World Run II / Reports
The map shows the position of which the pictures for the day are taken (if any). The start and finish markers are placed at the first and last valid registered position. This is not nessesary the actual start and finish position, if GSM or GPS signals was not available.
Distance today: 40.0 km (Accumulated: 28205.0 km)
Elapsed time: 03:49:40
Start 10:00am., 21c, allmost clear and light wind, at km-stone "365" on hwy. 1N. Finish 14:50pm., 27c & same, at km-stone "405" on hwy. 1N.
The past few weeks - and perhaps even months, the motivation has been a nearly constant battle to get in place.
There could be many reasons and 'excuses' (profund physical tiredness beyound the 20 000km point as usual, my fathers dead 2months ago, the long time away from homeground, ..or just plain lazyness !). Usually doing battle w. motivation is a part of ultrarunning and any kind of serious longdistance running. I guess that is part of the attraction and charm of it and is a huge part of why some of us are drawn to its challenges for decades of our life :-) Its a chance, and demand, to reach deep within for that 'extra' power to be able to continue - a scenario which modern life in the western world seldom provide in this strong version.
But is different if the challenge of motivation and mental strength is constantly ongoing; and this has more or less been the case lately in world run two (lately meaning 2-4000km's). Its unusual for even ultrarunning and certainly unusual for the two world runs which more often than not are intensely rewarding in the middle of challenges and obstacles to be overcome.
I've been puzzled as to what the reason could be. And, secretly fearing that it might be one of two unpleasant reasons:
1) That I'm older than during the first world run; now 40y. as opposed to in my mid. 30'ties during the wr I.
2) That even ultrarunners have their time of expiration. And that after 12y. of ultrarunning and 27y. of longdistance competetions - mine might be overdue.
Especially the second one could be a hard thing to overcome (the first one probably more of a mental obstacle much easier to by pass w. a little work').
Today I got a hint that it could, Luckily, be something else - and something quite obvious which I've sorely overlooked, literally:
Since I ran across the passes of the Andes Mountains near Santiago, crossing from Argentina into Chile, the landscape has nearly not changes. This was an epic part of the run; altitude-running at up to 4000m. at the Christo Redendor Pass, amazing views nearly hourly for the 2 weeks it took running across the mountain chain. And before that the stunning, Huge, horizon of the pampas' in Argentina; the barren but beautifull raw landscapes of the near-antarctic at the start. Before that; landscape changing month-by-month as I ran (and struggled w. disease) through Africa, before that the silent, fantastic, sceneries of the Arab' world (which I forever miss for its kindness !!), and before this Europe w. contries changing by the week and not least the start in Northern Scandinavia - a place of nearly magical beauty w. the midnight sun shining strong over my expedition tent, wild flocks of reindeer passing by as I ran and the homely landscapes of snow and ice !
And likewise during world run one, with equally stunning nature experienses across Russia and especially surprisingly diverse and Beautifull Siberia (my favorite place on 6 continents experiensed), strange, chaotic and intense Japan, the orange expanse of Australia and peace of the Nullabor Desert as well as the many many different types of nature while running the last bit across North America from the Canadian Rocky Mountains to the flat green praries and friendly farmlandscapes and small forrests of mid. Usa and Pennsylvania and the 'thunder' of New York City...
(All should be there in the picture galleries, the wr one though at www1.worldrun.org)
So, a very unusual contrast to now be running for more than 4000km in a landscape which next to never changed: Desert, half-desert and more desert. And I'm a runner who likes the desert, but..., too much of it can eventually become a bit of a problem since Variation is not normally the main strength of a desert (though the small changes in coleurs, texture of the sand, shapes of the dunes etc. definately is to be cherised; for a month or two..).
- And I think this is what happened. That the lack of diversity simply wore down the motivation of the run. Though, first realising it when today catching the first 'sniff' of the tropics which is not now far ahead w. Equador less than 1000km of running to the North of my present location.
Surely after my African experienses w. fever, malaria, dysenteria etc., the word ''tropic'' has got a slightly more disturbing sound to me, but, still the effect of change, diversity, new things to be seen and understood - is much much more powerfull than the fear of some discomfort; a trait which I think goes for most people :-)
So I've tried to catch some images of the 'tropics' in todays pictures. I'm not an especially good photograper, but I still hope some of the ambience comes through: The thrilling variation in nature, flower, growth; the relaxed laid-back lifestyle; the less-nice but equally normal powerty; the smiles beaming from most corners and sidestreets - and what the pictures doesnt tell - a humidity in the air mixed w. scents and smells which warns or promise of adventures ahead !!
PS: By the way THANK YOU for the recent encouragements on facebook and emails when sharing the struggle w. motivation. It makes a difference beyond what would be expected to see that I'm not alone :-)