I know I will never win (there are so many great runners out there)but I don't care about that. I place well, never embarass myself, I' m still improving, why would I feel anything but pleasure about my running?
Besides, the race is not the important thing - training is. A race is great because the conditions are good (water stops, volunteers, protected course and so on) but really, the importance of it is as a measure of your training. Most of my races are, for me, an evaluation of my running condition. So what if I don't win?
And how can a finish be mediocre? Last year I was fortunate enough to run the Boston marathon and even though I know I could have easily done 15 minutes better, and even though finishing something like 4000th might not seem illustrious, there was nothing (I mean nothing) mediocre about my finish. I was so happy I can still feel it.
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