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

Monday, November 05, 2007

12 hours with Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves is a local race 30 min away from the house, and it was my 4th year coming out and volunteering at this event that holds 50M, 50k and 10k races. The previous 3 years it was always raining, sometimes buckets, and I had shivered in misery keeping the Main AS running and taking times of runners as the pass for each 5M loop. This year not only I had a great woman manning drinks to the point it didn't require my assistance besides stacking stuff from the tent area, but also a NO RAIN in forecast! Despite that, the temps for the first 3 hours stayed in low 30's, and I could never warm up after that...

It took me 3 tries to wake up Stephen that morning, so as I drove into the park, still on time for 6am start, I got lost in a fog finding a parking lot, so eventually, as I was pulling in a right direction, I saw a string of runners who started with an early option leaving for their first little out-n-back. I stopped and yelled to everyone who I was able to recognize in the dark and made it down, leaving Stephen sleeping in a car for the next 2 hrs. I talked to Fritz (RD for the races), got my spreadsheet and pen and was pointed to where I am to grab the supplies from. A wife of one of the runners - Kim - was there to help, and she was awesome! She picked on the fly how much to put out, to pour drinks, to cut bananas, etc., and the rest of the day all I did for the aid was to bring re-supply (or send somebody for it). Tom came to volunteer and take pictures, and I employed him and Eric to get water jags filled and acrried (delegation is important when you are the boss:)). Later a bit Ronda and Stacey showed up to help as well, they were running 10k (starting 10 am). Lots of friends, juts lots to name, but I'll try: Rob and Steve S. went for 50M (and Rob hasn't run in like a couple of months? they squeezed 10:59:33, and I am mighty proud), Eric ran a 50k PR, as well as his wife Michelle with a friend Jenny, Sarah went for her first 50M (she missed the planned PCT50 due to ilness) and cranked it like she was doing it for years, and her hubby Marc ran 10k, Darin won the 50k for the second year and ran 4:00:58 (I rpomised I'll be giving him grief for the 58 seconds anywhere I could, but really, awesome time!) while I hung out with his wife Trisha, Van Phan (a teammie from Montrail and Marathon Maniacs and a great fast gal), Bret and his wife Gail (who alsmot caught him!) and their friend Rick, Rick Haase, Eve Ponder (didn't have a good run and was going to drop at 35 miles, but I talked to her - adjust your goals, don't you want a WS100 qualifier? and you'll get it even if you don't win this race! btw, I think she might have, anyway she ran 9:38 and was damn happy I pushed her to continue!), David Stevenson, Ed Willson, Amy Lynes (PR'd)...OK, go look at Tom R. pictures, I am tired just lisitng:)

So, anyhow, there we were, enjoying a great day all together, them - running their butts off, me - freezing the tushy. Ronda and Stacey had a great idea to move a fire place near the AS, and that allowed me to thaw my toes once in awhile. Mike Bushwhacker came by with his brother-in-law to entertain me, but I was too busy keeping an eye on runners and a clock, so they went for a walk in the park. Stephen played with Ronda's son for a few hours until they left, then played with fire, then was just bored. I hugged each and every one of my friends and whomever else desired and felt it would help to propell for yet another loop, as well as every finisher while giving them a belt buckle (yeah, Fritz got those!). We packed our AS at 6 pm and finally made it home, bone tired (it would have taken less time to run this damn thing! but I love coming over, lets just have some warmer temps to go along with the sun). Funny, Fritz doesn't even ask me anymore IF I come, he just counts on me...so I'll see ya all there next year!

Fritz, the RD

8 am start


Ronda and Stacey


Van Phan

Srah's finishing

Darin's looking for 58 sec:)

Rob and Steve's anticlimatic finish

Hanging out

I slept 10 hrs on Saturday night!!! I truly swear I had never done it in my entire life, to sleep that much in a stretch. I didn't even remember about time change when I left for Forest Park run. I planned to do 13 miles, but at mile 3 my new-never-worn-before orthotics (actually, I never had orthotics before, I just got fit for the first time) rubbed my left arch raw. I guess it should be expected - I have high arches, and the idea was to fill them with the insole to take some pressure off from the ball of my foot where I get deep under-callused blisters. It hurt, and my legs hurt from Friday's leg routine (I talked to Ronda and will need to switch it to Mondays, or my weekend runs are ruined with DOMS), so I changed my mind and switched to 10M As I stopped at the turn-around, I bumped into Ronda, Stacey and Tom C., so I got to run 2 miles with them on my way back. I mean, I ran with them for about a mile and was surprised I am keeping up and even talking, but then they mentioned they are not in their needed zone 3A and soon took off - and I lost them around a bend within a minute or two:) But guys waited for me to make it there and cheered me on as I tried to keep a momentum going for the last 3M. Yeah, I need some form of encouragement often to move my tushy faster!

On the eating front: I was a good girl and brought packaged portions for the AL volunteering, but at mid-day I passed the sandwiches tabel and without even noticing reached out for salami part of it (as in - get rid of bread and grab the middle filling). I felt so guilty once I realized it! Each of us have different demons, some - ice cream or candy, some - beagles, mine are cold cuts. Better be prepared for when it's coming!

It was great to have an extra hour yesterday, I did laundry and cleaned the house and hung out with my friend Anna later that night. We were both tired, so we just set and chatted.

I wanted to write so much more, but as usual, it has to be done when thoguhts are swirling in a head, yet the interenet said good bye once and for all at home, and by the time I came to work - I lost the edge at teh tip of my fingers:) Next time..


Darin Swanson said...

Thank you for all your volunteer efforts! Next year you are going to have to pace me for the last loop to ensure a sub 4 :-)

olga said...

Ha! As if I can run that fast even for one loop! I can scold, but don't expect me to actually do it:) Besides, who is going to record your finishing time then and assure it's written down as sub-4?

Sarah said...

You are the heart and soul of PNW ultrarunning, Olga! : ) Thanks for all your encouragement! I'm coming out again next year too...50K or volunteer. Hope to see you on the trails this winter! : )

DawnB said...

sounds like you were out on the course with them great report.

Backofpack said...

It was a great day out there! I loved hearing you call my name every time I came into the AS, and even better in the dark as we ran out. Thanks for giving us the 12 hours!

robtherunner said...

It was great to see you again and I know you were making fun of me with love :) Next year it's sub 8 baby! And that's in the 50 miler not the 50k.

angie's pink fuzzy said...

what fun!!!!

Meghan said...

Sounds like a great weekend, Olga!

So, what's next for you?


WynnMan said...

Olga! looks like all is going well. So when are you planning to start the training ramp up? Start of November? Sounding like the hip is feeling better.

I think it would be great to have a 100 miler on the North Country trail in Wisconsin. Maybe in the future. It would be a beautiful rugged SOB!

~concrete angel~ said...

That's nice of you to volunteer and give back...always feels good!

Bret said...

Olga, thanks again for all your help and cheering us on at the race. In fact we have all decided to get you a high school cheerleader outfit to wear at these races you support.
cya soon!

rick said...

Good day. Volunteering, first ones in and last ones out. Like you I enjoy the sport and the people and always willing to hang out, running or working. If you were tired, Stephen must have been exhausted too. What an education he's getting, watching all you adults hitting the outdoors constantly. As always love the Montrail gear.

Matt said...

Hey Olga,

Great 2008 plan! Are you sure you can't squeeze in a few more races though?!? :-)

Steve said...

Thanks for helping out and all the encouragement. It was great to see your smiling face each lap.



Theresa said...

Thanks for looking at my blog again. I'm going to try to write more often, it is a good way to stay connected with others.
I like your race plan for 2008 :)
I will see you at a few of them I hope!
Stay Positive and Smile
Miss ya-

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great time seeing everyone and supporting their efforts. I forgot about the time change and arrived at the church at 5:30 instead of my planned 6:30. So I missed out on the extra hour of sleep. I hope the orthotics work for you.

Anonymous said...


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