Being Back of the Pack is Humbling

27 Jun

If you have ever come in last at anything, you know what I am talking about. If you have ever come in last at something that you used to be good at, then you especially know what I am talking about.

Being at the back of the pack is about the most humbling spot for any group run/ride or race participant. I know this first-hand, as I have been pulling the caboose in a lot of group runs and rides lately. It is such a weird feeling and I will be honest…it is taking time adjusting to it.

At the first of the year, I had been really working on my speed and had FINALLY started placing (first even!) in my age group. Let’s not get carried away or anything…I was never in the position to actually win overall or even get overall female, but I was definitely improving!

2nd place in age a TRAIL RUN!

I should never have taken that “runner’s high” for granted. What I wouldn’t give these days to just come in at the middle of the pack. 🙂

At the group ride on Saturday, out of about 8 riders, I came in last…even after the mountain bikes and cruisers. I am keeping the same cadence and pushing with the same intensity that I have always cycled with, but I am just going slower. More weight just does not move as fast. At my last few group runs, I have certainly rocking last place…even cutting the route miles if I feel like I need to.

Coming in last and being forced to take it down a notch has certainly humbled me. It takes a lot of guts to get out there and do something, knowing good and well when you start the activity that you are not going to be awesome at it. Please don’t think that I’m trying to toot my own horn or anything, because I’m not. This post is dedicated to ALL of the “back of the packers” out there. I am inspired by your perseverance.

I know that I am only going to be getting slower, and (for now) I am okay with that. But I want all of those hanging at the back with me to keep pushing and keep getting faster. Just remember to pat me on the back as you are passing me by. 🙂

Where in the pack do you fall? Where do you want to be?

10 Responses to “Being Back of the Pack is Humbling”

  1. Karen June 27, 2011 at 11:10 AM #

    I’m towards the back of the pack. I’m not last, but I don’t beat a ton of people either. One good thing about being in the back is that many of the runners are truly there just to have fun. They know they aren’t going to win. I’ve met many a cool person during runs plus the spectators generally cheer very hard for these “underdogs”.

    I do plan to get faster, but still want to enjoy a race and in there in the back of the pack just for the heck of it.

    • katieRUNSthis June 28, 2011 at 9:20 AM #

      I think that’s great! Whatever your motivation is, just keep getting out there and doing your best. I mean, very few of us will ever hit that elite status (and at 28, I am WELL past my prime for all that) but doesn’t mean I can’t get out there and have a great time!

  2. keyalus June 27, 2011 at 1:43 PM #

    I’m a total midpacker. In most of the races I run, I literally come in at the midpoint for overall racers and gender. If there are 120 racers, I’m 60th LOL. I tend to do fairly well in my age group usually finishing in the top 10, sometimes the top 5. I would *love* to have an age group win (most I’ve gotten was 3rd). I don’t think the others are possible but age-group is within reach in a small local race.

    • katieRUNSthis June 28, 2011 at 9:19 AM #

      Middle of the pack is my total comfort zone. I love it there. It wasn’t until I FINALLY won my age group in something that I was like, “Whoa! If I just push a little harder, I can actually DO this!” Keep running!

  3. Rocket Racing June 27, 2011 at 4:12 PM #

    you beat all the folks that didn’t even get out of bed to go! and just think of the example you are setting for the baby in the bump! humbling, yes…but inspiring nonetheless! keep it up!

    • katieRUNSthis June 28, 2011 at 9:18 AM #

      Thanks, Susan! I feel like I HAVE to set a good example. I didn’t have a great example of “health and fitness” growing up in my family and I plan on changing that! Yay for fit kids and fit families!

  4. rivershughey June 27, 2011 at 6:51 PM #

    You just need to keep your head up! You are so inspiring – you’re running for two and could probably still beat me! 😉

    • katieRUNSthis June 28, 2011 at 9:21 AM #

      Thanks, lady! Its been hotter than Hades lately, but I’m still trying to give it my best! 🙂

  5. Elizabeth Shaw June 29, 2011 at 8:52 AM #

    I have been a back of the pack for most of my racing life (if you can call it) and it has taken me a while to be ok with that. While I am a back of the pack racer, I do have to say that I have improved over the years and I have not had a race shut down on me in a while. I joke with my tri girls that I was to make a shirt that says on the back “I may be slow but I can endure!”

    • katieRUNSthis June 29, 2011 at 9:03 AM #

      Good for you! I’m making my segue into triathlons next month!! Its going to be fun! I know I’ll come in at the back of the pack, but I’m all about completion. I LOVE your quote! I am definitely going to start saying that!! That makes me smile! Thanks for coming by! I hope you’ll keep reading!

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