“I can’t run. Yes, I can. No, I can’t. But you did run until now. But I can’t go any further. Yes you can, till you finish the km. Okay now, till the 100m of the next km. No I can’t. Yes, you can. No, I can’t.”
In a very easy and somehow weird way, this is what has gone through my mind every single time I went running here at home, lately. I knew it would happen, I just hoped it didn’t. Apart from the fan fact of the fam saying three months that you live in a city and you forgot how to run in the mountains, I do know there was something wrong.
I tried to run three times last week (yeah it’s gonna be ages ago by the time you read that), but it didn’t turn out the way I wanted. My breathing was okay, my legs were pretty fine, till yesterday morning.
I woke up studied, because hitting the gym at 7 am is not in my style and I decided to abandon such an extreme habit. Then I went to the gym around 2 pm. I was okay, angry but okay. I started running.
Easy pace, do not force it, you need to warm up. One km and I feel my legs heavy, I find hard to breath… what is wrong with me? I crush this pace in Trento damn. Okay, stop. Drink some water and try again. 1km. Same scene. Heavy legs, breathless. Okay, maybe I should do some bike. 5k on the bike, then 1k running: heavy legs and breathless.By the time I finished the third km I have a terrible pain in my lower calves and, since it took me one summer a few years ago to get over it, I had no meanings to hurt myself. I decided to stop definitely. I still had some free time, so I did the program and during it I felt incredibly strong. I doubled the push-ups, like 3×20, then I tripled my original planking time and everything felt so easy, even the 20kg kettle bell. How is that freaking possible?
I woke up on Monday morning like this, completely exhausted. (Thanks to my dog you get to see a funny ironic photo instead of my awful face of that morning).
I couldn’t run. I cancelled on a couple of friends I needed to see for dinner and took my time to rest and decided what was best to do. I texted my PT and he said I should run more, because from a text and from the fact he doesn’t know me that well, he didn’t understand what was going on. I wanted to run more, but I couldn’t. My running crisis was back. I was going off track, again.
Shall I try to go running or shall I avoid it? I avoided it. Going today would have meant to hurt myself even more, it would have meant to feel unmotivated even more. I couldn’t go. I have too much respect for myself to go. I almost took a full day rest (day 23 very bad sign). But then, I understood one thing: for how bad I could feel, my pristine love for the mountains was still there and I couldn’t do nothing but go out, into the wild.
I took out a map and planned my route, not too tough, but not too easy. By chance, my father was planning to restart a serious working out regimen today, so I changed my plans and went out hiking with him. He took me to the very first trail where he took me to run the first time in my life, about 8 years ago. We joked about the fact that he was the fast one back then. It seems a life ago, I said, while we sat down on the bench we had sat down that summer day of 2008. It was a life ago, Camilla, he said. How many things have we been through since that day?, he continued. Do you remember why I went running with you?, I said. I argued with mum for I don’t remember the reason and you said I needed a way out, a way to forget about everything. I guess it worked. He knew I had had a few troubles with running in the past week, so he asked me a simple question: Does running make you feel good at the moment? No. Then do what you like… if you like strength training, then do so, if you like biking go biking. Running is always gonna be there a lace away, but you need to love it, before setting off.
So I felt okay. I tried to run with the dog and even if it was a very low shot, I felt okay. I felt fearless. By the time the evening came, I was pretty much okay. I was studying in the bar, when P came and asked whether I was going to join her and the crew for water gym. I had by chance a swimsuit in my bag because I wanted to go to the spa (or to the criosauna with JJ) so I said sure, I have the bathing suit here! She thought I was joking, but I wasn’t.
Maria, the instructor and a dear friend of mine, was very pleased to see me and, since there is water gym tomorrow as well, asked me whether I wanted to join her and the other group and whether I wanted to go running with her after that. Maria is a very strong runner and I would sell my soul to the devil to have her pace, but is always willing to adapt to my turtle pace. So I said yes, otherwise I would have skipped the run tomorrow as well. So we started the lesson and there was this very calmed and relaxed atmosphere. I felt strong, exercises that seemed so difficult last summer were easy and while most of the crew was struggling with them, I was okay. My breath was normal, I could keep talking but I felt my muscles working and stretching as well.
You did good, Camilla – Maria told me once we were done. At the end, the pain, the struggle were all in my mind. I didn’t go to Bergamo to talk and check the calves with my big sista because I knew they were okay. I knew I was going to be okay. Let’s see how the run goes tomorrow… news soon!
At the end, every is going to be okay. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.
Have A Safe Journey!