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Always last and it brings me to tears

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  • BrianSharpeBrianSharpe Posts: 8,757Member Member Posts: 8,757Member Member
    whitej1234 wrote: »
    Yes I managed to run a full 5K for the first time since forever without stopping (even if it took almost 45 minutes).

    You were faster than the folks sitting at home on the couches!|

    For many of us just getting to the startling line is a battle, congratulations.....


  • springlering62springlering62 Posts: 483Member Member Posts: 483Member Member
    Everyone here has such words of wisdom. Absorb them and take them to heart!!!!
  • SnifterPugSnifterPug Posts: 133Member Member Posts: 133Member Member
    I suggest you compete against yourself. Time your runs. Time your swims. It is possible that you keep coming last in your running group because everyone is improving. Including you.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 12,127Member Member Posts: 12,127Member Member
    I certainly can empathize!

    When I started rowing, I was a 46-year-old obese woman who had recently completed treatment for stage III (locally advanced) breast cancer. I started as part of a breast cancer survivors team, so quite a few of us were new to athletic activity, let alone competition!

    But we went to races. Yup, were were last. So last. In one case, we were so far behind the pack that the race officials' safety chase boat was cheering and yelling encouragement at us, because they just wanted us to finish so they could get back to the starting line and start the next event somewhat close to on time (they were nice about it). While I'm still unlikely to be first in any races, in more recent races I've been in boats that were able to finish in the pack, and even get the occasional place medal (helps that rowing races are small ;) ).

    Trust me, you'll make progress. If you gradually increase your focus and workouts over time, just by being consistent and persistent, and learning how to train most effectively for your body, you will surprise yourself with what you can do in the long run.

    Congratulations on your 5k: That's a great accomplishment - so many people are too out of shape to walk 5k, let alone run the whole way. (Perhaps you've surprised yourself a little already. :) ).

    Keep working at it, and you'll keep improving, and keep accomplishing new things. Go, you! :flowerforyou:
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Posts: 36,764Member Member Posts: 36,764Member Member
    For one thing, six months really isn't that long, particularly as you aren't really training in any one particular discipline. You're doing a variety of activities that are great for your overall health and well being, but you're not really "training."

    I haven't been racing the last couple of years mostly because I was burned out from actual training, but when I was racing, I was on my bike training 5-6 days per week for that specific purpose. I could still go out and race right now, but I wouldn't be anywhere near where I was a couple years ago because, while I still ride, I mix it up with some mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, etc.

    I'd also say that when I was racing, I was really racing against myself and my previous times...I had no visions of getting on the podium or anything, I just wanted to see that improvement in my time.

    Also, FWIW, I started out 7 years ago just walking my dog around the block. I got into cycling 9 months later. I didn't race until about a year after that and it wasn't anything pretty to be sure. I continued training and racing for about 5 years and made huge strides in that time...but it took time.
  • DjproulxDjproulx Posts: 1,390Member Member Posts: 1,390Member Member
    OP, this video has been around for awhile, but it still helps me get my head on straight when I'm feeling sorry for myself. As the clip says:

    " For what is each day but a series of conflicts between the right way and the easy way?"

  • HoneyBadger155HoneyBadger155 Posts: 1,292Member Member Posts: 1,292Member Member
    Echoing what many others have pointed out, you're still beating everyone who's still sitting on their couch!

    Being last is only temporary - if you put your mind to it.

    I'll give another personal example of starting out last - more than once I might add.

    With my racing, when I first started, last was all I managed. I stuck with it, kept working at it, and eventually started to move up the novice pack, eventually getting closer to the front runners. Then, my fitness (or lack thereof) started to hold me up, so I put in the effort to start improving that. It took time - several months at least - to even notice a difference on the bike, but eventually it started to pay off. I was doing pretty well for the bike I was on, and actually was pretty impressed with where I was at. This was all from late 2014 to the end of 2016.

    I decided to move up to expert and get the bike I really wanted (which meant changing classes), and had lots of plans on how I was going to kick off the 2017 season.

    Instead, I ended up with a badly broken leg (from a dirt bike incident) and wasn't even able to walk when the season started. I still got on the bike as soon as I could, but once again, I was back to being dead last in nearly all of my races. Dead. Last.

    I kept at it, and a lot happened over the 2017 and 2018 seasons - I found out my bike problems were part of a bad transmission, I figured out my bike needed more money spent on proper set up than I initially did, I began to figure out my leg and how to ride with what I am left with, and then trying to start getting all that lost fitness back - again. At the very last race of 2018 things were finally starting to come together.

    2019 has been another interesting year, but I've made good progress - I've got the bike working better, my riding is improving, and I've finally moved out of the "back marker" group and started to tag onto the back of the middle pack racers - all that after a rather epic crash earlier this year (my tailbone still hurts) and a move across the country, so every race I've been too since the crash has been to a track I have never raced before. In fact, this upcoming (final) round the end of this month will be the first round since my move where we will be back at a track I've raced at before.

    Next year, I will be making it to the pro races (at least as a wild card) for a couple rounds (or maybe more - who knows), plus local races around those.

    Back in 2016 I knew I wanted to make the pro races.....

    It will have been 4 YEARS between setting that goal and making it happen. Sure, a lot has happened in that time, my workouts and eating have not always been on point over that time, but I've hung with it overall, kept my eye on the "prize" and don't intend to back down.

    Naturally, there is a lot of negative self talk I've had to deal with. Add in some very real negative comments from other racers and bystanders. Sure, there have been more good comments, but it's really hard not to focus on those negative ones. It's not going to stop me though.

    I hope you can find some inspiration to keep your eyes on the goal and not give in to that negative self talk. Some days will be harder than others, but don't let yourself give up!
  • moonangel12moonangel12 Posts: 90Member, Premium Member Posts: 90Member, Premium Member
    I think excess weight does make it harder to move in general, even the 10-15 extra pounds I put on post-hysterectomy were enough to kill my ankles and shins. My starting point for running this time around compared to the last was far different, and much harder! Some people are naturally more athletic, yes, but they aren’t all necessarily thin. I have seen heavier set people rock it out, but I can imagine everything is harder. Pressure on the joints, center of gravity, flexibility, etc.
  • lorrpblorrpb Posts: 10,647Member Member Posts: 10,647Member Member
    @whitej1234 I love everyone's input and encouragement and they are absolutely right so need for me to repeat that other than to say congratulations on the 5k. I am going to play devil's advocate from the words in your initial post and point out the flaw in your argument about why you shouldn't finish last;

    - You have been overweight most of you life which may suggest never having done a lot of sports previously
    - Your body had almost no underlying fitness to build on
    - You got down to be overweight but added 5-10 kg by eating properly, so possibly class 1 obese as I am,
    - Started exercising 6 months ago from pretty much a nil standing point, as I did
    - Joined clubs with people who were already way ahead of you in fitness
    - Exercised as much as all those people who were way ahead of you in fitness so a similar percentage improvement for all

    You see how it is not possible to catch those people up. If it was only a small difference then sure you have that chance though in reality over a short period of time like 6 months the best you can hope for is to be closer to them.

    If I may give my short story - used to be fit as a teenager, professional youth standard football (soccer), ran for the county at middle distances, you get the idea. Got married, got lazy, got fat. I was at the high end of class 2 obese when I started training and calorie counting earlier this year. I ran my first 5k for over 25 years on Saturday with 552 people. I was proud to see I finished 32nd in my gender age group which made me feel good. Then I found out there were only 32 people in my gender age group so I was last. 30 years ago if I was not in the top 5 of the entire field I would have been angry at myself. I cannot undo all that damage in 6 months or even a year, not even two years, despite how fit I once was.

    I don't know if I will finish last forever, I hope not as I am very competitive. The final thought I expressed to my MFP friends on this result was "Someone else didn't get to finish last for once and I bet that made them feel good". I am on this journey for me, completing the 5k was a victory, and one day hopefully someone else is last, they don't have to feel great about it but I hope they realise they spread a little joy in the process and so the circle begins again until the next person starting from the same position you were in joins.

    To quote Baz Lurhmann's song 'Sunscreen',
    Don't waste your time on jealousy;
    Sometimes you're ahead,
    Sometimes You're behind.
    The race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself.

    Well said! I was last in my first 5k, by more than a little bit. I was last in my first tri sprint by more than a little bit, but still 1/1 in my age group. I was last in my first Olympic distance aqua bike (swim even bike) by more than a little bit, and 2/2 in my age group. My training friend and I got to stand on the podium together and get champions medals. It was pretty cool! As I said above, everyone slower than me didn’t have the courage to participate that day.

    Our local tri is called ”Tri Turtle Tri” because the founder/our coach was last or 2nd to last in her first three triathlons. Her motto is “comPLETE not comPETE”. I now take finishing last as a badge of honor.
  • fitlulu4150fitlulu4150 Posts: 1,042Member Member Posts: 1,042Member Member
    I'm 69 years old and basically maintaining a 50 to 60 lb weight loss for almost 6 years. I lift weights, swim in the summer, walk and hike. I tried running but my knee gave out so I decided to focus on hiking. I hike a lot up in the mountains of CO when I visit my kids and really enjoy it. In January I joined a local hiking group here in So Cal and tried training here on my own for one of their hikes. We have hills and small mountains in my neighborhood which I was climbing 3 days a week.

    I finally decided to try one of their group hikes and met them at the trail head of a 1.6 mile hike up to a beautiful waterfall (a 900 ft elevation gain). I would have never attempted it by myself so a group seemed like the best way to try it. About 3/4 of a mile in I told the other 8 people (most in their 30's and 40's) to go on without me and I would try to meet them at the waterfall if I could. Every now and then when the trail opened up they would look for me to make sure I was still there. Eventually I made it to the Falls and they were all waiting for me. I asked them if they were surprised to see me and they actually said "Not at all, we knew you'd make it". Last is not always least.

    While we were up there a young man made it around the turn to see the Falls for his first time. He was probably about 50 lbs overweight, sweating profusely but had a big smile on his face. He'd been hiking that trail for 8 months, had lost 45 lbs and every time he hiked up he went a little further. After 8 months this was the first time he'd made it to the top! Everyone around the Falls was cheering him on and congratulating him.

    That hike is easy for me now and I'm sure it's probably easy for him now too. We all start somewhere, it's not a contest, expect improvements and failures, but if you give up you'll never know what it's like to get better at something.
  • middlehaitchmiddlehaitch Posts: 8,099Member Member Posts: 8,099Member Member
    Re your updated/most recent post above.

    Losing weight will help you move better, and maybe faster. The less weight a body has to move the easier it is to move it, especially if that extra weight is fat not muscle.

    I say this as I have never been over weight, just over fat. 5’1and 130 lbs when I started.

    That weight, because I was incredibly sedentary, was a lot of fat and had little muscle to help it move around.

    Once I had lost just 5 lbs and was walking and doing aqua fit, using and strengthening my muscles at a level that was suitable for my poor fitness level, I could move better, faster, and for longer periods of time.
    You have seen this in your own fitness improvements.

    The people around you may just move more in their daily lives and therefore have a higher basic fitness level than you even when coming in ‘cold’ to an event. You don’t know what they are doing the rest of their lives so don’t try to compare.

    Somethings you can do to help you along:
    Lose some weight. Just a small calorie deficit of 250 (0.5lbs a week) or 500 (1lbs a week).
    The easiest way to do this is to eat what you eat now, just smaller portions.
    Use a food scale if you can for greater accuracy.
    Improve your nutrition over time.

    Move more in your daily life, (I’ll link the NEAT improvement thread at the bottom)
    Increase you exercise. No need to become all out focused to the detriment of the life you enjoy, but you do have to put in the work to improve and get results.

    Again, 6month is a very short span of time. You are doing well for the fitness level you have achieved so far. Stop the comparisons, they really and truly are not worth the brain space.
    Focus on you- keep a log so you can look back in a years time and see how far you have come.

    Cheers, h.

    Ways to increase daily activity.
    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10610953/neat-improvement-strategies-to-improve-weight-loss/p1
    edited October 9
  • tryingagain5tryingagain5 Posts: 61Member Member Posts: 61Member Member
    I understand the coming in last is frustrating. It is for me too. I'm involved in a local community walking group. We met at a park tonight and at first I was keeping up with them but couldn't keep that pace up so I fell behind.

    The group is run by a dietitian and she tries to make sure that people don't fall too far behind. She walked with me for the last part of the walk. By the time we got to the meeting spot everyone else was already there waiting for us.

    I've thought before and again tonight that I'm the slowest one and am just holding people back and should probably stop going. The dietitian and the others in the group assure me that it doesn't matter if I'm the slowest, I'm there for the same reason they are: to get healthy.
    I do my best to try and remember that when I'm at this group or at the gym.

    I may not be the fastest or best but I'm trying to get it in my head that the only person I should be comparing myself to is ME. If I'm better than I was last year, last week or yesterday, that is a victory. Hard for me to remember but I'm working on it.

    I say keep on doing your races, etc. Compare yourself only to your last race, not to the other people in it. Your story, health, etc is different than theirs and if you're last, so what? (I know it's hard to get out of our heads, it's a struggle for me too)You're doing something good for your health.

    Keep up the great work!
  • Machka9Machka9 Posts: 14,772Member Member Posts: 14,772Member Member
    whitej1234 wrote: »
    There is just one point that repeated itself in your comments, that I felt I need to clarify. I didn't expect to become better then anyone being consistently active, in 6 month of staying active (agree this is not "training", poor choice of words). I expected, after 6 month, to outdo the novice, those who come for the first time, those who "pretend" to have a gym membership but never go, those that join for one or two sessions and give up. I don't have anything against them, I was them, it is really hard to keep my head up and not sleep right back into that habit (the reason I'm writing here now). But given that I saw so much progress that I've made since I started being a bit more consistent I assumed I should be much better by now.

    How do you know the people you've labelled as "the novice, those who come for the first time, those who "pretend" to have a gym membership but never go, those that join for one or two sessions and give up" don't exercise elsewhere? How do you know whether or not those people walk everywhere they go rather than driving? How do you know whether or not those people take the stairs every chance they get? Maybe they've got home gyms. Maybe they go for long bicycle rides on the weekends by themselves when you're not around. Maybe they incorporate activity into everything they do.

    You can't just assume that others don't exercise.

    whitej1234 wrote: »
    I realized I will not be in the middle of the working hard weekly pack, I realize that will take years, but my starting point is so much lower then even a beginner. The average Joe I was referring to are my friends, colleagues, neighbors not the average running group trainee... And while I get the notion that most people are not active, the people around me that claim to do almost nothing are by far in better shape (am I in the wrong circle?). Is it the overweight? Most people are in normal weight range around me, I will give them that. Is it enough for a person to just be lighter (without doing nothing more) to be much more athletic? I have a hard time believing that. But I don't see any other possible reason why I would suck so badly.

    Are you sure your fitness level is lower than "even a beginner"? How do you know the people who are faster than you are beginners?

    Each person's claim that they do almost nothing depends on what they consider "almost nothing". My "almost nothing" are my rest days where I climb 4-6 flights of stairs and walk a minimum of 2 km. That's "almost nothing" for me. What are your rest days like?

    And yes, weight does make a difference.

    Think about 2 litre bottles of diet coke ... that's 2 kg. If you're 12 kg overweight, it's like you're carrying 6 of those bottles. So put panniers on your bicycle. Put 6 of those bottles into your panniers and see how much harder it is to cycle up a hill!!

    So ... what to do?

    Don't compare yourself to others. Compare yourself to yourself! And keep at it. Keep exercising and gradually increase what you do. :)

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