I've already had the pleasure to run a few ultras, but at the Innsbruck Alpine Trail Festival I was in the deepest hole I could find so far.
For a long time I ran very well and steadily. I had no problems during the night and was less tired than expected. I was able to eat, but in hindsight maybe not enough. When the sun ⛅ finally rose, it was a great moment. From KM 57 I unfortunately started cramping a bit and tried to work against it, which I managed well up to KM 80 and I could still push after the ascent and descent to the Zwölferspitze 2100m. Then only about 400m of ascend was waiting for me. But on the last climb all my wheels fell off. I'm usually super strong at continuous uphill walking, but I had to rest about every 20 steps. When I got to the top I wanted to give up, but since I was so thirsty I ordered a non-alcoholic beer at the mountain inn and called my Favorite person Jette. I was about to give up even though there was only 9 km of downhill left on the course.
Somehow Jette managed to motivate me to keep going and finish 🏃 which makes this finish even more meaningful for me.
The run was one big emotional rollercoaster ride with ups and downs, but also moments where I just felt tears welling up in my eyes for no obvious reason.
I've already learned a lot, I still have to process other things, but the "Paincave" that Courtney Dauwalter always talks about is deeper than I could have imagined until than.
This time I will only briefly touch on the points, as I have already mentioned some things above.
Track: The track was really nice. Very runnable with not too technical trails. A few decent ramps that are quite demanding. At no time did we have to scramble, so a perfect running route.
Organization: Actually everything is great, but two little things that I either haven't read or maybe not clearly communicated. The drop bag for KM57 had to be handed in at the registration, although the mail said that you can hand it in at the start (but referred to a second drop bag). Unfortunately, she wasn't back before 6:00 p.m. and since I didn't want to wait that long, I had to go again the next day.
Fueling: I think I actually ate well and drank enough.But the cramps must have a reason. The fact is that for me it was the first night start (00:00 a.m.) and also had more vertical meters than ever before. I guess I won't solve the riddle until I will complete a similar run where I can compare the adjustments.
Mentally: A pure roller coaster ride between happy and emotional. I still don't understand why, but in the two weeks before the run there's a lot going on privately that was quite concerning for me (which luckily developed positively), but also some professional setbacks.
Physical: Apart from the cramps, I was fine. I definitely need to pay more attention to the electrolytes again. I have applied a new strategy in Training with no problems, but maybe I will go back to the old strategy.
Weather: We had a very warm night and an even hotter Day, until the run was stopped at around 6:00 p.m. due to thunderstorms, but luckily I had already crossed the finish line.
Highlights: I found new mental depths and noticed that there is a way out. I have noticed that a break is not a crime and can decide about finishing or a DNF. I left everything at the course and reached the finish line with literally nothing left in the tank, which was one of my goals, and now it is time to learn for the next adventures.
What a ride around Innsbruck 🥳
> Shout out - to all volunteers - you are awesome beeing out there for us and provide food an security. Thanks
Distance: 91.95 KM
Ascent and descent: +/- 4070 HM
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