What’s Your Personal Best?

By Samantha McKenzie

I’m a long-time lover of track and field and of super heroes, like my friend Dawn Onley, who takes on big challenges like running a marathon.

My oldest daughter ran track (400m and 800m) in middle school and my youngest daughter is trying out for her high school track team on Wednesday. In track and field, you learn quickly that the clock is your true opponent.

When Mary Keitany, of Kenya, won her fourth New York City Marathon on Sunday, I automatically went searching to learn all I could about her. This weekend’s win gives her a world record tie with Grete Waitz for winning the event four times (in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018). Her victories are plenty and way too much to list in one blog, so I encourage to google her.

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She is the world record holder in a women-only marathon and holdsĀ the world record at 10 miles, 20 kilometers and 25 kilometers. Her list of wins spans the globe, along with many record-breaking successes.

What I enjoyed learning the most was about her drive. She sets out to win and trains with the goal of surpassing her own time. She’s not at least concerned about the other runners. She competes against herself.

Keitany’s focus is on achieving her personal best. And her winning record is a strong indicator that it’s working.

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Her story made me rethink how I looked at life. It made me look inwardly and less concerned about what others are doing.

I had to ask myself…what’s my personal best? Am I better off than I was last year, last week, even yesterday? Am I properly training for my next set of goals? What am I measuring my success against?

Thank you Mary Keitany for your example and your story.

What’s your personal best?

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