Race Cancer 5k – Finishing Last

Last night was the July race in the Race Cancer Foundation summer 5K series.

I was the last person to finish, but I’m OK with that. I finished when I didn’t want to.


The whole time I was thinking, “why do I still sign up for races? It’s been 2 years, I’m still mostly walking and I don’t like running!”

One of the co-leaders of November Project Boston asked on his personal facebook the day of the race, “Are you a person who hated exercising but fell in love with the community because of the people at NP?”

I answered a resounding “Yes! Oh my gosh. I still don’t like running or climbing stairs but I show up at NP because of the amazing community!”

So, I showed up last night to support a great nonprofit (Race Cancer Foundation) and represent November Project.

I’ve been told by other runners to just stick with running and I’ll learn to enjoy it, but I’m no where near that enjoyment yet – or ability to even run for a full mile.

Maybe last night was just a bad race for me, but I want to keep this blog real.

I’m signed up for 4 more 5k races for this year, but I’m not planning to add any more to my schedule.

Readers that run – have you ever felt this way?

Should I just give up trying to get into liking running and switch to other group fitness activities that I enjoy?


6 thoughts on “Race Cancer 5k – Finishing Last

  1. Yes, I definitely felt this way when I started running. It’s a hard adjustment to start running as an adult and it takes your body time to learn it. Once I got to the point where I could run 1 and 2 miles continuously, it started being much more fun.

    It seems like maybe you don’t run much except for the races you do? If so, that’s part of the reason why it’s not fun for you. If you want to get better at running, you need to do it regularly (at least a few times per week) and push yourself to go a little further each time (to the next stop sign, the end of the song, etc.), which is challenging but how you get better. A monthly 5k is not enough. It probably also means running when you’re a little sore. When I started running I’d take two days off between runs, then as I got more fit, one day off, and now I can run several days in a row without feeling sore. The good thing is that the soreness will fade during a workout as your body warms up.

    If what you really like is the social aspect of fitness, maybe you need to do a few group runs every week. There are a lot of free ones in Boston in the evenings. Or, you may have to accept that getting into shape to enjoy the social races will mean doing something you don’t like for a while. Of course, it’s also totally ok if you decide not to keep at running and to do something else instead.

    • Thanks Amy!

      I’ve done some She Runs Boston runs and they rock because they keep someone at the back so I don’t feel like my slowness is holding everyone up.

      If I keep up running, I need to find some other groups like them that I can make fit my schedule. (My body doesn’t like me running on Tuesday night with She Runs Boston then stair climbing Wednesday AM with November Project. When I pick which of the 2 I like better and just do that, NP wins.)

  2. Switch to other fitness activities that you enjoy! Not everyone is a runner; you may be a dancer, or a soccer player, or whatever.

  3. Amy and Donna both have great tips. Running is not for everyone, not for all athletes. Find something that you enjoy! I go through spurts with running. But I agree with Amy, I have to run 3 times a week to get in a good groove. I’ll do that for a month and then slack off and then have to start back slowly into it after taking a few months ago. My favorite activity is barre right now and that is not for everyone either! I don’t like races much these days because they are so expensive, even though a lot are fundraisers. But paying that much to do something that you don’t enjoy isn’t fun. These days I am also focusing on walking, especially since it’s so hot and my body doesn’t do well with the heat, but walking is soooo good for you.

    • Thanks Erica!

      I walked a ton in Boston this week – hitting over 10,000 steps both days this weekend.

      I love walking and if there were other walkers at my 5Ks I’d keep it up.

      The thought of running 3+ times per week does not make me happy, so I’m taking that as a sign to change things up.

      I’ll be going to Barre in August a bunch with the new studio in Harvard Sq opening, and I’m going to go back to spin & zumba too.

  4. Pingback: New Balance Girls Night Out Boston – September | Getting Fit in Massachusetts

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