Finishing Dead Last

It has happened two weeks in a row now; I finished last in our tempo run.

In December, I started running with members of the Toronto Olympic Club. Week 1 was a disaster – completely humbling. I was way behind the others, which I expected, but it really brought me down emotionally and I was afraid to go out with them again.

Last week, during the first of my two weeks off, I was rested and feeling good so I decided to suck it up and head out with them again. We did a 5K tempo run (actually 3.19 miles if you want to be technical about the distance ) and, again, I finished last. And, once again, I felt defeated and deflated.

This Wednesday night, despite the previous runs, I was surprisingly excited about heading out with the TOC runners. Maybe it was because I had been with the boys for almost two full weeks and needed a bit of adult talk or, perhaps, I was becoming more comfortable with my spot and was developing the head space to fight a little harder to keep up.

As luck would have it, we ran the same route as last week – but in the opposite direction. I was glad because I timed last week’s awful run (22:40) and knew that this week’s could only be faster. But, this week’s course meant running a hill for the third kilometre (yes, the entire kilometre) and it was much windier. I paced myself, felt strong (okay, so I gasped for air at the 4K point, but I was a lot more comfortable than last week), and I finished – you guessed it – dead last. But I was faster – by a whole 7 seconds. That’s more than 1 second per kilometre in the wind and uphill.

Even though I’m at the back, I’ve been welcomed by this group of speedy runners, from 19 to 32 years. When I finished Wednesday’s tempo, the youngest high 5’d me. That’s all it took to make me feel accepted.

Next Wednesday, I’ll be chasing them again.

5 Replies to “Finishing Dead Last”

  1. I'm a master at being dead last, and not in training but in races… it is embarrassing, yet, I keep going :p
    You're doing a great job! Congrats!

  2. I love this! first off I've never even run a 5k that fast but I run /w the running room and I have had my fair share of acceptance issues with groups. The last group I was in purposely left me and my new group always high fives, just like you said 🙂 I love it!

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