My main goal since I started doing 5ks (finished my third today) was not to come in last. I think that is why I was so worried about my race today. I have completed 2 races before this and have not come in last, that being said, I believe the only people who finished behind me in both races were walkers, but either way, I wasn’t last. Today’s race was different. They had the walkers start about 15 minutes before the runners.
At first I couldn’t decide which group to go with. I eventually went with the runners because I knew if I went with the walkers I would do just that, walk. I knew I wouldn’t event try to run, so I decided the only way I was going to push myself was to go with the runners.
I started towards the back of the pack and that is where I stayed. The gap between me and the rest of the runners just kept getting bigger and bigger. After only a few minutes it was obvious I was going to be the last runner finished, so instead of focusing on that, I had to turn my attention to other things.
First off, there are so many people who were standing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon who will never be able to run again. So many people who would give so much just to be able to maintain the slow jog that I do. I am capable, and that is what matters first and foremost.
Second, the furthest I have gone without stopping to walk is 1 mile (and I’ve only done that once a couple days ago). I decided to focus my attention on being able to make it further than that. I made it all the way to the half way mark and kept going. In fact, I’m pretty sure I only walked maybe 7 telephone polls.
It wasn’t a fast pace. In fact, I added about 30 seconds to my time from my last race, and added about 10 seconds to my first 5k time. I came in last place and I took longer to run the course, it would be easy for me to convince myself, I had failed. But I didn’t. I think today was my best race so far. I’m pretty certain if I measured it out, I probably ran (jogged) almost 3 times. I set goals for myself, then I exceeded them. I started out wanting to make it to 1 mile without stopping to walk, then the turn around and I made it there and then some. I walked for 3 telephone polls and decided I would run to the corner, and I got to the corner and kept going, probably another mile. I conquered my fear of finishing last. I finished strong, and for the first time today, I didn’t have a finish line team to come out and run the last stretch with me. I did it on my own. They were there cheering me on, but it was me who motivated myself.
Don’t get me wrong, I was disappointed when I heard my time at the finish line, but today I know I did the best that I could and that is more than good enough for me. I don’t know when my next race will be, but I know what my goal for it is. My goal before the end of the summer was to be able to complete a 5k without walking, and whenever my next race is, that’s what I’m going to do. It makes me pretty happy that I was so close to that today in my 3rd ever 5k. I will accomplish my goal. It won’t matter if I’m last, second to last or if I manage to finish better than that. What will matter is that I stayed true to myself and shattered the goals I have set for me.
I follow a Women of Crossfit page that while I don’t do Crossfit I find to be very inspiring. Earlier this week they posted a picture with this caption, “it’s often the people who are “slowest” who think so poorly of themselves.. But you know what?! Those are the people who have the ability to inspire WAY more than the fastest person.. Why?! Because they are out there, doing what they need to do to be healthy! Don’t give up or think less if yourself if you’re last at a WOD (running or not)… You are THERE. Which is more than all the obese people sitting on their asses can say! Be proud – first to finish or last!” I’m pretty sure this caption and the picture that went with it, was for me.