Never cross the fine line

There is this fine line you should never cross while training or racing. Pushing our bodies beyond limits just to see how far we can go is something wonderful, and can be dangerous at the same time.
We try to reach for the stars,
the moon or the sun.
How many miles can I log in peak-week?
How many miles can I log in a month, a year?
How fast can I run a hundred milers?
How much ultras or races can I perform in a year?
How much, how fast, how long, how…

When should you draw the line instead of crossing it?

A question I keep repeating to myself since my last injuries back in 2013 and 2014.
Both hit me, reminding me to always respect my body.
But here I was yesterday, really anxious, knocking at the door of my osteopath.
The machine seems to be broken.

Did I cross the invisible fine line?

Twisted ankles on downhills, a consistent pain in the adductor,
a pain so bad, I couldn’t raise my knee to the breast anymore.
Bad conditions to start with if you have a race taking place in a few days, uh?

Last Saturday, when everyone was racing at Rennsteig, I went out for what I thought would be an easy four hours long run. I ended up struggling a lot and having a nervous breakdown in the middle of this highway-trail.
Have you ever seen a little-human just standing on the middle of the street, not wanting to move anymore and crying? Well, this sums up the situation after 2,5H of training. I was hurting so badly.
How the hell are you going to reach the house?
What to do when you feel that the machine is broken?
Did you cross the fine line?
The one you promised you would never override again?
What do you do when you still have 15K to go and your body fails you?

Or did I fail my body?

When pushing the limits of the human body, we should be really careful. In the end, we only have this one. And as far as we run every day, week, months or years, we should always be thankful and take good care of our one and only asset.

We live our passion through a tunnel, go our ways with blinkers.
I remember when I met the trail-girls for the first time.
I thought they were crazy – and I still think they are.
The first time, going back to my non-runners friends, I swear you could have hear me saying,
“Well I will never race every weekend” or “I will never be out-there nonstop, swallowing one mile after the other every weekend” or “I would only focus on one or two big races a year.”
Never say never, have they said.
Our passion burns so deep in our souls, it’s in our mind, in our day-to-day routine.
It’s everywhere, every time with us. So it becomes normal to be out every weekend on the trails, swallowing monster distances.
And there’s where you should be aware of this fine line.

the fine line cover 2

What is normal? What is still respectable?

We live our passion through a tunnel, go our ways with blinkers.
Did I miss the signals?
What was I proving to myself when I decided to do a technical long run only seven days after my race in Barcelona? What was the drive here, to push my exhausted body instead of recovering properly?
Was it my new discovered addiction for high climbs and strong downhills; my new love for breathtaking views at the top of mountains? The pleasure I get while moving?

Well…Maybe a bit of everything.

You can only train as hard as you can recover. – [seen on @merejune]


Racing is something beautiful.
The adrenaline, the hangouts, the new encounters,
the challenge, finding the boundaries of our bodies
and pushing them a bit further
every single time.

Running the trails is something beautiful.
The nature, the sounds, the smells,
the views at the top of high climbs,
the wind in your hairs on technical downhills,
the blood rushing through the body and the head
at high speed.

Every step you take, takes you further.

But what if, you do not listen closely.
What if, you twist your ankle,
one, two, three times?
What if, you feel exhausted all the time?

Racing is something beautiful,
as long as your body takes in the stress.
Your body takes the stress in,
as long as you decide to support it.

Running the trails is something beautiful,
as long as your body doesn’t fail you,
because you failed it first.

If you can’t do it for yourself,
well do it for your body.

Find the balance.

Always watch the fine line.

And decide to never cross it.


  1. Beautifully written and a perfectly timed reminder. I hope you heal quickly.

    • Oriane

      Merci. For the time you take reading and giving me feedbacks. I really hope it will heal. I am going through the mind roller coaster process now… Have to figure out what to do with my race-plan.. :*

  2. Sean Seville

    “You can only train as fast as you can recover.” – this resonates with me…thanks!

    • Oriane

      You are more than welcome! Thanks for taking the time to read and share your thoughts 🙂

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