The Suffer Shuffle

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We can’t always get what we want.  Sometimes we just have to take what we get.  We set goals that might be just a tad ambitious and we tear ourselves down when we don’t meet those goals.  Those who can’t handle the pressure give up.  If it was easy, everyone would do it.  If it didn’t hurt, we wouldn’t push ourselves.  If it didn’t hurt, we wouldn’t have to work hard to get “there”. 

Today was the Chasing Snakes 10K.  6.2 miles.  I had never seen the course with my own two eyes, but figured I would do well considering my recent training.  I had big plans of running a 56:30; a minute slower than my Eastman Road Race 10K time.  Lauren and Jenna decided to pace me.  I felt like this was attainable.  Runners on your mark…get set…go!

At mile 1 I heard the lady yell out, “8:34!”.  Uh oh.  I’m screwed.  My plan (like always) was to run negative splits.  I pretty much shot that idea out of the water.  My 5K was still looking strong.  Glad I enjoyed the first 3.1….the second half would be a thorn in my side.

Every time I turned a corner there was another hill.  And another one.  And another one.  I was dying.  My quads were toast.  I even took a couple 5 second walks.  Lauren and Jenna were ahead of me.  I wanted so badly to catch up to them.  They waited for me at the first aid station.  “I’m dying.”  Jenna said “You’re racing.  It’s going to hurt.  You can do this.”  I kept moving. 

After what felt like forever, we reached mile 4.  Do I really have 2.2 miles?  My god…I’m going to die.  After climbing another long hill, I finally got some relief and coasted downhill.  The last 1.1 was awful.  Jenna was yelling at me to dig deep and Lauren was trying to encourage me through the last few minutes of the race.  It was at this point that I realized I wasn’t going to make my goal.  In fact, I felt like I was going to pass out.  I had reached my threshold.  I was barely running.  I call it “The Suffer Shuffle”.  “Please God, let me just get to the finish line.  I want to be finished.”

With the finish in sight, I tried to kick it.  I usually have a great last mile and an even greater last half mile…I tried to sprint, but all I got was a fast jog.  Finished.  59:34.  If I had the energy, I would have punched myself in the face. 

This week has been hell for me.  Bad school days and bad training days.  Not much sleep.  Clinicals.  My own personal issues.  This week has been stressful, yet I made the time for every single workout.  If I wasn’t crying, I was sweating.  I guess I should be proud of the work I accomplished in spite of all the things playing against me.  I should be proud.  I don’t feel that way.  I would like to put this week behind me and move on to the next.  Let’s move on…

Today wasn’t a race, it was a training run.  I learned how to suffer and finish.  That is my silver lining. 

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