For me ultra running truly starts at the point where I have given up. To continue a run after this point seems mentally and physically impossible – the battle is finally lost at the end of a long fight.
Beyond that point it is not getting any easier or less painful. Quite the contrary. But as I already lost against myself I am truly whole again. No longer divided between the urge to continue and the longing to quit. I don’t have to go through those deepest of all valleys again. There is suddenly a feeble light at the end of this tunnel.
It´s Sunday evening – somewhere out there. What a journey so far – 200k in 48h. Two nights and two days full of ups and downs: both physically and mentally.
Around 10k earlier I was in a good condition. The 4th and last CP finally in reach, the promised bad weather still calm and the head in a good mood full of hope again.
And now? Pouring, cold rain, really tough last kilometres (and that despite the fact that it was mostly going downhill on easy terrain) and again some thoughts on the greater meaning of all that. Plus: the track is gone. The GPX of that stage ended 200 m ago but where is that checkpoint now. It is cold and getting dark – the third night is about to start. There are some houses but the street is empty and abandoned. What am I doing here? What a cold and lonely place. I am exhausted and desperate for some rest or better: the end of all of this. It takes me 10 minutes to actually see the LT sign directing me to the back of a house and the door to the warm and comfortable CP. A sign of how desperate the situation seems to be. After the now routine actions at the CP and two plates of Pasta – decisions have to be made.
Or wait – there is nothing more to decide on: the path ahead finally crystal clear. Although it was comfortable to not run for some moments and just sit indoor, although the weather out there is awful and although the final stages is again 60k long and mostly dark. Although it will take more energy I have left…
It is time. Time to be superior of all that doubts and problems. Time to really earn that moment of relieve at the very end. The only option left with no matter what is waiting out there is: to go out again and finish.