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, June 02, 2007

Rough week

This week was a bit on a rough side with stirred up emotions. It started out just as any other regular week, but by Wed I visited Lisa's blog and read that entry on "call your loved ones". I call home every week, so it seemed to be just a reminder - but it turned out to be a very hard news: my sister just returned from colonoscopy and was diagnosed with colon cancer...she'll be 48 in 2 weeks, she lost her only son 2 and half years ago, and was all alone...and we both cried and were scared...Next week should be the surgery, no idea how far yet (it could be potentially as bad as my father-in-law's in February with his colon opening now in a sack outside of stomach, or, we hope, could be removed and connected the ends). I just wish I could be there for her right now. On the other hand, I also had some unpleasant discovery that I have to take care of the week following Bighorn (thus I can't fly home before July best case), but a milder scare.
On Friday I went to my orthopedic surgery doctor and we discussed opening the fascia to release the pressure for my compartment syndrom. We need to have a new needle-pressure done no more than a month before it, so I scheduled it for September 6th. The scar is going to be ugly!!! I may back off, I hate having my pretty legs damaged like that! Or not...

On a running front I actually had a pretty good week. There were 3 runs that went really strong, as in tempo (wish I knew exact pace or mileage, but as I mentioned before, on trails I go by HR and total time, or effort and amount of hills up and down), and some recovery runs, 2 hard leg weight sessions including all the Lisa's favorite frog leaps and bench jumps and jumping rope and such...Portland was unseasonable hot with whole week holding at 85F, so I used it to my advantage and ran between 3 and 6 pm.
On Tuesday my perfectly worn pair of Montrail Odyssey disappeared from the front potch - and I actually had other 4 pairs, much newer looking, sitting there! Mistery, but the thing is, I can race ONLY in Odyssey. I emailed our rep Paul and distributor Janis with a rush order - and Montrail came through for me! They said it was actually easier to put an order "on the house" as opposed to process my credit card, and by Friday I was running in new pair of Odyssey! Team rocks!
On Friday I got another wonderful present - I became a happy owner of a new digital camer! Well, new for me anyway. If any of you remembers, at Silver State I killed my old and clunky camera. At the same time Scott Dunlap, as he mentioned in his recap of the race, came to NV with no bags from home and been an avid photographer bought himself a new camera. So-o...he offered me his old one to be sent out in exchange of a promise to take more pictures! Thank you, Scott, you are the BEST!!!There you go: Stephen and Charlie are going crazy and Alex pretends to study for an SAT.
Speaking of an SAT, it was held on Saturday. I dropped Alex off at the Wilson High by 7:45 am and took off from there by connecting Terwilliger Rd sidewalk to Marquam trail system. We are so lucky to have trails (and hilly once) right at the doorsteps!

Trails!!! Inside the city!!!
The trail leads up to a highest point, and just before the top I was passed by a Red Lizards member Hans, and asked him to take a picture of me:) I told him about my upcoming race, he called me insane and said he trhrows up at the end of a marathon (in 2:45, BTW), I invited him to join in and promised he'd throw up much more...hope he got the joke though.

Counsil Crest, the highest point in city of Portland limits.
Hans went back down, and I continued to the Forest Park beginning at the Zoo, where I had a Cliff bar for a snack.

Break at the Zoo on Wildwood
It was more downhill on the way back, although the trail never let up in rolling hills, and I drank like a camel.

Marquam trail back

Done! Finally, back to school!

Wilson High.
I got after my estimated 17M run with way too much time on my hands, so I decided to use it to my advantage: I baked myself on the sun! I mean, I like to tan, and heat training is also very useful for that little run I plan on doing in, what, 12 days?
I am going to have a last "go" at the Gorge tomorrow for a short loop of 12 miles with couple good climbs and a couple of good downhills, then on to more taper.

Sunday highlights:
1. Well, actually Saturday - we became a bigger family: in addition to Charlie and our cat Daisy we now have a 5 week old kitten Tommy:) My former neighbor and Russian friend Katya called me that there was a nomeless cat with 3 new kittens in her backyard, and she was looking to home those with friends. I couldn't resist...neither could my boys. Have to say, this little thing mews pretty loud from 3:30 am and on!

2. I started on Bridal veil trail up to Angels rest and made it hiking all the way in the same time as I did on a hill repeat 7 weeks ago before Rumble 60k. Am I that horrible at running up or that good at hiking? Either way, I know I choose power-walking uphill with no thinking any time.

Zane Grey training? Nah, too easy:)

Now more like it!

3. As I tuned out on Angel's Rest trail, I suddenly saw a snake busting into the side grass! I am not sure what jumped higher - my heart or my legs, but both of them were racing for the next 3 minutes pretty hard. And as soon as I began to relax, I almost stepped on another one! While I have no idea what kind of snakes are those, I am petrified of them all.

Running on a nicely blooming trail shortly after snake meet.
4. Has anybody noticed my hair grew enough to be in a ponytail?

5. I dug out old Montrail shoes in a garage, and since I have no remote idea how many miles any of my shoes have (I have too many pairs rotating at once), I thought I'd give them a go. But I got heel blisters on uphills and toes banging on downhills. Who knew shoes shrink with age like people? Good by, Continental Divide...
6. On the way down there were so many hikers, like every 2 minutes. Great day in OR! And all in a good mood. One man said - yeah, that's a show-off, and I replied - you bet, I was helicopter-dropped at the top so I wouldn't have to do any climbing today! I was passing a woman with a dog, saying: on your left, she moved and said: my dog doesn't know left, but the dog moved too, so I responded - yes, she does, you just never saw it before! We laughed.
As I finished, I bumped into Ronda, Stacey, Jim and Chris (?) beginning their run and hoping to catch the heat of the day. I finally was able to ask a question about that famous 5M downhill road - and plan on doing it either Wed or Thurs! Of course, I forgot about camera right about then too:)

And with that - back to housekeeping.


Love2Run said...

Sorry to hear about your sister and that you can't be there for her. Maybe Montrail will do some races in Russia? A new camera? Oh, oh we're in trouble now. Keep the great shots coming.

Bob Gentile said...

Hey Olga, My prayers are with your sister for a successful surgery next week and to KICK that colon cancers ASS...

It's soooo OK to have a PISSED Off attitude with stuff like this, not in a "Why Me" way but in a "I will BEAT THIS" Pissed OFF Way... Now I know U are a fighter and I am sure your sister is as well!
OLGA Said: little run I plan on doing in, what, 12 days?
Ya just a little 100mile trot :-) no problem! Did U just stick ur tongue out at me-hehe

Alex pretends to study for an SAT pic--LOL

Keep YOUR Spirits UP Olga !! We love you!

cathy said...

Olga, are you going to have the pressure tests done while exercising? My doctor suggested that as an option if I continue to have problems once I am back running.

Meghan said...


So sorry to hear about your sister. And, sorry to hear about whatever is going on with you, too. I'm thinking of you.

I like all the pictures, especially the one where you're sticking your tongue out!

Taper, taper, taper! Very exciting!


rick said...

Yeah ditto, as everyone said, sorry to hear about the family trouble. Also sorry to hear about possible surgery. Thankfully you can stil run and enjoy the break the trails give you. Praying for the family and yourself.

I hope you bring that camera to Bighorn.

Sarah said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your sister. Sending good thoughts that the surgery turns out to be the best case scenario.

Looking forward to more pics!

Backofpack said...

Wishing for the best possible outcome for your sister. Hope all goes well for you too. Getting out on the trails was probably really good for you today. Riley had the SAT today too!

christine said...

sending positive vibes to you and yours olga...thanks for the sharing the fun pics, i've just got to get around to getting a real camera instead of the disposable ones i've been using!

Jamie said...

Big bummer about your sister. Thinking good thoughts. Great about the running though and have fun with the new camera. Judging by the second to last picture, it looks like you already are. :-)

angie's pink fuzzy said...

love the pics - yay for camera!

sorry about your sister ((hugs))

DawnB said...

Olga, I am so sorry to hear about your sister. I will say a prayer for her and sorry to hear about your ordeal also. When it rains it pours just remember God never burden us with more than we can handle. Trust that he will always be there!!!

Do I remember the day I took Elliott to his SAT. I got up early ran for a couple of hours came home got to the high school. Then I worried for the next few hours!! its crazy!! but do remember there is a college out there for everyone and he will get into one of them!!! When you get that first "I'm please to inform you that you have been accepted"" it takes so much pressure off!!1 You'll see!!

Bret said...

This entry pretty much covered most all emotions for sure. Thoughts are with you about your sister. Tough call to make on your leg. My hero is Picabo Street, the US Olympic skier. Read her book and she talks about all of her leg surgeries and how she was scared. It is a very good read for any athlete also.
Have fun with the camera. I wont carry one till they are the size of a pen!

Rooster said...

So sorry for your sister, I hope she gets through it all just fine.

I noticed your hair today :)!

maniac hippo said...

Maybe we are twins - my 83 year old father just broke his hip pretty badly. I feel a little the same as you and your sister.

You know that you'll be beautiful with or without a lower leg surgery scar. Maybe a cool tattoo wrapped around it?

I love hearing about Scott giving you the camera - shows how much ultra people take care of each other and makes me proud of you/them/us.

Mike said...

Olga- positive thoughts going out for your sister!

Love all the pics on your blog and that Dog Mountain looks awesome. Nice about being new up here, still discovering all the beauty that surrounds us!

Congrats on your Forest Park race- awesome!!

Jack said...

Sorry to hear about your sister, my prayers are with you guys. Love your pics, glad at least your running is going smoothly.

Wes said...

Sorry to hear about your family, Olga! I will keep them in my prayers. Hope Alex did well on his SATs, and yes, yes, yes! Great pics :-)

kelly said...

Good luck at Bighorn, Olga. You will rock there, I am sure. Run the race for your sister. I will continue to pray for her. Keep positive while you are out there at Bighorn!

Journey to a Centum said...

Hippo's idea about a tatoo might work! One of our local runners keeps talking about getting a flower tatooed on a surgery scar she has on her ankle.

We will be thinking of your sister. We wish her well.

I'm excited for you with Bighorn coming up so soon. Can't wait to read your report!


robtherunner said...

Prayers will continue to be with you, your sister and the rest of the family. I love the pictures and I hope the pending surgery will work out as well.

Gabe said...

I wish you the best. Your blog is such a joy to read. Run strong through your troubles. It is your best medicine for your emotions.

mtnrunR said...

sending well wishes for your sister and positive thoughts. doing the same for you as you might need a little boost now and then.

you are ready for bighorn. the hay is in the barn. have fun.

Julie B said...

Oh Olga! I'm so sorry to hear about your sister. She is too young for colon cancer. Hopefully the Dr. found it early enough, will stage it at 1 or 2 and she will treat and be fine and dandy. My husbands mother passed from colon cancer a few years ago..Steve has had a colonoscopy every year now. Usually you can wait until you are 50 but you should check about having one earlier as you now know it runs in your family. My Mom is scheduled for surgery next Monday at Mayo in Rochester. As you know her Stage 3 Ovarian cancer has resurfaced. We still don't know all of the details. I guess surgery will tell us more. My prayers are with your sister. Keep us posted.

On a happier note, BIGHORN! You are almost there! I always hear about what a beautiful course it is. Enjoy and take LOTS of pictures on Scott's camera. How wonderful!

Oh! And another thing..as I was running FANS this past weekend a woman named Carolyn from El Paso TX asked if I was Julie Berg; I told her yes, she told me she read my blog and that she found it from your blog. I said "Oh my gosh, I feel like Olga is a wonderful friend of mine and I've never even met her' She told me that she felt we were both her friends and she never met either of us. She also said that you and she both trained under Scott for a while and then she went on to win FANS for the women with 115 miles. Pretty cool!

Take Care :)

Anonymous said...


Post a Comment