We all have expectations in life. Great expectations. We all have a vision of how we want our life to be. Expectations are good, but what happens when life doesn’t live up the vision of what we think it should be? This leads to disappoint and sand ness.
All those years ago, actually only 7, when I started on my fitness journey there was no expectations. I didn’t know what my body could do. I didn’t know what a good time for an event was. Hell, I really didn’t know anything….. Except that I wanted to do something. Because I was starting from zero, I put no expectations on myself. I jokingly said that my only goal with my first ever race, Iron Girl Sprint Tri, was not to die. To me that was enough of a goal and anything after that was a win.
There was no… I should hit this many miles. I should hit this pace. I should do this or that for training. I knew nothing, so I expected nothing.
When I ran my first ever half which I signed up for because I was running just to run with my MRTT (Mom’s Run This Town) Mama’s. I was running 8 miles and more just to run them. Then on one run one of the Mama’s, Janna, said, ” You should sign up for the Superhero Half. Your ready for it.”
So I did. I had no expectations. I just showed up for the car ride to the event. While in the car, the seasoned runners spoke of pacing, race strategy, fueling and such. When they asked me mine, I had none. My goal was to finish.
Thanks to Janna who took me under her wing, I finished in 2:09. She knew about pacing and she also knew that I could finish in under 2:10 and she got me there. I just ran when she made me run and had a fun time doing it.I further admit that I didn’t even know that 2:09 would be a good time for a half. To me it was just about running to run and having a good time.
Then something happened, I started putting expectations on my running. I also became ” a serious” runner. I learned of pacing, training strategy, and proper fueling and for a while I even had a kick ass coach. And while I still enjoyed running, it lacked the simplicity of when I first started. I put expectations on myself and I was able to live up to my expectations right up until I couldn’t which was right after my thyroid surgery left me with Hypoparthyroidism. And even after I came to terms with that, I still put expectations on myself. Expectations that I could no longer meet.
You know what? I’m done with expecations! I want to find the joy that I had when I first started running. I want to stop overthinking, overanalyzing, and just find the joy in allowing my body to do what it can do. No matter the pace. No matter the distance.
The thing that screws us up so much in life is not accepting what we have and being upset it’s not what we think it should be. Sometimes getting out of our own way is the best thing that you can do. Sometimes you have to make a conscience decision to let things go, to reassese, and just allow what is to be enough.
With this thought process, I had picked the Hal Higdon Novice 1 training plan for the NJ Half at Rutgers. No, I admit, I am not a novice runner; but I want to be. I want to run with no expectations. I have been so focused on doing what I thought I should do that I was missing out on what I could do. I am going back to seeing what my body can do. To discovering where I am today. And while I may have had this thought in the last 3 years I really have not embraced it in my running. I am now.
You know what?….. I’ve been enjoying my 2 training runs so far. I have just been running to run. No expectations. No watching the pace. Just letting my body decide. It’s been good. The runs have felt good. I have felt good and the bonus is that both runs had negative splits which will not be the expectation nor will it be.
So I will be happy to run where I am today. Not where I was 3 years ago. Not where I think I should be. Not where other people are. Not about pace. Not about anything, but enjoying where I am at this point and that will be enough.