“Step up, show up, never give up”

I’ve been known to be competitive, both with myself and with others. Part of it is I enjoy pushing to always be my best, even when it comes to workouts. The other part is I believe competing against others makes us better.

Occasionally, though, a win can come in a different way, a non-competitive one. This is especially true in the running community and I saw it on display at yesterday’s Fargo Marathon.


A personal best & top 10 finish – my aunt Mary achieved two wins.

For a small group of people, a win is the actual win – those who compete against others to win their respective race, whether full marathon, 5k, or something in between. For others, a win might be a personal one – those who compete against themselves to beat their best race time. And for, I imagine a large group yesterday, the win wasn’t competitive at all. At 45 degrees, 20 MPH winds, and continuous rain, the win was simply choosing to show up and run.

At yesterday’s Fargo half marathon, I found myself in that last group of people, except the weather was the least of my concerns. For me, the win was simply getting thru the miles and finishing the race.

Last week, I began having issues with my IT band, causing some pretty nasty pain on my 18-miler. The pain persisted in small doses through my training runs all week, making me hella-nervous for Saturday’s half marathon.

What was supposed to be a nice, low-mileage training run, an opportunity to run fast, became a training run mixed with caution and fear. After a couple of early knee pains, I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy run or fast run kind of day. I quickly went from, “Maybe it’ll be okay and I’ll be able to race,” to “OMG, please just let me not have to drop out from injury.”

After those early pains, I adjusted my speed and shortened my stride. I ended up having a great run and I felt strong. My finish time was nowhere near close to a PR and slower than what I’ve been training at thus far. But, for me, it was a victory.


Nothing winning about this race, except that I finished without injury.

Best of all, I barely noticed the weather. It probably sounds lame, but I was so grateful to be out there running vs. injured and sidelined, I don’t think any weather would’ve gotten me down. It’s amazing what mindset can do.

But back to what I realized yesterday. A win can mean something different to everyone, especially in running, but also in life. Sometimes, we win by being the best, by competing to be better than anyone else or a former version of ourselves. Other times, we win simply by stepping up, showing up, and never giving up.

Speaking of showing up, while I offer congrats to all the runners who showed up and ran in some pretty nasty weather, a massive shoutout goes to all the race volunteers and spectators who showed up. It’s one thing to run in bad weather. We’re runners, we willingly sign up for sufferfests. But it’s quite another to stand out in the elements all day to cheer and help us through it.

If you volunteered or cheered and you weren’t one of the people I shouted “thank you for coming out!” at during the race, Id like to thank you now. THANK YOU for showing up.

Do you believe that there’s victory simply in showing up? The comments are for you, I already got to share my story, so please share yours. Or, connect with me on Twitter @LindsayIRL.


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