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So, I am Here: What’s Next?

[Hey folks, below you will see our first introductory post from Olga King. We are so stoked to showcase some of her thoughts on our great sport! Olga is part a growing tribe of passionate and insightful runners that are going to crank up the value, crank up inspiration, and simply crank up the fun as we explore this sport as a region right here on Endurance Buzz. – David]

One day, many moons ago, you ran across a grassy field or along a hillside (and maybe even barefoot), and didn’t give it a second thought. You ran, wind in your hair, sun on your shoulders (or rain drops on your face), arms flailing wildly, and feet moving quickly by themselves, unfocused, no goal, just forward, happily…

Time passes, aging progresses…or wisdom, if you will. Responsibilities–family, jobs. We lose that freedom, just a bit at first, then more. We lose some fitness, too. Altogether, we don’t go anymore for a run across the grassy field, along the hillside, or on a gnarly, twisted trail. We work, take kids to their functions, and worry about retirement…

Have you noticed how many people that are coming to trail running are of age? And, I don’t mean it in a bad way (having headed into the forth decade myself), and of course there are young and jubilant all around (especially lately)…but still. Something must be calling folks, away from their desks, their TV sets, and professional suits, to don on a pair of shorts, a pair of running shoes, and head out into whatever “wild” they can find. Look around. Introduce yourself. Shake hands.

Hi, my name is Olga, and I am a trail runner. It’s difficult to determine whether I am a runner first (having explored road races for the first year or so) or a trail enthusiast (as I backpacked, fast-packed, and hiked in more places than I can fit on a few pages of an article since I remember myself), but one blissful day, things merged as a natural progression, and a trail runner was born…

Olga King playing around on the Hardrock 100 course.

We each have a story to tell. I won’t bore you with mine. But as we do enter this wonderful and seemingly care-free world of stomping the dirt under our feet, suddenly, things are not that simple. Now what? Do I just run mindlessly, or have a plan? What shoes and do I still have to replace them every so often, or run until they fall apart? Do I care about my gait, my foot strike, my arm swing, my cadence? Do I run up the hill or, instead, walk (and how about three miles uphill with 3,000 feet of elevation gain)? Do I want to get faster, or just use this activity to free my mind? Do I need to consider other exercises for anything?

There is a lot of information on running and racing on roads, for anything from a 400m to a marathon. As we venture into different terrain and surfaces with the combination of longer distances (and we ALWAYS want to go longer once on dirt and without the cars and buildings!), things thin out. Gear, fueling, hydration, description of a route…oh, the complications of such a simple at first endeavor!

But, fear not. You absolutely need one thing, and one thing only – your passion for the wild. Where you take it is up to you. And wherever you go, we’ll be here to help guide you, answer your most burning questions, give you updates and reports on what’s best out there so far, cry over your mistakes, hold your hand as you deal with difficulties, cheer wildly on your success, and most importantly, share your passion with you.

And while I will always encourage you to “Run More”, you will rarely see me “Talk Less”.

About the author

Olga King Olga King (Varlamova) has picked up a second wind of running at the beginning of her fourth decade. With the success of being a self-proclaimed “freight train that never stops”, she has finished over 100 races at distances from the marathon and beyond. For more information on Olga, check out the About page where you can see some of her health and coaching related projects.

8 Responses to “So, I am Here: What’s Next?”

  1. on 30 Apr 2012 at 3:01 pm Julie

    Trail running brings out the kid in me that I thought was long gone and I see I’m not the only one. I “kinda” met Olga once but it was during a race (Crosstimbers) and she was hard at work running 50 miles really fast. I see this beautiful woman with a big smile on her face floating down the trail towards me and recognized her immediately. As she ran by I said something silly like “Hi Olga, I read your blog! You look great!” and she smiled and waved at me. (totally made my day!) I look forward to reading more. Thanks Endurance Buzz and Olga!

  2. on 30 Apr 2012 at 3:29 pm Kim

    I love your blog and am so happy to see you on EB now too!! Looking forward to more posts!

  3. on 30 Apr 2012 at 6:21 pm Jonathan

    Two great bloggers/runners on one site, can’t beat that.

  4. on 30 Apr 2012 at 7:37 pm olga

    Aw, thank you, guys! Julie, I do remember that meeting for sure! I re-read the thing and figured I am actually heading into 5th decade, not 4th, but I guess this is what trail running is for – to make us feel younger:) Hugs to all!

  5. on 01 May 2012 at 3:10 pm Steve Pero

    Nice to see you over here, Olga.

  6. on 02 May 2012 at 8:45 am Clint

    Just starting in the running game and I can definintely relate. Since getting on the trails I always want to make it to the next hill to see whats on the other side! 🙂 Great read Olga, thanks!

  7. on 02 May 2012 at 10:35 pm Jacob

    Great to see Olga posting here! Keep it up!

  8. on 03 May 2012 at 8:35 am David Hanenburg

    Thank you all for sharing the love with Olga on EB! We are just as excited and look forward to sharing her passion, her insight, and her opinions (yes, she has them!) with our tribe.