Aug 1, 2011

FINISHED MY FIRST 5K: Not at all what I expected

 It all started a couple weeks ago when my work announced the "Corporate Games" were back again this year. A bunch of companies in Salt Lake get together to put on an Olympics of sorts and compete against each other. There are always 2 divisions in each event. There is a "In-it-to-win-it" and a "Just for fun" group. When I saw that they were doing a 5K I had this weird urge to sign up. Maybe it was because of the races Kar has been in this summer, maybe it was because I was delusional to how far I have come in this whole weight loss journey.... I don't know. All I know is I had no time to train and had no idea what I was in for.
It was about August of last year that I really made the choice to lose the weight. Before that I was fickle and cared but didn't have the drive to make it happen.I thought a 5K would be a good way to celebrate a year in fitness and lifestyle change. Sounds like a good idea right? I knew I wasn't as prepared as I wanted to be physically but I never expected the emotional stuff that would come out during the race either.
Getting pumped with LMFAO's Party Rock Anthem in my ears

I get to the race site, already apprehensive and get my first look at the course. "WHAT!? We are running on grass?" I was not happy. "Are you serious? Look at the steep hills!" I was kind of pissed. There was so much I was not happy about going into the race but at some point I just had to say "Screw it" and just tell myself it didn't matter, I was going to do it.

A frustrating finish
We started off and there were a few people who were side by side with me but soon I was well behind the pack and dead last in the race. I was expecting to not do well but I guess the thought of finishing dead last just hadn't crossed my mind before. When I should have been thinking about how awesome it was that I was even trying a 5K, all I could think about was how I was dead last. By the last lap I was pissed and emotionally spent. A lot of the emotions I felt came to the surface and I had to fight back my emotions as I crossed the finish line. I was pissed, discouraged and even depressed. I thought this was supposed to be something that would give me a boost, something that would make me excited and happy but I couldn't help the inadequacy I felt. After I finished, I didn't even want to take part in the after race event celebration. I just wanted to go home.

As we drove home I just bawled like a baby. I didn't want to feel this way. I wanted to be encouraged and empowered by this experience, not feel inadequate and angry but at the end of the race I couldn't help but feel like the fat kid picked last for everything, the fattest person in the room. I felt like I was right back at 524 pounds and that nothing had changed.

Jeffrey was so proud of his Dad. I love this kid.
After i calmed down and my endorphins calmed down, Kar set me strait. "You should be nothing but proud and thrilled Mike." I started to see things as they were. I wasn't the same guy I was at 524 pounds. That guy would have been home in bed still. That guy would have NEVER attempted to run in public. That guy didn't exist any more. I may have been the slowest and the most fat person there, but I was there.

I guess even with all that I have accomplished and all the positive changes in my life it is still hard when confronted with the reality of how much ground there is still left to cover to get where I want to be.
The ADP 5K Team
By the time we got home and I got back to reality, I was able to see the accomplishment for what it was. My anger turned into motivation and my frustration into renewed commitment. I was able to celebrate what I had done and see a future where one day I would be able to RUN a 5K not just finish a 5K. I love my family for all their support and am proud to set an example for my kids.

I am proud that I did the race. I am motivated to continue on my journey and I am NEVER going to stop. Sometimes, in order to progress, you have to be hit in the face with humility but the pain and frustrations all part of the process. Embrace it, use it, and get it done.

35 comments:

  1. I remember feeling the same frustrations when I had worked all summer to get to the top of a mountain by the time fall came around. I started out only able to do a quarter of a mile. I lost 25 lbs that summer and was able to make it up about 3 miles, but I realized that I wasn't able to make it up that year! It was hard on me but I didn't give up. I nailed that hike the next spring after working out hard and continuing to lose weight. I was surprised how much better I did that following spring. That last hike in the fall gave me a baseline.

    That's what this 5K is for you. A baseline that you can judge your progress on. Write down that time and tuck it a way for future reference. Keep working hard and you will see great results.

    It would have been fun to strap on an extra 100 lbs to everyone that ran. You wouldn't have been last for sure. Just think what an accomplishment that was to do that 3.1 miles carrying the extra weight! As it comes off, you will improve!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congrats, Mike! You have taken the first step in officially competing with others and yourself to get to your health and fitness goals. I ran/walked my first 5K a couple of weeks ago at age 53, and understand completely what you mean about it being an emotional time. But for me, it was more happiness and the satisfaction of finishing it among friends who know I am trying to get healthier and why. Please continue to participate with your wife in these events. I have a feeling you will not be the last to finish ever again.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm so glad that you had your t-shirt on when you raced on Saturday. Otherwise, how could I find your site and CONGRATULATE YOU?

    Dude - awesome job. The "old" you - and so many other people - were still in bed while we were out there sweating it out. Yes, it was discouraging to get lapped by the UBER-FAST guys, but then again, they've been training for-um-ever. Yes, it was muggy and sticky and hot. Yes, that first hill was NOT fun.

    But the "new" you DID IT!!!!! You should be proud, and you should just keep plugging away at your goals. You've apparently done a great job so far.

    I hope that you don't mind if I continue to follow your inspiring success!

    ReplyDelete
  4. You bawled like a baby ? Depressed and sad..I remember a fat guy that thought a diet would be switching from white rice to brown rice. And now you completed a 5K race. F that my brother, I am so very proud !!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ha ha. I know, I know. Now that I am able to stand back and look at it it was kind of silly to feel that way but I couldn't help it at the time.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It was an amazing thing to witness. I was so proud to be waiting at the finish line. And I'm so glad you now see the benefits of accomplishing something like this. Simple to some, and impossible for many. You finished!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Congrats on finishing your first 5k. I know the feeling of finishing last, but use it as motivation to continue to train hard. I went from last place to captain of my cross-country team by having a great work ethic and by keeping my head held high.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think it's good for you to process these emotions. It's ok to feel hurt and discouraged... take that energy and channel it into working harder so that NEXT year you will run that race and have the experience you wanted this year.

    With no training I'm actually incredibly impressed with you finishing the race!! I walked my first 5K in June and I tried to run for part of it and simply couldn't. Now I'm running 3 miles but it took a lot of work to get here and I'm still a work in progress.

    Dude, you're an inspiration and you TOTALLY rock!

    ReplyDelete
  9. You are right. It's hard to sit back and see how far there is left to go. I feel that way sometimes as i am still far from goal. BUT it doesn't discount how far we've come so far. You are doing great and just having the courage to get out there to a race is a WIN! You're inspiring me and so many others. Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think you did an amazing thing. I've never done a 5k, and the fact that a guy who is still obese and who until recently was even way bigger can do this is GREAT GREAT GREAT.

    The humility part is good. Sometimes, we do need to get a "check". Celebrate the you that made this progress--the weight lost, the fitness gained. But keep the eyes forward on how much there is to go. You can go the full distance, because you came THIS far. It's all just keeping on doing the good things you've done till now. Consistency

    Next 5k. Better After that, even better. Pretty soon, you're gonna be in the EARLY arrivers. That's how it is. You don't go from very fat to very fit with the snap of the fingers. You start being the fattest or the slowest, then you see a better result each time.

    You'll see it. And you should be very, very, very, very proud. Kar is right. Acknowledge the good and hard work. Be proud. Keep going.

    ReplyDelete
  11. way to go! God is keeping you humble...and literally reminding you, life isn't about when we get to the finish line it's what we did to get there.
    Keep up the good work, you are Karlie are amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I remember my first 5k. It was awesome because never in my life did I think I would pay money to run. Now I like running and just completed a 10k in may and on last sunday I ran a 5 miler. I like it because I can compete again and it's exercise. Be proud of yourself, because you just did something that most people never do in their entire life.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Congratulations on finishing. So many people were wallowing on the couch while you ran a 5K!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I haven't run a 5k yet but this post makes me want to go for it. I like the thought of challenging myself to do something that I never thought I would do.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This was really touching - I'm amazingly proud of you for going out and challenging yourself with this race! Something I heard before my first 5k was "DLF > DNF > DNS" - a dead last finish is greater than if you did not finish; did not finish is greater than if you did not start. I try to keep that in mind not only when racing, but in all aspects of weight loss. You're doing a fantastic job!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Way to go Mike! One day, I will attempt my first 5k and like you, I will most likely come in last. It will be hard and humiliating, but it will be an accomplishment and a start. I'm glad you now realize that you are not a failure and that you ran a good race.

    ReplyDelete
  17. It's a damn frustrating way that all the old, ugly feelings can come bubbling up to the surface all at once at the most unexpected times, isn't? And even though we might have all these truths staring us in the face of how different our new reality is, living as total fat asses for so long colors our deepest perception of ourselves in some nasty ways.

    Which sucks. A lot. A whole lot.

    But, ultimately, Mike. I don't know you, but for what it's worth, f*** 'em and everything else. At the end of the day, you jogged FIVE KILOMETERS, and that's impressive. Screw anybody else - especially the ugly part of Mike inside of you - that tries to tell you otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks Will. I have to constantly tell my inner Fat Guy to shut up!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Mike, did anyone mention to you that dead last finish is better than did not finish and trumps did not start? Every. Single. Time.

    You went, you started, you finished. That's awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Congratulations!!! I've been walking 5Ks but not running them, yet. What an accomplishment!!! You are an inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I said this on FB. I've never even attempted to run a 5K...or walk one.

    This experience is all part of your own, personal process. Thank you for being so honest and raw and allowing all of the rest of us to progress with you!

    ReplyDelete
  22. GREAT job Mike! I saw you on Saturday & I'm so glad you had your shirt on so I could find your blog. Running definitely has a lot of head games for me too. I just remind myself to be kind and be my own cheerleader even when I don't feel like it. A few years ago I did my first 5K and never imagined that a few years later I would be running marathons. You never know what's in store! Keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Congratulations for finishing that race! It is an amazing marker of how far you have come. I am not even half way, too, and sometimes I get discouraged, but there is no way I am quitting either. Our health is just too important.

    Look at your little boy. He is also proud of you. Keep it up. You are doing this for you first, and your family a close second. michele

    ReplyDelete
  24. Congrats. It must have felt so good to accomplish! The pictures are great!

    Sarah
    notaneffingdiet.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. Congrats bro! That's a major accomplishment! I'm doing the Couch to 5K program, but it makes me want to go out and do a 5k this weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi Mike, I found you on Kenlie's blog and this is the first time I checked out your blog. I'm so proud of you! That is such an amazing accomplishment, but I could totally relate to all of your feelings because I feel them too. My husband and I are doing C25k and I will at some point run one this year. I can't seem to find one in my immediate area. Anyway, I've been running on my treadmill at home because I'm just too embarrassed to run outside. And also, because I can watch tv, but that's besides the point. Those of us who have struggled with weight can identify with your feelings of being last and standing out, but I agree that your focus should be on the fact that you're making great strides towards being healthy. Bravo!
    Kim
    http://fortyisthenewfabulous.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  27. Mission Meltdown (Andre)August 2, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    You friggin' rock, man. Absolutely rock.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I'm glad you came to your senses and realized what an AMAZING accomplishment this was and how far you have come!!! This has totally calmed me down about doing my first 5K too. Thank you!! And again, congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  29. The encouragement and feedback from my readers never ceases to amaze me.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Way to go!!!!! I am so happy you were able to turn yourself around and see just how far you've come and turned it all into a positive.

    Your doing great! Keep going!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I agree that the course sucked. Like really sucked. Wet grass, pine cones, tree roots and dog poop. I remember my first 5k. Felt like it took forever and I hurt.
    The good part is now you have set the bar. It might be a while but you will look at this and say. I want to do it again and improve.
    I hated running for the first year I did it. Now I love it. I believe it is the fact that I continually set goals and I acheive them. From time to distance goals.
    Keep it up and let me know if you up to doing another one. Any other 5k course will be a big improvement to what you went through this last weekend. I would love to come out and cheer you on.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Wish I could "like" this post! Congratulations on finishing, that is incredibly awesome. And I absolutely love the slogan on your shirt and saved it to a little file I have called "inspiration". Keep rocking on!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I love the look your son is giving you in the picture. You are clearly his hero, and I have to say...he's chosen well.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Just read this for the first time Mike. Man I could really relate with med school. Seeing other people do hard things motivates me to do hard things. Thanks for sharing your experiences. They give me strength.

    ReplyDelete