Uxue Fraile came into Transgrancanaria 2016 with little confidence after having a poor showing at the race two years ago, when it was her longest race to date. In the following interview, Uxue talks about where her anxiety about Transgrancanaria came from, how she prepared for the race, how her race played out, and where her focus is for the 2016 race season.
For more on what happened at the race, check out our 2016 Transgrancanaria results article.
Uxue Fraile Post-2016 Transgrancanaria Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Uxue Fraile after her third-place finish at the 2016 Transgrancanaria. Congratulations, Uxue.
Uxue Fraile: Thank you.
iRunFar: You came into this race with no confidence. Why is that?
Fraile: Not at all. Two years ago I came here and I suffered. It was a very hard race for me that year. With these kind of races, it’s always very hard, but that race between the bad and good things I felt not at all anything good. I finished with Nerea Martinez in 19:21, and while I was very happy because I learned a lot from that race and I learned a lot from Nerea, but I had something in here that wasn’t good. When I came back, I came last year but I didn’t want to run anymore. It was a really hard race to train. Those feelings were with me. It’s not possible to let them out of you.
iRunFar: It was nothing because of your training this year, it was just remembering?
Fraile: No, it was because I had very bad feelings. All the races you have the mind to run the race and then go home. I’ve never retired in a race. I think in that race I could have retired. It was the only race where I think maybe it was better if I would have retired there because after the race, the next days and that period was not good for me. I suffered at work. I suffered in my home.
iRunFar: Because of the race?
Fraile: It was a very bad period. So those feelings were with me. I arrived here anxious, nervous, but well I know I was another girl. Two years ago was my longest race that I had. I have done now 100 mile races, so it was another Uxue.
iRunFar: Having done UTMB and UTMF…
Fraile: Yes, I have more experience with food and with this kind of distance. I was anxious.
iRunFar: Are you happy now not to be anxious about this race?
Fraile: Yes, I’m happy to let the demons go. The demons are going. I’m happy with the race. I’m surprised, but I’m happy with the race. I can say that I can come again to Transgrancanaria.
iRunFar: Do you think you might come back?
Fraile: Maybe not next year, but sometime. It’s very early in the season, so it’s difficult to be in good feelings here.
iRunFar: How did you prepare for this race?
Fraile: I was not especially training for this race. I’ve been skiing and running fast in some courses. I’ve been doing other things, not specific, but you continue with more or less training but nothing specific.
iRunFar: Not so much long running… you’re up in the mountains on the weekend, but…?
Fraile: Only to play. I think it’s good to play now in the mountains. You have a lot of time to train hard for different races.
iRunFar: It’s a break and some space for your head and your body.
Fraile: Yeah, the season can be very long until November. If you train all the months the same, it’s very hard.
iRunFar: How did your race go? Caroline Chaverot was…
Fraile: No, it was… I didn’t know anything about her. I didn’t ask. I don’t know where she was.
iRunFar: You spent some time running with Andrea Huser. How was that? It’s not the first time.
Fraile: A lot of time. No, it’s not the first time. We ran together in Annecy [at the IAU Trail World Championships] last year. We ran together in Eiger [Ultra-Trail], very little. We run in 2009 in an adventure race in Patagonia on different teams. Usually she wins.
iRunFar: Yeah? She’s very strong. But do you feel you had a good race?
Fraile: Yes. I have two different parts of the race. The first part was good for me. I was feeling good. I had confidence in me. It was good. It was just what I needed. The second part was empty.
iRunFar: I saw you in Tejeda. I was talking to you. Andrea was maybe two or three minutes ahead. You were not thinking of Andrea, you were thinking of Silvia!
Fraile: Because I ran a lot with Andrea, and I knew how she was. It was very good, like me, but downhill she can run fast. If she’s tired, she’s able to run fast downhill. It’s incredible.
iRunFar: But you can run fast but only when you feel good?
Fraile: Not like her. She goes fast downhill.
iRunFar: What else do you have this season? What other races do you have planned?
Fraile: I have UTMB again. Other races are not very sure. I go to La Palma in April to Reventon. It’s the Spanish Athletics Championships for Ultra-Trail.
iRunFar: What distance?
Fraile: 55k. It’s to go to Portugal for the IAU Trail World Championships in October.
iRunFar: The IAU World Championships?
Fraile: The IAU. So you know they are different associations for us. For some athletes it’s complicated for us to decide between them. It’s no change.
iRunFar: But you’re excited to have another chance at the world championships?
Fraile: Yeah, I would like to. I would like that. I’ve been in athletics all my life. I run in track and field 1,500 meters. So for me, it’s a good thing. I think the mountains are different.
iRunFar: Congratulations on your good run here. Good luck on your season.
Fraile: Thank you.