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

Sunday, July 31, 2011

All's alright with my world.

I need running. I need running because it is me, my sanity, my life. I need moving forward, no matter speed, terrain, surface. I have preferences, but at the end of the day, as long as point A is different from point B, I feel that I am not stagnating, not staying in place. Most likely I would have been a better runner if I practiced my intervals in a controlled environment on a treadmill (so that the heat and humidity wouldn't skew the outcome), as well as extended my hill repeats from 0.7M (longest we have in Austin) to 2-3M (what I used to do back in the Gorge and what I need to the races I prefer to go to). I do, at times. But for the "me" part - I just keep on moving, meditating as I go, thinking, contemplating...That's why I ran through each and every one of my injuries during my 10 years in the sport (do not do what I do, bad example). If I can't run, I walk rather than run in the pool or crosstrain. I believe 2 full weeks is the longest break I took off from "moving forward under my own power on a surface with gravity", ever.

Ever noticed how the more I run, the more I post? Running helps me sort things in my head, because I can't physically "do" anything else besides putting one foot in front of another. So, eventually, the white noises disappear, and things align. It helps me face the life's challenges, the "gifts" that get thrown at me, the crazy news, and the even crazier "no changes on that front". Then, I need to spit it out on a paper/computer, as soon as possible, don't care for the outcome. As I punch two fingers into keyboard, those aligned things begin to make sense. I click the "post", then read - only after I post. And more sense and clarity comes. Often to the point of "what was I thinking?".

I need goals. I also need a purpose behind each goal, why and when. Like they taught us at the seminar for trouble teens parents: Goals have to be SMART - and even SMARTER. That's why I sign up for events and make a schedule. Some folks are of creative nature, they operate much better in a free spirit sort of things - which I love, that free spirit thing - and more power to them. Structure feels safe to me. We can all become psychologists and find a reason some of us feel safer under certain circumstances while others in different, but for me, that's what works. Although I always need to evaluate and figure out why.

I need friends. Real friends, folks who don't sugar-coat things, say it as is, call me out on being a wuss, and make me real when I pretend. They help me to overcome being scared. To see clear my own potential. To re-evaluate my goals and reasons. They are just there. Not for "everybody deserves a trophy" (everyone does), but for "what the heck, snap out of being a whiny baby, a day of a break down is enough" (everyone entitles for a day of being low here and there).

I don't care about judges decision on whether or not my fat level and muscle size is where they'd like it to be. I care about where I can get it to, just for kicks. I care that I don't stop half-way. I don't give up. It's OK to stop when something becomes useless, but if one can find a reason for reaching out to something, if stopping makes one feel uncomfortable - then don't stop, even if the end result is silly, stupid, artificial, not reasonable to maintain long term and not needed by anyone but you. A week ago, when I changed the blog format, I added a couple of quotes to the right side bar. You may have not paid attention. Here they are.
"Above all, challenge yourself. You may well surprise yourself at what strengths you have, what you can accomplish." Cecile M. Springer
"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers." M. Scott Peck

My world is back to normal. For sanity, I need to run, to pick a running goal, and to go for it. So, I did. For sanity, just as well, I need to make sure I don't back away from where I set out to get beforehand. I am one who had seen this life from bad to worst. I am one who believes in myself to emerge on the other side, always. Buckle up, I am going for both goals now.

I ran 59 miles last week, and 65 miles this week. These are the biggest training weeks for me this year, imagine that. 246 miles for the month of July, crazy nuts, most this year as well! (yes, I count Colorado miles in). I won't keep at it, but I can figure out how to fit it all in and not sabotage anything in my life - neither figure show, nor 100M race on a calendar, nor my work and family. It is possible. It is done by many, many people. No excuses. No judges. Just myself - and that mirror I have to look into when deciding how honest I am with myself.

Seems that I am always battling the same fight...this needs to stop. I have to get a grip.

1995-1997, 60 lbs and 12% body fat difference, took 2.5 years to get there, maintained for 4.5 years.

1 year span, from 3 weeks after my DNF at Tahoe 100 last July to 7/23/11, 20lbs and 10% body fat difference.

So, go ahead, laugh. Because I went for a run today, the "longer" one. I made it through 17 trail miles, and I allowed myself to not worry about pace (took my watch off). I wandered, I thought, I smiled. (For those who read iRunfar's post on fueling, and Ultralist's explosion on "bonk runs", I didn't eat beforehand - a cup of coffee is a must though, and I decided to forgo a gel I carried. I drunk 4x20oz bottles of water. I also noticed that after my last Sunday's excursion "under the sun" the heat wave of 105F we had in Austin didn't bother me at all, and today I was almost "chilled" at 80F at the start, despite 88% humidity.) I ran into friends. I listened to music. I picked races to throw into the rest of this year, and gave some thought of what I want to accomplish next year. I don't think I have many years left of competing, or running at somewhat higher level - not because I think I will fall apart, but because my priorities shift with age, and my training depends on where those priorities are. What I do intend is to still keep making goals - and to going after them. May be it means I will downsize to 50M races, and may be I'll race fewer times in a year or few. But I want to be fit, set example, be healthy, and keep exploring. I want everyone to believe they can get anywhere they set their minds to be at. I want to teach my children to never give up, and work harder when the going gets tough. I want to keep believing in myself, and to be content with every decision I make. I want to make sure my mental state allows me to make people who matter the most to me - happy. To give them love. To give them confidence to spread their wings. To know that we each are power - and together we will make anything happen.


ALM said...

Olga- you are looking good! What great abs you have! I love this post, it really rings true to me. You have such a way of describing what goes on in your heart and your head. The new quotes are great. I am glad that all is alright with you and your world, peace is always a good goal to have as it comes and goes and we always have to catch up to it, hold it before it flies away and we catch it again.

Will said...

Running and goals also make my world go around. thanks for sharing. keep up the miles. great pics btw!

Anonymous said...

You are my hero. Great post. Danni

Sarah said...

I love, love, love your new header picture. Keep on keeping on Olga! Stay true to yourself and you won't go wrong.

P.s. I got my Mt Hood 50 mile finish but it wasn't quite the same without an Olga hug.

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