It has been a while ago since I wrote my last post here. Several things happened, but I was not in the mood to write it down. Around Christmas time, I focused 100% for the success at the Vibram HK100 race, which I also managed successfully. Thereafter all energy was gone. Physically and special mentally. This awful winter weather the last 2 month made it even more badly. Very dark depressive time. This might be the reason why I got also my first two DNFs. The first one was at the UTHK race where I stopped at km40 after 8 hours at 9PM. The finish rate was only 40%, but this does not make my DNF better. The other DNF was the HZ100 where I went out at km35 after 8 hours stair climbing with a total ascent of >3000m, and the same in descent for sure. This race was ONLY stair climbing and that is not what I like at all. This race completely cancelled later at night because of too heavy rain.
Overall, the important lesson I learned during the last 3 month is that an ultra-marathon can be only finished successful when the runner is 100% mentally fit. Some missing miles in training can be compensate with some slower walks or longer rest time at the CPs, but standing on the start line full of hate and anger about weather, winter and mostly about yourself does not make any sense. A simple marathon can be done in 4 hours-ish, sleepy, angry, or just uncomfortable, but for a race like the 175km UTHK, a runner need a very clear mind and a true smile in the face.
It was very easy to start moving on a downward spiral. Dark, cold, wet winter. The first DNF. Missing motivation for a run in a cold smoggy Chinese city, instead lying on the sofa with extremely unhealthy food. The next DNF. Check the scale, gaining 5kg. Order a family pizza just for frustration and so on and on. I think many ambitious runners once reached this point. Because everything started with a wet and cold late autumn, the best would be to live during wintertime in the Southern Hemisphere. Have to think about this. 🙂 🙂 🙂
Last Sunday, the first day in 2015 with >20degC, I went to Nanjing for a marathon in the local hills. Comparing this with Hong Kong or Hangzhou, it was a flat course. Highest point was 350m and the trail was mostly on 2m wide gravel roads. Such a nice area, it reminded me the whole time to the forests in my German hometown. I was in my time target for the first real run after several weeks, past the 20km sign after exactly 2 hours, but at km27 pain started in my right foot ankle so I mostly walked the last 15km. I twisted my ankle twice at this silly stairs in Hangzhou two weeks ago, so the pain last Sunday must be come from there.
Anyway, I finished in 4h:51m and my first sunburn for this year. Cannot describe how happy I am with this itchy red skin. 🙂
Looking forward to this year’s running season. It will be great for sure.
Next race will be in 2 weeks a 33km trail run in Wuxi, just an hour away, before I’m heading north to Dalian for the Dalian100, fully motivated for sure!!! 🙂