Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What Does Winning Look Like?

By: Dana

Don't you think it's quite confusing that they call races... Races? I mean, that makes it sound like a competition doesn't it? Truth of the matter, it really is. Yes, there will be a winner at every race but for the majority of runners out there, it's not about crossing the line first. So the question is: Who are you competing against? For me... It's always myself! (And there may or may not be a girl or two I've got my eye on)

I have two sons, one of which is super competitive. He comes by it honestly! Never fails, every time I head out the door to a "race" whether it be a 5k or a marathon, he says "I hope you win mommy!" I am competitive by nature so I completely get why he says that! But what does winning look like? To him it's finishing first because he hears the word race. Winning looks different to everyone that considers themselves a runner.

No matter what "race" I sign up for, I always have a goal in mind: To do better than I did the race before or to PR (personal record). I am constantly competing against myself. However, I am learning that every race has a different goal! A dear friend of mine told me that once, and I thought "what?" But it's absolutely so true!

It's not always about a personal record and doing better than the "race" before. Winning and doing well in a "race" does not mean you always have to set a record. Crossing the finish line is a WIN in itself.

During my last marathon, I went into it injured.  Like many runners, I over trained . However, I was determined no matter what I was going to finish. Like Debi has said before she didn't want to admit she was and I didn't either. Even at that race I wanted to PR! What was I thinking? Not until the morning of the race did I look at Stacey and say "Just get me across the finish line, that's all that matters today." Once I freed myself up mentally that I didn't have to push and kill myself. It really was an amazing "race"! Yes I won, I crossed the finish line with a running partner that didn't leave my side, friends that encouraged me along the way, confirmation that I could do anything I put my mind to, great memories... oh and a medal too!

With each "race" you go into, stop and think, what is my goal here? 

Do I want to PR? 
Do I want to cross the finish line with my running friends? Nothing like it!
Am I out here to take in the scenery and enjoy every step? I highly recommend it! 
Is it all about the hardware? Of course!

Will I be able to come home and answer the question "mommy did you win?" Absolutely! 
I won because I did it no matter what my time was! Will I be able to answer the question "did you get first" with a yes? Probably not! Maybe a time or two I've gotten to say a top ten finish, but the bottom line is crossing the finish line makes you the winner!

What are some of your goals that you set when you go out to "race?"

This is a picture of my competitive one before his first 5K! (Just had to show you because he's so darn cute!)


  1. Cute picture! My girls always ask me if I won when I get back from races! I always tell them yes just because in their 4 year old minds, their mommy is always a winner ;)

  2. Thank you! And you are exactly right... We are winners in their eyes no matter what aren't we?! Love it!