What happens to you while running for 59km?
Well firstly, you have a lot of time to think about EVERYTHING. And that I did, a lot. So much that my mind is all messed up now haha. Running has this amazing way of clearing ones mind, at times so much that you get restless of the aftermath of not being able to do what you want straight away.
So let’s go day by day, step by step.
I arrived to Copenhagen on Friday and with a group of friends we drove to Ystad in Sweden and took a ferry to Bornholm and got to our accommodations. Carbloaded as much as we could and started preparing for the next early morning race.
Raceday started at 4am on Saturday. Stuff on and food in the belly and out the door to get to a bus that took us to the other side of the island to the start line. Bibs on and ready for the adventure. I was still feeling really calm. Maybe I should have been worried about that haha.
The route started from a lighthouse, as the name is from lighthouse to lighthouse. There we all waited for the cannon to start the race, yes actual tiny cannon was the gun that went off! And all of sudden there was this insane wall of sand ahead of me, which I haven’t definitely prepared myself for, and when you got on top of it, you had to straight away slide it down to a beach that the route went on for the first 10km and some kilometers. The fact that we were running next to the sea, while the sun was slowly coming up was pretty amazing. This silent herd of runners just nervously pushing on and leaving those extra jitters behind. I actually had to fight my urge to go to the sea right then and there :D.
And all the way to the first aid station at around 20km, I felt so insanely strong, I was just so happy. Got to run next to amazing friends, no talk just run, loved it. Few km before the aid station there was this super rocky spot and way too many people to fit in that single track, so I got too much behind of my friends to be able to catch them, so I ran alone which was okay to me. I was just enjoying the route and the fact that I finally were there, on that route that I had been waiting since last August or even July.
Then maybe at around kilometer 25, my belly started feeling weird, but I just kept going, no interest in having anything to do with it. But that didn’t go as I planned… It really got bad in the next kilometers and I ended up realizing that I’m not able to eat anything, as every time I did, my belly just got into this insane twist of all the feels that should not have been there on that day. So I kept hydrating myself and just powered on. To be honest, I had to go to a bush to poop, twice, on that route. And seriously I was just laughing out loud the second time, just thinking that well now I’ve done it all :D.
But the problem of not getting anything else down than water was that in that amazingly beautiful but warm weather my energy levels just dropped way faster than I expected and I had to walk quite a bit. And that made me so sad, for a while, until I realized where I was and that I had no intention to give up, that was not an option, at all!
That part is actually so huge to me. I’m seriously almost know for my ability to give up and not going through with things I start, mostly the old me, but it’s not a thing I’ve been able to get completely out of my system. I didn’t even think of giving up, not once. I did think at the end that could this thing just end already haha but I was not willing to even think of giving up. If I would’ve done that, for me, it would’ve meant that I am exactly the same as before, and I’ve worked pretty damn hard to be better me. And also, I ran the race for my Mom, it was her birthday on Friday and she loves lighthouses, so perfect race to run for her. And she’s always been there for me, through it all, pushing me on and to think of not finishing, I couldn’t do that to her. I would’ve been so disappointed in myself if I had. So yes, that was not an option.
There was a moment when I was so mad at myself of not being able to run even though I wanted, I cried and tried to bite back tears in so many spots, I laughed out loud a lot, I felt this insane peace and calmness of the beauty around me, I was challenged in so many new ways that I could pretty much only marvel in it all, good or bad. Because at the end of the day, it was freaking amazing! I would not change one thing, because it taught what I need to change and what I need to work at to get stronger and able to tackle those moments.
But the amount of ALL THE FEELS was so crazy! When you are doing something like that for good 10 hours, yes it took me that time, you go through so many different things with yourself. Most of the race, I was completely alone. And I think that was really good to me. It’s been a rough last year and I feel I needed that solitude and that discomfort and all that shit and amazingness to see how bloody strong I actually am. I’m almost tearing up as I write, because I’m seriously grateful for that time alone. And it’s not like running an Ultra is supposed to be easy, anything can happen, anything! And that’s the part I love the most in what I do, that it will beat you down and rise you back up so high that WHAT! It sucks and you hate the whole thing and at the same time you feel like you’re in love so hard. So yeah it’s confusing and messy but so good, so so good.
The last part of the race, the last 20km I was mostly walking, which obviously sucked, or in my head it did. I had this tiny goal time and when looking at my watch and it was just slipping far away from me, I was just annoyed to the max, but what could I do?! Nothing but to go on. I couldn’t know that my belly will feel like shit, because there was no signs of that the day before or in the morning, nothing. There’s always things that we have no control over and that was one of those.
But in the end of the race, I was just tired of feeling like shit and the fact that I was about to cry all the time. I was so so disappointed that I couldn’t do what I had in mind that for a little while I forgot that I am living my dream. And when I finally got to our house, as the route went past it, and heard my friend screaming from a window, I just balled out cried and felt like a huge failure. My friend didn’t take any of that shit, she gave me some much needed tough love, told how proud she was of me and how amazing I am and how I’m so close, and how after the next gate I need to try to run. And then she hugged me and sent me to the last part of the route, the last 4 something km. I did actually run for maybe an kilometer after that gate, and then my whole body was just dead and I felt that if I try more, I might pass out. So it was cursing and walking haha. And a lot more cursing and “can this shit just end already”. And then I saw that last lighthouse, that one that I knew is the finish line. It was so damn close and so sneakily far, and to get there I had to climb this insane rock hill.
And then I heard a familiar voice, and one of my friends was waiting for me and just took my hand and guided me through the rocks and listened me complain and cry and whine and pushed me on. And all of sudden that lighthouse was in front of me, with just little gravel road to go and all my friends and other people just yelling and cheering me on. That was the moment when all the shit just went away and I was crying and smiling like nothing else. My friend said that you will finish alone, you got this and took his hand off and all of sudden I just sprinted the last tiny hill all the way to the lighthouse! I have never in my life felt that amazing, ever!
The amount of love and support, it’s insane! I wasn’t the last, but I was the second last to finish, but it doesn’t matter. I finished what I started for once! And I’m so proud of myself! I am on the right path. That one that I’ve worked so hard for and I just showed to myself that I’m not that loser anymore! Fuck you old me! 😀
What this all did to me, is priceless. And I will go there again next year, no doubt about it, me and that race have a bone to pick. Now I know what I need to do to get where I want. The route was so hard compared to what I’ve done here, so technical and so demanding and so insanely amazing!
And to clear what I startedin the beginning of this whole story, my mind got so clear during that, that I feel like I have no patience with what I know I need to do for myself. I know that it will take time and that I’m going to the right way but could it all just happen now and like wake up to tomorrow and those all would be true and my reality! Well, I’m working on it. Definitely big things happening again soon. I’ll keep you posted :).
But now, thank you so much to all that has supported me during my race and before and after and all your INSANELY nice words, can’t really believe it’s me that is receiving them, but THANK YOU! It all means the world to me and you guys keep pushing me <3. Thank you Bornholm for completely taking my heart and loving me so hard <3. And thank you all my sponsors for believing in me and giving me the chance to fulfill my dreams and goals!!