You Need Not Finish First, To Be a Winner!

Having just experienced a particularly hard and slow run, I’m prompted to recall one of the great joys of Mid-Pack Running: everyone can be a winner, if they just choose to be.


  • A good-for-you finishing time is a win, regardless what that time would mean for any other runner.


  • A new and longer distance – even if your pace is slow, or you end up staggering, stiff and sore – is a victory!


  • A new and shorter distance can be a victory; a chance to unleash your inner-sprinter and see how a new pace feels.


  • Every new (to you) event is another unique memory added to your life’s experience – another notch on your bow.


  • A new route you run in training is discovering a piece of this world from a perspective different than walking, driving or riding can ever afford. Score!


  • That familiar run you’ve done before is a great opportunity to coach the first-timer on the shuttle seat beside you – feel like the wise old pro for a few minutes, and do some good as well!


  • Any run is an opportunity to make a connection with other runners – it’s a huge world out there and we all feel lost and insignificant at times, but if you run, you’re a member of the running community, regardless of division, place or pace.


  • Did you run according to the plan you made in the weeks before – you’re a winner!


  • Did you push on thru – despite your plan falling apart – you’re strong and resilient and maybe learned a thing or two. Score.


  • Was there one moment when it all seemed to come together, one glimpse of fluid motion where your body knew what to do better than your conscious mind – remember that feeling and seek the path to feeling it again.


  • Perhaps one mile-marker came up sooner than you thought it would – or you completely missed noting one because things were going so well that making the next mile no longer seemed like life or death – all that conditioning worked!


  • Maybe nothing particularly good happened today, but you completed what you set out to do without injury or worrisome little suggestions that some body part was about to go spring? Congratulations – with all that life can throw at a person, any day we can run is a good day!


  • Everything went wrong but you mustered a last tiny something to finish strong – in my book, that’s a triumph…


  • “Well actually, I barely dragged my sorry butt across the line….” You finished despite everything – that’s a triumph! Make yourself the hero in your own inner-movie.


  • Just couldn’t summon up the gumph to finish? Remember how far you did go – and know that’s farther than the majority of the populace will ever do! (Could be time to start dreaming about the next run: recharge, recalibrate, and bring in some other resources to help you train so you can do better – finishing next time will be all the sweeter for having had this experience.)


  • Injured? Every runner has their injury story, and this is yours now. Remember that the ending is what makes a story – treat yourself wisely, recover well and if you can come back another day, what a tale you’ll have to share – and maybe offer it up to help someone else when they are down and out!


  • Really can’t find anything worthwhile on your side of the run? Try giving back to the spectators and volunteers – this is always important to remember, but especially if things are not going well: the best way to get a shout of encouragement is to holler “Thank you volunteers!” as you stumble past their stations. Just might lift your mood a little, and the body is connected to the mind….


  • For that matter, a lot of running events raise funds for charities – so even if all else fails, your participation helped a good cause.


  • If nothing else, you spent some time in the fresh air, among enthusiastic energetic people, and not on the couch – in today’s privileged western world, that is a blessing and an achievement right there!


  • Tired and exhausted after a big run? Compared to the weariness of stress and workaday demands, just feeling truly physically-tired is a rarity and a victory all of itself. Maybe you’ll sleep a little better tonight


Mid-Pack Running is what you make of it; victory is ours to define – every day, every mile – and if you ask me, EVERY RUNNER IS A WINNER, EVERY TIME!

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