Actually, this week we head to a really Idyllic Bavarian town. Which ….if you go there on the race weekend,………. doesn’t feel like there is a special event going to be held. Hardly any signs, or road closures… nope… looks like a normal weekend ….
The race has different types of distances… a half marathon, full marathon, and a ultra. Now first off it is a typical postcard type of scenery. Bavarian houses, lush green hills forest… and… actually the whole town is surrounded by amazing mountains….
Amazing (?) if you look up around you see the mountains you will be running … but more to that later. I want to be very frank this race this was for me a challenge, and it was one of those events, when I did it the first time, I knew I need to go back again. I knew that with proper planning, and better preparation, especially mentally. Because, I have completed this race three times, and wanted to get a 9:15 finish. That was my goal.
Why 9:15, well I had many races in the year, and my 12 crazy days charity run event. Where I ran 12 marathons in 12 consecutive days… anyway I knew that I was not 100% in shape to tackle this for me mighty event in a sub 9. Even though I would have loved it.
Question, how often do you reason like this? I mean wouldn’t it make for great podcast to tell you, “yes I set a challenging time… giving it my best… “… tempting I admit it. But what for? To try and impress you as listeners, or try to impress my friends. Nope, I told you here we keep it real… I was not in a condition physically to run the best time possible for me. Therefore I selected a time that I knew, would be a challenge, BUT without risking a injury or a “Did not Finish”. A DNF often reminds me of airplane investigations, like on NatGeo… it was a quiet night as Captain Dave headed out onto the runway… Oh I hope you are not listening to this on a plane right now. You will be fine. If a accident occurs it is always a series of events that lead to a crash or DNF. It’s never the one thing. Remember the DNF I told you about I had in another Alps Ultra.. I had bad blisters (which I never get) and my feet underneath they hurt like crazy, a burning sensation…. Well, all this was a series of events as I had forgotten my insoles. That’s how a DNF happens, it sneaks up on you. Under the guise of confidence, and preparedness. So that’s why I decided to settle for a 9:15 time and let’s save the personal best challenge for another year.This section is where there is a huge elevation gain (for me, its huge… I know there are races in the States that have much higher elevation gains, and ultras that are more challenging, BUT this is not a Podcast on the baddest, meanest climbs, it’s about challenges, and how to overcome them by training and changing your mindset. For some of you listeners, it might be a finishing a 10K, for others it might be getting a sub 3:00 marathon.
OK, back to the Allgäu Ultra… hills, yes.. ok… now this is my example at KM54 till KM 60 you gain 700 meters. For those of you in the US … let me see I noted it down.. its about 4 miles and 2300 Feet of elevation gain… just to give you a quick summary, by using this technique, I will be able to access a mental image that ensures I stay in a specific mindset, which in turn positively affects my pace at that moment in time.. so it remains constant, and gets me over such a difficult section.