When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.

The heart of the difference is not ability or even talent, but desire

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, July 14, 2007

Run like a girl

This weekend was FUN! It all started as the Hardrock 100 went on the way, and I kept clicking the live updates every hour. Even as I was getting ready at 5 am on Saturday for my run, I couldn't leave the house!!! The competition was heating up, with Karl and Scott been 2 min apart through 80 miles, when at Chapman Gulch Karl arrived an hour later and took 2 hour nap. Scott was the winner, but could he hold on to record breaking time? As I left the house, he had 5 miles to go and I was certain he would - what he did, smashing the overall CR by half an hour and this particular direction (HR100 changes directions every other year, this year was a "tough" one) by an hour. Way to go, Jerker! Not only that, Emily Baer and Krissy Moehl ran closely together too, and I had no doubts about Krissy, predicting top 3 overall. She kicked it in last 20 miles, breaking CR by 30 min as well and coming in 3rd after Karl! PNW HardRocked the course!!!

Well, that got me pumped for sure. I was at the "Russian girls wild night out" party and only had 4 hrs of sleep and a heavy hang-over. My friend David picked me up at my house, and at Multnomah lodge we met up with Mike Bushwhacker and started our way up the trail. We took a turn to Franklin Ridge for its solitude and had lots of fun. My boyz were wonderful in going my pace, David been after 20M run and 80M bike ride the previous day and Mike getting back to training after awesome WS100 finish and prepping for second long run next day. All was good, as the jokes flew non-stop. I haven't seen David in over a year, and Mike in 2 months or so, and we had lots of catching up to do. The day, even at that early hour, was so muggy, I don't remember Portland been like that in 3 years I've lived here! We sweated since first 10 min like crazy and it felt pretty close to conditions on East Coast, something I rather not repeat.

Eventually the climb let up and we trotted up to Larch Mountain top. It was a clearest day ever, and views were insanely beautiful!!

Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helen




After a short food stop we plunged down on Larch trail over half way down, took a trail to Devil's connection, where David left us and took off to the car, and Mike and I hiked to Devil's Rest. Making Devil's-Angel's-Whakeena loop was fun as we exchanged memories of our runs and racers, complained at pacers (each other), discussed feet problems and so forth. Less than 2 hrs later we reunited with David and went to the city to have lunch. It was a great way to end the long run, something I do so rarely! All in all, we made 24 miles with some 7,000 feet climb in 6:30, and I was very much ok with this.




While my plan was to run another 15 or so on Sunday, during a week I got an email from Montrail team rep Paul to join in an 8k trail run Run like a girl, a full-out sponsored event for women in Forest Park. I did understand the need in "representing", but had to warn him: last time I ran 5M was 5 years ago, I am not even 50k runner, and definitely not after a long Gorge run. It takes me over an hour just to feel some legs and calm down the breathing! He said "no problem", been comp'd helped to make a decision easier, and after another short night I drove to the Zoo start. I had 55 min before the official start, so I figured I better go warm up on Wildwood trail for 4 miles. Sure, I was completely asleep as I went and missed 2M marker, went another half a mile, and when realized it, I had 25 min and 2.5M to make it back. That's a race pace for me! Boy, I worked panting, now thinking if I do 60 min race I should be satisfied. I got back with 3 min to spare, and off we went.

Over 900 women - can you believe it! Besides the point I consider 150 runners at the start a "big race", having 900 local women running trails was...actually awesome! Everybody was smiling and supportive the whole way! The first mile took us on a long switch-back uphill and it separated slower folks and faster ones before we merged onto Wildwood, so we really never had a hazardous problem. I was somewhere in first third and consistently ran all ups in first 2 miles, after what I decided I am going to kill myself doing it, so went to my favorite tactics: power-hike up and run fast down. It was playing cat-n-mouse with the group around me, hope I didn't annoy anybody, I made sure when passing and been passed back to talk and explain my "way" of running trails and encourage every gal around. It was a very hilly course (I still have no idea of parts of where the course went) and as we came to last mile on Wildwood, I kicked it in. As I looked at the watch, I thought there is no way I can get under 45 min, not with my walks, but sped up some more. Hello, no wonder! We had to go through the parking lot, enter the Zoo and still wind up through the Zoo for a total of half a mile from the point I thought was the end! I let up a bit last minute (got tired waiting for the finish banner), but as I saw it, finished with head up, in 48:22. Whew, was I happy! This is like absolutely wonderful for me!!!

At the finish line Sarah (finished in 46 min) and her friend Sharon (finished in 42 min) were waiting for me, and we had a great time talking, been happy and drinking smoothies. There was music and lots of sponsor's tables, but we left pretty soon after learning a winning time was about 33 min. Rumor is the winner outran the male pacers (who had bunny ears on their heads - rabbits, make sense?) and was 12 sec ahead of second place gal, getting $500 swag. Results. Race photos are by Kelly from Red Lizards and Oregonlive blog.

There were photographers catching us as we walked out (wearing sponsor's shirt helps:)), and while I said something in respect "next time I go for a short race, shoot me", I was absolutely happy I ventured in this long forgotten and almost unknown territory. It was so much fun, I might do it again!


And the great thing, I got home before 9 am with 10 miles done and have a whole day to do family things! Including watching our silly kitten making his way to the toilet bowl and taking kids to movies. Hope you had fun weekend too!

17 comments:

Sarah said...

That was fun, wasn't it? : ) But it nearly killed me....I just woke up from a dead-to-the-world power nap. : ) Glad to see you again and hang out for a bit. You're #1 in the "I'm really an ultra-gal" division! : )

Geoff said...

sounds like a fun little race. I wonder how much money they would have given out if 3 or 4 or more all finished together?

robtherunner said...

Congratulations on the short race. You should have just warmed up for about 10 miles:)

Travis said...

Great job with the run!! It's nice to do some shorter distance races and just get up and go! I'm the same way, I don't feel good until about 4-6 miles in, so short races and I just dont get along.

Backofpack said...

Awesome race Olga! Maybe you need to mix up those distances more - you do well at all of them! I like the warm up too - I always think I Need to save it all for the race. How cool that you got to see Sarah and hang out. There's a small chance I might see you next weekend - if not, then the 28th for sure!

Bob Gentile said...

Another Busy Olga exciting weekend , Good Times!

Bret said...

I am exactly like you on short races. I think they are harder than the long ones. Plus any thing from a half marathon and less I will always run a few miles first. Especially with my old legs...the oil doesn't flow as easy as it used too!

WynnMan said...

Yep the short races are short, but SHARP! thanks for comment, it was a tough doozie.

wynn

Jamie said...

I'm kind of like a Bizarro World version of you in that I run much better at shorter distances than I do longer ones. However, like you, I still prefer the longer ones. Rock on! And following the Hard Rock online consumed much of my day Friday. Thank goodness I have summers off.

craig said...

Sounds like a great weekend. The pictures are fabulous. How much would you charge to toilet train my dog?

Lisa B said...

Lucky you, Olga...Wild Girls' Night Out, then running with David and Mike, then running with rabbits (well, at least taking their picture)...

Sounds like tons of fun.
(I'll call you tonight)

-Lisa

Gabe said...

you have some great weekend stories. I always look forward to reading about them. You gotta love those lung burning short races,,,

wendy said...

Olga, I forgot how funny your writing is! I love it! Only you would miss a turn before the race and have to sprint your race-pace back to the starting line. ;-)

Sounds like a great time, especially after a great weekend, and ladies night out??? You forgot to write details about that too. =) Can't wait to hear about your plans for our dear Sarah's 50M!

Gretchen said...

Sounds like fun Olga! I was just up your way recently and I was surprised at how hot it was! With the humidity that is tough. I guess I am spoiled, I only do dry heat, and even then it's not really hot. ;)
Way to go on the short race!

Thomas said...

A "Russian girls wild night out" sounds interesting, I would have loved to see that. Kinda lost my concentration for the rest of the article ....

Love2Run said...

Great fun Olga! Glad you made it to the start in time after warming up for 5 miles for a 5 mile race! Your cat looks like it has short legs or is that just the camera angle?

DawnB said...

sounds like you had alot of fun congratulations. still can't believe you ran an 8k!! sometimes the short ones are fun!!!

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