No matter how well we do, as runners we always look back and wonder if we lost a vital second by rounding a corner too wide in a road race, or an essential fraction of a second in a 400 m by not leaving the blocks slightly faster. Even when everything goes according to plan, the first thing we do is analyze our performance to ensure a better result next time.
This is the same approach used by Carl Lewis, and one that many runners might adopt when pressurized by the presence of other competitors. By concentrating on striving for your own 'perfect' performance, your focus is redirected from other runners to your own race. Lewis relates how his coach apparently chastised him after he won his first Olympic gold medal with the comment, 'You never left the blocks properly!' It wasn't a derogatory remark, quite the opposite. It was a way of saying there is still more to come, still a better performance. There is no finish line.
- Norrie Williamson -
Everyone's Guide to Distance Running