The year was 2014.
It was January and the running conditions couldn’t have been any worse. My sisters had just begun their training for their first 50k, and I decided to tag along for their weekly running sessions. Obviously I couldn’t be the one sister lying on the couch while they were out doing more important things - so I joined them. And yes, I also signed up for the 50k trail race. None of us had ever called ourselves runners before - don’t ask me why we decided on a 50k rather than a 5 or 10k like normal people… For as long as I can remember, running had only been something I forced myself to suffer through once every six months or so just because “one was supposed to run.” I hated it every time. But running together with my sisters, preparing for a goal that seemed crazy - who even runs 50 kilometers?! - lit a spark in me.
(We all finished the race in June 2014. The spark that running had lit in me before now exploded and completely took over my whole world.)
During the spring of 2014 I slowly started making my way into this whole new world called ultra trail. I had no clue what terms like intervals, threshold or heartrate meant. And it didn’t matter, I was just running. And I loved it. As time passed, I slowly started learning more and more about these terms - but prestige was never a thing. I started exploring the trails around my city. Which areas are good for hill repeats? I also did lots of research online. Watched this crazy girl called Emelie Forsberg running down a mountain trail. I wanted to be like her!
Who would have thought that running would become such a big part of my life. And it didn't just become a big part - it became my whole life. Since then I've ran countless races 50k and longer (and shorter!) and seen many parts of the world in a pair of running shoes. Met so many amazing people. I took a course to become a certified running coach and started coaching outdoor group trainings, both running and functional strength training. That last thing is something I never thought I would do - me? Coaching others? What do I know about running, really? But my passion fueled my eager to learn, so gradually I accumulated more and more knowledge about coaching others - and thus I also became more confident in my role as a coach.
Now, 5 years later, I sometimes look back at the early days and miss the feeling I had back then. Feeling like everyday is an unknown adventure. What am I going to learn today? What new trail will I discover? And what am I going to learn about myself?
It's different now. Not worse in anyway, just different. Like a butterfly breaking out of its cocoon. And I guess it's a constant process, a constant effort - just like you shouldn't take your beloved for granted after that first falling in love-phase, I've learned not to take running for granted after our extended honeymoon. Especially now that I am injured, I view the concept of running from an entirely different perspective. And I think that that’s one of the truly good things that will come out of this chapter of my life - that I will be more grateful for being able to run at all, enjoying each step a little more, and enjoying the suffering when I am tackling a tough uphill - because I can.
Our honeymoon may be over, but if Mr. Running and I have promised each other one thing, it’s this: ‘til death do us part.