Not your average suburban mom. I’m more your typical, normal, commonplace, everyday, garden-variety suburban mom. With a thesaurus.

Friday, March 15, 2013

DFL - A Modern Day Horror Story

"Second Place is First Loser."
-the Navy Seals

I don't want to get too bragg-y, but in terms of my running speed, I'm pretty solidly in the 40th percentile.  Roughly 60 percent of the other runners in the race will cross the finish line before me.  I'm okay with that because 30 percent are finishing after me*, which I'm sure we all can agree is the main point of races.  You know, to beat somebody.

(*Even at my slowest, my very first 5K was comprised of both walkers and runners so I was guaranteed a middle-of-the-pack but totally an end of the pack for runners finish.)(It's not like any of the walkers passed me while I was running.)(That would be ridiculous.)(It totally happened.)(But if it did happen, it would have been by a cracked out power walker wearing Shape Ups.)(One who, if having incorporated just a little more bounce in her step would have technically been considered jogging.)(I'm going to suggest some of these "walkers" get tested for performance enhancing drugs before races.)(Because if there's one thing we learned from Lance, it's how to look bored out of your mind while confessing your contrition when you get caught doing the thing you spent your career vehemently swearing you didn't do   that it is possible for a Damage Control Publicity Tour to make you seem like more of a jackhole than the initial infraction ever did  that victory obtained through falsehood isn't true victory.)

As I was picking my races I thought, "It might be really cool to do an Olympic distance triathlon this summer."  The Olympic distance is twice as long as the Sprint distance I did last year.  I spent a few days warming up to the idea, looked up a good race, and committed.  I was going to do an OLYMPIC DISTANCE TRIATHLON.  I wrote out my training plan and took some time to revel in my own Bad-A self.  It was while I was dwelling on my awesomeness, picturing myself competing in this particular race, when I was struck by a horrifying thought.

(If you are a runner, there are a few acronyms you pick up along the way.  "PR" stands for the Personal Record, "LSD" is the long slow distance I drop every Sunday before church, and "ACL" is an injury to avoid like the plague.  Some acronyms you learn to save time, some to be cool, and some just for plain old survival. There is one such survival acronym in my arsenal that I never-evah-evah (Sorry Ms. Jackson)(forevah-evah?) wanted to see associated with my name.

D  F  L.

Dead Effing Last.)

I realized, what with the size (this race is very small.  Last year about 120 people raced the Sprint.  Only seventeen raced the Olympic.  Of those seventeen, two were women.) and caliber of athlete competing in this race (last year's slowest time - by a lot - for Olympic was 2:53:46), if I do the Olympic Distance Triathlon I want to do, there is a huge chance I will finish last.  Like last out of the whole entire race.  Both Sprint and Olympic combined.  DFL.

"So, Kelly, what's the big deal, find a different race."  I know.  I could just find something bigger and stop being such a drama queen get on with life.  But I like this race.  And now I have a mental challenge on top of the physical challenge of racing.  Can I emotionally handle being DFL?

So I've taken the first step.  (Admitting you have a problem is the first step, right?) I've also taken the official next step, which I've decided is "Contact the race organizers and make sure there is not a time cut off for the Olympic distance."  Because the only thing more embarrassing than a DFL finish is the one you are not allowed to finish because you're TFS*.

*I made that one up.  You can work it out on your own.


  1. I'm pretty sure that the DFL person gets the most cheers, right? I mean, everyone always turns around at the end of the race to support the rest of the runners, right? Unless you're me. In which case you're looking for your medal, your banana, a water, and a hug. And then driving to get a burger because SERIOUSLY I just ran a race, people.

    1. Seriously! I'm usually all, "Just let me get a picture by the finish line and we can go EAT," after a race. But on the bright side, if it takes me three and a half hours to do this race, I think I get a burger *and* dessert. And I get to be the Sparkle Princess Queen of my house for the week.

  2. I'm always TFS. ALWAYS. And DFL. But that's generally another story.

    1. Then my *obvious* solution is to get you to do this race with me, that way I'll limp across the finish line just slightly ahead of you and leave you with your TFS/DFL crown. *gets super excited about the idea of this possible craft* OMG - I'm totally making myself one of those crowns for this race!


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