Do we “suffer” as runners?

In the world of ultra running, there's a lot of talk about suffering and struggling, but mostly suffering. We all talk about it, we hate it, we love it, we glorify it. The challenge. The rawness of it. We suject ourselves to suffering time and time again. The strugglebus. The sufferfest. But what really is suffering? What does it mean to suffer? Can we legitimately call what we experience out there on the trails, running and racing, suffering??

My First Ultra: Squamish 50 miler

12:24:19
My official finish time.
It's taken me months to process it and I don't even know what emotion I was feeling as I crossed that finish line. I want to say it was overwhelming joy and gratitude and thankfulness to have finished the race so successfully for my first ultra... but the primary emotion was mostly gratefulness to not have to run a single step further? Relief?!!! I want to say that I was ecstatic. And I was. But it took a few minutes to sink in... months actually. And now when I look back, it's an overwhelming mix of gratitude, joy, pride, thankfulness, humility...