When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.

The heart of the difference is not ability or even talent, but desire

The secret of life is that there is no secret of life. It's all hard work. Yet you still have to find the right works and be free to choose direction that is best for 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, June 18, 2016

Body dictates early taper.

And for the reasons of the past 3 years, I actually decided to comply:)

Yes, this week was planned to have been last "big push" as I was still 3 weeks out, and my previous ultrarunning life required only 12 days of taper, but alas, no more. I am forever grateful to whomever it Out There for giving me a full 4 months to really train - with ramping up miles, consistently improving paces on the runs, strong hikes with my 30 lbs backpack, weight lifting sessions and even yoga. This has been the longest stretch in my last 3 years of battling "nobody knows what is OTS" of continuous working out in a full sense of this definition. I am not taking it for granted.

So, when this past Monday on the run I felt like a brick wall hit me - I slowed down and cut my 9 miler by a full 2 miles. Yes, the humidity is near 100% every morning, but it's been about 3 weeks like that, and so far nothing had been affected, and I even had my second "easy week" in the last 3 month cycles. So, when the Wednesday run felt similarly (despite still holding on to the pace, it felt like a much more effort to do so as opposed so cherished feeling of "air in the hair"), I skipped the Friday run all together, and took my Saturday as it came - not so thrilling, short, again. And that is why I declare my training has been completed. I had done everything and anything I could think of, and I am proud of how it went. In the 6 weeks of May-mid June I also dropped 1 lbs of fat and gained 2 lbs of lean muscle - to the anxious female in me, while my weight hasn't changed one bit, my body composition surely did, and thankfully I can prove this with numbers to myself:) as well as with clothes fitting and the weights I am lifting. And that is without adjusting my eating, which I planned to - not that I am eating bad, but I truly wanted to go back to Whole30, yet with being so over-scheduled, my comfort food turned out to be a slice of cheese on a slice of bread, what was out of the rest of my Paleo diet thing.

It's time to rest and prepare. So be it. Patience. Because the truth is, I am all ready and the stuff is piled up in the corner:) And as I have no clue whether my being tired now is a result of accumulated humidity and summer temperatures, a pile of training and working which is temporary, or a slow slipping into the abyss of my 3-year long "I can't run for 4-6 months" - I don't care, because I am listening, I am stopping, I know I can make it through 450 miles in 15 days with my trusted 45 lbs backpack - and yet I would really love to get back to running well, come September. So here, I am a good girl:)

With that, the extremely busy work schedule (you know, in my line of work, if "I don't have my hands on somebody, I don't get paid" kind of thing means my July is not a vacation, but an unpaid leave of absence) also wore me down.

And here are a couple of items I decided to completely unwind and re-knit (Left is new, on the right is the previous make). The perfectionist in me  - Happy World's Knit In Public Day to you!


Larry too Harrison for some mountain adventure that week, as they do every year, and I am jealous - it is beautiful and cool and the air is fresh...Not much longer for me!

Despite crazy life and tiredness, I was blessed to have made a priority to contact a number of my good friends, have heartfelt conversations, and also with a few of them spend real face time.

Monika and Stan from Portland, people whom I consider Family, came by to visit and stayed a night at my house. That was just awesome!




Then Liza and her Princess Ruby drove to Austin for a delightful morning, and it was a pure bliss.

I had lunch with my dear friend Marta, my sister finally came from her vacation in Bulgaria and we talked for an hour, spent an hour chatting up with Eman, a bunch of long texting with 3 more girlfriends - and my griping on FB about equal efforts into friendship by both parties were put to rest. I guess I am the one to reach out, and that's ok, because it's important to me. Pardon my personality:)
I do want to share that "conversation" here, because may be, just may be, we, as adults, will realize that "making friends" at the ripe age is getting more and more difficult, yet maintaining friendships only takes a simple jester. "What's up" often is enough to know someone cares...

Friendship, like any relationship, requires effort to go on. And it sort of needs to be from both sides. So what if it feels like you are the only one? Is it time to not expect that you mean as much as they do to you? Or continue making an effort because you care?
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Kristin Jossi Zosel Probably best to do what brings your heart peace--it's hard to give without thought of receiving, and I'm not in any way saying I'm good at it, but it likely brings the most peace. At some point tho, things ebb and flow, and that's ok, too.
UnlikeReply1June 7 at 3:32pm
Lynnor Matheney I have not felt like much of a friend to anyone for awhile but I have thought about what it means to be a friend. I have a couple of old friends from my younger, single life that I don't talk to often and we don't live close so it is easy to say I would do anything for them, even though that is how I feel. I have some friends from more recent times that also don't live close, but when I do see them I do try to show I care.
This is kind of a vague topic once one gets married and has kids, gets a job, pets, y'know, there's no time. I try to be a good neighbor. lol.
If you ever come thru the Floodlands and need a place to float, mi casa es su casa. ðŸŒ´ðŸ’•

UnlikeReply3June 7 at 5:18pm
Olga King It didn't mean to be that I "expect" something in return or have my feelings hurt. While it is nice to feel more or less equal, and I do have people with whom I can pick up where I left off after a long time not communicating in any way, shape or form, it was more of a rhetorical question. Life goes on, and sometimes people part ways. How do I know that I, myself, not prying or forcing replies when I make an effort, and people on the other end just let it go? Or what if I stop, but because I was the one initiating for the most part, I will hurt someone's feelings because I stopped too early? Are there signs? I mean, I am a foreigner and all, I truly am asking a question, no underlying sarcasm.
UnlikeReply2June 7 at 5:37pm
Kristin Jossi Zosel I'm sorry--I didn't mean you expected something.... You're incredibly giving of time, energy, skills, creations... I am always impressed that you always seem to be true to you... That's all I was trying to say.  so keep being you.  and I can't wait til you're in Co.
UnlikeReply2June 7 at 5:48pm
Olga King I didn't take it this way either! ðŸ˜ƒI am often afraid that my meaning will get lost in direct translation, seems that I more often than not explain what I meant to say! ðŸ˜‚Larry says I need English to English or something.😠
LikeReply3June 7 at 7:08pm
Olga King
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Tony Maldonado Be the beautiful person you are. Always. Acquaintances come and go. True friends will stick around and appreciate who you are.
UnlikeReply4June 7 at 5:41pm
Lynnor Matheney I knew that, that's why I responded! Olga, I think a friendship relationship is universal, I don't think you are missing any social cues. However, I am from the north US, specifically a ghetto in central Illinois. I left in 1990. The way people interacted there, one did not have to guess what was really meant. Since I have moved away, and lived other places, I have periodically been faced with determining if a person said what they really meant or were just being polite, y'know? Some people are down to earth, others are not. I think that is universal too, not just regional.
Anyway, what Tony said. You are a very special person to a lot of people. To me. Deeper. Maybe that is a Russian custom? But I have known incredibly sincere people from other cultures as well. We have hosted exchange students and my parents hosted international grad students, most of them made a point to connect on a deeper level because they were so grateful for the connection. (Some place to go when the dorms closed)
My mom was married to a Japanese man when I was a kid and they had a lot of "foreign" friends. So I was exposed to a lot of different cultures at a young age.
I think some connections come and go too and others are in your heart or part of your life for ever.

UnlikeReply2June 7 at 5:48pm
Lisa Smith-Batchen All relationships go through different periods of time and energy. You just keep your heart wide open and the answers will come to you.
UnlikeReply3June 7 at 6:08pm
Susan Carlson Kokesh This is a hard topic, I have pondered this a lot the past few years. I think some of it is due to life stages (young kids at home vs. empty nesters, each have really differing time demands) but also I think some people have deeper friendships, where others are more comfortable with light and topical relationships. Breathe deep.
UnlikeReply3June 7 at 6:13pm
Iva Paleckova Good question. I've changed my attitude a whole on this very recently and became a whole lot less american and more ridicuous. I decided to keep reaching out whenever I feel like it to people I like being around and stop worrying if I look needy or ri...See More
Steve Ansell This is a very interesting topic, Olga. I honestly cannot offer specific advice on your situation because more often than not I am on the other side. I have, in past, let friendships fade away partly out of a lack of caretaking on my part. I know it takes both sides to maintain or dissolve a friendship, but I also know myself and my tendency to not necessarily put forth the effort unless something is initiated on the other side. For reasons you know, my friends--though they are few-- have recently become much more important to me. I even told one of them at one point not to worry about pushing or prying because I will always tell you if I need to be alone, but I'm less likely to say something if I do feel the desire for company, but none is offered.

I guess that the point is that it's probably at least worth some effort if you feel the impetus to make it. I guess the question comes down to whether you would feel worse offering "too much" friendship when it may be unwanted or offering "too little" when it may be silently desired.

Olga King Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments and participating in this weird discussion. It does make me feel uncomfortable to go out on a limb and treat FB as something more than a facade most do, but I just snap and can't be other way (speaking of ridiculous, Iva). The "lighter" friendship, when we "talk about the weather", is nice and all, but not something I ever look for. And yes, at the end of the day, I can only be myself, and if people stick around, it's a great thing I hope for, especially people I care for (and eventually I do care for anybody who does - because I am fully aware how unconventional I am, so thanks). I also do care of not making others too awkward though.
LikeReply4June 8 at 5:49am
Sarah Duncan I think Steve Ansell nails it in his last paragraph .
UnlikeReply3June 9 at 9:06am
Eman Ghanem Don't give up on your friends, pal! What coffee and dark chocolate bring together is stronger than the distance 
Olga King Seems that I may have to keep on trying to do what I do! 
LikeReply2June 13 at 7:31am