Running quote of the week

“We run because it makes us feel like winners, no matter how slow or how fast we go.” – Florence Griffith Joyner and John Hanc, Running for Dummies

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My definition of victory

Victorious
Today's workout (elliptical): 25 minutes

I had lunch yesterday with one of my running mentors, a man who has competed for decades. I told him about Saturday's race and we laughed about my sprint to the end, where I beat out another runner by a second. That made me think about why I race and what I expect from the experience.

I know that there are many runners who line up at the start of a race expecting to win, or to place high in their age division. I know a few of those people, some of whom read this blog. I admire and envy them but I know that I'm never going to be a front of pack finisher. I'm not conceding that I'll never have another age-place win, but I usually come in right in the middle of overall finish order.

Despite the fact that I'm barely competitive in my own age category, I do get a lot out of competition. Every time I pass a person in a race, I feel like a real competitor. This past weekend, when I held my own on the hills while many started walking halfway up, I felt like my training had paid off. And yes, as I sprinted toward the finish and held off a young runner who may have thought he'd blow right by me, I felt like I'd won my own mini race.

I've often thought about racing while out on a training run and tried to imagine other people around me, pulling me along. That never resulted in a noticeably faster performance and I think that's because only real competition brings out the best in us. There are few things in life that feel better than crossing the line to see that you've beaten your targeted finish time. I don't worry about those who finished long before me in races, because I define victory many different ways.

2 comments:

  1. I liked your thoughts on racing, I always think to myself, "99% of people who enter 5Ks, 10Ks, Halfs, Marathons, etc are never going win anything" - I think that's part of what makes running so great - even though you may enter a race where 500 or 1000 or 10000 people may be racing with you, the real race is against yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Absolutely true. Even as a mid-pack racer, I find the experience incredibly challenging and fulfilling.

    ReplyDelete

Comments are most welcome!

 

blogger templates | Webtalks