SIMPLIFY THE GET GOING

By Sarah Eriksson

GOAL 2016 – TO COMPLETE AN ULTRA DISTANCE

“Have goals so big you feel uncomfortable telling them…”

“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal.”

DREAM: Complete an ultra distance during 2016. Not necessarily in a race and maybe on my own. My longest run is 47k. I would like to pull off a 80k and surprise myself committing to 100k. Preferably Ocean Trails. Key is not to lose the joy as I work towards this goal.

GOAL: August 2016. 100km (you see, I always surprise myself) not in a race, on my own and for a cause. Lanzarote Ocean Trails and to raise awareness for Endometriosis.

“Set a goal so big that if you ever achieved it it would blow your mind.”

I don’t doubt whether I will be able to pull of an ultra. I mean the 100km in itself. I will walk, crawl or have someone carry me. If my life isn’t threatened I know I will make it from point A to point B. Might take me a very long time, so be it. However, I have doubted some stepping stones and miles in the #roadtoanultra and if I am able to create the possibilities to get where I would like to be . I’m a mother, wife and business partner. Running is the easy part.

So, it took me about 4 months to come to this conclusion. Not the ultra dream, that’s something you can decide today. The details! The how’s and where’s – they are a process. What terrain? What time of the year? What race? Do I want to do a race? On my own? For a cause? Embrace it, all of these question marks. Its part of the journey. You’ll be surprised how much you learn about yourself. And others.

WHY NOT A RACE? WHY SOLO?

Looking at the calendar of ultra races I just didn’t find one that matched my everyday, situation or taste. If it matched one parameter it didn’t match the second and so on. Taking all parameters in consideration I was left with inventing my own ultra race. Why not? But the biggest parameter was I didn’t feel heart in a race. Experience has taught me – not enough heart, not enough commitment means harder to reach goals. Also I believe we sometimes prevent ourselves or give up on dreams too soon because we expect that the ideal situation is already created FOR us. How about creating the (almost) ideal situation BY us. No ideal situation exists. Dance with the moves and roll with the punches. But if there is heart it’s easier to dance and roll… See where I’m getting at…. Finally, no matter where I searched I kept coming back to Ocean Trails. That’s where I know I will be able to push myself physically but even more mentally. And one thing I see on every step to running an ultra is ultras are 90% mental and 10% physical. My own race it is.

WHY LANZAROTE?

I love Lanzarote. Our children are born in Lanzarote. It’s practical for the family. I know this playground. I love this playground.  I feel passion in Lanzarote. I feel comfortable on volcano trails. Its beautiful. It’s like no other place. My body responds well running in hotter climates. I have my two closest trail friends in Lanzarote. So although I’m preparing for this 100km in Sweden I know exactly what I need to work and what I can relax about.  

“Live in the sunshine. Swim in the sea. Drink the wild air.” – Emerson

WHY FOR ENDOMETRIOSIS?

I have run many kilometres (but never 100km) and I know that when you’re out there and especially on your own wondering what was I thinking you need reminders. Something to hang onto, even if it’s a thin thin line. What is your primal power? The one thing you know will get you through when push comes to shove. For me its our children. They remind me about the wonders and miracles of life, that anything is possible.  The love for your children is so overwhelming and so powerful. Writing this makes my cry. That’s how strong I feel about it. It’s good tears! Happy tears. They are miracles. I was diagnosed with endometriosis. If I can raise awareness about endometriosis its a way of passing on the miracles I have been blessed with. Endometriosis is something that impacts your life but doesn’t have to mean your life is over. It’s actually just the beginning.

SARAHS FUNDRAISING FOR ENDO

“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it.”

WHY 100KM?

Because I’m crazy enough to think I can. Through my whole life I have been told I’m impatient and impulsive. Running 100km you need everything but impatient and impulsive. What if I could turn the power and energy that impatient and impulsive gives me to an asset rather than a not so charming character trait. Why would you run 100km?

FOLLOW MY ULTRA TRAINING HERE

“I’m going to succeed because  I am crazy enough to think I can.”

WHAT IS YOUR DRIVE?

This should be one of the first questions you ask yourself and put next to your dream. Before setting goals you need to know your drive. This will be your vehicle. Do you know your drive? Think about it. What is it that fuels you, excites you, makes you see effort as pleasure. The journeys I have embarked on have shown (again and again) that money, status and titles don’t trigger me. Sure they can motivate and add to the bucket of satisfaction, but they are not my primal reasons to do. The one thing that drives me through thick and thin is passion. If I believe and love, I am enthusiastic. If you’ve met me live you know exactly what I am talking about. I can move mountains if I follow my heart. This time I will be running them (maybe some walking) I still need to figure out if its the running itself, the outdoor experience or challenges that I find passion in. Or is it the combination of all three?  I find it interesting, in a world where we have so many self help books, management courses and quick fixes. “What is your drive?”  should be your first thought before you set any goals.

“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it.”

GOAL 2017 – TO COMPLETE AN IRONMAN

“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it.”

Living 13 yrs years in Lanzarote and watching the annual Ironman, it always intrigued and amazed me how it can be possible to complete such a huge challenge. Although I am not a triathlete and have no triathlon background I find plenty of inspiration in this event. Here is why.

“We’re only given a little spark of madness, so don’t lose it.”

“I’m going to succeed because I am crazy enough to think I can.”

During 2014 and part of 2015 my main goal with trail running was racing. I really indulged and enjoyed and was lucky to be able to compete injury free for 18 months straight. And I did pretty good too. The two achievements I’m most proud of during my race time are Ultratrail Collserola – a Barcelona city trail marathon where I took a 2nd and coming 3rd in Transgrancanaria, marathon distance 2015. Two podiums that seemed impossible, but apparently not. Read more here.

But I also came 3rd in the Canarian Cup, 3rd in the Canarian Champs 2014 and was selected for the Canarian Mountain runners Team and raced for Canaries (such an honor – my boys are born there!) in the Spanish champs in Mountain running 2015. Read about that here.

That was a very humbling experience (the Spanish champs part) and also my last race for a long time. Not because I didn’t do as I’d hoped or expected, but because we moved and other more important things had to be my number one focus. Moving to Sweden was a big change from island living in an endless summer to the daily grind with seasons. And no mountains off my doorstep. But I’m a girl of challenges. I need goals that I can work towards, however I must really want them.

“You can do anything, just not everything.”

So racing was fun (not always easy) and going from no trail expereince to podiums was a great experience and proof to myself that if I set my mind to things and put in the commitment and persistence it could happen. Juggling between lifes different roles is not easy. Mountain marathons were the easy part.

“A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan.”

So, I have a goal – to run 100km (and next year an Ironman but let’s focus on that ultra for now) – and I have the determination. I feel committed. How am I going to reach my goal?

THIS IS MY GAME PLAN:

A coach – have someone guide me in the training so I can relax knowing Im doing the things I should in the right time and with the right amount. This will give me 70% more energy to put on the actual workouts, goes for physical and mental.

Adjust the daily grind – negotiate, mainly with myself… family first, then moms ego.

Prioritize time – train instead of watching tv etc.

Stand off some things – You can do anything, not everything. My mantra!

Make choices – you choose, always!

Know when it’s time to step off (very very important) – this is maybe the most important in my gameplan and it is not the same as giving up. Goes on race day too. But it has to be life threatening for me not to complete.

Work for it – consistent and resilient. My strongest traits. Feeling passion helps on this one.

Believe it’s possible and can be done – I believe.

Surround myself with the right people and right things. Downing my circle(s) and being humble & non judgemental to the rest.

“If you want to be successful, you must respect one rule. Never lie to yourself.”

“What is your why”

Racing got to me. I loved it. The goal, the hard work, the obstacles and then the grand finale – make it or break it. Most of the times I made it. Some breaks along the way, but they only strengthened me and made me hunger for more. During this time I realised it’s about setting your mind and committing. Daring to wing it, not giving up but knowing when it was the right time to step off. I had a good injury free 18 months of nonstop racing. A running coach helped me navigate between the training and racing, yoga helped me to listen to my body. And then we moved. Racing came to an end. But I still need challenges. That is my why. #roadtoanultra and #roadtoironman

“What you GET by achieving your goals is not as important as what you BECOME by achieving your goals.”

“The fact that you aren’t where you want to be should motivate you enough.”

That is exactly how I feel, it motivates me. In many ways I am exactly where I want to be, but I thrive in pushing myself beyond limits. Curious what is to be found round that corner, the journey of reaching a goal that seems far away. I have run mountain marathon distances, I know how much work it takes. I was so close to 50k. It humbles me to lift my head and open my eyes. People do way bigger challenges than this. Rule number one in #roadtoanultra and #roadtoironman – Never compare.

“A plan backed by action makes your dream come true.”

I may be crazy but if I wasn’t you wouldn’t be reading this post and maybe getting inspired to follow your dream and set a goal too.

“You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.” C.S Lewis

Finally this is nothing I can do on my own. I am so privileged and grateful to be surrounded by people who will help me towards this journey:

Husband Johan, goes without saying. He runs the show when I’m training, on socialmedia or writing blogposts. He is the one person who knows the exact right words or things I need when I am down, doubting or about to give up. When I lose my spark. My mom falls in that category too. Together they are the two people who remind me of my fire.

Coach Sarah Seads. Choosing a coach is not easy and nothing you do on a whim. I believe Sarah is the person who will help me reach my goal. When I ran Transgrancanaria in 2015 she said: Congrats on reaching your limits…. Very few ever go there. That’s when I knew Sarah was the one for me. I know she is going to take me to that place again.

Power Woman Anna, besides providing me with good quality and good looking clothes she is a mentor and friend. She is a mother, entrepreneur and endurance junkie. Need I say more? We connect. She ran 80km and said: “When I reached 80km I could have done another 20km but I had to rush home to the babysitter.” That was when I decided Im going for 100km. As for her brand Power Woman. Its more than a brand, its a life style. Goes for men and woman.

Sisugirls, a community of girls empowering sisu. Something I really burn for.

Inov 8 – I have tried different shoe brands and this is the shoe I see myself running an ultra in. Inov 8 in Sweden has offered to provide me with the shoes for training and for race day.

Instagram Inspiration, I have so many accounts that inspire me. And so many freinds. Its a great community. Just to mention a few.

Nutrition – If you are interested in supporting me on my #roadtoanultra shoot me an email.

Finally, I am sure there are so many out there with dreams and goals. Maybe you are one of them. You know you are capable, but will you arrive? And how do get there feeling at peace with the puzzle of life and everyday?

For months I was kind of free falling in the “not knowing” the exact details. I’m not so good at free falling, I’m impatient and impulsive. But I stuck to my dream. I did not allow the “not knowing” intimidate me.

The ultra dream is something you need to sell to yourself and your surrounding.

I think I’ve sold my dream pretty well. Now I just need to make it happen. Running is the easy part. Thanks for following me on this journey. When will you start yours?

Big hug,

/Sarah