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"It's Ok That I Came in Last"

Monday, June 04, 2012

This past weekend, I participated in my first 10K of the year and I came in last place for the women in my division (women ages 50-54). Over the years, I’ve participated in many 5K and 10K races. I walk and run doing more walking than running. Typically, I would do the Revlon Breast Cancer 5K each May and the UNCF 10K each June. The remainder of the year, I would walk at different paces. As my pace and consistency varied, so did my weight. My doctor mentioned noticing a pattern of my weighing about five pounds more each time I went in for my annual physical. I was aware but ignoring this ugly trend. The first year or two it isn’t so bad. However, left unchecked, after 10 years you find yourself carrying an extra unwanted 50 pounds.
In 2008, I found myself about to be lain off after 28 years with the same company. The layoff was due to happen at the end of August. While I still had benefits, I scheduled my annual physical and yes you guessed it. In addition to my purse and planner, I was carrying an extra fifty pounds. I decided I wouldn’t rush to look for another position. Instead, I would spend the remainder of 2008 catching up on some reading, some housework, and some self improvement. I prefer to walk and or workout in the morning. So, I was finally able to do so. When I accepted a new position in Feb. of 2009, I was 20-25 pounds lighter and I was feeling good about me. Unfortunately back at work, I returned to my old snacking and non-working out habits. In Feb. 2010, although my professional smart work paid off and I was promoted, I could no longer fit into the suit I interviewed in because I had picked up all the weight I lost and a bit more.
I began cutting back and walking somewhat consistently. Later in the year, my Manager mentioned her plan to participate in a half marathon in Feb. 2011. Although I’d never done one before, I thought I’ll do that too -- because I know I’ll have to train to prepare. Around the same time another co-worker introduced me to SparkPeople. What a blessing the SparkPeople tracking tools have been for me in keeping me goal oriented and focused. Thanks Scott.
Well, I completed that race and acquired race fever. I decided and participated in at least one 5K, 10K, or half marathon every other month in 2011(6 races per year). This year, 2012, again I’m committed to completing a minimum of six races. The difference, this year, is that in each race, I’m striving for a personal best time. This past Sat. I repeated a 10K that I had participated in last year. Last year, I didn’t have a goal and I was proud to finish in 1:32:01 / avg. 14:49. This year I set a goal to average under 14 minutes per mile. And I did it! My final time was 1:26:25 / avg. 13:54. A review of the results revealed that I crossed the finish line #18 of the 18 women in my division and #328 of the 348 total finishers.
Am I saddened by my comparison place? No, not at all. It’s Ok that I came in last compared to others. I was never competing with them anyways. I was competing with me. And Woo Hoo I beat me!!! I challenge and encourage each of you to compete with yourself always striving to better your best in everything you do. I did it and you can too!!!
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