That’s a loaded title isn’t it! Maybe it should be trying to figure something/anything out! Let’s see if I can do a little bit of figuring it out…
Let’s start with the running part: I feel like I am in a rut. Let’s start over. I have a 10K race coming up soon (see I say race because of the competitive side of me but it is really just a run with at least 400 of my closest friends but I want to do well so it is a race!). It is the Lone Gull 10K (http://www.lonegull10k.com/) that I ran last year so this is where my issue is coming from. I have run this race before and I really want to do better than I did last year 52:57. You would think, well silly, you have been running longer this time than last and you have completed more miles than last year so chances are there will be no problem. But you are wrong at least the no problem part (really I am referring to my inside voice talking to myself not you who is reading this! I am sure you are just waiting for me to get on with it already). I do have a lot more miles under my running shoes, in fact I have been through several pairs of shoes since that race, I am just starting to feel like I have hit a wall.
Last year about this time I was running more miles a week and exercising more. Now I run anywhere from 3.5 miles to 4.5 miles a day with a long run on the weekend (last Saturday it was 8 miles and it almost killed me but I finished). You are probably now tuning out because you are thinking, “Girl you are crazy, that is a lot of miles!” I know it is pretty good, I just want to get faster! Now we are back to the competitive me. I am currently trying this new plan of running at a good pace for about 5 mins and then increasing it to where I feel challenged and keeping that pace for as long as possible which is easy to do on the treadmill but almost impossible to do outside. I am still completing my 3+ mile runs outside in the same time and feeling out of breath.
So I am trying to figure out what’s going on… it’s probably the humidity, the fact that I work a full day before I do the run, or maybe my diet. I am trying to make changes but I just haven’t figured it out quite yet. Could it be my expectations are just too high or that I am crazy! I agree with the crazy part but not the expectations.
As I was running today and trying to listen to my thoughts and trying to process everything in my head it got me to really thinking…. Could my expectations be too high? Really! I don’t mean that I can’t expect the most of myself, I just wonder if by not really setting a time goal how do I expect myself to ever reach something that I just expect to be there. (That was a little confusing!)
I guess what I mean (and I will continue to use my running as my example) is that I want to do better than last year. But what does that mean. Does that mean I want to do faster miles (faster than my average of 8:48) meaning I will have a faster finishing time? Do I want the race to feel easier? What exactly are my expectations?
How often do we set ourselves up like this? We make a general statement that I want things to be better and we never clearly define what it is we are looking for so then we never know when we get there. We just keep saying we want it to get better, we want it to get easier and yet when things change we just continue to want something else. Our expectations continue to go unmet. Obviously I am a victim of that!
So how do we change things? How do we get our expectations met? Well to me, now, looks like we need to verbalize, write them down, tell someone, or just do something to clearly define our expectation. So here is what I am doing….I do want the race to feel easier! I want to do at least 8:15 min miles and I do want to finish faster than last year and it would be awesome to finish in under 50 mins. So there you are! A set goal/expectation and I have told others, I have written it down, and I have defined it!
What are your unmet expectations? Have you really already met it and don’t even realize it? Write it down, define it, own it and strive towards it with all you’ve got!