When I was younger, I really liked running. And I seemed to be fairly decent at it. I did the whole thing of joining a running club and doing races. But eventually, I gave it up. My training had largely dictated my life. I had lost the fun in it, and I was tired of it. I wanted to go out with my friends, have parties and get drunk. So when I left school, I also left running behind.
Don’t get me wrong here, I don’t regret that at all. It was the right decision at the time. I needed that step away, and I didn’t come back for almost ten years.
The first time I thought about running again was when I went to Trondheim in Norway. Just outside my house there was a network of hiking trails through Bymarka. I had already discovered my passion for hiking. And while I was passing through nature on foot, it came to my mind how much further one could get by running.
This thought lingered in the back of my head. I don’t even remember how I came to that, but one day I found myself looking up extreme running races. Races of way more than a marathon, through nature, self-supported and self-navigated, with thousands of metres of ascent. Call me crazy, but to me, that sounded amazing. Like a true adventure.
But I left it at that for the time being. I was in the middle of moving back from Norway, writing a Master thesis, and then moving away again to England. Apart from the occasional run here or there, I didn’t do much.
Finally getting there
When I had settled in England, the idea of ultra marathons surfaced again. Eagerly, I started to train again and promptly overdid it until my knees gave up. Disappointed, I stopped again and tried to bury the idea of me ever doing that. The emphasize is on “tried” here, because I wasn’t quite successful.
For two years, I went hiking and climbing, but I could never fully get the idea of ultra marathons out of my head. Going for a hiking holiday in the Dolomites just brought it all back. Over the last year, I’ve toyed with the idea of giving running a shot again.
Finally, I decided to take action. I got new running trainers for Christmas and at the start of this year, I started running again. I was frustratingly slow and ran disappointingly short distances, but I didn’t want to ruin my knees straight away.
And it worked! I’ve had no major issues apart from a few twitches here and there, and I feel fitter than I’ve been in years! For the future, I have a few running adventures lined up already. Stay tuned!