In the March issue of Running Times, there was a great article about Deena Kastor that had a few fantastic quotes about running, setting goals, and “failure.” Deena is one of the greatest marathoners in the world and the best in the U.S. with a PR of 2:19:36. She is one of the main people followed in the documentary about the Chicago Marathon, Spirit of the Marathon. (Which is a great movie by the way!) In fact, she won the 2005 Chicago Marathon which is the specific race the documentary follows.
But of course, the best still lose, and I think Deena’s wisdom from second or third place is important for any runner or athlete. She says,
If I fall short, I still have the strength and training behind me as I set out for my next goal. …When I fall short, there is always something to be grateful for and it is usually that I became stronger and healthier in the process.
I love that perspective. If I train hard and try my best, I will become a better person for it no matter where or when I finish. In fact, it will make me a stronger person both in racing and in life because I will have the discipline to finish and focus.
The article summarizes,
[Deena Kastor] didn’t reach her goal, but she was a far greater student in pursuing the goal.