Embracing Masochism

By: Paul Terranova

Masochism – gratification gained from pain, deprivation, degradation, etc., inflicted or imposed on oneself, either as a result of one’s own actions or the actions of others.

By definition alone, the 2011 Mountain Masochist 50+ miler by itself was due to be an awesome challenge.  In reality, race day was just the celebration, as it should be, of the work put in morning after morning, day after day, week after week.  The work and the training is the masochism that keeps me coming back season after season.

It started with our fearless leader, Coach John Schrup.  He created a team.  He directed our little cast of characters in routines and workouts familiar like fartleks, intervals, and Wilke repeats, to sessions that initially struck us as odd like prisoner squats, Schrupcakes, and double workouts.

That being said, all the masochism endured is ultimately put into perspective.  How hard can it be to climb portions of the Blue Ridge mountains up to the Appalachian Trail under a cool fall sky when you think back to such epic workouts?  Did we really head out for a second 20k session in August in 101+ degree temperatures?  What was the purpose of hitting MGP for miles in those temps?  And did we really go out and do another double workout in early October?  Was this really going to help us on race day?  He had a plan for us, and his plan worked.  He made us all stronger, faster, and most importantly, tougher.

As for the cast of characters: the “black-short” team remained fleet of feet as they were hunted daily by “the Buffalo”.  Some days, the young and young-at-heart would take off at their respective 5k or 10k paces.  But, in typical endurance fashion, patience and experience tended to pay off.  Either way we all got faster for it, and sometimes a bit humbled along the way.

I am thankful for the running shape I am in right now, peaking (& tapering) for my final race of 2011 because of what Rogue has given me.  I can climb and descend mountains, run off the bike, and even do push-ups at the finish line.  As with one extra hill repeat, chasing Coach’s little red car at the top of a hill, or that last 1K interval, it is because I always have just a little left for one more.  That’s masochism.

I am Rogue, and proud to represent.

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