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Itís not whether you win or lose, but how you run the race

Posted by Ty Velde  March 12, 2013 09:54 PM

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Iím not going to win the Boston Marathon.

No matter what I do or how hard I try, itís just not going to happen. At the same time, I know that Iím not going to be the last person across the finish either. While the odds of me coming in last are probably greater than me coming in first, I know that based on past experience Iím going to likely come in somewhere between 3:10:00 and 3:30:00. While this is certainly a respectable time, itís not fast enough to win, and certainly not slow enough to come in last.

However, what I do know is what it means to run a good race. I understand the challenge that has been laid before me. I understand what it takes to accomplish it. I understand what I will have undertaken to just to get me to the point of getting to the starting line. Most importantly as I have been training, I come understand ďmeĒ and what I expect of myself.

This is truly one of the beauties of the running a marathon. While you may be running with thousands of others, they are not necessarily your competition; rather they are your sources of motivation. Sure, when it comes to race day, Iíd be lying if I didnít say that there are folks on the course that Iím looking to measure myself against. But are these people really my competition? In reality, the answer is no. While there are certainly people that I measure myself against, these folks are pillars of inspiration who ensure that I donít hold back and instead give my all.

As runners, one question we are all very familiar with is ďhow was your race?Ē Think about this for a moment. The question is not about ďthe raceĒ, but rather ďyour race.Ē As for the answer, I personally always answer this from an introspective mindset. Itís not about that person who finished just ahead of me or the person I may have passed along the way, but rather is about ďmeĒ and how ďIíve run the race.Ē

Itís about setting expectations and achieving personal goals. If Iím happy, itís because I have met or exceeded them. Conversely, if I am frustrated, itís because I knew what I could achieve, yet I failed to do so.

However when it comes down to evaluating my performance in the marathon, itís not about winning or losing, but rather itís about understanding what I am capable of and setting goals based on expectations of my performance. In short, when I reflect on each marathon I have run and the memories associated it with it, it all comes down to how I ran that race.

While most who read this blog are not out to win the Boston Marathon, one thing we can all strive to be is victorious. To be victorious is not about winning, but rather itís about achieving the goals you have set for yourself. To be victorious on Marathon Monday is about running a great race.

So while the marathon is still several weeks away, one thing we can all start to envision is what it will take for each of us to emerge victorious. Think about what it means to run a great race and what this fact means to you. While our goals may be different, itís about applying a vision to the task that lies before us all.

In the end while there will only be one winner on Marathon Monday, if we can all take a moment to think about and understand what it means for each of us to run a great race, I can guarantee that far more many of us will emerge as victors.

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Look for updates, news, analysis and commentary from the following.
  • Steve Silva, Boston.com senior producer, two-time Boston Marathon sub-four hour runner.
  • Ty Velde is a 16-time Boston qualifier who's completed 12 consecutive Boston Marathons and 25 marathons overall. Ty is now training for his 13th Boston run and will provide training tips for those who train solo and outside, no matter what temperature it is.
  • Rich 'Shifter' Horgan is a 19-time Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team member who runs in honor of his father, who died of colon cancer. He will provide updates on local running events with a focus on the charitable organizations that provide Boston Marathon entries for their organization's fund raising purposes

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