I always thought it was better to do a few races, but prepare well. Unfortunately, however, I find myself in a strange period of my sporting life and more often I miss the time to do the training I want.
Restart is challenging.
For reasons of time I had therefore set aside mountain running for a few months. I was dedicated to jobs of speed and resistance that require less time for training in the mountains, for swimming and for my gym classes. Returning to racing uphill has not been easy.
If we then add the bad weather of the weekend, the picture is not the best. My brain told me several times to stay at home and not go to hurt my self-esteem.
Up to the last I was almost hoping to work, to create an alibi that drives many people in the decisions to make the movement.
How many times have you happened to tell an excuse?
Instead, on Saturdays, no course is assigned to me and I am free. Through the Donna4skyrace Association of which I am a member, I booked a hotel in Limone sul Garda and enrolled in Limone Extreme.
The race that I shouldn’t have done in theory.
Friday I get in the car and I leave for Limone sul Garda. Upon arrival I meet my future roommate Caterina and Daniela, of Donna4Skyrace, and together we decide to go and eat a pizza.
Perfect pre-race menu, or almost: pizza with buffalo mozzarella and cherry tomatoes and a nice tiramisu. Everything that I shouldn’t have done, but which I consciously did. I want to live life, all of it.
Besides being an athletically down time, it is a time when the mood fails to stay high. This is why it all makes sense: the race, my competition mates, Lake Garda (one of my favorite places ever).
I enjoy the sunset from the balcony of the Hotel Europa and together with Caterina we decide to set the alarm early for breakfast.
We wake up early. Breakfast is perfect. A few steps and we are facing the lake for the start. The weather is not the best and it’s quite cold. The rain failed to ruin the Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series grand final which was staged for the first time in the SkyMaster formula on a very technical 29km course with over 2600m of positive gradient.
For us amateurs the ride was a little shorter and to expect there were 23km for 2052m of elevation gain, which given the bad weather were reduced to 21km with 1900m D +.
Last year I participated in the 10km and I had a good result, improving by 7 minutes on the previous year. I am aware that this year will not be the case. The legs are heavy and bad weather does not put me in a good mood.
I get carried away by the company. I let myself go and get rid of all the possible weights. At the first, long climb, I feel that I am not at the top and I am waiting, as the trail taught me. I wait and go to the savings, I stay fresh, short pitch and beats under control. I smile. I turn and see behind me, uphill, my roommate Caterina. I’m still fresh and light and I tell myself that the tenth race would begin. Catherine reaches me at the end of a very steep climb.
How many kilometers are we? I ask impatient.
I think we did the fifth.
What? I say, in a desperate way. But I am still in shape. I have only very cold due to the rain.
Once in Cima Mughera the wind blows strongly. The bad weather is so strong that I see only fog around me. The “real” climb is over and I start to increase my pace, running through the puddles. Caterina stays behind and retrieves me on the next climb. At the twelfth kilometer my head begins to turn around. I make my way through the mud that slows me down and I can’t feel my hands anymore. Caterina moves forward. I was alone. In the cold I have a small crisis and I arrive until the next refreshment, to which I stop for ten minutes to warm up. I get back on my feet and leave.
It’s better, but I’m not fit. I’m so wet that my clothes have stuck to me. I had spare clothes in my backpack, but they too got wet due to the rain.
A flat stretch returns and I meet Tatiana, a very smart girl who writes for some important newspapers.
Hi Anais, she says. I was so tired that I didn’t even recognize her.
We exchange two jokes, do some running together and then each on his way. I will then find her again on arrival.
And on the way down I begin to slow down again, exchanging a word with every person who surpasses me. And so I talk with Giovanni from Torino, Marco from Rome and Sybille from England and then do my last kilometers with a girl.
Are you from Donna4Skyrace Lombardia? I nod breathlessly.
My knee hurts.
I’m from Donna4Skyrace Piemonte.
Great! I find the breath to compliment her.
And so we reach the finish line together. Completely sprinkled with mud. I finish the race in 4h56 ′. Very hard blow to my self-esteem. I had estimated much less. I went to savings because of the cold and dizziness, but I arrived calm and happy. The afternoon ended with a hot tea and clothes lent by other girls since my parents were soaked.
It stops raining and it’s time to return. For the third year the Lemon Extreme gave me emotions.
Thank goodness I had the courage to run!