Monday, May 17, 2010


I have been running on and off for more than half on my life and now starting my journey to my next biggest running adventure so far. The quest of the Western States belt buckle.

Until a few months ago I wasn't aware of my luck to actually be on the 2010 list of runners. I did sign up like everyone else and also, like the majority of everyone else, did not get selected in the lottery. Ten days later, on December 15, 2009, I received an email from RD Greg Soderlund stating:
"You have been selected via the Special Consideration Committee to participate in the 2010 Western States Endurance Run.

As a foreign applicant you will be representing your country.
Please accept or decline this invitation."
I couldn't believe Christmas showed up so early and the exact same day I gave away the keys of my last apartment in Switzerland. I was ready for the unknown. A new country, a new distance.

Only upon joining this great running group and meeting a lot of awesome people it started to dawn on me that running these 100 miles is going to hurt a lot more than the 50 miles I have run so far. In my defense, the Swiss Alpine Marathon has taken me up some beautiful mountain, passed by a glacier and exposed me to all kinds of weather in the past. I can only recommend it if you're ever in the area. But for the first time in my running life, I was unsure if I could actually finish something like Western States. 

Settling in and getting used to my new life without a plan, I quickly found a place to live, a car to drive, a phone and a opened a bank account - the essentials around here. Signing up for the L.A. Marathon and running from the Dodgers Stadium to the beach was the next step to get me closer to my belt buckle. I thought this would be my only training race until June 26. I was wrong. And I am so glad I was wrong!

Being blessed with only minor injuries, I only had to wait out a couple of weeks twice and my first and only real flu of the winter/spring hit when I visited my family in Switzerland in April. I can say, I did run on a regular basis in the last 4 months. Regular being 3 times a week on average. Usually, that's how much I train for a 50 mile race. To double that distance, I need to step it up a little. Or a lot.

So here we are. I'm back home in L.A. and ready to get serious, exchange the tiara for the crown aka the belt buckle in just a few weeks. Each week will be a small journey, a chapter on its own, filled with adventures, laughter and everything else needed in life. 

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