A new adventure, a new challenge, a new project!

February 4, 2014

After New York marathon at the beginning of November, I entered a period where I had no new goal and no desire to have one. That might not seem like a big deal, but I can’t emphasise enough how unusual that is for me. Typically I have my next goals lined up before the current ones are completed and I’d had New York marathon on the calendar long before the Ironman in August.

This time though, I needed some time and space to reflect over – and digest – what I’d been through, before figuring out what I wanted to do next. Here are some of the results of my reflections:

  • Despite having done an Ironman I don’t identify myself as a triathlete. I’m a runner.
  •  Nonetheless, my body functions well when I train like a triathlete and it has a good effect on my running.
  • I enjoy swimming, especially in open water, even though I’m not very fast and I still have an underlying fear of water.
  • I loved the whole process of training for the Ironman, particularly having to learn many new things and constantly push my limits, but also the aspect of having to manage a big project with many different elements.

Perhaps the biggest lesson though was this. Immediately after the Ironman I was really surprised – shocked even -that it hadn’t seemed hard and that I got through the 13+ hours without a crisis or hitting the wall. I’ve since come to the conclusion that our bodies are designed to be in motion over long periods of time. It requires the right training and the hitting right strategy on the day, but if you can find the right intensity, you can pretty much just keep going.

Racing on the local trails

Racing on the local trails

During this period I also had no training programme, which is even more unusual for me than having no goal. For once I was happy to let my feet decide where they wanted to run, and how far and fast. I’m incredibly lucky to live in a town which is surrounded by lakes and forests and when my feet decide, more often than not I find myself on the forest trails. This is the place where I do my reflection and find my inspiration.

On one of those runs, out of the blue, I suddenly knew that my next goal was to participate in an ultra-race (defined as anything more than a marathon). At least it felt like it was out of the blue: in retrospect it is apparent that it was the culmination of my reflections.

Initially I was thinking in terms of a 6 hour race, where you run as far as you can in 6 hours – typically round and round a relatively short, flat route. That was until I found about plans to organise an ultra-trail event in the forest near my home and I knew that was what I wanted to do.

So my next goal is Trailman 50 (very hilly) miles (80.4 km) on 19 October 2014.

A new adventure, a new challenge, a new project!


8 Responses to “A new adventure, a new challenge, a new project!”

  1. Takis Says:

    Hi Kirsten
    As always very inspiring and very positive. This challenge will make Ironman look like a 10K. This one will push your limits to a new level and will test your mental and physical abilities like you never experienced before. This is the one for: “When the going gets tough… the tough getting going” and you are Tough. I have complete confidence in you and your strategies and cannot wait to follow your training. But I wonder what will it be next? After that Epic trail race Medal is hanging among your other trophies! What will be your next Epic? But for now you have a lot of trail miles ahead of you!


    Happy Trails! 🙂


    • Kirsten Says:

      Hi Takis, Thanks! Yes, my expectation too is that the IM will seem like a piece of cake compared to this;-) But I think I’ll wait and decide what the next adventure will be once this one is in the bag. Cheers, Kirsten

  2. How exciting, training for that should be fun!

  3. Jo Says:

    I know the runner in you will love this. Have fun with the training.

  4. Margaret Robinson Says:

    You really are one crazy woman Kirsten! I hope the training goes well. I will be in Copenhagen for one day this summer (sometime in July) so if you are around and not doing ultra wimman training it would be great to meet up. Will let you know details nearer the time. Take care, Margaret xx

  5. […] February I wrote about my new goal for this year – an 80 km trail race (Trailman 50 miles) in October. For many years my running goals were always […]

  6. […] course, not long after that I decided on my goal for 2014, and since then my mind has been really focused on ultra trail running, and I began to regret that […]

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