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So what if you finish last...

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As many of us are gearing up to head out to Disneyland for this weekend's Dumbo Double Dare, Disneyland Half Marathon and other scheduled events, one little thing always sticks in the back of my mind. What if I finish last?

Even though I've trained for this event, the training has been spotty at best given work and travel demands. Not an excuse per say but just a fact that I'm staring at 22.4 miles (5k, 10k, and half marathon) on probably less than optimal training. The hamstring is still being a bother and a reminder of the Dopey Challenge in January as well. Add in the heat and humidity factor that we just can't escape over this particular weekend in Disneyland and I'm reliving the painful 2013 finish last Labor Day when I ended up with heat exhaustion. It was my second slowest half marathon finish ever and I spent most of the second half of the race freaking out I would be dead last. Frankly, I should have been concerned I was being fried in the sun but hey, one worry at a time.

Turns out I wasn't dead last but frankly, so what if I was? By stressing out on the 'what if', I missed enjoying the last few miles of the half marathon worrying about being slow and wondering if I would run into one of the 'cone-people' who leave orange cones on the course to identify if you are behind the race pace. That's a lot of time that could have been better used to enjoy the race experience, the crowds, and the sights.

Runner's World just published a recap of one runner's experience at being last in her first 5k race. It is a humorous read and one that many of us can relate to looking back at our own race beginnings.

Her final point in the article is a good one.

In every race, someone has to finish last. It's not a huge, unspeakable embarrassment. In fact, no one cares. Not one of the other runners remembers I was the one who finished last. And all my friends and family remember is I said I'd run a 5K and I did it.

As you head to Disneyland (or where ever you may be running or walking this weekend) remember that advice. Enjoy the experience of being out, of moving, and of doing something that not everyone is able to do.

Whether you're first or you're last, it matters not. What matters is you made the effort. And hey, don't forget that everyone, no matter first or last, still earns a finisher's medal which you can wear with pride.

See you all in Disneyland!

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  1. stan4d_steph's Avatar
    What matters the most is that you gave the best that you could on the given day. Best wishes to all the DL Half weekend participants.
  2. Mickeygirlforever's Avatar
    Thank you for posting this! I'm sure I'm not the only one out there completing her first half marathon this weekend and this very thought has gone through my head several times. But you're right, so what? It's still a runDisney race, and guaranteed to be an awesome experience, no matter the order we all finish. Really, the goal is to walk away with a medal, and I'm going to do that! Good luck this weekend everyone!