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

Friday, March 02, 2007


Ahm...where was I?

The week is going well, busy, stressful, but well enough to feel good. I visited Physical therapist on Monday at the OHSU Healing Center and on Wednesday did a gait analysis with Sean from Complete Running Programs (ch3ck him out, he offers coaching by phone and email as well as personal, and the price is right, so someone may benefit from it at any level and distance as I did from Scott's and Lisa's back then). Both of these guys are very knowledgeable on what they are evaluating. Both had good suggestions on strengthening and stretching I should be focusing on. But neither found anything seriously wrong with my running form that would point to why I have injuries I do. My gait is fine, my hips are stable, my cadence is good...and so on. There were some minor things (like tight left shoulder and right hip with a right side of the back swing forward), but really, I've been evaluated by running coaches before, and I am a neutral quite efficient runner. I am doing my prescribed exercises and stretch every day and hope to continue on that in a future.

Where does it put me with my running goals? Speaking of which, discussing with these two people my past and hopes for future brought me to a question. Obviously, I don't posses any particular running talent - nothing but stubbornness, ability to work hard and endurance. To be at more or less good level of competitiveness I need to do exactly that - work very very hard. Can I commit to working as hard as I did before? Do I want to, or need to, right now, at this point of my life?

I went back to my logs and found that I am pretty much where I always was in the winter/spring season of the year. And getting injured can be an outcome of "too much too soon". Like this week's track workout had 5x1000m. I am not supposed to be anywhere near this - I try to follow the schedule Scott Jurek developed for me in 2005, my best year - until April! So may be things not as bad as I thought they are. I guess I will have to wait and see if I get a zest at Chuckanut 50k in (gasp!) 2 weeks. But then again, last year's Chuck wasn't any good either, yet I managed to pull myself together by Zane Grey.

We have this Russian fairy tail. Once upon a time there was this dude...a rather stupid one, but very kind with a big heart...and he was given a horse and told by his father to go and find something. He had to go through the woods, and eventually he came to a road intersection with a rock in the middle. The rock said: you go right - you loose your horse, you go left - you loose your life, you stay straight - you don't know what will happen.

I work hard - I'll have to forgo so many things I do with my kids and for my family. I don't work hard - I don't compete but participate in races and hope to finish with a smile (what doesn't have anything bad in itself, but truth to be told, I like to run well and set goals and achieve them). The middle road...is it the one where I do what I can and see where it brings me?

I had a nice 8 mile run this morning. I haven't run in the morning for a couple of weeks due to some obligations, and I was surprised how quickly it gets light these days! Spring is in the air, although the steady rain is still miserable. I have my last double-long-run scheduled for this weekend before Chuckanut, and the weather promises to light up for two days. I am looking forward a dry run:)

Alex and I scouted all the local fast food joints and picked up a bunch of applications we will work on tomorrow. Weird thing, help is wanted everywhere, but nobody wants a teenager? He might get disappointed in general. He was doing homework last night (for 6 hrs straight), and I was wowed, for what his response was: I decided to pull my head out of my ass and get those grades going, I do want to go to college. But he is also noticeably a sad person, with house been his "only castle" and with no trust to anybody but parents. How do I teach him love for life itself?

Stephen is struggling at school, can't close a gap between two schools programs, and I have to do homework every day with him - and quite frankly I often don't know the answers (synonyms and homophones are not something a Russian immigrant has ideas about!).

Talked to Oleg today. His father starts chemotherapy in a week, but feels good and is optimistic. That's my father-in-law, never without a smile and a joke! We miss Oleg here. It is quiet...I mean it’s nice and quiet, but it is almost too quiet, nobody points to out flaws and teaches us how to live our lives:)

My work is actually going really well. Talked to boss this morning, he got 3 papers back-to-back written and ready for submission with my name on it. I laughed that every time I decide I am bored out of my mind and need to quit – things start working, like to throw a bone to me and make me stay.

Crazy thing, but as I worked on my training last night, I found out I only have 15 weeks before Bighorn 100. That’s fifteen!! Somehow summer seems to be so far away, but the prime race is almost here! I’ll be ready; whichever path of three I take, I promise! And been on Montrail team does put me to be held accountable - no, no pressure (in fact, Paul emailed me that I did great - I mean, great? - at Hagg, so as long as I am wearing Montrail shoes, like to run in them and excited and honored to be on a team, cheerful for the sport and people around, I am good). I love to be a part of something, and be a part of something as big as best Ultrarunning team in US is definitely highlighting my addiction:)

p.s.I turned word verification back on due to lately been having lots of problems with some junk comments on my old posts, like someone goes through and hits reply with their promo, it drives me nuts! Sorry for the inconvenience.


Wes said...

I'm happy that you have been pronounced aesthetically fit! That means you look good :-) Now, if we can just get the rest of the body to cooperate!! I can empathize with you on all the running stuff. I mean, I know I'll probably never ever win a race, but it is not stopping me. I want to cross the finish line with a smile too. But there are so many other things that are important to me too. Perspective being one of them...

Backofpack said...

First, I didn't know that Russians had an equivalent to the word "Dude"!

Second, there is an interesting article in the new issue of Runners World - "The Making of a Marathoner" by Kenny Moore. It has a bit in it about runners who won't give up when injured, who run too many miles, etc. It's interesting to read and think about. I am not very fond of the changes in the magazine in the last few years, and this is one of my last issues before my subscription lapses, but every once in a while...there's some little nugget of interest.

Alex will get a job - it's just that there are lots of teens looking. Tell him to hang in there. As for loving life - keep loving him, keep bringing him around to races and rock climbs and all the great people you know. He'll get it. He is probably still regrouping, and needs to know that he didn't screw up so bad that he can't recover and that he is capable and will make it. He's got a great family that will show him the way.

Kendra Borgrunner said...

Hi Olga - it sounds like you have lots of things going on AS USUAL but that you are really giving things a good think over, without putting anything on the back burner either. I too wish gait analyses held some magic information to all our probs. Have a wonderful weekend and let's hope for a glimmer of sun in our soggy Northwest. I'll be thinking of you! ps: thanks for the post tip!

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

I was going to say pretty much what Michelle said about your son. Just keep being there for him, helping him, being patient with him and loving him.

Phil said...

Balancing family and training can be tough, but I'm confident that you'll find your way down the middle path.

Sarah said...

I've been having those moments with my job lately. I get bored and start searching the job listings and then something happens to reel me back in.

As for your running, I don't know if there is always an answer. I think the middle road could turn out to be a good place to be! : )

Not sure yet what I'm running this weekend. Maybe I'll see you along Wildwood... : )

Anonymous said...

The road of life would be easier if it didn't have so many forks in it. Somehow I think loving life is something more caught than taught. I've had the same problem with the spam lately. If it continues I'll also have to turn on word verification.

robtherunner said...

Tell Alex to keep studying and I hope he can get a job as well. Things will fall into place with hard work and a loving and supportive family. I certainly remember those days and I remember when I decided to put effort into school and say the same thing about going to college.

Bob Gentile said...

Good reply from Alex about getting his grades up and go to college...He will find his way, as said in the above comments just keep loving him and parent him... That alone will give him the strength and wisdom to make it ...you guys are great role models for your kids...

You are a runner Stud-ette and a lot of that past history memory recall will help you have another successful running year!

Jack said...

Ditto about Alex hanging in there, he'll find a job and his way in life - he certainly a supportive family!

I can relate to your 'intersection', I feel like I am also facing a crossroad, but more a result of life getting in the way. There is no easy answer about which way to take, just trust your instinct and don't look back.

Julie B said...

Good for Alex, it will be easier for him to fit college in right after high school instead of waiting until later. As for the rain, I could use some. We have so much snow that spring seems nowhere in sight!

DawnB said...

You are doing great olga!!!and I do know whats it like to try to help the boys with homework!!!

rick said...

I like the road where you don't know what will happen, totally with you on the middle road. 15 months to Bighorn...time is a fast runner and he never stops.

I remember those teenage years. Working this, working that, builds character though. It was hard but I learned a lot. The kind of lessons you can never get at home or at school.

Well I'm glad you're still with Montrail. I can have your picture in my blog and tell people, that's my friend, she's a sponsored runner from Montrail. Those jackets are cool too.

Today towards the end of my trail run I had 6 or so miles in territory that I wasn't familiar with. My map had two routes that I studied the night before: maps, satellite photos. Both would get me to my destination, both are fireroads, one closer to the top of the mountain and one lower down the mountain. But as I was heading out, right in the middle of the two was a trail I had heard about but never taken. I stashed my map, bought one at the Pantoll Ranger station and headed down the middle path, new map in hand. Along the way I got lost twice, helped twice, was late in meeting up with my group but never regretted taking the path down the middle.

Thomas said...

Have you ever been to an osteopath or chiropractor? I went once, a few years ago (well before I started running). She found some imbalance in my spine and pretty much corrected it in just three session. I like to think that it she saved me from quite a few injuries in my running life.

As for the comment spam, I had load of them myself recently. I turned off anonymous comments on my blog because I got sick of deleting 10 spam comments each day.

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