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Running Shadows
13 October 2013

Maybe we are... a little bit!.. about 10 years ago, if you ran 100Km ., you were an extraterrestrial, but today, in the world of running , this seems like a pretty normal thing .

Yesterday I completed the entire course of the race "Oncotrail ":  102km., 3,500 meters uphill, leaving our team ranked 8th. place of 47 teams, even though we were one two of the teams that had a member (me in this case), which made all the 100km., since all others did different combinations of relays, because there were teams of 6 which was mandatory to always have four running. And during some long moments of the 13h50' that I was running non-stop, I tried to answer this question: Is this good, or it is just an extension of my ego, my unconscious , ego and a great abuse all together?.

I've never been a prominent or elite runner, but my short or long review authority to this is that for many years I enjoy running as an activity and as an important base of my fitness in order to face other complex challenges. I ran my first half marathon 31 years ago and my first duathlon 22 years ago. You can see since my beginnings in the endurance 'running' is already accounted for decades (what an old man am I, oh dear!) .

During all these years I have never obsessed in looking for a high performance, in doing many races, or having this as central activity in my sport life. For me it was a good way to be connected to an activity that I love (running) , and do so from time to time in competition for being in a demanding environment that allows me to measure myself, learn attitudes, and force myself a little more in order to supplement a workout physical and mental endurance very useful for my adventures. And from this point of observation of 'non-elite' but front-line trench, I have seen how the sport evolved from being a highly specialized topic into a massive fashion, and as many popular athletes passed through different stages not always entirely intelligent.

As in all disciplines, there is the professional or elite level, wich is formed by a small group of chosen ones that cannot be the reference for the other people ... we can follow them, and we can admire them, but we cannot try to imitate them; and they are not, in any case, the example for those who have this activity as a no first priority in our lives, and we're just popular runners . So, this text is not aimed at them, who by having the level they have and make a living at it, they have to do new things, different burst to overcome limits and crash their knees if necessary, making 100, 200, 300 or 1,000 Km if it's required. This is their job (and passion in most cases).

The problem comes from the normal practitioners. This is where there has been a revolution, I think not always well managed. People go from nothing (not practising this sport at all), or little (so little intense practice), to the whole (to run 40,60,100,200 brutal km) suddenly.  They Skip any gradual progression that besides letting them enjoy the way to major challenges in the future, allow them to prepare their body in stages to make more challenging challenges and, above all, they do not have time to talk enough with their bodies in order to know it well and know how to listen it before each time of maximum demand .

As always, there are people who have grateful constitutions to be able to do these big events, and the body is going to respond well without major injury. But there are many riders who finish just broken by too much racing, and demands punishment to the body. The first group have been lucky, and the fact of not doing a progressive evolution has not affected them, but the second group pass at once to require so much to theirs bodies without knowing where are their limits, that they tend to suffer significant physical problems in the short or the long term.

It's good and logical that running is being so popular at the moment. It's much better that people keeps active (if not exceeded) than  sedentary; and running is cheap, logistically simple, very social , and provides a deep and intense contact with nature.  But our responsibility, in all the activities we do, requires that we manage well our own limits, especially if we are not professionals or specialists in it.

Looking at it coldly, running, despite having all the virtues I have mentioned and many others that could be described, is a sport of donkeys. Almost everyone can practice it (basic level is not terribly selective), and to evolve a bit it doesn't need any special talent (unlike other sports). From here on, the more you train, the more fit you are, and within certain levels, it is easier to progress and highlight a bit. And I think this is one of the traps that many people falls in, which derives from a leisure activity to enjoy being in nature and providing healthcare, to a exaltation of Ego, seeing that just training more and more we can stand quickly within our little group of friends, our neighborhood, owr town or our county (and usually not much more) And now, with the phenomenon of blogs and social networks, this is triggered exponentially, up to a point where it seems that one of the basic motivations of staff is, long before enjoying, doing something sounded to give hit roll all our social environment and, above all, hang a show off on Facebook. And clearly, running about 10Km. or half marathon or even a marathon, is not cool nor a point of "singularity" award to any spectacular challenge.

And it would be good if people from enjoying training all throughout the year, and then doing one or two ultra-marathons per season (more than 42Km.), but it is very common for runners to make 4, 5, 6 or more ultras by year, plus many smaller races without giving their body time to recover minimally.  And it is very common to see people injured in the start line of a race, that with a taping and some physiotherapist sessions, force themselves as if they were in a World Cup final or fighting for gold medal in the Olympics, and only playing for their written text in the Facebook and, above all, having a poorly treated injury that may incur fatal consequences in both the short term and, much worse, after a time.

During last 20-30 years it has passed to me many times that some people came to this sport, even seeing me, in their environment, like a little reference, and we did things together as a group of friends or in a sports club; and after a short time they had engaged so much and train so much, that I was caught, happening that in a short time I was always beat until it could no longer keep up following them. Some of these have spent much time with good track record, but many have left this activity well soon or mental fatigue or having some parts of his body seriously damaged (usually the knees, Achilles tendon, hamstring, the back, or a mix of all...)

We can all make dreams beyond the walls or common supposed usual behavior, and it sure to be stimulating for life and mind to face new challenges and experiences to enjoy a bit extreme situations, but we have to be responsible and learn that life in general and specific personal sports career is very long and it can bring us much happiness if we manage ourselves well our limits.

We can dream, plan and implement crazy projects, but cannot become crazy, and always do so with intelligence, prudence and responsibility. It is our body, and will accompany us, for sure, in all stages of our life...

Tags: 100km.
david calaburra
20 October 2013
19:16 H
Doncs jo no hi estic gaire d'acord amb el que dius, si que és veritat que hi ha gent poc preparada, i què?, la marató o l'ultra posa a cadascú al seu lloc i no hi ha millor ensenyança de la vida que la pròpia experiència. La gent explica els seus petits o grans reptes al facebook o en un bloc, al igual que fas tu escrivint un llibre sobre la teva experiència al gel, jo no hi veig diferència, tots som humans i tots som iguals i al capdevall tots busquem el mateix. També hi han moltíssims esportistes profesionals que han hagut de deixar la competició per una lesió o per què el seu cos no aguantava la càrrega d'entrenament. Es el mateix.
Per mi pot tenir el mateix mèrit una medalla olímpica que la superació personal d'un propi repte.
El que vols dir és que només quatre friquis poden fer ultres? doncs jo crec que no, ara s'ha popularitzat, amb tot lo bo i lo dolent.
Jo no tinc cap problema amb aquesta gent que dius, penso que tampoc fan cap mal i si fa trenta anys córrer una marató era una cosa rara, ara hi ha mils de populars que s'hi dediquen, a un altre nivell, és veritat, però jo no ho veig una cosa negativa.
No sé si la meva progressió com a corredor ha sigut la "correcta", en tot cas a sigut "la meva", com la de qualsevol, igual de vàlida, uns van més depresa i s'estavellen i d'altres van pas a pas i potser també. Questió de caràcter. Lo bo és saber treur-re'n profit de la experiència i que això ens ajudi créixer.
Per mi els populars que acaben una marató amb cinc hores o dels últims d'un ultra es mereixen tot el meu respecte, perquè hi han posat coratge, esforç, patiment, i al final...això és la vida mateixa.
I d'una mala lesió TOTS en podem ser víctimes, pros, semi-pros, populars i palanganes.
Amb tot crec que el teu post és força vàlid, ja que està raonat i escrit amb tacte, com tots els que fas.
18 October 2013
10:58 H
No te conozco pero no has podido explicar mejor lo que pienso!!! Como corredera mas bien mediocre de ultras y triatlones de media distancia veo a la gente tirarse de cabeza a la larga distancia sin mas!! Yo tengo mucho respeto a estas distancias , entreno mucho para ser finisher , aunque llegue la ultima, no tengo que demostrar nada a nadie mas que a mi misma y he disfrutado de todas las pruebas que he hecho . Pero ahora , como tu, creo que la gente ha perdido el norte!!!! Y al final el cuerpo es mucho mas sabio que nosotros y nos pone los limites!!! Ahora mismo me hago seguidora tuya!!!
Rafael i Anna
18 October 2013
10:37 H
RUNNING, MARATHON, AIRON MAN, fenomen esportiu o social ?; aquesta pregunta està molt ben definida en aquest sensacional POST, tindría que tindre una difussió encara mès ample que la teva WEB Albert, FELICITATS.
Per ser ja d'una determinada edad, nomès ens posem com limit, el poder caminar i gaudir de la natura, pujem muntanyes al Pirineu per gaudir de la vista, en el camí observar l'evolució de la natura, vegetació, formacions rocoses i de tot alló que ha format part de la creació de la vida, que us puc assegurar que es un gran ESPECTACLE.
Moltes vegades quan caminem i parem a descansar, cosa que fem molt sovint, valorem el que ens queda fins on volem anar i si el cos ha dit prou, girem cua i un altre dia serà.
Lo nostre no son límits, no son records, no son metes, nomès es caminar i gaudir de la gran película de la terra, que entra en els teus ulls amb els millors colors i el millor só, el de pardals, guineus, isarts, marmotes o simple ment del vent.
Salut esportistes i gaudiu del que realment es l'esport NO professional, una activitat de lleure per sentir-se bè un mateix de cos i de cap, i sobretot gaudiu de tot alló que ens regala cada dia la NATURA.
15 October 2013
18:31 H
Estic d'acord amb tu, Albert. És una bogeria i una bogeria que enganxa. A mi em té enganxat des de fa, relativament, poc temps. El que m'he trobat en els dos anys que fa que corro llarga distància és gent que no-sap-on-va, gent que no ha valorat seriosament el repte que és apunt d'afrontar...i només ha pensat en la il.lusió/alegria que li faria aconseguir-ho. POTSER Pl nom: ULTRANOSÉQUÈ, IRONMANDENOSÉON...
Sovint he vist gent que rebutjava l'aigua en un avituallament i s'acabava retirant quinze quilòmetres després, totalment deshidratada.
M'agrada córrer i ho he fet tota la vida. Ara he descobert les ultres i en voldria seguir fent. Tot i això, sóc conscient que per seguir en aquest apassionant món de la muntanya, cal que ens cuidem molt. Molt més del que fem.
Molt interessant l'article, Albert.
14 October 2013
22:45 H
Muy buenas hace tiempo que corro ...pero lo deje por problemas ..x.. y he vuelto os diré que duranrte muchos años he vendido material de deportes y estaba muy especializado.. en el famoso Runing ...deje las tiendas y tengo otro trabajo ,,bien os comento esto , para que alguien le de que pensar,no lo digo porque si .. todo lo que es pasar el limite no es bueno ..alguien se ha parado a pensar cuantos impactos se dan sobre el terreno y donde van a parar estos impactos ...no amigos no no hay calzado preparado ..hay calzado para fijar el pie ..para controlar que no se patine ..etc ..que sean mas ligeros ..y que la gran mayoria acabais comprando ..os digo que correr mas de 50kmt es de juzgado de guardia ..ya me lo ireis diciendo como quedan vuestras articulaciones ..un gran saludo a todas-os y suerte con las lesiones ..
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