Finish Like She Did

Susan Donnelly finishing Rocky Raccoon 100 mile race.

In the dark, early hours of the morning at Rocky Raccoon 100, I started my fourth and last “lap” of out-and-back segments.

After three laps with great company, I was on my own. Plenty of 100-milers had finished or dropped, the 100k runners were wrapping up their race too, and the trail felt empty.

I was pushed for time. I had a 30 minute lead on what would still have to be on the fast end of comfortable, and my tank was emptier than expected. I was ready to be done but not there yet.

On my way out, a lone headlamp and a voice came running toward me on the way in. The owner of both seemed to be talking out loud to herself. You see a lot of strange things late in a 100-mile race, and this wasn’t that odd.

I was too far away to hear what she was saying at first. Finally, I deciphered a half-crying voice plead, “I just want to quit so bad!”

I'd run 75+ miles through hours of humidity and mud, and had a split second as we passed to say something or not. What came out was one forceful word.

“Don't.”

I got no response but didn’t expect one. 

Somebody who's there in her head, with that emotion in her voice, without a pacer to boost her... So many runners look for an excuse to justify quitting when they feel better than she sounded.

“She’s a drop,” I decided as I re-focused on the tough job ahead and working off the remaining miles.

Hours later, I finally turned around at the furthest aid station, and though I still had 11 miles to go, I was headed “home.” No more out-and-backs!

Every so often, I passed runners still on their way out to the aid station, with renewed gratitude I was going the opposite way.

I’d just passed some runners when I heard one yell happily from behind.

“Thank you for telling me not to quit!”

It was her. She’d stuck with it!

I was so proud of her. She was going to finish! 

But for probably what seemed like an infinity, I bet she was sure she wouldn’t.

If you run enough ultras, you'll eventually be there.

Will you be able to find the strength to finish like she did?

In your “A” race?

Sometimes there’s a person who says the right word at the right time in the right way, but it’s not something to count on.

Training your mind to be that person is something you can count on.

Now, so it’s ready for your “A” race.

Susan Donnelly’s signature
 

P.S. - If you’re ready to get past the self doubt and negative self-talk, email me here to set up a free 30-minute consult call to talk about how training the 80% mental part of your running can uplevel your results!