Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Fear of Coming In Last

When pondering signing up for a triathlon, it has been a concern in my mind...what if I come in last?

First thought:  That would be totally embarrassing.  I don't know if accomplishing a triathlon would even feel very good if I came in last place.

Second thought:  But you would finish.  A Swim, a bike AND a 5K.  Might as well be an Ironman, that is what it will feel like to me!

Our fears can lead our lives down paths that we don't want to go, but are to afraid to face.

I'm reminded of when I first got my bike.  "But what if I fall?"  Just get back up.  It was scary, then it happened, then it wasn't so scary anymore. 

I think the same has proven true for coming in last.

Last week there was a 1 mile race (not timed, just for fun) where you run a mile then you get a beer (or choice soda, etc).  The proceeds go to charity.  I signed up and so did SwimSis, SwimTot and my good friend Ali.  So we start running and about a quarter mile in, Ali and I need a walk break.  SwimTot did too, so SwimSis asked if she could stay with us while she kept running.  We said sure.  Granted there was no shade and it was in the upper 80s, but that turned SwimTot into a grump!  She would not run for the life of her and whined about being hot for the remaining 3/4ths of a mile.  It was not pretty.  The whole time I was trying to coax her back to the finish.  We rounded the last curve and the volunteer at the corner started chatting with us and walking back with us.  Then I looked behind us - no one!  As we closed in on the parking lot and the "finisher's chute", I MADE SwimTot run and we clocked in at 19:10 for a mile.  The very last people!  Was it embarrassing?  Ever so slightly.  Did it make me want to never race again? No way!

I got my last place in, now anything else shouldn't be such a big deal.

I know I will probably be near the bottom of finishers in my sprint tri, but luckily, I know I won't cross the finish line last as there is also an Olympic distance option :)

I've been putting in some extra workouts lately.  Building my confidence right along with increasing my stamina (I'm looking at you, BRICK workouts!).  In the past few months, runs were few and far between and my biking was mostly with my Tri training group (once a week).  I've been pretty happy with these extra workouts and hope to keep it up so I feel confident on August 10th!

Here are a few pics from the post race festivities:

SwimSis, SwimTot, me

Me, SwimTot, my dear friend Ali
Yeah, I got pop because I cannot stand beer.  I added a lil whiskey to brighten it up and it was wonderful!  That is a food truck behind us and I was super sad I didn't bring any cash, it was my fave - Jamaican!!!  PS never give a 28 year old (me) caffeine that late in the day.  I couldn't fall asleep that night!  SwimSis loved it, so we are doing another one tomorrow.  I'm not feelin' the whole pop thing again, so I will forfeit my drink and let SwimSis have 2 beers. I'm such a great sister!

What's a fear that you have a hard time facing? 


  1. Yay for finishing the mile, especially with the heat. I am always scared of coming in last. I know it shouldn't matter but we sure do play mind games thinking about it...

  2. That's awesome! You're gonna do great in your tri. That mini race seems fun. I would probably skip the beer too.

  3. You know what? Who cares if you come in last - you are not on the sidelines and that's what matters most.

    I put this on my blog today: "The only bad workout is the one you didn't do!"

    Hooray for getting out there! I wish I was a good swimmer, I am okay, but I get out there every day - loving the outdoor pool at my gym!

  4. I was in last place in a race once, almost from the beginning, until the very last quarter mile...then I was able to pass one person. Not the greatest feeling, but still, better than anyone who doesn't try, right?

    I did a race last year with my best friend and her 10-year-old daughter, who decided early on that she didn't want to run, or even walk...whining was more her speed. It's a bit frustrating to deal with that when you intended to run, but they're just kids. Sounds like you created a good finish with SwimTot, so hopefully she'll remember that and not be turned off from running altogether.