I recently ran a marathon personal best at the 2023 GMS Queen City Marathon in Regina, Saskatchewan, which was my sixth full 42.2 KM marathon in 2023. I reduced my marathon personal best from 3 hours and 44 minutes, which I ran last year at the Beneva Montreal Marathon, to 3 hours and 20 minutes, a drop of 24 minutes. It was one of the most exciting moments in the ten years of my marathon running adventure. Before the Regina Marathon, I had increased my training volume to about 100 KM per week/10 miles per day, and my effort is beginning to pay off. As the Navy seal saying goes: “We play the way we train.” I am trying to qualify for the 2025 Boston Marathon, and I need a time of at least 3:05 minutes to qualify for Boston.
As part of my Canadian Province running challenge, I still have four more provinces to run to complete the challenge. I am getting closer to my goal of running a sub-3 hour marathon in 2024 and keep reducing my time. I believe the score would take care of itself, as former head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, Bill Wash, often said. I must keep putting in the hard work in my daily training regimen, eat right and rest continuously.
The Score Takes Care of Itself – Bill Walsh
American football coach Bill Walsh was the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, leading the team to five Super Bowl championships in fourteen years. He was named NFL Coach of the Year in 1981 and 1984. In 1993, he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. One of Walsh’s favourite maxims is “The Score Takes Care of Itself.” In his book, Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership 1, he writes about his leadership philosophy and the lessons learned in his illustrious coaching career.
Your effort in the beginning is part of a continuum of effort; your Standard of Performance is part of a continuum of standards. Today’s effort becomes tomorrow’s result. The quality of those efforts becomes the quality of your work. One day is connected to the following day, and the following month is connected to the succeeding years.
Always Do Your Best
Coach John Wooden is considered one of the most successful National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) coaches of all time. He guided the UCLA Bruins to 10 NCAA championships in his 12-year reign as the head basketball team coach. Coach Wooden’s team did not win a national title in the first fourteen seasons. He persisted with his team, working hard yearly with the team and never giving up. In the fifteenth season, the team had a breakthrough and won their first national championship. They won nine more national titles in the following ten years. One of Coach Wooden’s favourite maxims is “Make each day your masterpiece.” When you make each day your masterpiece, you always do your best by striving to become a better version of yourself daily and showing up consistently.
In his book, Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections on and Off the Court 2, Coach Wooden defines success as a by-product of your effort, training and daily work habits. He writes:
Anything stemming from that success is simply a by-product, whether it be the score, the trophy, a national championship, fame, or fortune. They are all by-products of success rather than success itself, indicators that you perhaps succeeded in the more important contest. That real contest, of course, is striving to reach your personal best, and that is totally under your control. When you achieve that, you have achieved success. Period! You are a winner and only you fully know if you won.
Goal Less Thinking: If you want better results, forget about setting goals. Focus on your system instead.
Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress. A handful of problems arise when you spend too much time thinking about your goals and not enough time designing your systems. Achieving a goal only changes your life for the moment. That’s the counterintuitive thing about improvement. We think we need to change our results, but the results are not the problem.
What we need to change are the systems that cause those results. When you solve problems at the results level, you only solve them temporarily. You need to solve problems at the systems level to improve for good. Fix the inputs, and the outputs will fix themselves.
- Daily Calm with Tamara Levitt – Waking Up
- On an average day, moving from event to event is not uncommon without knowing where our attention is. We can learn how to pull ourselves away from autopilot with patience and practice. While meditation is essential, what is far more critical is how we live, act, move, and embody mindfulness in our day-to-day lives.
- Am I awake?
- Why You’re Always Tired & Exhausted (No Matter What You Do) | Cal Newport
All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.