Wow, wow, WOW! Thank you all so much for your amazing support. Although I always run by myself, I never feel alone. You all give me so much strength by following my journey, giving me feedback. THANK YOU!
I recently ran a longer trail in Switzerland, which I shared on Instagram. 23,78 km, elevation gain: 1116 m. The route: Schatzalp – Strelapass – Schiahorn-Chörbschhornhütte – Stafelalp – Frauenkirch – Davos. Boy, it was INTENSE! Much tougher due to many snow and ice fields and an emotional roller coaster. This one had it all! It was painful, exhausting, tough & tricky. I screamed, I cried, I laughed. Only those who run know what I am talking about. At one point I could totally let go, blew off steam, found my rhythm, my inner balance. I probably cried for 15 minutes, took it all in. It was a hell of a run – worth every breath.
Since I received quite many questions and such amazing feedback, I decided to answer everything in a blogger Q&A. This one was not so easy to me, since some questions/answers are rather personal. But, since you shared so many great stories with me over the past few days, I wanna give something back to you, telling you my story.
What do you love about trail running, when did you start?
This is actually a VERY personal story. I have been running since I was a teenager, but I started trail running during a very tough time in my life. I was very ill, my doctors didn’t think I would make it. They prepared me for the worst, recommended to write my will and to spend as much time with my loved ones as possible. Those were the times when I started to run up the mountains for the first time. I was coping. I wanted to stay strong for my loved ones and did not wanna give up. I wanted to live, wanted to numb the pain and fought like hell. I could scream, let it all out, was too exhausted to feel any pain…
In the end I must have had many guardian angels because I survived after almost three years of struggling. Ever since, for me, trail running means being alive: feeling alive, being free, being able to breathe, enjoying and appreciating life. Thus, I hope I will keep running up the mountains till I am 90 years old.
Isn‘t it very hard so that you cannot really enjoy the landscape?
On the contrary. We are not talking about torturing yourself! You enjoy every breath, appreciate Mother Nature. Sometimes I stop, take it all in or I hike when it‘s too steep, but I always love it. Of course, sometimes you reach a point when it‘s painful – in a good way. You push yourself, challenge your boundaries and leave your comfort zone. But I can always listen to my body, knowing when to take it easy.
Is it true that you do lots of carb-loading the night before a long run?
Well, some people do – even have pasta parties. Again, I always listen to my body. It tells me what I need. Although I cannot run on an empty stomach, I cannot really eat much before a long run either. Since I am suffering from a diaphragmatic hernia, my body needs more time to digest any food intake and I cannot eat very huge portions. A seven-course menu is my personal nightmare! BUT: after a long run, I am starving and I always need loads of food. Yesterday I had a huge burger and chocolate cake with ice cream after the run and it felt sooooo good. Oh, AND strawberries! After every awesome run I am craving strawberries.
Are you in pain after the run?
Normally, no. Sometimes my legs are shaking & my muscles are sore when I reached my limit, but pain – no. Even today I feel fine. No pain, no exhaustion, just feeling good. Again, I always listen to my body. There are days when I just don‘t feel well or when I am tired. Then I give my body some rest and would never push it too hard. Well, almost never. Since I am an adrenaline junkie, I tend to overdo it every now and then.
Where do you get all your energy?
Well, there are people who need their special routine to get their energy and then there are those who always have too much energy. I definitely belong to the latter. Even when I am very tired, I first need to blow off steam in order to relax. Thus, I am a very active person. Otherwise, I would „implode“. But this is also quite dangerous so that over the years, I have learned to force myself to rest every now and then. It is not easy, but I know my body needs it and I have learned to enjoy it.
What do you like better: running or biking?
Running is my passion – my big love. Since I recently just started with bike training, I cannot really tell you how much I like it. I am still learning the ropes.
Do you run many competitions?
No, no and no. I regularly like to challenge myself, leave my comfort zone and try new routines. But I am not obsessed with running competitions. I choose special events when I am challenging myself. When the doctors told me I might not survive, I ran my first mountain run, when I was cured, I ran my first half-marathon, and this year I wanna participate in the Swiss Alpine trail, celebrating a new chapter in my life.
Why are you in Switzerland so often?
This is a very good question. I have visited different places all over the world and just love to travel. This is my kind of luxury and all I need. But there are not that many places I have literally fallen in love with. There is one region in Finland that is just magical and really touched my heart, one mountain range near Munich, Alaska & Canada and Switzerland. It‘s places where I feel at home, where I feel like myself and don‘t need much. Just magical surroundings, being able to breathe. Thus, I am as often as I can out in the mountains near Munich or in Switzerland. In order to spend more time in Finland or Alaska, I probably would have to relocate. And since I not only listen to my body, but also to my heart, right now is definitely not the time to move to Alaska – lol.
I am in a very happy place and I hope so are you. Remember to always listen to your gut, stay true to yourself and be as wonderful as you are.
Thank you all for your love and support!