This is my race report about the Trail Festival in Innsbruck where I placed 3rd overall in the women´s field. The route was originally 65 k / 40 mi. long with an elevation gain of nearly 7000 ft. A day prior to the race, due to danger of avalanche, the route was changed and extended by about 2.5 miles.
It was such a well-organized event. Roundabout 1500 runners ran in 5 different categories. The competition in the women´s field of the 63-mile race blew me away. I normally place in the Top 5 in races but in bigger events, I tend to cross the line as 4th. It looked very much like it yesterday. Then things turned around.
While it´s not all about placement and more about having a good day out, focusing inward as opposed to what is going on with other runners, it is part of my competitive soul that loves the challenge and going for it.
But one thing after another.
A lot goes on in the mind over the course of a 43-mile ultra marathon.
I did a few things differently prior and in my training.
I changed my race nutrition pretty much at the last minute.
My average mileage during the entire winter months was between 70-100 (rarely) km per week.
My longest run in that time was 30 k.
I did lots of speed training and hill interval training.
I did core, stability and strength training consistently 3x per week.
Meditation plays a big part in my life on all levels. I also did lots of visualisation pre-race and wrote in my journal over and over: I´m placing in the top 3.
My goal was to go sub-8 hours. I crossed the finish line in 7hrs 26 minutes.
I always trained with music but refrained from doing so until the last 10 miles of the race. I plugged in one of my favorite tunes on repeat and before that listened to a Rich Roll podcast where he interviewed Kimberly Chambers, an amazing distance swimmer.
It kept me both focused and distracted from the physical fatigue at that stage. My mind was super clear and „on“ at this stage.
I skipped the last aid station and sped up the last 4 miles. It wasn´t until then that I left the 4th woman behind me. We had been switching backwards and forwards for almost the entire day.
My race nutrition consisted of 8 scoops of tailwind endurance fuel in two 500 ml bottles mixed with water and one 250 ml water flask I filled up at each station. I also had one Veety bar, a cup of coke and half a banana at one aid station.
I never got the usual raving headaches and swollen fingers. My stomach was never bloated and I had perfect energy during the entire day.
90 minutes before the start, I forced down some porridge with agave nectar and chia seeds and a cup of coffee. I was so nervous this time and almost felt sick.
During a physical low and some pains on my upper left foot (never an issue normally) I visualized green waves of water flooding through it. The pain diminished.
I got this second wind on the last 4 miles also knowing that my oldest daughter would meet me at the finish line. My partner could not be there yesterday. Knowing he´s with me all the time kept me positive. Nothing beats a good support team.
I went through phases of feeling resentful, not up for it anymore, annoyed about another 4th place finish and focused on placement. Then I changed my thoughts back to the moment visualizing the sub-8 hour time and letting go of the outcome of a specific placement.
I never looked at my watch or tracked my heart rate. I never do. I care about my form on the day and run by feeling.
All in all, I enjoyed a really fun, exciting and fulfilling day. A perfect race on a perfect day.