Whoow, last time I added a blog post was in June, a long time ago, but many important things changed in my life, and I really did not have time for this part. It will never be like it used to be, but finally I found some time to write about my latest journey. My journey into myself, about a lot of pain, mistakes but also wonderful conclusions. Hope it will be nice to read for you but must warn: this post is a bit emotional and open, please respect that.
First 100 km run
Three weeks ago, I did my first 100 km run. According to many, many people, and friends, it was crazy idea: I have been running more for just a year. Of course, I ran a lot of times during recent years, but half marathon was always maximum distance, also my running was not regular. Every time the weather was good, cycling won. It was my biggest hobby. I loved that and cycled a lot in the local area and not only. The record was 400 km, one day (and night) long trip from my city to Baltic Sea, spending 2 hours there, going back by train on the second night and cycling a few more kilometers to my city. It was an amazing trip, but without any pressure. I was with a good friend, we often made stops, of course had some “crises” and required long rest after the whole journey, but no pain, no issues.
This 100 km was different. It was not a big competition, this event calls “Bike & walk marathon around Lubin”, there are few distances to choose, and it is not a race: there is time limit, but the general idea is to promote activity and discover local areas, because path avoid cities, even smaller towns and leads through forests, meadows, and fields. The goal is to visit ten special places and add stamps on the map you received during the start. Most of these points are in forests, without any people – just a box on a tree with a stamp inside. I cycled those three times, but never along the planned, “red route” because it did not make any sense, especially on cyclocross bike. This time I had an opportunity to do that, also during night. The weather was good, we were accompanied by the moon, the stars, and the sounds of animals such as wild boars. The plan was simple: try, run and walk, because there is nothing wrong with trying and failing.
Mistakes and pain
I made a lot of mistakes, and it was a good lesson. The most important was related to nutrition. There were two food points. First on about 33 km, second about 77 km. I didn’t drink enough (realized that I drank only about 300 ml in first 30 km), second it was too much sweet snacks. It is fine for shorter distances, but not for something like that. Also, I did not have enough food generally and my supplies ran out after about 50 km – had to walk/run 27 km without anything. Later, I felt it very much. The last ~30 km was almost constant pain and mental fight: like pain waves, starting from feet, through buttocks and back. Again, and again. A lot of thoughts like “I have enough, I want to end this, I should stop and call them to bring me back”. Few stops to check feet: slightly swollen, but no blisters or alarming changes so I kept walking.
Last 10 km or even more we ran. Why? It was faster than walking, so I preferred that way, to finish pain and rest earlier. Also, the closer I got to the finish line, I felt better, it was crazy. Finally, the finish line… quick rest, went to my car and back home, fortunately it took only a few minutes.
After the battle
When I got home, I felt… not bad. I ate something small, took a shower and then I started to collapse. A huge feeling of exhaustion and I only wanted to sleep. I slept only about two hours. Not sure why, maybe because I was too tired, maybe because of emotions. Emotions… When I woke up, I started… crying. Everything in me exploded, everything was released – it was not physical pain, it was happiness and sadness at the same time.
I have been tired many times after cycling or racing, but I have never experienced such mental ecstasy after an effort. Never ever, I swear. It was something like crossing “the thin red line”, without the option to return. When I think about that right now, when I write these words, it still stirs up emotions. Maybe this is how the warriors felt after the battle? I am not sure, but I know one thing: I want more. It beckons me, attracts me. After these three weeks, I know one thing: I will never again be like I was before. It changed me in many aspects. I am not crazy, I do not want to devastate my body, so I am not going to throw myself over much longer distances, but I will push forward, kept walking. There is no “impossible”, everything is just a matter of time.
Last weeks showed me one important thing: we should find time to celebrate, to experience it internally once again, but like a spectator, like observe ourselves during meditation. Then we can appreciate our own efforts and be happy, be proud – no one can take that away from us, no one can undermine it, we know we did that, and it is all. Finish line, the goal? Yes, they are important, but everything happens in the way, not after. Reaching the destination point does not change us, the whole journey does. Our life is one of these journeys, so it should always be clear, but it is not, and we need to remind ourselves of this.