The last three weeks have been kind of a slow descent to hell for me.
Sounds a bit dramatic, doesn’t it?
Not a technical downhill as I love them, no.
A sneaky kind of descent, the one you believe every thing will be better at the next aid station. But it doesn’t.
These last three weeks,
I kept hearing this voice whispering wisely
that sometimes the right decisions are also, the hardest.
But how do you recognize the right moment?
How do you realize, there has been a turning point?
That it is now time to accept and rethink the rest of your season?
These last three weeks, I couldn’t see that at some point I had taken the wrong turn.
Or was it a lack of acceptance?
You start into a race or season and you feel well prepared.
You have gathered some experience so you know that it’s not an easy road ahead.
So when things are getting tough, you push through it.
No giving in to your body, because your mind is capable to so much more.
You just keep moving, because you want this so badly.
This overload of passion, goals and hopes
– yes, hopes –
I crossed a fine line.
Your body breaks first, your mind follows.
You are devastated.
Maybe, just maybe… I stopped early enough to control the damages?
First I canceled UTLW because I couldn’t even walk anymore on the street
Nor could I raise my knee to the chest.
You go to the physio, you get treated by your osteopath.
There is always this hope, that it’s not too bad.
That you will still be fine.
Are you going to run ZUT?
Still coming to Cortina?
Of course I am, I reply with a voice full of confidence.
I can handle one more race.
I only need to clock at least the Supertrail.
And then I am done.
Then I will listen to my body.
Give it all the time, as long as it needs to recover.
But let me just run one more race
I need to. For the CCC you know.
You sit in the waiting room to see the doctor instead of clocking in miles, but you keep believing.
The doctors are not.
You keep telling to yourself, of course you’re going to run.
They just don’t get it, they don’t understand.
Your physiotherapist can’t convince you to cancel.
Your osteopath wouldn’t dare to even mention it to you.
Let’s try a little run.
30 minutes, what can happen?
This pain. 20 minutes into it.
You don’t say a word. You just ignore it.
Passion is burning you from the inside.
Tears. Pain. Frustration.
But you still believe in it.
It will be fine once you run a bit longer.
You still believe that you’ll make it. You just keep telling yourself.
And there it was… the first ‘But’
Your love for the mountains and the sport shouldn’t be
more important than the love you should have for yourself.
You sure about this?
I try another run!
16 min. Again. This pain.
You get it now?
Sometimes the right decision is the hardest.
I am walking down the street, cause I can’t run anymore.
My Shirt says to run proud, but here I am, head down, angry, frustrated and sad.
Tears are taking over.
People would say I am being dramatic, over-emotional and overreacting.
It might be.
If I am being honest, once at home,
I cried as I had lost someone.
And I did. I lost the connection to myself.
Not during this run, but weeks before without even noticing it.
I started a long descent to hell.
My kind of hell.
Because when you take a wrong turn, you only realize it when it’s too late.
I guess this is the treatment you get when you make running the center piece of your existence.
My friend Maty told me three weeks ago, to not get burned out by running.
Because running isn’t everything she says.
She might be right.
When I stepped into the doctor’s room last Friday
I knew I won’t lace up at the starting line for ZUT nor Cortina this year.
Running a PB at Berlin Marathon would be insane.
I get it now.
Instead of pursuing this dangerous path, this slow descent to hell,
I have to step out. Put these dreams aside for a moment.
And center myself.
Put my hopes into recovery instead of running after this rush.
What about taking and giving the time to recover properly?
Would this be a shame?
Or is this the right way, to come back, a bit stronger…
This might be one battle I lost this time.
On my own field.
Let’s not go all the way down and move up back to the top,
to enjoy the view and see the Sun.
Talking about Sun…
What do you do in Summer when you’re not out there running? 😉
See you at ZUT! But on the other side Movers.
Thanks again to Sascha (@sascha.kowalski) who helped me rewrite this article. It’s difficult to write about such an emotional subject to me, so it’s always good to get such a nice and fast support.