Day 147: Redefining Victory

In eight days I will be running the California International Marathon for the second time in as many years. Last year’s experience was amazing, triumphant… and totally burned me out in ways that I’m still not sure I understand. The physical act of running the marathon was the triumphant part. For a variety of other reasons, including the intensity of training itself, I had a bumpy experience after the marathon was over.

As much as I loved last year, I realized I needed to shift things this time around. I thought a lot about how well my solo marathon experience early last year went, in which I trained by myself. I decided to train once again on my own terms. In adopting Galloway’s training program, I took on walking breaks for the first time and slowed down even more than I had. I still wanted to “do well,” but I no longer defined that as “going as fast as possible” to achieve a coveted PR (personal record). Coach Galloway helped me see that most of the satisfaction of marathoning comes from finishing. I realized that my victory is about being satisfied with the process.

Now I’m in the position of being about to finish three marathon-distance runs in only seven weeks, a true endurance victory if there ever was one! I would have imagine this to be impossible before. Yes, I gave up some speed in the process. Yet since when is speed actually what running a marathon is about? Two years ago, I did not even know what is considered a fast marathon. Ask non-runners, and all they seem to care about is that you ran 26.2 miles, not how fast you ran those miles.

Finishing is in itself a huge accomplishment.

Here are my intentions for my forthcoming marathon victory, redefined:

  • I am in tune with myself throughout the run.
  • I run my own race, regardless of others. That means being patient and disciplined, keeping to my walking breaks for at least the first 18 miles and taking the right pace for me that day.
  • I enjoy myself!
  • I am satisfied with the process and therefore with the outcome.
  • I enjoy a pleasant recovery period and Holiday afterward 🙂
  • I am eager for what’s next!


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