02.07.2022 Bad Blumau 12 hour run

What happened in Bad Blumau.. with the same words started my race report last year. A year after.. those who have seen my run on Strava will be asking – what happened in Bad Blumau at km 114!?

But I could also start with : What a blast in Bad Blumau!

BEFORE THE RACE

The story about before the race actually starts back at end of February where I run Sevilla Marathon being infected with Covid, without knowing about it. Long story short- it didn’t go well after- long Covid made my recovery really slow and unpleasant.

I had to cancel all my racing plans- Wings for Life, Langenzersdorf 6 hour run, Schwarzacher Trail, Riga-Valmiera 107km incl. Latvian Championships in 100km. The decision to start at Bad Blumau was met just few weeks before the race- as I was starting to feel better, could do some valuable training (with very low & smart volume- thank you my trainer Gerhard Schiemer, you are the best). My soul was craving for a race- the first half of year was over and I didn’t run any ultra!

No ultra since Spartathlon- it has been 9 months!!!!! WOW! Standing on start line in Bad Blumau, I asked myself how is it possible to run 12 hours long. Can I do it? Can I still do it? How is it possible I have ever run that long and even longer? I felt like a newbie… I was ready for something known but unknown same time. And when I was asked what my goal is..I answered: to be able to run all 12 hours through..After all – I kind of had an “unfinished Bill” here from the year before.

RACE 

Night race. Beautiful. My favorite time to run. This track at night time is absolutely gorgeous. The streets with small lamps- street decorations, people at restaurants drinking, having party, live music, the 24-hour runners being on the way already 12 hours long. I started easy, giving my body time to adjust the track & the temperature and get ready for a beautiful long night. Honestly, it felt exciting but same time strange, I had no idea what to expect and how the night will turn out. After the first round, I decided to run with music-same playlist that I have been running since ever I started to run. It didn’t take long until my soul recognized what I’m up to-it felt like the place to be, a place where I belong & a place, I have been missing a lot.

Round after round. Running a pace I felt comfortable at. Calling back in memory the year before, thinking of Spartathlon & enjoying the night. Feeling thankful I can be part of this run. It felt strange hitting the first marathon, it felt even stranger hitting the 2nd one. I was overall 2nd between those 2 marathons, the leading man Peter was really fast, it didn’t worry me much, I knew I cannot keep up that pace. Somewhen later he slowed down to my pace and “hanged on my tail”. It kind of hit me out of my own rythmus, I think he felt that and left me running with myself again- thank you for that, Peter. It was a night for me to hear my own steps, digging back to my ultrarunner soul.

My legs felt easy, I had stomach issues but no stomach pain (got food poisoned the day before the race, spending all night on WC- I know – always same issues with me,hahaha)- but nothing worried me. It happened again- it was my soul running, my body felt just like an instrument helping me out. I felt completed.

Peter had to give up somewhen later after km 86. I think I was leading after that. Dominik, my training buddy since last years & my running Inspiration (and Idol)- was just behind me. It felt strange. I always looked up at Dominik, he is such a strong runner,we have done so many kilometers together & now I was there..not competing with him..but running same race and being in front of him- hard to describe- but it felt a bit confusing and strange.

Kilometer after kilometer- running felt amazing. I had my nutrition as always – 1 gel per hour (as always Maurten) & extra the new Maurten Solid bars- absolutely amazing! No Coffee for one week before race functioned as always- perfect, the first intake of Caffeine worked fast!

I felt good & cheered up & thanked myself loud many times- self motivation is the best thing a runner can do to himself during long runs! And I was more than happy to help myself!

Somewhen around km 107km things started to turn around- I was feeling tired. The night was over, morning came & I could feel my mental power was starting to get blurry. I started to struggle to keep my pace and I knew if I don’t do something about it immediately, I will lose it. Think Diana, think. Shoe change. Give it a try- change your shoes, I told myself. SAVER. It saved me from that deep I was slipping into, I was feeling like a newborn after changing my shoes ( my second pair with me were my Spartathlon finisher shoe- the best motivation ever), I could pick up my pace again- the power I felt was amazing! I was ready to finish strong. I was feeling the Lion in me. It was insane- yes, yes- it was the runners high!!! I was leading overall, I knew I can hit the Latvian 12 hour record as well and I wanted it all!

Well, then again. I forgot that small thing. It is Ultra. The reason why I love ultras is not only because they are long and you have plenty of time to enjoy yourself suffering & being happy, I love them also because they are totally unpredictable. And no Ultra is finished until you cross the finish line or you hear the gun shot.

And for me the gun (or my really loud scream) shouted at km 114…My left lower leg..muscle. Nope, not a cramp. Strain or tear. I hear it popping like a terra-band. At that moment, jumping in air, screaming like insane- I knew the game is over. Honestly, I don’t remember myself ever saying so many bad words in such a short time as I did in this moment. I was shocked and I felt tears popping out. Other runners tried to help me- and I was like, please no (I was amazed by them by the way- they run almost 24 hours and then they want to carry me- so much respect for you guys), just move on..I will get this..My teammates supporters came, we managed to get me to our Tent.

I was on adrenalin. I had only 9km at that point to make a new national record. And I wanted it. Bad. Really bad. I asked Martin (who supported me all the race even without asking him that prior- such a great teammate) to check what exactly I have to run, what is the max time I can do the round and if it is possible to do it at all. I felt crazy. Sorry guys, I don’t know what happened here- but this fighter woke up in me with this craziness to not let such a great run to end like this- I couldn’t END this run sitting there in tears. I tried to go slowly one round and as I saw it is possible to do it without getting myself injured more. I decided to go for it. I knew I will be out of training for next weeks anyway. I decided to finish happy and to be out of the next weeks trainings being happy. AND it was the best decision ever. And yes, I know – health goes first. Knowing the risk, taking the risk, having support from my team and their experiences- it was a decision I’m not feeling sorry for.

The next 12km lasted long..Be patient, I told myself. Be grateful. You had an amazing run, Diana. I was thankful. I could keep moving. I was thankful to everyone who kept cheering up for me. I felt blessed. It turned out that breaking the national record was not important to me. I actually didn’t even have a Latvian flag with me. I cried when finishing at 11 hrs 35 min , crossing the time check point with the flag of my running club. I cried because I knew I did everything correct- I run with my heart, I enjoyed every kilometer, I showed myself once again how incredibly mentally strong I can be & the most important thing- I had people around me who believed in me. I had people there for me, who were there for me with their heart. I can’t express how thankful I’m for that. By the way, I’m having watery eyes at this very moment again.

AFTER RACE 

The day after. Feeling happy. Feeling inspired to run more.

The injury? I went to hospital, was given crutches & tomorrow will do Sonography. It is a possible strain or muscle tear. Let’s hope for the strain. The pizza and ice cream tasted really good, I’m still having stomach issues from the food poisoning and looking forward to have some more ice cream!

Thank you, ULT Heustadlwasser, thank you for having me in your club.

Thank you, Gerhard Schiemer, thank you for writing me those excellent training plans. And thank you for your motivation & inspiration, after I asked what could be possible to run in Bad Blumau, writing me the words I carried with me all 12 hours long: Man (n) wird ja noch träumen dürfen und dir traue ich alles zu!

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