The long way back – to the hell and back again

lopning

Today was the first run since I got home from the states. Last time I ran was the 5th of december when I was competing in San Fransisco. I though I would never run again.

It is realley hard to describe the big dissapointment and the mental challenge to get back on track again after your biggest fall. 9 months of preparation for one race, so close from the goalline with only 6 km left, so much money spent for just nothing. The hardest part from my race in the state was that I was so close….so freaking close. Why couldnt I have collapsed in the 22nd kilometre instead? Why did I fall down at the 44th when it was only 6 km left for what I have prepared for most of the year 2015.

The dissapointment of being so close…soooooo close.

New goals
I took a break to mental rest. A break from all training. I had to process the dissapointment for my self. In my own world. But now I feel readey again.

Today was the first day of my 12 weeks runningprogram. I did 6 km in 45 minutes. My next goal is Nora Marathon in Örebro in March. This year I will start to cut the time. If my trainingplan is works, I will able to finnish the marathon in Örebro within 5 hours. That is my goal for the spring. Last time I did a marathon, I finnished within 6.28. Haha. But that was no serious effort. Just a stubborn mind that forced me in to the finnish line.

But 2016 will be an awesome year where I will challenge myself to new levels! Be a better runner!

My first year as a runner

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2015 has been a realley exciting year. January this year was when I took my first runningsteps. I lasted for 3 km. It took me 50 minutes and I wogged.
The next following runs I feelt how I developed and in March I got this briliant fix idea for some reason.
I had a weekend off and I wanted to go abroad for a long weekend. Why not participate in a race? HAHA.

Avala Skyrace arranged by Serbia Skyrunning was my first race I participated in my life.  Dont ask me how I found it, because I have no idea. Somewhere in the internet together with googletranslate as my help.
It was a 17 km trailrace outside of Belgrade. This was the start for something new. Some people start with a 5 km in their own country. I went bananas all the way and started with a 17km. Very little people wanted to speak english with me so I got completly lost in the trails in Serbia. But managed to end up top 10 anyway. Great memory! Haha.

I kept continuing running. And has never stopped. Of course it has been a great journey mentally with ups and downs. But I have overcome many fears. Escpecially been more comfortable in my self since I realize I can run. Whole my life I have struggled with my own body since I was so big but not fat, so slow but strong for a girl and resistant. I could keep going on…and on….and on.
It it took me 24 years to figure out what I wanted to do.
Most kids stop playin sports in high school. I have just started my sportcareer.

2015 has been a experimental year of my own runner identity. Who am I as a runner? Which distance should I specialize in? trail or asphalt? Who am I at competitions and races?

I have had a lot of failures. A few DNF (did not finish) and a few mental breakdowns.

Most of my own runner identity I have alreadey figured out during 2015. 2016 Is where I am going to start buildning my self and polish my identity I can become better, faster and more stronger. But at least faster!
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My treats! :) Call me materialist but I do love them. They are hanging above my bed so that it is the first thing I see in the morning, and the last thing I see in the night. Each medal have their own sensitive meaning because it reminds me of the fears I have overcame.

Now its monday. I am going to start slow to comeback mentally from my failure in US. Then in 2 weeks I will start over with a marathonprogram. But I will also add some strenght in to it and biking aswell as swimming. It is a 12 week program.

I am going to mix up that program with some more training that can benefit me for skyruns. I do live in the most flatest area of Sweden. That is a bum. :( That has leading me to just participate in flat competitions.

My competitionplan so far for 2016:
Zimowy Forest Run, 23 km, Poznan, Poland
Täby Extreme Challenge, 80 km, Sweden
Tengri Ultra Trail, I havent decided distance, Kazastan.
Reykjavik Marathon, Iceland
Kazbegi Trail marathon, Georgia (Europe)

+ 1 swimrun contest. If you know any good suggestion. Contact me!

Me…love travelling? I have no idea what you talking about! Haha.

2016…bring it!!! This is now where it starts for real!!

When you start to value your life

Go to America they said! It will be fun! Its a safeplace!

As the top of the cream at my shitty vacation ….me and my friend got robbed yesterday. I got a gun stucked in to my head.

I am not sure why I am putting this on social media. Probaly it will be an easier way for me to process. But also a slam in the face to everybody who have been rude to me when I have chosed to travel to the more untraditional countries. People said I would be killed when I go to countries like Kosovo or Serbia. And everybody has talked sooooo goood about US. Its a great country…bla bla bla. ..
I mean…I have travelled alot. I mean…A LOT to different countries. Preferably to more poorer countries and not those you can read about in a tourist magazine. But never experienced a more shittier system like here.

I found a new friend. His name is J. We went out for a beer at a local pub that is located maximum 1 km from my hostel.
I were still recovering from the race so I could not walk very fast. After two beers he walked me to the hostel and then was supposed to take the cab from there back to his home. There was a small uphill behind the hostel that we went up to. The time was about 1.30 AM.

When we walk that path we hear two guys coming running towards us. There are alot of runners who jogg that way upphill.

But they were no runners. They grab my friend first and scream “give me the wallet niggah”. He did not had anything on him. Then one of the guys go to me. Hold me very hard and then pull a gun to my head. At first second I dont understand what happends. Then I hear the trigger “click”.
I start to dig in my pockets and give them my cash and my bankcard then they ran away.

Me and J started to run towards the hostel. We banged on the door so bad so the nightportier came out and were first pissed of that we were so loud. Then I exhausted shouted that “I am anna…i live here… this is friend. We just got robbed with a gun down here”…

It took a while for the deskperson to notice it what were going on. Then he called the police for us and we calmed down.

The police came around 2 am. Took up the report. And then left. The hostel were sooooo sweeet that they got a bed for my friend without charging him.

And for some fucking reason …the first person I though about calling and tell about the robbery was my “little boss”. The time is plus 9 hours between Sweden and San Fransisco. So he had lunch.
Thank god for skype credit and skypeapp in the phone.

I called first my bank, then my boss.

I lost alot of cash. America is not so hitech with creditcards. So you need to carry cash.

My lifesaver on the financial part was C. He is a swedish guy I got to know here in US. He was running the same race as me.

I did had money on my bank. But no way to get it out here in US since I did not had a card anymore.
From the beginning I was on my way to the swedish consulate here in Sweden. But then I came up with an idea. Maybe C have swish. Swish is like a digital wallet that you can send over smaller amounts to another individuals bankaccount by just texting their phone number.
So I desperatly call him on skype. Tell him what happends. And we meet at Starbucks.
I swish over money (you need wifi to have this  app working). And then he takes out money.

Thank you hitech digital country!

Now I soooo desperatly need to find good parts about my trip in able to not break down completly.

Pros about my vacation
– I made two new friends here.
– I found a beutiful dress for a bargain to the christmasparty at my job when I get back.
– I found an awesome tactical bag that I wanted for so long.
– nature is beutiful in US.
– I got flowers and seaweed from my friend.
-I got to experince a culture and their system (hellooo….ambulance and circus with the police)

Now I just to go home. I miss my job and my collegues.  :-(
This was my first real long vacation in six years. The more you travel and experience new cultures. The more you appreciate what you have home.

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At least I got picture with a cool fire engine.

Sooooon I am going home. I CANT WAIT!

Next time I will stay with my wierd countries in the east.

San Fransisco

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The flight Stockholm – San Fransisco
The time has come. 9 months of preperation and savings that would end up in a totally disaster. Finally I was going to US. Everybody who knows me privately know how much I hate to fly. I had a battle with my self regarding if I should bring my teddies or not for this trip. My first long trip.It is 2 teddies I sleep with at home. 1 cat and 1 dog. Vincent and Woffi. Lol.
I have previosly brought them on every trip I have made it in Europe. Then I passed that fearstage. Once I flew, I did not bring them. I panicked, drank so much alcohol that I threw up in the airplane aile. That was not popular. So they followed me to US. Which was very well needed. I probaly looked stupid, 24 years old travelling with toys. But it is a fine of acting stupid (throw up in the airplane aile) or look stupid (travelling with toys). I preferre looking stupid.
I was travelling with British Airways and changed flight in London to the biggest airplane I have seen.
When we boarded the plane they told us which language the cabin crew spoke. I founded a norweigan speaking crewmember. I told him I was so scared of flying. They have
had some technical issues with the plane and that freaked me out. There was this other swedish man sitting a few chairs away from me.
He offered me to sit beside me during start and landing. I even squeezed his arm during the landing. Poor thing! But I am forever thankful for your offer H!
During middle of the flight I panicked anyway. I started to hyperventilate and cried for several hours. I could not move my legs or feet. And I was scared. So after 3 hours of constant crying I managed to sleep 1 hour. I even found a place in the back of the plane whit an empty row thar I could stretch out my body. Freedom.

Prerace talk
I met an other swedish guy in San Fransisco. We teamed up and went together to the prerace at the North Face store.

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Three athletes that gave advice. The first two from the left were “to american” for my style. Listen to then talking went to cheezy for my taste. I preferred the guy on the right. A former marin who have lost his hand during service. So cool to listen to his story and experience.

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A true hero for the United Stated. But I cant remeber his name.

The day
Race day. The event organizer had rented some typical american schoolbusses that shuffled us racers to the start point. The race started very well. I was not first but I had a good time at 21 km with a time on 3.29. Thats better than my first “flat” halfmarathon I did in July 2015 which ended me on a time at 3.47. Lol.

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The lead uphill. Everybody walked up.

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The race went realley good until the 44th kilometer where I collapsed. I managed to get to the aid station and poke a medic. Suddenly I wake up and have 6-8 people around me. I have walked the past 10 km in a 18 km pace bit my pulse were at max, my heartrythm a little unstable and I had thrown up 4 times on that 10 km.

After a while I started to get my head back. I wanted to go back to the main area where the race started. Because they had a nurse. I also wanted to wait for C until he came in the goal.
So they tossed me in an ambulance and promised me to get me to the race area.
After half the way the way they stopped the car and I was going to be moved to an other vehicale (firetruck/ambulance). I asked “what the fuck is happening”.
The medic in the ambulance said the were going to give me over to the paramedic/firemen and then they were going to bring me the hospital.
I have refused hospital 20 times but they stabbed me in the back ans brought me there anyway. They refused to give me the form of where I could refuse medical treatment.
They just dumped me in at a hospital in the middle of nowhere.
I had no ID. No creditcard. No money and my phone did not work.

After 8 hours I manage to finally get that paper where I refused medical care against the doctors whish. But my bag was still in the race area.
The nurse was like “can you get out of here by your self?”
Me: are you serious?

She helped me anyway to get hold of a overnight security guard who were guarding the premises of the race so I could get my bag. There were no numbers to any race directors, no information, no nothing.
So I ended up with a 95 USD taxi bill because I needed to get the race area, pick up my back to get my stuff, then get back to the hostel.

I have could spend that money ob something better. Like eating in San Fransisco.

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The post affection
I will definitly leave with no good memory of america. And I will probaly not race here again for a while. Or forever.

It litteraly broke me down. So mch preperation. And the race went realley good. Until this shit happends and you get dumped i  the middle of nowhere.

This was my first conventional race. I do understand why I will stick to racing in my beloved eastern european/postwar countries. (Ping: Skyrunnig Serbia)
They do struggle to get around financially. But they do care about the runners and the event.

I have at least went from – “I will never race again” to “okay I am going to aloud my self to break down, come again, and looked i forward to 2016”.

2015 was my first year of running. It has definitly been a very adventourus one. Many times I have though: what the fuck have I given me in to? Me? Running?
But running does me happy. Travelling does me happy.

So I am glad that I have killed the biggest “post-failure brainghost” and I can look forward to 2016 where I can put another level to my training. I will sum up my first year as a rookie runner in a blog post later in december. :-)

2016 will bring me both to Kazakstan and Georgia (Europe).

Now I am going to try to enjoy my last days in US.

Todeloo.

11 days off

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11 days off before I go to US. Holy shit is probaly the only thing that is circulating in my mind.

10 hours time limit. I hope that I make the cut-off times. I woud be so dissapointed if I would not make it.
My stomach is all about butterflies and worrying thoughts right now. Since I always go alone on my races the only one I speak to is my self. So it is very hard when you get downhill in the negative mountain. On the other hand, I get a selfknowledge that is beyond the limits if I compare to young females in my own age.

I just take days as they comes. Training, bicikling, gymworkouts, long walks…whatever that comes in my mind.

The past months have been a big deep black hole that have eaten my motivation. Right now I try to survive on the crambles. It starting to get better. The reason for that is that I have put up some serious career goals that involves physical training aswell. You will find out more on the 11th February 2016 on what I will do. :) Hopefully the result will be good enough.

11 days out. If I survive this race within the time limit I will buy my self a startspot for Täby Extreme Challenge 50 miles to myself for christmas present. Over and out.. 11 days out. Focus mode start in 3…….2…..1…..

Umeå marathon 2015

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Yep! Today was the day when I did my very first marathon! That will always be something special to me!
A bloke did his 369th marathon. He was finnish. Did you expected something else? Haha.

The marathon was held in Umeå City. It took me total time 9 hours by bus to get there!!

My running was very stable and good until the 25th km. I even crushed my halfmarathon time by 1 hour.
I passed the 21 km at 2h and 35 minutes. My last halftmarathon was at 3.47. Haha. Pretty big development right?

I did a rookie mistake. I should have got my own dropbags by the waterstations. They had only sportdrinks and water by the stations. Even if they were every 4th km my body did not cope very well 42 km on only fluids. The last station did had dextrosol and bananas but I energycrashed at the 25 th km. I am not used to run that long only on fluids.
Good to know until USA.

I managed to run until 35th km then I seriosly hitted a BIIIIIIIIIIIG WALL!
I was aiming for 5.30 hours and I was on my good way to make that…until the wall came. There was stop. So fucking stop. It was higher than the Berlin wall and that Chinese thing together.

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Suddenly I dropped from 7.30 km pace to 14.55 km pace. I lifted the other foot after an other and slowly….singing on american military parade songs (why do I know them? Haha)..very slowly I managed to cross the finnish line at time 6.28 h.

Thank god there were no cut off time. If I would have break the race at 35 km as I wanted, I would probaly not have raced again.

A giant big thank you to the sweet people that hosted me this weekend. Even if they have never met me before. I love you!!!

Now ..I am gonna sleep until I am taking the buss home tomorrow to my village. :-)

//big bearhugs ♡♡♡

Umemaran 2015

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I
 have just turned my whole room upside down!

Packing anxiety!!! BIGTIME!

So tomorrow I am off work because I am going to sit in a bus for 8 hours, sleep at a house with people I have never met, run 42 km (hopefully) and then sit in a bus for 8 hours back to my village.

My best but also my worst skill is that I often do things without so much actually think to much about them. I just do it. Then I realise if I have succeeded or if it was a flop. But from something bad, it also comes something good. For example I have become the master of creativity when things goes wrong. A real problem solver. :D

Like signing up for this marathon. People use to spend months to train to marathons, except for me. I just go…meeeh what the heck! Lets see what it leads to.
I do believe learning by doing is a thing. This has probaly been more of my lifestyle theese days. I am not scared, but I do admit I have been better planning on some things.
Like when I was study to become an electrician. I spent 3 years in school to gain the highest grades, worked my ass of for 2 years to find a job in the industry, left my favourite country which I have moved to, only to move back to Sweden and realise after 6 months that this was absolutly not what I wanted to work with. That bomb was…a big bomb. After that I probaly learned more to go with the flow with everything. That is my way of living now.

I am actually doing this marathon just to experience how my body will do on this type of distance. So I can correct the errors before my US trip.

Right now I am running around in my packing chaos. I am not sure what I will wear on the raceday, or which shoes…which lead me to even more panick.

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The Race arrenger: Jalles TC (a running club) is probaly the sweetest people ever! I emailed them a couple of weeks ago to ask if I could rent their clubhouse or something. Because every hostel/hotel that was in my prizecategory was totally full booked. So they emailed their clublist and asked if anybody could host me. So within 1 hour I had a sleeping space to sleep in with a older couple.
I have never mer them, they have never met me. But they wanted to host me and open the door their home!! Sweet people!
I am trying to think of what to buy to show my appreciation! Any suggestions!?

Now I going to dive in to my packing chaos!!

My way to become an vegan ultra-runner

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