You don’t try, you’ll never know.

Running has taken over a lot of my life. Or actually, I still hardly run more than three times a week on average, but it has become a major way of living, and a lesson for, the exploratory way of life I seek to live and promote. And thus, it has taken over this blog.

With this lack (of training) and that surfeit (of run-writing), running 3 ultramarathons in the course of 30 days seemed a somewhat dangerous, if not simply unlikely, proposition.

I wanted to know, though. So, I tried – and interestingly, it worked out. Worked out better than expected, in fact.

Ultra #1: Ötscher-Marathon and Ötscher-Run. June 8, 50 km, 1850m. June 9, 20 km, 1150m.

Running around the Ötscher seemed like it shouldn’t be too tough, but GI issues caused trouble and the second day started out with my legs feeling like I shouldn’t run a single bound. Lesson learned: Wrong nutrition (or whatever that was), bad day. Adrenaline works wonders, though.

Afterwards, to add insult to injury, the cold that had already bothered me regularly during the winter re-surfaced. Not good, with more runs and then a flight coming up.

Ultra #2: Lavaredo Ultra Trail. June 29, 85 km, 3500m.

Lavaredo should have been harder, but the course got shortened and made less tough. It was still painful, and beautiful. Lesson learned: Strategize well. And perhaps do look at altitude profiles. (The climb at what seemed like the end of the course went on forever, and it was thus quite a challenge.)

With all the walking – even as I finished in a time I’m happy with, too – the feeling afterwards was not too bad. Pretty good, in fact. Fortunately so, given that the third ultra was coming up barely one week later.

Ultra #3: Bergmarathon. July 6, 70 km, 4500m.

The Bergmarathon, mountain marathon around the Traunsee lake, is a familiar affair already. Third time’s a charm. In 2008, at my first go, I needed 14 hours 10 minutes. Last year, 2012, it was 13 hours 15 (or something like that). This year, even so close after Lavaredo: 12 hours 9 minutes. (Officially. I measured 12 hours 7 minutes – but that I’d even notice and be slightly bothered by it is really silly.)

Talk about not training enough… and that’s exactly what I wanted to find out.

I don’t exactly train like the pros, or even just those driven to prove their worth by shaving minutes off their personal bests. I don’t exactly run like those driven to truly compete. Rather, I like to walk a lot and conserve energy. Better, in my book, to get back home and still be able to function as a normal human being than to give it all and then be in need of therapy…

Now, all I’d need is some “victims” to join me. For, far from being the wondrous talent who runs so fast, I want to be one of those normal people who inspire others – YOU – to walk and enjoy the scenery, run if you want to be faster, sweat more, and see more. And don’t let it take over all your life, either. Make it one part of a well-rounded life.

After all, life isn’t a highway, it’s a meandering mountain path, with highs and lows. And to enjoy the ‘ride,’ it’s best to work on a fit and healthy body, a mind educated and trained.

Time for me to get back to the educating, as it were. My better half and I are off to China for the summer. Time to meet the parents, remember and improve on the forgotten Chinese (again!), see what there is to explore.

Forest Road

You’re welcome to join. Walking or running, in person or virtually. Just, do!