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, January 23, 2010

Rockin' on

There is no question in my mind that I love to train. By far more than I love to race. I mean, I love going to the races, but all this pressure, external and internal, takes a heck out of me. Some people are built to race and thrive in it. I don't. May be we can drag the parallel all the way to the childhood as psychologists love to do (I did mention before I love psychology books, right?) and find that since I was born I tried to prove that I am worthy love, that I would meet and exceed expectations put on me by my parents (always way too high), but teachers, by others around, and then lately by my now ex-husband. I felt that I was never good enough. Ever. Granted, we are never ever perfect, none of us. I wasn't trying to be perfect. I just had to "show" that I meet high standards. It exhausted me to no means. At some point I slowly changed my life, and most importantly my thinking, around. Thus that "no race" thing. I bet shrink would call it "self-sabotage":) It's ok, I've been called it before.

I love challenges. But I am my own judge. May be I set up a bit lower goals - by what I am used to anyway - because I am petrified of the pressure that followed me for so many years. But if it makes me happy - who is to say it is not the way to live my life?

I had an awesome run today. Actually, I had an awesome week, on top of the awesome last week. From past weekend's double of 14/24 (in great times) I went straight into 15 on Monday (thanks to the holiday) and the regular week's schedule with an idea of going over 90 miles. This is my peak week before Rocky 100. I just have to suck it up.

This week has been tough. Somebody really mean and greedy tried to set us back, destroy the happiness we are building and distraught our minds. It was tough. It still is. But it did not deter me from my training. No way! You can't have it!

What would I do without my running? Ever since I had discovered it for myself, it took me past job and home changes, my son succumbing to drugs and laziness, his boarding schools, making a decision to have him out of the house, my nephew's death, my sister's cancer, my mom's deterioration, gave me courage to start a divorce process when it was due and helped me to stay sane through it, get me move across the country from the place I called "home" for the first time since childhood in Belarus, a bunch of financial losses...I made it through. The thing is - I know I will make it through again and again. We will. I just need to go for a run...

I did 30M today, on that infamous 5M loop of mine. I PR'd. By 25 minutes total. Every loop was executed easily and thrilling. At times I was pushing myself by anger towards what happened this week. At times I thought about those a*&holes who tried to ruin my life when I was 15. About suicide attempts I had when I was a teen. About races I shouldn't have finished. And about those I didn't finish. I thought about Tracy who sent me awesome CD's with new music (Danish rocks!) and about Ronda who shared information on the the supplement I am taking now - and boy, it works! I thought a lot, but you already know that - that's what long runs are for me. Finishing them in fast times and in great spirits is an icing on a cake:)

20 more miles tomorrow. If you know me, nothing will stop me from making it. This will be my highest miles week since last April. I am thrilled at how I feel. I am thrilled at how I hold it together, even if with tears at times. I am thrilled with my work performance, with my immediate supervisor Sabine (an awesome gal who I am so pleased to work with), with my new friend Eman, with my kiddo Stephen (even if he misbehaved this week and facing consequences), with my trouble Alex (who chatted with me this week), and with my other kid Harrison (who gave me a hug after dinner).

Life is good. Now get your butt out the door and go run!

A successful life for a man or for a woman seems to me to lie in the knowledge that one has developed to the limit the capacities with which one was endowed; that one has contributed something constructive to family and friends and to a home community; that one has brought happiness wherever it was possible; that one has earned one's way in the world, has kept some friends, and need not be ashamed to face oneself honestly.

Eleanor Roosevelt

p.s. I PR'd on the secong long run by 2 min, and with the wind we had today and not feeling groovy at the start I'll take it!


Chris said...

Great post Olga. I think a lot of us run to help deal with personal demons although it sounds like you have had to overcome more than most. Very inspiring and thanks for sharing! Good luck at Rocky and maybe I'll see you there (I'm crewing for Liza). Chris

Dave said...

Olga....I always enjoy your writings...and with English as a second language...you do exceptional relaying your thoughts...never quit writing....I think it's therapeutic...like running...

JeffO said...

Yes, writing and running... very good.
Nothing beats a long run alone. Demons don't run as fast. I think that's what keeps us going. Every time we get tired and slow down, we see our demons catching back up again, so we keep going.
Like your Eleanor quote, you have spread a lot of happiness to us all. You've more than earned your place - I think we owe you.

Rooster said...

Nice work Olga! Don't you love those runs that simply take your mind through all the $#it that goes on. At some point you come back to the same place of happiness you know you have. No one can destroy it and you own it. I love that power.

Gretchen said...

Keep at it, Olga! I was psyched to see your name on the list for TRT 100! Is that a back-up for Hardrock? Well then, I hope you don't get in. Ha! Just kidding. But really, I hope to see you out here in Tahoe for the race!

Helen said...

Great post Olga - running might not make the crappy stuff go away but it makes us know we're strong enough to deal with it. And without doubt you are stronger than most. Run strong. And keep talking. We love to listen!

PS I heard about that new 100 in OR and immediately thought of you and then saw it on your list... def tempting me to rethink
my 2010 plans!!!

Oh and I appear to be able to post comments from my iPhone - more proof that my life would be less fulfilling without it :)

Backofpack said...

It's good to hear from you. You have had that fighting spirit since the day I met you and I'm glad to hear you still have it. I'm with you, races are fun, but the daily runs are what keeps me going. I'm glad you can run out your stress, and glad so many things are going well for you.

kelly said...

Olga, as always your post is inspiring. Thanks for never giving up. You are so strong and such a great person. I am so glad that your running is going so well. I hope we see each other this year out on the trails. Are you doing Miwok? Thanks for the advice about Bighorn. Talk to you soon.

Thomas said...

Olga, even though you might doubt yourself at times you will always be someone I can look up to. Your achievements in ultra running are fantastic and for years you have been an inspiration. In fact, if it wasn't for you and Rob I doubt I would ever have attempted an Ultra!

Dmitri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dmitri said...

Thanks for sharing this, Olga! The hurdles we go through - even those we wish we never had in our lives - add facets to our inner self and - in most of the instances - forge the spirit. Whatever does not kill us makes us stronger!

aniejoy said...

Thanks for this post, Olga. While I am sure our lives have been very different, it seems our spirit's are much alike. Hoping to be close to as tough as you some day w/o losing myself in the process. See you at RR!! :)

Sarah said...

Sounds like you are finding happiness by running and living on your own terms. That's a true accomplishment! Don't let anyone take that away from you.

ALM said...

I was feeling unmotivated to go for a run after work, but now after reading your post Olga....I can't wait! Thanks for the inspiration!

olga said...

The universe does not favor the greedy, the dishonest,
the vicious, although on the mere surface it may sometimes
appear to do so; it helps the honest, the magnanimous, the
virtuous. All the great teachers of the ages have declared
this in varying forms, and to prove and know it a person has
but to persist in making him or herself more and more
virtuous by lifting up his or her thoughts. James Allen

So my task is to continue to be who I am without worrying about the "fairness" of the universe. The selfish, cruel, and dishonest people may seem to be getting away with what they do, but if I have faith in justice (and I do), I know that justice will come in its own time, when it's the most effective, and it's not up to me to decide when it shows itself in their lives. I know what I want to be, but it's not up to me to turn others into what I think they should be.

Love the daily meditation quotes:)

Anonymous said...

Olga ~ Sorry to hear about your tough week. But great job on the running and keeping a positive attitude! Thanks for always sharing your thoughts, feelings, challenges and triumphs with us in such an inspiring way. Oh, and what is the supplement you are taking that you like so well? Hugs! ~ Gail H.

Danni said...

You are tough as nails both mentally and physically and can bounce back twice as strong from anything.

Bob - BlogMYruns.com said...

Woo Hoo - Congrats Olga you kicked some butt at RR... look forward to your report.

Way to Go!!

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