solo: for the first time
If you run 40, I'll run 16. It makes sense when he normally runs 50, I average 10.
Morning. The Jeseniky Mountains. A group of few runners who look like runners. And me, who just discovered after about a year that those trail shoes have a smart pocket on the tongue to hide the laces. Congratulations. But really smart.
I'm warming up because everybody's warming up. I'm getting wet because it's starting to rain. The others don't seem to mind. So I'm taking it easy, too. And I'm comforting myself with a new thermo-ultra-functional jacket bought at a discount, which was ultra-expensive anyway, and what the hell, I can always walk, right?
We're not gonna push it hard. Yeah. Start and he's already gone. I'm just turning off the asphalt road onto a grassy trail. I'm already a few minutes late, but I reassure myself that we'll all get bananas at the finish line anyway. The forest. Look, that's why you're here.
I'm running and I'm glad I'm running. I'm not the last, I'm even overtaking, it's awesome, it's already raining full on, I'm swallowing the fresh air together with the surrounding beauty, what, damn, it's only a kilometer and a half, I guess my watch doesn't work. Like that absolutely soaking wet thermo-ultra-functional jacket that even with the discount costs a lot and fits all weather.
First hill. It's getting hard. The others are walking, I'm walking too. I'm not gonna ruin it right at the start, am I? The others are going pretty fast, my pace isn't really liking it. My lungs and legs are starting to compete to see who collapses first. I'm not competing with anybody. The hill is a challenge. Says the woman with the pink hat on my right. I ignore the pink-minded remark, the rain shower and the growing gap between me and the gentleman in the black anorak. It looks dry.
The terrain is straightening out and the race strategy is clear. I run, I pass a couple of girls, I walk. A couple of girls run, pass me and walk. Then four more times around. Occasionally, the back of the black anorak shuffles the order, but otherwise, I consider it fair play. I ignore the rain and feel a hole in my sock on my left toe. The socks weren't at a discount, but they were merino.
Concentration. Peace of mind. Fatigue and happiness are pouring into your muscles. Nobody's around. The silence is loud. Concentration. Peace of mind. Fatigue and happiness are pouring into the muscles. Nobody's around. The silence is loud. Concentration. Peace of mind. A little more fatigue is pouring into the muscles, but still happiness. Nobody's around. The silence is loud. Concentration. Shit. Peace of mind. Oh, shit. Nobody's around. Shit, where's the white sign?
I found myself. After frantic circling back and forth, cursing the trees in the Jeseníky Mountains, the trees without signs, the trails without trees, the forests with bark beetle, only holes around the stump and even bigger holes in the reforestation budgets, no views, I'm stumbling over a root, they're everywhere, I don't have my phone with me, what for (?), the route is perfectly marked, they said, I'm thinking of a pink hat, a black anorak, a leaky left sock, a soaking wet waterproof jacket, running is the worst thing in the world and yeah, I'm not gonna push it hard, right! Are there bears in Jeseníky? I'm sure they're all at the finish line. And they're eating bananas. The finishers, not the bears. My first trail is turning into an ultra fail.
At the tenth (read the twelfth) kilometer, I don't care. Is that the flow? It's probably not the calf pain and the sunken arch. The flow is gone, as well as the next three kilometers pointing gently up and a little more gently up. Thirteen (read fifteen). What's next? I've never known a longer distance, I smile inwardly, the unknown calming me. I'm going down the hill.
I'm running and I'm glad I'm running. Probably the last one, I'm not overtaking anyone, it's awesome because it isn't raining anymore and I'm looking forward to the peat ponds. So beautiful in the photos. So beautiful that we drove 250 km to see it. I'm supposed to turn left here, but I'm not. I'm not stopping because it's flying downhill. Okay, I'm stopping. The sixteenth (read the eighteenth) kilometer. The forest. Look, why the fuck are you here? I should be at the finish line by now and instead, I'm back on the grassy trail. Exactly the same as this morning.
I ignore the banana in the finish and don't want to run for the rest of my life.
Maybe the day after tomorrow.