The alarm clock went off at 5:30 AM…. on a Sunday….
My brain awakes as in any other day, numb, craving for bed after a bad night’s sleep. I get up and start the usual routine, like a week day, until I realise that there won’t be any work today. Gear is waiting for me in the living room and a glimpse of the enthusiasm I’ll feel later rolls over the discomfort that is striking me at the moment.
The memory of a good friend’s recommendation comes to mind: have a good breakfast. Ever since I started running that I try to keep as less as possible in stomach before heading outside. The usual has been half banana, half glass of milk. Going intro ultras now and fully into trail running, I’ll be eating during the training session anyhow so… why not before? Two good slides of bread with butter and ham, good glass of milk and a full banana. Now I’m ready to face the drive, the dark and the -1ºC outside.
I started at 6:20 AM in a pitch black forest. I didn’t know exactly what to expect but an intangible emotion made me feel this was about to be a different training session. And so it was…
The photos this time are stills recorded in my mind:
- The runner passing in the opposite direction at 6:30 AM with a Tron alike reflecting gear without any light and blinded by my head-light;
- The two-small blinking eyes at 6:35 AM which revealed themselves as a curious cat;
- The subsequent two-small blinking eyes at 6:45 AM which proved to be a fox in the middle of the woods;
- The faint blue hue in the sky around 7:00 AM, tree tops visible in its contrast, pyramids of delicate branches pointing towards the heaven, announcing sunrise was not far away;
- A pack of three deer crossing the road meters ahead of me, so close, so swift, like a breeze running over unheard leaves and branches paving the terrain;
- The cocoon in a tree branch, head level in the trail;
- Remembering Kilian going downhill like a maniac, getting myself to raise my heels and just let go; felt great to go regularly uphill and speed down feeling the air rushing through my face;
- Remembering Kako’s series at the end of the session and just streaming down, candidly happy with my performance after the distance and elevation made so far;
- Getting back home at 9:00 AM perfectly on time with fresh baked bread and butter croissants, meeting the expectation of weekend family breakfast for a waiting wife and kids.
The run this morning took me to the void, gave me a great sense of peace and loaded me with an intense positive energy. It felt absolutely sublime. Like a poem. Simple. Serene. Just ‘there’.