This quote has always stood out to me because it’s really NOT about race day — but about all the months leading up to it.

Obviously, I won’t be winning any marathons but “win” is personal. Winning is winning for you — breaking your time goal, finishing the race, finishing the race feeling good, conquering your mental demons.

But no marathon is truly satisfying without the hard work that went into it before you got there. When you can toe the starting line feeling like you couldn’t have trained better, you have the confidence it takes to run it well.

As many of us gear up training for fall marathons, let’s remember that those early Saturday mornings, those double run weekdays, those 50-60 mile training weeks — they are what makes the marathon.

That’s why the marathon is so great. That’s what makes you harder, better, faster, stronger. (Thank you Kanye West.)

What races are you training for? What mileage will get up to this training cycle? How are you disciplining yourself to prepare the best you can for your fall race? 

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