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

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Cut-back week.

Well, first of all, today is Montrail-team-delayed Christmas - we got our packages with uniforms and gear! I LOVE the new color, I am all for blue, and all the warm-ups are the first time for Regional runners. Neat!

Just in time to wear at the Rumble.

Speaking of Rumble, the weather prediction for Sisters, OR is for 50s and cloudy, but no rain (spit 3 times over left shoulder and knock on wood). Don't jinx it, I am tired of racing in the rain!

This is my cut-back week (miles reduced by 30%). Basically it eliminates all but one double, and shortens one less workout. Like no mile repeats today, only 2x20 min hill repeats yesterday and Yasso on Tuesday with the club. What club? Just the same Red Lizards that I was coming to for the track intervals, and - surprise! - I finally felt guilty enough of abusing their coach's brain and enthusiasm and the good wishes of all the runners and joined in. I even posted my first board message!
Torrey (the Prez) guilted me into a first post (well, may be it WAS a joke, but I am very easily guilt-ridden), so I guess this would be as good of a topic as any. Hi, my name is Olga, and as of last week I am a Red Lizard (officially, as opposed to sneaking in to a track workout).
Now, to make it clear, I am also a member of my first much beloved running club VCTC in The Bronx, NYC, where I started running, as well as of a web group Marathon Maniacs, and on top of it of a Montrail/Nathan ultrarunning team. I guess I am polygamic:) but only in running friends, who I cherish each and every.

So, back to Yasso. You'd think on rested legs I could run good times, but for some reason I had pain in both shins, knees and hips (the last 2 came later), and my breathing sucked air big time. May be cutting back meant for me I forogt how to work my muscle and tendons? May be it was a fluke, but it's all well and fun, and was over by Wed night. I'll try again next week. I still shave a second here and there comparing to the beginning of the year, I just wish the progress went faster...
I plan to go to the Gorge tomorrow to run some long hill repeats that my schedule is calling for. I took a day off from work - mental health day, and physical, and I need it, period, no explanation.

Oh, on another, and much more exciting note, Stephen participated in a jog-a-thon on Tuesday! This was his 3rd year doing it, it's run for a non-profit organization "Young Audiences". I had emailed quite a many of my closest friends asking for pledges to help to encourage Stephen and try and explain to him what "benefit run for a cause" means. Practically every one of them responded! I have best friends ever - did I say it like a gazillion times before? But truly, I do, I do, bestest of all. What do you know - with his previous count of 12 laps (run around a track for 30 min as many as you can) he PR'ed at 14!!! Very proud, he runs faster than I do now:) I think it's abvious I am signing him up for x-country and track clubs once he is in Middle school (next year).

OK, I'll add on if anything interesting happens tomorrow in the Gorge, like a cougar or a bear, and sometimes I wish I had a non-running blog so I could share some life details, but then again, somewhere along the line, my blog's counter hit 10,000 in just under 4 months (I mean the blog exsited a year and 4 mo, but counter was installed before New Year 2007), so...nah. Running it is. And it's moving wondefully, saving my "life details" from becoming problems and disasters. Gotta love that!

I think I am actually nervous for the Rumble, believe it or not. I'll be trying new drink mix - I was contacted by email from people of Hornet Juice. This is something that supposedly helps metabolising fat from the get-go in endurance sport and spares some glycogen for stay. While it is not normal to try new things in the race, with food for me it just have to be: I can eat about anything during training runs, so it wouldn't help to learn how it affects my stomach. Interested in effects (good and/or bad), wondering of my legs holding up, of my ability to run so much of this "flat" course, and can't wait to see Theresa, Van, Sean, Maniacs and ultra-folks...and nervous if it is going to be any better than my previous two races thus far this year. Little hope, just a glimpse...Mr. G sent me one of the best things ever - an unexpected package of wonderful reach chocolate per request from last post! Isn't he wonderful? Isn't it worth living some more? Is it time to go get another bite? :)

Friday, the 13th. Columbia River Gorge, the Cure for anything in life.
It was a quiet morning when I made it to the Bridal Veil trailhead. I haven't started here for awhile, and I have never timed myself on this particular accent of 1500 feet in 2.2M. All was new, there was no warm-up as the trail took sharply up, no people, even hikers were still either asleep or at work. I began to run. This trails is actually really great for a hill repeat program - it has exactly the grade that is runnable, ven by me, with whatever speed, but possible to not break into a walk. Despite all that by half way I wanted to do just that - and I didn't. Another quater way up - and my legs were begging for a walk, yet I didn't give in. This first real hill, out there, with a serious grade and length, is tough for me always. I am two weeks behind my schedule from the last 2 years of training, not to mention my goal 100M is a week earlier than WS100, what puts me back even more. Long hill repeats are a staple of Scott Jurek's coaching, it's a hate and love in one. This is not about speed - I already know I can take power-walk breaks and make it up any climb as fast if not faster by switching leg muscle and giving some rest to the body. It is about strength. You need to be strong to run long. It is about strength of my tendons around ankles - I can't believe how hard it is to run on tip-toes. About strength of calf muscle - did I not prep them enough at the gym? About my butt getting wasted...and mostly about building my mental power. I can do it, I am not going to stop... I finally reach the boulder field, just short of the peak, and catch my breath. Need caution to cross it. A couple more turns – and I am done. Look left – vast views, look right – another great picture. What was I whining about? Is there anything that is not fantastic with me? I am healthy, I have two great children, I can run – I am capable and able all the same, and I live in the best place of the Planet! Need more prove? Follow me along…
I take in the views and begin on my favorite trail from Angel’s rest. It is gentle, it is lush, it is covered in pine needles, and it goes on along the ridge where I yell my greeting. There is some moss and grass on the way for a short uphill,

and then it takes down and crosses some more rocks on the way.

I come to the intersection with Whakeena trail and don’t take it down, but rather turn up to Devil’s rest. It’s another steep climb, but I take walks here on those parts, running only on gentle grade, because I don’t need another repeat today at LT.

I can take in the views now even more, and I step aside to the point just short of reaching Devil’s rest peak. It is calm and beautiful here.

Once at the top of it – I am ready. It is a 4 miles of straight downhill, and I am going all out at it, having fun and trashing my quads. It is also in a schedule, to make my front thighs suffer. I feel them shivering when I finally see first hikers close to the end of the trail. Mission is done. I can sit down now. What was that? Did it have any logic, to do so a day before the race that I would like to run well enough at? Who needs logic when it’s a paradise I wouldn’t exchange for anything else…besides, yes, there is a smart idea behind it. To work the legs and the body on the first half of a 100 mile race – and then still be able to move and work hard on a second, tired, trashed and all. So I am sitting here happy. This is officially where my training had begun…


Backofpack said...

Nice Montrail stuff! I can't quite tell what that is in the packages in the upper right corner.

Good for you to find a local club - I think they were the ones that with signs all over the Portland Marathon course and a water station somewhere around 20 or so. I hope you grow to love them as much as your club back east.

Have fun this weekend!

Anonymous said...

Great care package. Hope you have a good race this weekend. I knocked on wood the other day and spit three times but you left out the part about spitting over the shoulder, and the left one at that.

Ruslan said...

Get some more chocolate Olga. Those who make insane 90 miles (I'm not that desperate, though I try :) per week, need it for sure. 30% less? Anyway it's a super serious work.
I must be missed smth, what are your upcoming races?

rick said...

I've always loved your gear. That's some sweet stuff there. Whoever is picking the colors for their gear is doing a good job in my opinion. Love that metallic blue and that red orange jacket. Nice stuff. Jealous!

Nice pics from the last post by the way. Boxer, runner, he's starting strong.

Sarah said...

Nice haul! And great job Stephen doing Run for the Arts! I'm assuming that's what it was since Bart had it at his school this week too. Maybe I'll bump into you at the rumble. : ) Fingers crossed for no rain (or snow!)

Thomas said...

Montrail stuff AND chocolate! Aren't you lucky!

Wes said...

That's some really cool stuff!! How awesome! We want to hear about whatever you have to say. Non-running topics spice up the blog, I say :-)

Bob Gentile said...

OLGA SAID:...as of last week I am a Red Lizard (officially, as opposed to sneaking in to a track workout).
What's up REDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD :-) no more sneaking in now-lol

Great looking Gear! and wow congrats again for Stephen I can see him pacing for you in a few years at WS100 :-)

Have a great weekend!!

oh and U might as well finish those last few pieces of chocolate U been starting at for the past hour--haha

Kendra Borgmann said...

Olga! Those paths looked SO inviting. I can see why they were irresistable. I'm not sure I can get on the same page with doing something tough right before a race but you've got a longer term goal in mind so it does make sense. You go for it, gal, and enjoy the new shwag! My jacket is blue! (Those are socks, Backofpack! :)


Jean said...

What beautiful trails, Olga. My goodness, that is some really pretty country, and those are some fantastic pictures!

Enjoy all that cool new gear, too!

All the best,


Sarah Elaine said...

Very cool stuff in that package.

Nice pics, too.

DawnB said...

really cool uniforms I like the colors too. What a beautiful place the pictures are lovely I could just see myself getting lost for miles and miles and loving every minute of it. thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Ok. I am officially envious of the areas you get to run in. And I love the hat.

robtherunner said...

The trails look awesome. I hope the Ridge Rumble went well today.

Anonymous said...


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