So here it is, what you’ve all been waiting for, the thing you’ve written letters to Santa for but he only gave you an ugly sweater (that fat bastard), the Annual Summary Of The Year That Has Gone By ( or ASOTYTHGB ® as it's more widely known).
A million hungry reader voices exclaim in relief: FINALLY. Well, my friends, you have to wait no longer!
It was a strange year. A surreal year. A life-changing year in many ways. A couple of tough months that I'd love to go all Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind on. A couple of wonderful months, reuniting with dear old friends who helped me cope with the tough months, and making some pretty cool new ones who have helped me look ahead instead of back. Life skidded off to one direction only to swerve at the last moment and head off into the opposite one. You know, like life usually does. Sometimes you can bury your head in the sand and wait for it to pass, but this year I faced all challenges head on and I want to believe that I came out of it a stronger person. With a little help from my amazing friends and family.
Hey, Karma, that’s not to say that I want you to throw even bigger challenges my way. I’ve had enough drama to last a lifetime lately, thank you very much.
Running-wise it was perhaps my best year yet. I started off strong after an injury, increasing my mileage carefully until I could run 30-odd kilometres on any Wednesday evening unscathed and put in double long runs in a week. Rovön 6H in the beginning of June served as my last long run before the year’s main, 75 km- goal at the end of the month, High Coast Ultra. I took it relatively easy, ”only” covering 50 km during the six hours I had on me. I recovered unbelievably quickly. I was right on track to meet my goal.
High Coast Ultra was an event I won’t soon forget. A race so beautiful, so tough, the hours seemed to fly by and drag on at the same time. I was in a great mood throughout the almost 12 hours I was out there and I made it to the finish line exhausted but happy. It was a race that taught me a lot about myself and how resilient I can be if I need to, both physically and mentally. I'm pretty kick-ass, really. And modest, too.
Making it to the finish line of HCU made me swear off races despite having enjoyed the experience, only to start thinking about my next goal approximately 3,4 seconds later. I talked to a friend about doing Black River Run in September together, a 80km race, and extending it on my own to shoot for 100km. I had done the training for it and I felt ready. You never know if you’ll ever be as well-trained as you are right at that moment, especially with an injury history like mine. As the weeks passed, however, I felt less and less motivated to travel the 800 km to the town the race took place in considering it was only an unofficial 100. So I ran them on my own, right here in Skellefteå.
That was it. I had achieved what I had always dreamed of. I ran 100 km confidently, like I knew I had it in me. It was great fun at times, boring at other times when the landscape consisted of grey tarmac and fast cars.
And then I realised that somewhere along those 100 km I got injured.
My feet were destroyed. My hip fell off and hopped away on its own as far away from me as possible. It took me several weeks to convince my body parts to cooperate with me again and help me run. My whole autumn was one long comeback. I finish the year with an average of 200 km per month, my strongest year since I started running.
And now, while we are standing on the ledge waiting to leap blindly into the new year, I wonder – not without considerable apprehension – what 2016 will bring. Some BIG changes are on the way. When it comes to running, I want to become completely injury-free so that I can run far again. The mountains are calling. They are always calling.