can't go to the trails) I still feel in the woods. It gets me about 13 min to venture onto it, where the path takes away from the road and has no lights and no cars noise. It is so darn dark, there are places I can't see a thing 3 feet away (including under my feet), but the path is in very decent shape and I only caught my foot twice in the last 3 weeks. This Thrusady I saw 2 coyotees shoot into the park spooked by me. It gave me a little thrill. I also saw a deer last week. Just imagine it is a mere 100 feet away from the road! Where did they come from? Though I heard from neighbors we have coyotees in our own backyard.
I also went to the gym on Thursday. Ever since we moved and I cancelled my membership, I missed it. I belong to kind of people who needs inspirations and others around to work harder at things I don't particulary enjoy. Yes, Oleg is right, one can get an awesome workout at our home lil' "gym", but I get bored with 3 pieces of equipment and all by myself, I only walk in there when Alex is in (what luckily is every day), but I don't do nearely as much as I used to. So last week I had to meet someone at the 24 hr fitness club and I printed a 10 days free pass. Oh, yeah, I took full advantage of it! I tried new machine - threadclimber, used every leg machine and upper body thingy and learned quite a few new ab excercises by picking from other people.
Friday was 8 miles on the same bike path in half-dreamery state, working kinks of my emails to projected race sponsors, and in the afternoon I visited gym again, focusing on upper body and abs to leave the legs alone - what meant I couldn't laugh that night, my core was sore and hurting:)
Saturday was a long run of 25M. I met with Gail at the Zoo and her husband took us to Germantown, just over mile marker 24.5. We bumped into Sarah there, and as Gail and I started up and slowly worked our way into running, I kept thinking Sarah and her buddy would catch us up and we can run together. They must have started later as we were pretty slow.We talked for the first hour and half and then submerged each into our own thoughts. We walked some hils and ran others, were slow at some points and picked up at other sections, hopped over small logs and climbed over big downed trees, and the run had nothing unususal of what the long run is. The trails were in great condition with only marginal mud places, but it was quite windy, and trees made scary sound as if they were about to fall. Gail and I parted our ways at mile marker 6.5 (she took down the Aspen trail to finish 18 miler), and I put my i-Pod on to continue. Just as I predicted, after the Pittock hill (and sneaking to the bathroom amongst wedding party up there) I had opened up on a home stretch downhill and flat. I ventured to Japanese garden to make up half a mile to hit a perfect 25 (I am a sucker for round numbers), and only forgot how rediculously long and uphill the last mile on Wildwood is. It threw me off as it does every time, but I finished, in 5 hrs, as planned.
Gail and her husband Sid came over to follow me home and meet the puppy and see our new house. We spent some time working our training plans (she is training for WS100 this year), and then it was rest time.
Sunday Oleg and Alex got up early at 6:30 am (and I slept in!) and took a road trip for couple of days to Olympic park on north shore of WA. So I went on trails in light, for about 8 miles or so. I wanted to get a couple of more miles, but decided to spend extra time doing yoga, what I am about to start as soon as I finish this entry. This brought my weekly mileage to 69, a touch over planned.

On another note, as we talked with Gail and I shared my shaky RDing efforts, asking for advice, she mentioned I should put it on the blog. Having run, oh, I don't know, over 150 races by now, 40 of them been ultras, I always appreciated the work of RD, but never did I imagine what it really involves until I started on it. It seems little, only trail marking and clearing and organizing the aid stations - but this is a tip of the iceberg, really. Thinking of sposnorships, making contacts, getting a gazillion emails out, responding and not screwing up who I am asking for what and what can I give in return, beneficiary funds, having not only co-RD to keep in tune with but a club to report to and accomodate with, budgetting the race packets, thinking of awards (and what we can afford yet make it pleasant to runners), just constantly worrying how to make participants happy and keep the relationship with Forest Services, getting volunteers, be in line with Oregon Trail Series' rules and I can't even remember at this time what else...please next time you are at the race, thank the directors and organizers and all the volunteers (no, not me :), I am yet to get through with this, but those you go to, because they tried their earnest). It is a tougher job than I anticipated. I love getting emails and phone calls from people, especially those who embark onto ultraracing for the first time (and I even solicit training plans and advice for those), but it does take time. I wonder when my boss will kick me out for spending so much time on internet...


TryAthlete said...

Gosh - 14 hour days, 7 days a week? I'll try not to complain about my week anymore. I hope work eases off for you in the next couple of days/weeks.

Happy running!

Backofpack said...

I always think of the volunteers and thank them (when I have the breath to squeeze words out!). What amazes me is the non-runner volunteers - like the ham radio guys, or the off road club, things like that. I'm amazed that they are willing to give their weekend over to a bunch of runners when they don't even participate in the sport themselves. I guess it's what makes the world go round.

Eric and I are signed up to volunteer a couple days for Rob at the Tacoma City Marathon. I'm looking forward to it!

rick said...

Gifts from Heaven those RD's are, especially the ultra ones. Got a couple of friends who did stints as RD's, man it's so much work. Too much. Everything goes into it and not just your time. Jason could tell you stories, he was Co-RD for a triathlon here in SF.

Great job on the 25m. I just completed one of the same distance this morning. Clearly I'm not the person I was in November...tough out there. Build up has been steady and painful:)

Wes said...

We have red tipped Coyotes here in Georgia. They are big! I've seen them in my county more than once. I'm sure you will be a fabulous RD, but yea, keep it in its proper place!!

Caleb said...

Look at all those miles!! :)

I need to get back to Yoga, it helps so much with our all around flexibility.

Lisa B said...

Nice job on the weekly mileage, Olga.

And yes, I know how much work it takes to RD a race. I haven't RD'd but, as you know, I've been medical director of 2 tough ultras. And yes, it's a whole nother part-time job! We work all year long, obviously getting busier as the race approaches.

Being on the "inside" of races really gives you a different perspective about running them. I see first hand just how hard the RD's work...just how much time and energy they put into creating and putting on an event. I also see how much they give, give, give, and yet there are always a few who just take and complain. That really irks me. It's a friggin' SERVICE to them for goodness sake! I will NEVER complain to an RD; I might give my opinion on how to make something better, but I will never criticize. Yes, it is LOTS of work and effort and their part!

This year, I resigned as Medical Director at Western States and I am running Badwater (hopefully), so I have sooo much more free time and less stress now that those summer ultras are approaching. Of course, I still help out at WS and I will still organize the medical team at BW, but I truly believe I have the easier task at BW this year: All I have to do is run 135 miles in 130 degrees in under 36 hours! Much easier on the mind and body than directing. :)

Best of luck with your race, Olga.

Meghan said...

Nice week, and especially nice long run in the woods!

I, too, believe in the power of yoga. It takes a lot of time to do and do well, but it's time well spent. Do you immediately feel better/looser/more aligned, or do you feel it a while afterwards, like the next day?

THANK YOU for the work you've already contributed to the running community in your RD preparations. People like you are true Godsends. :)

Thomas said...

I can only imagine the work that goes into being a RD, especially a good RD who wants to provide a good experience for the runners. I do admire you for doing this on top of everything else.

Bob Gentile said...

I use to do 14 hour days ... 7 days a week but it drove me to burnout land--lol SOOO now I do 14 hour WEEKS 7 weeks a year...ahhh that works out better for...

maybe I will start working a bit harder now, I think I am pretty rested and good to ramp it up to ummm 12-14 weeks --haha

You are ONE Busy Momma! Way to keep it all together.

Sarah said...

Olga - It was nice to finally bump into you on the trails! We left about 5 minutes after you and we did almost catch up...we saw you two probably 1/4 mile ahead on the other side of one of those long curves. Maybe we can plan a run or part of run together sometime. : ) But I'm not sure I could keep up with your for long! : )

I think having some angst and anxiety is what's going to make you a great RD! It means you really want to do it right! And I'm sure you will. : )

psbowe said...

Oh yeah, I can sort of relate but never been in the shoes of a RD. Sounds like you're doing a great job as it is. I once teamed up with a friend to put on a benefit 8K(no ultra, but still a race) run to help raise funds for a cause, but it just took alot of planning, etc to pull it off. It was a relief and rewarding experience especially b/c of the great turn out.
Good luck.

angie's pink fuzzy said...

whew! sounds exhausting!

robtherunner said...

Thank You! Ha, I said it anyways even though I won't be able to attend. I guess I'll have to wait to find out about what it takes to be an RD, but it's probably for the better.

Ryan said...

Great week on the run! Being an RD is not an easy job tons of responsibilities it's a lot easier being the runner....but that�s why you make such a great RD because you have every angle covered�it�s going to be a great race!

WynnMan said...

Hey Olga! Sounds like you had quite the productive week! I completely agree with you on the RD position. That is why I'm starting to get my ducks in a row now. However it is going quite smoothly. Whatever the case, this has been my first year doing ultras and much of any racing and I have gotten a good taste of how a good event is organized and a more run of the mill. Despite the outcome, the way I look at is "any ultra is better than no ultra" regardless. You'll do great, thankfully it's only one day and it will all fall together. Screw the naysayers.


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