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

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


As some of you mentioned, I am stuck with you...what on the flipping side means you are stuck with me! To some extend, of course, because you can always delete this link from your computers, and here you go - free from my brain damaged posts! What is good - I recently was told by a good friend of mine I was mean to him in my email. When I said it to Gail and Mike, they were like: he didn't figure it out yet? If he got in a "club", he better get used to Olga's sarcasm, what with an accent and some stuff lost in translation comes out plain mean! Besides, I only do it to people I love the most, and I remember how I explained it to Bobby so he could breathe easily...like Rob doesn't get hurt anymore when I tell him to get off his butt and go run!

That was an interlude, not to worry. I actually didn't have mediocre runs recently. I haven't even had a mediocre life in the last few days, or at least it wasn't same boring "day in, day out"! From Friday night to Sunday night I spent at Monika's house. Did I ever tell you how blessed I am with friends? I have absolutely exceptional people around me my whole life, totally, the most kind, generous, open, open-minded, lovely, healthy, busy, determined, smart, witty, beautiful, interesting, wonderful people in the whole world. Talk about population declining in character...I surely don't see it!

Anyhow, on Friday night we left our boys to hang out and eat pizza at home and went to a dance recital at Marina's school. Man, it was something! I need to get out more often. Those kids (OK, the middle school is Art school) are unbelievable! The choreography was so complicated and well-organized; it reminded me mother-country! Of course, I am a much bigger fan of classic style dance and ball room, and girls and boys didn't disappoint. They also had themes going on at all times, and I couldn't take my eyes off the scene. But the biggest "Wow" factor was a performance of a teenage girl who is an amputee - legs below the knees and arms below elbows. She had such plastic, strength and her face expressed such passion, in 2 minutes you don't see a handicapped person, you see a pure soul and music come alive...brought tears and joy, and an inspiration.

After 5 hrs of sleep, when Monika jumped up and made me waffles for breakfast (you do remember my praising, right?), I made it to Wildwood end to pick up Mike and drive with him to Wildwood start, where we met up with Gail for our 30M trip. It was a quiet beautiful morning. And from the first steps I was on cloud nine - I had no "dead leg" feeling! The one that followed me for the last 3 weeks, the one that scared the pants out of me, the one that wasn't ache, tiredness, injury - anything I knew from before...my legs came back! Now, don't you jump up and down, it didn't mean I was on fire and flew the whole distance, in fact, I didn't - but the way I felt was a miracle.

Of course, we talked, and of course, between the 3 of us, it meant lots of downright crazy jokes, so if you're shy, better don't stay around too close...and of course, after a refill stop at 16M I put my headphones on and told guys that I better go ahead because it's time for them to start cranking them miles. They caught me at mile 18 and passed in a flash, and I kept plowing and thinking. In fact, I was so submerged, that when the bonk came, it was a very sudden wave of dizziness and rubber legs in a minute time, and when I raised my head and looked at the trail marker, I read "20". That sent me into hysterical laugh. I hit the wall! I mean, it's not that I don't bonk on my long runs, I do, regularly, but to see that 20M point reminded me of my training for the first marathon and all the stories, and how many of marathons (NYC comes to mind, exactly where my running club VCTC holds an AS) put a big sign up: "Welcome to the Wall", or "What wall?", or whatever. Luckily, after a short puking accident I recovered from my bonk and continued on, until I saw Mike coming back. Gail stooped at 25M, and he figured he better pick me up and run me in before I die of the teeth of hungry coyotes. Really, after ridding of some nasty stuff from my stomach I felt great, was elated I can still move in a running motion, still had no "Dead Leg" syndrome and was a happy camper to the end. What not to say I heard whining from my friend, who, forgivingly, put some 85 miles that week, but yes, Jacquelyn and Hyde was something that came out of my body again.

And the most wonderful thing for the whole day - it was no rain! In fact, it was sunny!!! I don't think I could appreciate sun as much as I do had I lived in some South CA, or TX...I love the sun! It was a beautiful day, indeed...

However great I felt, what I realized was I am not ready to race a 50 miler. I did not get myself in racing shape early enough. Hopefully, I can make it "through" a 50 mile thing, because I have Old Pueblo 50 coming in some two and half weeks...but I will not put a pressure on myself to race it. So be it. Not to mention there is still Hagg lake 50k to finish somehow in a prior weekend:)

I cooked and cleaned and waited for Monika and the boys to come home from Mt. Hood ski trip, and they had a blast! I should find a time to get my ass to alpine ski Hood, it's a shame, we moved to Portland, and I haven't skied once, when in NYC we always made a trip to the mountains (and try and compare those mountains to the ones we have here!). It's a shame that I don't make more time for any other things I still want to do...and I will.

Sunday was my "babysitting" day, as Monika took her daughter to the volleyball tournament (which they won!). This day was kind of screwed up from the plan, as I planned to take the boys to Hagg lake trail work (I missed Saturday because Monika and I take turns to babysit, and she needed Sunday this time, so I adapted) - and it just so happened that the great people of PNW (well, Portland) cleaned up all the brashing before i got a chnace to show up! I feel guilty, but what can I do... so I ran a bit locally, took Max to soccer game, went to work with the boys, visited a fast food place for brunch and did some minor shopping. By the time dinner rolled in the whole "extended" family was back together. Oh, and I was sent with a gift certificate to a hair stylist! Change is good, right? :)

We have a no-rain-50F week. It is as weird as it gets here. I was supposed to have a day off on Monday, but who is having a day off from running when it's 50F and no rain??!! So I went in the morning for 6 miles...and then I went in the evening...and felt great...and kept going...until I realized I've been out for almost 2 hrs...what means I put some 17-18 miles for e rest day (yes, I don't know how many, I don't measure my routes and don't have any devices either). I had a spring in my step, and wore shorts and no jacket! Woohoo, folks, get out now, because we will get back into 2 months of straight rain again soon! The weather is such positive influence, even my boss on Monday walked in, and said" Good morning. How was your weekend? You look nice today". I almost choked:) Of course, part of his banter was my Friday scolding him that I will quit in a summer if he puts he moodiness on his employee again, but still...sun is good! Smile on!


bushwhacker said...

You are worst then me when it comes to rest days but what are you going to do when the sun shines and spirits rise to the occasion. Love and kisses to a great friend!!

Lisa B said...

Hi sweet Olga. We had 15 minutes of SUN here in Spokane today. It was glorious while it lasted! Of course it's not 50 degrees but at least the 10 foot high snow piles are melting...

Glad to hear about the spring in your step. Look forward to seeing you soon.

Change is good.


AnthonyP said...

I love reading your posts...and the Olga sarcasm :)

Danni said...

I can't imagine thinking you're mean! Sounds like a good run, aside from the puking. I don't think I've ever puked from running. . . I'm scared! :p (j/k)

Carilyn said...

Yeah for good weather! I wish you would send some rain (and snow) down our way. We are dry, dry, dry! Sounds like you had some great runs - 18 miles without even trying - you are amazing! Totally understand your "tough love" - we all need a good kick in the butt now and then :)

angie's pink fuzzy said...

sounds like a great week.

and, ok, no racing op50. but you can still run it and have fun. plus you get to see me ;) can't wait!

Sarah said...

Smile on, indeed! Great news about getting your legs back. Funny about your high mileage rest day. But we have to enjoy this weather while we can! And no pressure, but maybe you'll surprise yourself at OP50. : )

Backofpack said...

Where's the picture of the new hair-do? We need to see it!

Sounds like a great week for you - and a fun time at Monika's. I'm hoping we see a little sun at Orcas this weekend - that would be great!

robtherunner said...

I am not sure I would call your tone mean. Tough and disciplined, yes. I always appreciate your honest interpretation of my performances. I need someone to keep me honest. Nice rest day :)

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