If you're lucky enough to be in the mountains, you are lucky enough.

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, May 22, 2008

It's another beautiful day!

And I didn't feel down (as in PostRaceDepression) this week at all! I did have a left quad blown a bit, but nothing that ART massage couldn't take care of - and after a Tuesday visit it was as good as new. So back to training (or rather running) and loving the life!
2 things came out this week so far. One is a firm realization (as if I didn't know it before) that I am not a racer. I can't taper, put goals out, separate races in A and B and C categories, go "after them", and I have no idea how to enjoy it this way. I love ultrarunning for a completely different reasons. No, it's not that I don't want to run a certain time on a certain course, but I don't put anything aggressive in those pace charts, as we could clearly see last weekend, I talk, I look for views, I get lost, I take pictures - and I am fine. The absence of pressure ("do this one hard") works the opposite for me - I hate pressure. So no more "lets race" or "it's a goal run", or even taper. Just get out and run with your heart. I get that much richer experience for myself, and that's what I cherish. Also, a reason I like mountain courses, besides the fact that I don't have a single fast-twitch fiber in my legs (just in my fidgety brain) is that it's tough - and I love overcoming adversities. The worse it gets when I am out there, the better it is for me. Throw up, break a leg, have a diarrhea, get lost for 2 miles - overcome. That's what I call fun! When it's easy, what life is in it? Wonder how many folks think this way - somehow I believe quite a few.
Another thing that happened - I took one of my dreams on the list a step further. I finally checked out a local Massage Therapy school and applied! No more just talking and planning! It'd be part-time night classes while I still work, and this summer I'll have to study for Anatomy exam (they agreed to allow me to test out since I have a bunch of anatomy from Medical School). I already scolded 2 books while waiting for official text-books to arrive. Never thought studying could still be fun at my ripe age, and was scared to even begin - but it is! May be because I always loved anatomy:)

This weekend will be a double (or rather triple) long run: a 25 miler in the Gorge on Saturday, a Forest Park 50k on Sunday (just another training run with support, kind of what I pulled off last year, same combo) and Maple loop on Monday. Stephen is going with his friend to a "happy place" for Friday night-Saturday, so I can take my Gorge nice and slow. By the way, I haven't done a single hill repeat (in respect how I did those previous 3 years) and don't feel a tad guilty about it. I can't believe how much better I feel just doing runs by feel and smelling the flowers!

So here are the pictures from this morning's Gorge outing. It was misty and mystique. It was wonderful!

I don't know what tomorrow will bring - except old age and death - but I do know that I do have today, one absolutely glorious day that I will savor and make the most of as if it were my last one...because it may be!
Gary Fenchuk


King Arthur said...

Congrats on taking that first step. Sometimes it can be the hardest.

Anonymous said...

I love it when you run with your heart.

Fast twitch fibers of the fidgety brain. Love that.

Pursuing the dream. Been praying for that. Good for you. You deserve to see it realized.

Jamie said...

I love your attitude. You're right, it's all about having fun and doing what works for you in terms of satisfaction.

Lisa said...

Good for you, Olga! You have found true freedom. Nice stems, Lady!!!

Mike Burke said...

You look beautiful as always. Stick to what works for you and you will never go wrong.

A woman of great passions.


robtherunner said...

We all have to follow our own paths, wherever they may lead. You have definitely been doing that lately and it has reflected in your writing. The Gorge trails look so beautiful. It's no surprise you're happy. Have a fun triple weekend!

Meghan said...

This is the kind of entry I love to read, Olga. Just love it. You had me giggling and laughing FOR you.

Sometimes it's really hard to step out of what you're used to, what's status quo, to really go for what you want. No wait, I think that's one of THE hardest parts of life. You're a brave woman, and I admire you for that!


Larry said...

It's so green and looks cold!!! You summed it up nicely about the mountains. It's tough but, yet, so gratifying to overcome the adversity. And, you're going after your dreams, too, which is awesome! I can't imagine having close access to trails like that because I would never want to go to work. :)

Sarah said...

Yay for going after your dreams! We'll see you Sunday at FP 50K. :)

Danni said...

Awesome Olga! Following your heart is the way to live. Rock on.

angie's pink fuzzy said...


Backofpack said...

Wow, Olga, going back to school - that's great! Following your dream is a good way to go. Have a great long weekend!

Carilyn said...

So cool about the massage therapy school! I bet you will be awsome at with your medical background and your open spirit. Love your take on the running - very uplifting. Have a great, great weekend!

CoyoteGirl said...

Bravo Olga! Congrats on the massage school. That's something I've thought of doing too. It will have to wait until the little ones are older though.

I like your take on running too. I put undue pressure on myself about running and I don't like it either. I'll take a page from your book and stop and remember to enjoy it.

Love the pictures! Everything is so beautiful and green! I skipped my run this morning here because of thick smoke from the first of our local "summer" fires. Scary, and yucky.

Bob Gentile said...

Congrats Olga...I look forward to my massage :-)

Have a great Holiday Weekend, look forward to ur re-cap!!

Love the Pics !!

JeffO said...

Oooh, Bob G, be careful what you wish for... I think Olga will make you earn your massage the hard way! LOL!

Olga, you have good wisdom. I "stop and smell the roses", but I find that I do is so fast that even that tends to be a bit of a competition.

When I get pissy, I have to remind myself... These are definitely the happiest days of my life. "is that not true? Remember it," I tell myself.
it's good to look for ways to improve ourselves and life, but looking for improvements can get us in the wrong frame of mind looking at negatives. There's a fine line between that and enjoying what good we already have.

Great photos. So green and humid.

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