My vertical race – in search of the sky!

12 Aug

Ok, all right, I know what VERTICAL means, and if not I can always go to the dictionary and find out exactly, but you know, when you think about running, especially if you are coming from the road running, and most of the time you run on clean park alleys, or roads flat as pancakes, what you picture in your mind when you think about a vertical run, even if it’s trail, and even if it’s “vertical”, is still some sort of … running!!!

Al right I did some HILL running, I repeat I ran some hills in my time, and every time it was going up with more than maybe 20% gradient, and I was able to do it without my lungs exploding I was feeling like Usain Bolt crossing the 100 m finish line, so I really thought I have at least an idea of “VERTICAL” run, BUT I did not exactly picture or expect this:

So, at almost 1400 m difference in altitude over 5 km, I never suspected for a second that my performance would worry the local Kilian Jornets, the rake-thin champ mountain goats who weigh in at twenty kilos less than me.

But the competition was really with myself, and thank God the race was in the morning, before my brain could figured it out what I was about to do!

I just went along with the event, as the organizing was great, I didn’t have to think too much, and than it started!

As it is a narrow track, the race was conducted as a time trail, with each racer getting a specific departure time, 30 seconds apart. The faster your estimated time, the later you compete. I obviously started in the very beginning where infact all the girls started.
start busteni

And ohhh yes, if I didn’t imagine, I did learn what vertical running is, I did learn, I did feel it, in my legs, in my lungs, in my arms, in my hands holding on the security chains, I did learn it in my brain, in my muscles, in my pain, but mostly I learned it in my HEART!

And maybe my legs were tired, and my lungs were screaming, and my brain was telling me to take it easy, but my heart was singing, my heart was taking it all in, the absolute stunning beauty of the mountains, the smell of the fresh air hitting my lungs with so much force, the taste of the mud and the feel of the surfaces I touched with every part of my body, and then at the peak when the fog came in I felt like I reached the sky and I was flying in the clouds, the smell of wild shepherd’s thyme overwhelming, and then the people waiting for us on the plateau, I couldn’t stop smiling like an idiot!

No I was not running, I was flying, in the sky, through the clouds, it felt like heaven and my heart better than my brain, knew it, and will never forget it!!!!

I came fifth from the girls, very close to the 4th place (only 16 sec difference),and I did it in 1hour and 31 minutes, a course that is marked as a 4 hours, the best guy did it in 52 minutes, but I think he is not human, he is just an alien send here to embarrass us all the mortal human beings! Joking aside, the truth is there were a LOT of very good mountain runners there, and just to get a chance to run along with them was a bliss.

I’m no great runner, by any means. I am an amateur as much as an amateur can be, of course I can be competitive at times, and I want to be between the first to finish, but mostly I am competitive with myself, I like to compete with the old ME, the most important opponent in any race is myself, the way I used to be.
And for me on this one the miracle was not that I finished, or the time I finished in, but the miracle was that I had the courage to start.

This race made me belive more and more that as someone said before “The reason we race isn’t so much to beat each other,… but to BE with each other.”


42 Responses to “My vertical race – in search of the sky!”

  1. The Rider August 12, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    Wow, this looks deadly tiring to me- RESPECT!

    • H! August 12, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

      Thank you! It was fun!🙂

  2. Fashion Mayann August 12, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    Bravo !!!

    • H! August 12, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

      Thank you!🙂

  3. newsferret August 12, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    I salute you. Well done..

    • H! August 12, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

      Thank you!🙂

  4. busydarling August 12, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

    This looks like a hell lot of fun actually!!

    • H! August 12, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

      It was😉 pain&fun!🙂

  5. Max Hidalgo August 12, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

    hi I am Max from Max Living at Maximum and I am glad to inform you that I just nominated you for the leibster blog award. check out my post to know more about it🙂

  6. Trinity Rivers August 12, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

    That’s impressive. I don’t think I could do that course even if I crawled.

    • H! August 12, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

      Thank you Trinity!🙂

  7. Tom Schaber August 12, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    Gotta luv it. Pain and fun in the same sentence! Well done.


    • H! August 12, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

      Thanks Tom! Well… those two words best described it😉

  8. EagleAye August 12, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

    Awesome, and good for you. You really weren’t that far from the first place male finisher, so you have something to be proud of. Good going!

  9. ssoldjasper August 12, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    To me, Vertical means that someone cranked up my hospital bed.

    • H! August 14, 2013 at 11:17 am #

      :))) that can be a …definition!!!😉

  10. mawil1 August 12, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

    What a great blog! You make it sound like such a fantastic experience. Well done for doing this and thanks for sharing!

    • H! August 14, 2013 at 11:19 am #

      Thank you for visiting and the nice words!🙂

  11. Chocolate Covered Race Medals August 12, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

    You said the man wasn’t human, seems like you’ve got a bit of whatever he’s got in your blood as well. Amazing time, and seems like an amazing race!

  12. TartanJogger August 12, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

    Wow, well done! It looks like an amazing- and tough- run!

  13. conniecockrell August 12, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    How fun! And I do understand how great it is to challenge yourself and beat that challenge! Good for you. And thanks for visiting my blog. Come back on Friday for free flash fiction stories.

  14. redjim99 August 12, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

    I still prefer my mountains at a slower pace, well done.

  15. Jennifer August 13, 2013 at 7:17 am #

    Wow! And well done!!

    • H! August 14, 2013 at 11:15 am #

      Thank you!🙂

  16. kns544 August 13, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

    Thanks for liking one of my posts. I read this post and immediately fell in love with you!!! (In the “peace on earth – good will towards man” kinda love. Following you too.

  17. onthickice August 13, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    You’re so cute in your athletic expedition survival gear…😉 too bad you are so far away, I could use some infectious motivation to get me moving more often. Although I did walk farther last week than in the previous 12 months, throughout any breaks I would stiffen up and appear to have a limp. I even danced for a few hours! Now I’m back home and have no “buddy system” to keep the encouragement flowing. You are an inspiration though, can’t wait to read about your next adventure! 🙂

  18. somuchfattitude August 15, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    Wow! This is incredible! Stunning photos.🙂

    • H! September 9, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

      Thank you!🙂

  19. prayingforoneday August 19, 2013 at 4:34 am #

    I just fainted at the thought…🙂
    Well done you!! x

    • H! August 19, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

      Thank you!🙂

      • prayingforoneday August 19, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

        Seriously cool H …

  20. Cosmo August 19, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    Quite incredible! And that looks way vertical, lol. Congratulations on a great run and a pretty damn good time!. The landscape looks so very beautiful. You’re inspirational as always.

  21. Neon Anonymous August 19, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

    My legs hurt just looking at some of those pictures. Well done!

    • H! September 9, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

      Thank you!

  22. shivprasad August 20, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    well very inspiring enough… Great going… and my best wishes with you…

    • H! September 9, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

      Thank you very much!:)

  23. Ajaytao2010 August 25, 2013 at 9:57 am #

    I Nominate you for a Super Bunch of Awards – 30 Nominations
    please choose any 3 awards out of the 30
    accept it and oblige

    there are no linkbacks for this award

  24. ladyphoenix74 August 27, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    As a fellow amateur runner, I really want to do this myself, lol! Still have a lot of training to do beforehand, though. =]

  25. Rookienotes September 7, 2013 at 1:49 am #

    Hey, are you okay? You haven’t posted in a while

    • H! September 9, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

      Hey thanks for asking, I am more than ok, I am great, just took a break from everything! 🙂 I’ll come back sometimes, when I feel I have something to say😉 hopefully!

  26. Sue (Mac's Girl) September 10, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

    Well done! I wish I still had that much energy!

    • H! September 14, 2013 at 11:00 am #

      Thank you!🙂

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