2017 – a good year in so many ways 🙂
4444 km (the equivalent distance as Tromsø to Cairo), 88000 meters elevation gain, 295 runs, 12 km per day on average. This is a great achievement for Tom, considering last year I ran 1669 km, 728 km in 2015, and 424 km in 2014. Most of the year I have avoided injury despite the steep increase in mileage, listening carefully to my body´s signals and adjusted my running accordingly. I have completed 7 competitions of which 5 ultramarathons. Kristine has run 815 km in 129 runs, compared to 470 km last year, which is also a great achievement. Step by step we are building ourselves.
Back to the headline - running, fast and slow. I have during 2017 experienced the difference between the two, beyond the obvious physicality.
Long distance running in a pace where you hardly take notice of your surroundings except for competitors, as few and short stops as possible, mind your step, mind your next step to avoid tripping over. It´s a fight against yourself, a battle against the clock. If you just keep this pace, you will finish with this time, let´s go! Push it, push it a little more, you know you can do it. Pain is temporary, glory everlasting. Crossing the finish line, you vaguely remember where you´ve just spent the entire day. But hey, you reached your goal, you got a placement, you got a new PR. You may know it was beautiful, but your focus was elsewhere. Background can only become focus in the present. You can never rewind an experience to change your focus.
Long distance running in a pace where you can contemplate on what is, how your legs and body feel, you indulge in beautiful surroundings, you take it all in, breathe it all out. You find your pace of the day where you can go with the flow, forever and ever, take notice on whatever you want to focus on while still moving forward. You compete with no one, not even yourself because you are not the same person as you where the last time. You finish when you finish. Crossing the finish line, you can write a book about what you just experienced.
I have wondered why I haven’t been able to put down on paper my experiences from Fornebuløpet 10 km, Dobbeltravern 60 km, Oslotrippelen 73 km, and AllehelgensUltramaraton 45 km. I guess this is the reason why. In these races I focused on pace, finish time and PRs. Surely I had a great time, but it is all vague. So my priority going forward has become clear – I opt for running slow, to enjoy the adventure, to harvest experiences and impressions, to keep and to share. This does not mean I will not focus on speed and efficiency. These are key elements in expanding my range and what adventures I will be capable of doing. My slow running will get faster, but speed will not be my main focus. Running fast just don´t give me as much as running slow.
For 2018 this implies I have signed up for Soria Moria til Verdens Ende 161 km taking place one week before Ecotrail Oslo 80 km, hence not pursuing sub 8 hours (but I might run sub 8 if that is my pace of the day), Salomon XREID Jotunheimen 104 km, Dobbeltravern 60 km (again I might run sub 6 hours if that is my pace of the day), and Nordmarka Ultra Challenge 100 km. I am really looking forward to spending day after day outside in the beautiful Norwegian outdoors.
It is now you run. What you experience is your choice.
You get what you focus on, so focus on what you want.
Happy New Year!