As I mentioned before, a little idea rose during our hikes through Gran Canaria. On the ascents, Kim had little trouble keeping up with me, except maybe where the trail was favouring my long legs. But when things went downhill, I mean literally downhill, the difference was remarkable.
After being injured at the time of last year’s edition (which turned out quite memorable with Bruno running the entire 42.195 km in his heavy-weight, full length pair of jeans) there was no way I was going to miss out on the 2016 edition of the Bosmarathon in Aalter this year. A trip down memory lane: close to my parents, the majority of the trail is run on the trails & roads I pretty much know by heart from when I was still living with my parents.
Once the disappointment after dropping out of UTMB had somewhat settled, it was time to decide whether I’d give it another go. It’s not an easy decision, but it helped I had from the end of August until the end of December to make up my mind.
As part of a yearly tradition, Kim & her friends spend the week between Christmas & New Year in a house. A week of catching up with friends, doing some activities with the kids, good food, good company and quite some mountain-biking too. Your truly, however, does not mountain bike. Yours truly does not even own such bike. But I wasn’t going to let that spoil the fun or keep me from joining the boys on their trip!
I don’t think I could have anticipated the impact quitting UTMB would have had on me. And for a while, I was in denial. The trip to Gran Canaria helped. A change of environment. Nature. Tons of hikes and a good run. I felt back at it. But the weeks after that trip, I lost my hunger for running. I guess you could call it running depression.
Hm, yeah. I know. That title doesn’t sound impressive at all. But then again, it IS the name of this pretty rad race in Kuurne. Last year, I ran the race as pace maker for a Gwendolyn (who eventually won the race) and finished just over 1h20 myself, a personal best on the half marathon. Since, though, I improved that best at the Havenloop. Putting things in perspective, I was just back from Gran Canaria and had hardly put in any running at all since UTMB. So bottom line: I had no idea what to expect. At all.
In need for some final warmth & sunshine before winter kicked in, Kim & I started searching for an affordable flight to a destination down south. We somehow stumbled upon Gran Canaria and booked in a moment of travel-fever.
Some people called it bold. Some called it “not the smartest thing to do”. Others just called it crazy. Opinions were plenty when I announced I was leaving for UTMB a week early in order to climb the Pointe Percée and hike the surrounding area. Still, there were many arguments for it, especially the benefit of spending a few days above 2000m of altitude.
And I’m back. Feet on the ground. A ground at about 50m above sea level. And, from a very mathematic approach, the past 9 days have been a success. Plenty of amazing things. And then this one negative thing that, right now, seems to outweigh all the great things that happened. Emotions tend to take the overhand when dreams are involved and it takes time and distance to put things in perspective.
Alright! It’s time to go! In a few hours, I’m leaving for the French Alps to fulfill what has been a goal for over 2 years. The idea is to hike the Pointe Percée area for a few days and then pick up Kim and head for Chamonix and try to find some distraction to prevent getting overly nervous!