Legends Trail Packing List

The LT Facebook group is full of packing lists, gear discussions, plans, weather forecasts and lots of pros and cons about every little details of the upcoming Legends Trail. With only one week to go this is probably normal and shows how excited everyone is. 500 or 250 km in the Ardennes ask for the best preparation possible. Lots of hours out there in a terrain with no mercy lay ahead of all of us. All is well.

I am also in the middle of planning the content of both backpack and drop back. Both shouldn’t be too heavy but need to contain everything one can imagine to be prepared for every situation possible. While reading all the posts I have the feeling I could have or maybe should have done more efforts on the packing list and maybe on training too. My plan is to take the following „things“ with me:

  • The memories of both dislike and attraction back in November 2017 during the LEO180 pre-race dinner. M&M told us about the Legends Trail and on that very moment I thought: Never. Ever. 250k in the Ardennes – one must be mental to even try it. Later that evening we watched Yiannis running while drinking beer – a remarkable evening. Full of doubts on what may lay ahead.
  • That memories of the feelings 50k before the LEO180 2017 finish. Broken and cold. DNFing. Far too weak to run far enough.
  • The feelings of deep relieve and joy during the TTdR 230 2018. Amazing feeling to finish that race. The moments 5k before the end – during the final countdown – where I was sure that it will become reality. These moments will remain unforgotten.
  • The memories of that moment 50k before the finish line during LEO180 2018. Broken and cold again. And with a damaged foot. And alone. 500 reasons why it would be only normal and totally ok to quit. But there was something pushing. It was neither the non-existing coke (no-coke-face-moment-of-my-life) nor the comfortable warmth in the „In den Bockenreyder“ restaurant 30k before the finish. While sitting there and cooling my hurting foot I discovered something strange. I somehow did not want to give up my second place. It felt like an effort way too high to bear, but after what felt like years: the finish was there.
  • The memories of 2019s Great Escape and Bello Gallico together with M.. The stunning Ardennes, the ups and the downs, the wining and arguing. The moments in pouring, ice-cold rain with no shelter and the decision that the only chance to not freeze to death is to run a little faster… Wonderful finishes!
  • The shining memories of LEO180 2019 together with VPsucher. Lots of doubts in between, lots of lessons on how to not sleep outside, a gruelling race against the time and that moment of a LEO180 finish together!
  • The memories of countless hours out there with VPsucher striving through the nothingness. Following nonsense GPX instructions. Often confronted with dead ends and a quite resisting nature. But always determined to enjoy and to discover.
  • The memories of countless sunrises after nights full of running. The astonishing feeling of energy coming from somewhere back into the body. After hours of darkness – hope and faith returning with each and everyone of these sunrises. The amazing changing colors during that hours…
  • The memories of countless and sleepless nights out there. Lonely dots under trillions of stars. Sometimes with a moon so shiny that we could turn out the lights and watch our shadows flying over the silver earth.

You may think this will not matter and will certainly not help during the race. I have the feeling that those feelings, memories and colors will not ease the effort in any way, will not provide shelter and comfort and will not protect me from the out there. But they may be the friends and company I wish to have and they should remind me that it – maybe – can be done. That there may be that shiny moment of crossing the finish line.

NRW 2020 – Zwischenstand

Wow. 2020 ist die NRW (No Rest for the Wicked)-Challenge mal so richtig groß geworden. Es ist eine Freude den Teilnehmern bei Ihren Anstrengungen zuzuschauen, sich selbst den Regeln zu unterwerfen und uns quasi alle zusammen daran zu machen, die 24 Stunden des Tages und die 7 Wochentage voll zu machen.

Ganze 12 Teilnehmer gibt es dieses Jahr und die Daumen sind gedrückt. Weitere 19 Tage bleiben um es zu schaffen – es bleibt also spannend.

Schon jetzt sei gesagt, dass wir das im Februar 2021 wiederholen wollen – es ist doch einfach zu spaßig. Wer schon jetzt Interesse anmelden mag, der möge das über den Blog tun. Alle Teilnehmer aus 2020 werden aber sowieso für 2021 erneut eingeladen.

Den Zwischenstand gibt es hier: NRW 2020 – raus mit Euch, die Zeit läuft!

Januar 2020 Streak

Done. 31 Läufe, 472 km. Interessant wars. So 5-6 Läufe hätte ich ohne den Streak sicher nicht angetreten. Dafür bin ich dann auch immer nur das Nötigste gelaufen. Einmal musste ich den langen Über-Nacht-Lauf getreu der Regeln für beide Tage werten. Ich bin mir noch nicht sicher was ich insgesamt davon halten soll. Vielleicht gut, dass es vorbei ist?! Einen Tag gehts sicher noch weiter – die mAMa startet morgen!

Nach der Challenge ist vor der Challenge. No Rest for the Wicked startet in wenigen Stunden – wieder mal rund um die Uhr laufen. Immer schön in Bewegung bleiben!

NRW 2020

Danke an Alex Holl!

No Rest for the Wicked 2020:

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Navigation Masterclass #1

We ended up in quite some discussions about GPS navigation lately and we think it is time to share our knowledge and to provide help and guidance. This is the first navigation masterclass and todays lesson is:

#1 Zoom levels

If you use a handheld GPS navigation device (lets just assume you recognized your smartphone is not the best device for these kind of things) to navigate during your trainings and races, there is always one screen occupied by something which looks like a map (we shall talk about maps during one of the next lessons). These maps tend to have something like a thin line with one or a few numbers on top of it in one of the corners of the screen. Some people call these lines „scale“. Scales are an old-fashioned kind of thing. People in the 80s already used them on papery things while trying to orientate. As „scale“ is not a really fancy name we will use the name zoom levels during this navigation masterclass. This lesson will be a short one as there is really little to know about zoom levels. If you want to follow a GPS track on your handheld GPS navigation devices, the following simple and straight forward list will help you to finally understand the numbers coming with the different zoom levels. Just adjust the map on your device to the level you like most and start your run:

  • 0-50 meters – the disco-mode: You are young and speedy? You like dancing dots? You are a rebel and do not want to follow the already beaten paths? This is totally your zoom level. Always on the edge, fascinating to watch, thrilling to use. This is by the way the only level which really benefits from the amazing accuracy GPS-navigation provides!
  • (50-120 meters: Do not use this zoom level. This is for boring and weak people. It may actually help you but believe us: you really don’t want to be someone like this.)
  • 120-1000 meters – the „expert“ level: Oh, yes. Close to perfection. This zoom level is extremely helpful. It provides an overview but still feels close to what is going on. You are a real expert. You are far too skilled in navigation to pay attention to all the little details – you care more about bigger picture. Well done! The world needs more people like you. Lead the way!
  • above 1000 meters – total control-mode: OMG! Amazing. Really! This level is bullet-proof. You will always be on track. Nothing can go wrong. What you should do: help others who are not using this zoom level. Make. Navigation. Great. Again.
  • the what-you-see-is-what-you-get-mode: Zoom out until you see the whole track on your screen. This will protect you from nasty surprises. You will always know where you are and how far to go. Attention: This works best during race/training loops longer than 100 miles. If you happen to run on a shorter track you may want to use on of the zoom-levels below.
  • the home-is-the-safest-place-on-earth-mode: Zoom out until you see your hometown. The whole town. It provides comfort – especially during the dark and challenging hours of your race. You will always feel close to home and this will enable you to run even further! Attention: This works best if you are more than 500 km away from your hometown. If you happen to run a race which is closer to your hometown you may want to use one of the zoom-levels below.
  • the Forrest-Gump-mode: Zoom out until you see (at least) two of the big oceans on this planet. One should be left and one should be right of your position. Got it? – great. It may take a while for your GPS device to display the map but this is simply due to the fact that the best things always take time. Make sure to not forget to turn around once a while. All is well.
  • the the-racedirector-said-the-course-is-well-marked-mode: switch your GPS navigation device off. It safes energy and protects the earth from global warming. Follow the markings. Do not accept any advices. Good luck!

You are welcome. Spread the rumours – share the knowledge! See you at the finish line. Or not. Stay tuned for further navigation masterclasses!

About last weekend #2

Lauf Nummer 2 dieses Wochenende war in guter Tradition der NEU bei Stefan Vilvo in Düren. Ein Lauf der mich schon sehr lange begleitet, was man an der mittlerweile siebten Teilnahme gut nachvollziehen kann. Wie die Zeit doch verfliegt.

Eine kleine aber feine Gruppe war es dieses Mal – 7 auf einen Streich. Das Wetter war perfekt zum Laufen – kaum nass mit etwas Sonnenschein am Anfang und am Ende.

Es war nach Freitag Nacht erstaunlich anstrengend und es war kaum noch Energie und Kraft da. Ein gutes Training für irgendwas. Insgesamt schöne 57 km in 8:24 h. Aber seht selbst im Video von Stefan:

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Ein paar Bilder noch von dort draußen:

About last weekend #1

Elegant plan: lets meet Friday after work somewhere and go for a little run. Maybe we should have read the manual more carefully. Somewhere turned out to be the Hohes Venn. Little turned out to be almost 60k. This does count as little but in combination with the area…

It was one of the occasion where you on one point (after a few meters) start to think: well, lets concentrate on the bare minimum: survival. No need to tell you what happened up there – you may find it strange. Or frightening. Or disgusting. Or all three of it.

We have been distorted lights in a relentless and endless area.

All was well.

Fotocredits to Maarten and Marek!

Ausblick 2020: die Kurzstrecke

Zwei Läufe sind schon gemeldet in 2020 und es zeichnet sich ein neuer, überraschender Trend ab. Es geht immer auf die Kürzeste aller möglichen Strecken bei den jeweiligen Veranstaltungen. Ganz ungewohnt das Kreuz nicht ganz unten sondern ganz oben zu machen. Das wird wohl bedeuten Tempo und Intervall-Trainingssessions in den Alltag einzubauen.

Was auch immer für Tipps es von Euch da draußen gibt, die mir dabei helfen können sind herzlich willkommen. Wie lang müssen die Intervalle sein, wie häufig sollten Intervalle trainiert werden, sind 15 km Intervalle zu kurz oder ok? Gehpausen dazwischen? Immer her mit den Vorschlägen!

Die beiden kurzen Läufe im ersten Halbjahr 2020 sind:

Kurzstrecke beim Legends-Trail im Februar 2020
Bambini-Lauf bei der TorTour de Ruhr im Mai 2020

Weitere Laufpläne für 2020 sind zwar grob vorhanden, aber noch ist nichts fest zugesagt. Die Herausforderung im Februar wird in den nächsten Wochen alle Konzentration benötigen – danach sehen wir weiter.