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, July 16, 2014


The science is out on whether ultrarunning is good or bad for our hearts—but I'm sure the Hardrock 100 is good for mine

I truly wanted to write a long post on it. I really planned to do it, especially now that's my boss at my main job is out - but life rolled in, and I got busy! So, before I forget, I have to shout out - I ran for 2 weeks now! OK, I ran short runs so far, and while some enlightening and fast (like 8 miles on biggest hills we have here in a time I could be proud of), some were a bit sluggish. I also ran some short things on a TM with hill repeats. The important part is - consistency! I ran 4 times each of the last 2 weeks, despite it still being a$$-ugly summer in TX, and I am ok with it, and I am even excited. And thus this whole "I don't like to walk another ultra" had transformed into "I am going to walk and shuffle Grindstone 100 since I am signed up anyway and still want this last chance for Hardrock qualifier" with Larry's "I fully support your dream". And then it went further - the Hardrock actually started, the buzz online was nuts, and I cried...This IS the ONLY race that keeps me in this sport, the chance to participate one more time - for which I always need to qualify one more time...for which I need to be at least somewhat afloat in shape. because I KNOW I can finish this San Juan mountains circle the right way and in great spirits!

So, not only I am totally psyched about my "walking Grindstone" (sorry, no promises to run it well still, as I said, my return to running just had began and I feel my body's systems just cleared from the mess of CMV infection and whatever hormonal and immune imbalances followed, not to mention, AGAIN, it is STILL summer in Texas!), I am feeling like I may return and do some other shit...I mean, races. Which, the excitement about Hardrock Live that is, was so palpable, my good ol' friend Lori B. and I somehow came to conclusion to get a reunion this Fall - at a 100M race! - and with both of our absence of serious fitness, we managed to pick Javelina 100 and also drag our other ol' buddy Steve B. into this whole ordeal! Heck, there was even online training log created - and those two are beating me to the punch! because, you know, they live in normal place and run normal trails, while I commit to 2 mile stunts on TM and 4 mile road outings...:)

Anyway, in fear of having more souls getting attached to Hardrock, which had already gotten over-populated by my possessive mind, I share this video with you.

There are no words I can use to describe the intensity at which I want to be at Hardrock, daydream about it t any given moment, know every step on a trail and can vividly picture it in my mind as I fall asleep, as I give massages to people, as I stare at the radioactivity in my experiences in the lab...How at any time point I rather be out there suffering and simultaneously knowing there is nowhere else I'd rather be...It gets into your blood like this...And those who "want to do it" - unless you are actually there "doing it" in some capacity, you don't want to do "it".

That's the gist of it (and yeah, I had to forgo all my emotional ideas and thoughts and sharing for how that this post was supposed to be about) -Hardrock 2015, training began NOW! I better get in!

Oh, yeah, this morning my best training partner from Portland Gail called, and she wants to train for Mountain Lakes 100 next year (the one that replaced my Hood 100 I directed) - and I offered to pace! And my other best dude from Portland and I got to chat today on other matters, but of course running too - and he is doing Fat Dog 125M up in Canada in August. And Lisa Bliss and I are conspiring about possible crossing of Badwater course by me sometime next Spring. So, we, old farts, never die!

One last note: there was a guy from a new out-of-garage company I am funny shirts who contacted me with sent me a shirt to check out. They make t-shirts from some tree-fiber material, which is extremely soft (I self-proved it) and nice, and one can wear it for just around, or even running - it's not bad. FYI, I ordered size M and it was way too big for me, so I would suggest a size-down. Lucky for me, I got a race-top, so I just tied the tops of the straps:) Well, if you do want to give these shirts a try, pick your favorite quote (they have some seriously funny ones) and enter coupon OLGA for 20% off!

2 more weeks, and Larry and I are off to NM for 2 short mountain races - Taos 10k (2,600 feet of gain in 3M then all downhill) and La Luz 9M uphill challenge (some crazy stuff, telling you) next day!

OK, my mind is obviously far ahead of my body. But it's better than both are dead. Whole30, Day 4! Woohoo, lets get this life thing going!

“It’s what you do in that moment of facing that problem that really ends up defining you”. Andy JW


Sarah Lavender Smith said...

I hope you get that qualifier and get picked for HR next year! If you do, I'd love to crew/pace you.

Sarah said...

Yay for running! I'm cheering for you to get into HR 2015! :)

And did I read that correctly....Javelina this fall? Excellent! I'm going back too with a time goal. And maybe I'll give Mountain Lakes a go again in 2015.

Olga King said...


Olga King said...

Well, I guess I'll see you there! I just won't be chasing ANY goals, but I WILL dress up!

Alicia Hudelson said...

I'm going to enter the Hardrock lottery for next year too. If you get in and I don't, I'd love to crew/pace you too.

Congrats on the 2 weeks of running!

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing this Olga! i needed to read something inspiring today, as life seem s to be getting in the way of all my running goals and CC100 seems like it might be a walk/hike-fest rather than a run... :-( OY!! i pray the lottery gods will be with you next year!!!

Steve Ansell said...


I finally got around to watching the video and it is pretty awesome. I'm sure it would be even more meaningful if I could ever get into Hardrock. I missed the lottery last year due to the lack of qualifiers (even though I'd done mountain races none counted). I am doing Fat Dog next month so I guess I have to decide about the lottery after that.

As far as best "trail porn" that you called it, I do have to disagree. This, for me, is very much the best:


Of course, I am biased since I am in the video (at 3:45), but it is the one of, if not the most, epic races on the planet and what I love most about the video (and the other Tor des Geants videos) is that it includes shots of people all over the course, front runners, mid-packers and those at the back. It's pretty cool seeing the fast folks in that Hardrock video, but it really has almost zero to do with what my experience would be like on that course.

Olga King said...

Oh, man, of course TDG is awesome! It's just as you said about HR for you - there is no personal emotion involved (not yet, anyway:)). I wish I could afford this - financially and time-wise, I'd do it in a heart-bit! In fact, Liz Bauer had spread a word she needed a partner for this one right now, the entry fee and accommodations are paid for, and she even offered to help with partial airfare...if only I could leave now for that long! You look good at that point (still).:) Good luck at Fat Dog, my best bu Mike Bushwhacker Burke (a 63yo crazy) will be there! I want pictures and details when you're back!

Olga King said...

You can do it! As long as you have the right attitude, and focus on WHY you're doing it!

Olga King said...

Sounds awesome!!

Jill Homer said...

I love reading posts like this, because I have those Alaska races that tug deeply at my heartstrings, and that I expect may just continue to do so regardless of what changes or does not in my own life. My dream is to go back to the White Mountains 100 next year and try to finish it on foot, and then 2016 Northern Route to Nome on a bike. It's all so frivolous and yet ... it is a huge part of who I am, and my life.

Good luck with your efforts toward Hardrock! Next year is your year.

Olga King said...

Thanks, Jill! I know you know how it feels. I am betting on next year! Read your Africa craziness - that is one BIG WOW!!!

Anonymous said...

put me on your list of potential pacers/crew.... i've paced/crewed there once and ran some of the trails at other times... i still plan on the 3-4 day tour via local hotel/motel/hot springs. :) not sure when tho...
go olga!
kristin z (co)

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