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

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday, Clean Monday and Lent.

A (very well known) full disclosure: I am not religious. Not in a normal sense of word. Or whatever sense. I was raised in Soviet Union. And if there is anything at all in me, it is certainly not Catholic. Proud to be Russian Orthodox, which, despite growing up in atheist country where religion and society were forced to officially separate, culturally simply was engraved in us all, even if churches were closed and forbidden and visiting them was punished. Go figure. With such a long history of our culture intertwined with our religion they are one and the same, suffering and all.

But I digress, because it all doesn't really matter. Larry came home from work last night and announced he is doing lent. To me, of course, as an all-out-or-nothing person, it meant going vegetarian. He quickly back-pedaled and explained that "in Western culture" (and I am what, from Ancient Greece?) it simply means giving up something important enough for it to be difficult. He is going without coffee-beans products (he called it caffeine, but I am sure he didn't mean not drinking tea). So, I figured, what the h...ever. Our dates are close enough (see info insert below), I might as well, and to make it more interesting, I am giving up coffee-bean stuff, dairy and grains. I love me a slice of cheese!!! That'd be a tough one. We both figured we'd do the "dirty drinking" on Sunday though, you know, weak "Western civilization" and all. So, if you see either one of us in the next 40 days disobey, make sure to slap our hands.

In another news, I am still in complete owe and stunned at my marathon. I guess when the pressure doesn't exist, body regulates everything that much better. Although according to official photos I looked pretty dang focused wherever they were taking pictures. And seemed that I limped in the final sprint. But the good thing is - I am not any worse for wear and tear afterwards! I am thrilled! My foot locked up Sunday afternoon, as I took Stephen to skatepark and spent 2 hrs working in the lab, and it was rather odd on Monday, but by the end of Monday it released itself (OK, I did work on it), and became pain free. It was so odd. I saw my ART dude on Tuesday morning, and I surprised him as well. It hurts as much (or as not much) as it did before that stunt I did running 26 pavement miles off the couch. Overall, my body feels pretty good too. I kept thinking how weird I don't have much soreness, and may be those Hoka's are doing what Dave Mackey claims - cutting the recovery time for old folks. But last night I went for a little jog to meet Larry coming off his workout, and the quads showed me who the boss is - and it wasn't me. I shuffled, quietly laughing at myself. Human after all:)

My next venture into running - I sent a check and an application for a Prickly Pear 50k in San Antonio on March 10th. It is a 10M dirt path flat loop, boring out of my mind, but it is close by to make a day of trip, and I don't see myself doing a long training run for April race otherwise. I will also be volunteering at Nueces races on Saturday prior, as usual.

As for this weekend? A trip to Portland, to visit my adult child, squeeze a few friends in and a couple of runs on lush soft Oregon trails.

Western Christianity date of Lent 2012

Start of Lent 2012 (Ash Wednesday) - Wednesday 22 February 2012
End of Lent 2012 (Holy Saturday) - Saturday 7 April 2012

Eastern Orthodox Christianity date of Lent 2012

Start of Lent 2012 (Clean Monday) - Monday 27 February 2012
End of Lent 2012 (Friday before Palm Sunday) - Friday 13 April 2012

Don't forget to get extra-clean next Monday!


Larry said...

That does include Black Tea, btw... :(

Olga said...

Gee, thank God I don't like black tea, but you better buy some other kind for home now!

Sarah said...

Good luck with the "clean" living! Glad you'll have time to enjoy some Oregon trails. :-)

Olga said...

Having "time to enjoy" is an overstatement. I will have 1 hr each Fri and Sat at 5 am, when I combine little run with a friend. I will be in Portland for less than 36 hrs only:) and all Friday is dedicated to Alex. But I promise next year I will plan a longer stay and a mini-vacation and see y'all!

Gretchen said...

I am doing lent too, and am not Catholic, although I have Catholic family. I think it's a good practice to give something up, especially in my case because I am giving up alcohol. I did it last year, too, and it was tough (I did end up cheating a couple times) but really good for my training. After lent I continued to drink less. Really for me, it's just a good excuse for a healthy lifestyle change when racing season rolls around. (Frankly though, I think it's much easier to give up beer than cheese!)

Olga said...

Yeah, alcohol for me would be nothing, because I drink may be 3-4 times a year, one of them at Hardrock's Mohito's Rum place:) You should definitely go there!
Seriously though, I did it to support those for whom this particular stunt might prove harder than a 100M run, and to drop a pound or few, so yes, good for entering the season, indeed.

Carilyn said...

First, congratulations on a great marathon! Even hurt, you can rock it!

Second, I grew up Episcopalian, so we always observed Lent. In law school one year, I gave up all sugar. On Easter (at 12 am to be exact) when Lent was officially over, I gorged on so much sugar that I threw up in front of my date! Luckily it didn't gross him out too much because he married me (although he still tells that story at every family gathering :).

Larry said...

Stunt? Was that aimed at me??? You know, I pulled my Bible out of the box where it was stored in the garage and took it to work today and read a few times. That's how serious I am about it. This caffeine thing will be tough, but I'm doing it. Maybe, I should put the Bible in my 80 mile drop bag to get me past those last miles... ;)

Leslie said...

Why HELLO, Mrs. King!!! I ate pancakes last night for Shrove Tuesday. I've got some fellow non-religious friends who decided to embrace Shrove Tuesday as their own. It started a few years back when we looked at the calendar and someone said: "What the hell is Shrove Tuesday anyway?" As soon as we found out it was also called Pancake Tuesday, Fat Tuesday or Pancake Day well we KNEW this was a holiday we needed to celebrate. And thus, I ate 11 fabulous crepes last night. Goodness. I can hardly wait for next year. :)

Olga said...

We have Crepe Sunday before Clean Monday, what is coming Sunday, and I bet once Larry reads/remembers it, I will have to slave for a couple hours flipping Russian crepes:) Yummm! and I can't even eat them.

Larry said...

Oh, yeah!!! Expect to see lots of сметана in the fridge on Sunday! Great way to end a good mileage week! Thanks for talking about pancakes, Leslie! :) Of course, Olga's crepes are so incredibly tasty and she makes them so thin that the light will luminess through them.

Jacob Evans said...

See you guys at Nueces!! Hoepfully I'll be camping somewhere on the property :)

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