I wasn’t supposed to run today, cause I felt tired after four consecutive days of crispy winter running in temperatures between -8 and -12°C. Fresh deep untouched snow. Sunny clear blue sky. Hmmm… But I love to yield to the temptation – especially when it comes to trail running. That’s the way running should be. A celebration, a temptation, filling you with desire, making you happy like a little kid on christmas day. A little bit later I’m kicking snow with a smile. Working the legs up and down the steep hills, soon stronger, soon faster. When it’s difficult it helps thinking of the UTMB (Ultra Trail de Mont Blanc, 166K and +9400m). I don’t know if I will do it again this year, but I sure would like to – under 30 hours!!
However, racing isn’t the purpose. It’s only an option. I try to enjoy every run instead and make it as beautiful as I can. I mean really enjoy it. To be in the moment. Loving it. Living it. Running in a snowy slient forest with thick piles of white on every little tiny branch is sublime. Following fox trails. Following natures shapes. Falling with a grunt UFFFF…while descending a steep rocky slope . Luckily falling soft on the snow. Maybe I’m getting to old for this..?? Playing around alone in technical terrain. But I like it soo much. I Love it. It’s freedom – both physical and mental. I chose; nature just present the options. But I really should bring my mobile phone, just in case…
I have had my share of close encounters. Slipping on ice and crashing into rocks headfirst. Getting lost in the desert at night (Slickrock trail in Moab, without headlamp it’s hard to find your way down) and in the Amazon jungle (Jungle Marathon 2nd stage 2003). Once I sprained the ankle bad during a swim & run session in the archipelago outside Göteborg. It was early summer, maybe 15°C in the water, and a long swim back.
Adventurous trail running isn’t without risks. Ask top mountain runner and adventure racer Danielle Ballengee, who slipped on a patch of ice and fell 8 vertical metres during a trailrun in the backcountry of Moab, Utah a few years ago. With a pelvis broken in four places and three cracked vertebrae she couldn’t move and had to struggle to survive in the cold. She was rescued two days later, thanks to her dog Taz. Read the amazing story here.