Regional Fitness Test Failure

Regional Fitness Test Failure

Why does someone even want to be "Regional?" It’s a promotion. It’s a sign of moving forward. Unlike in Europe or what they system used to be here in the U.S., where they have levels 9 to 1, we have nothing here. You are simply a "referee" until you get to Regional.
Whether you have ref’d 1000 matches or just 1. You are at the same level from a title standpoint. Only the very top 1% of refs in this country ever reach the level of Regional and I wanted to be a part of that group. I wanted to level up and prove to myself that I could do it. To show that I’ve reached a place that few referees ever do. 
To say that I was upset at failing is an understatement. I saw it in my mind. How gratifying it would be to finish. I visualized my celebration and joy at the end of the test. Failure was not an option in my mind. 
Here is how the test is set up:
6 x 40 M sprints in under 6.5 seconds from a dead start
Then after about a minute break:
40 x 75M runs in under 17.5 secs
40 x 25 M walks in 25 secs
It's the equivalent of 2.5 miles or 10 laps on a track
I am not naturally a fast or efficient runner. I have always been heavy on feet. Those sprints may sound easy to you, but they would never be easy for me. Ask me to cover 6 miles on a pitch during a 90 minute match, no problem. Ask me to run 6 miles on a track, kill me now. Mentally and physically, I couldn't do it. I knew this would be a massive challenge for me. 
By lap 4 my brain was telling me I wouldn’t make it. I just gutted. There were about 20 referees, who are just passed the women’s cat one fitness test hanging out at the finish line of the track. They were being supportive and encouraging. I didn’t want to let them down. 
By lab six, I could not get my heart rate back under 180 bpm. I felt like I was going to puke or pass out or both. 
After my first 75M run on lap seven I gave up. I didn’t fail the interval. I made it by a fraction of a second, but I knew I wasn't going to be able to do another one. My body gave out. I was dizzy and my heart rate was well over 180 which is my MAX for my age. 
As I think back to it, I wonder and worried if it was just a mental barrier rather than physical one. I can tell you that the next three days of recovery proved otherwise. I have never been so sore after running in my life. Every part of my legs in my core was hurting. I wasn’t able to work out for a full week afterwards. 
The embarrassment of letting myself down and all of those referees who were waiting for me at the track is not something I will soon forget. I never want to have that feeling again. 
I know I need to train better and become a more efficient runner if I am ever to pass the test. I've had so many people reach out with words of support, but also advice for training and increasing my speed. I think I’ll be back next year. I’m 99% sure. I'll let you know how it goes. 
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