Friday, July 27, 2012

Great Expectations

“There were two ways to be happy: improve your reality, or lower your expectations” -Jodi Picoult

Wow. Talk about brave, titling this post after a masterpiece novel and quoting the bard and another famous author right off the bat!

Last night I was informed of some statistics from a workout someone who is near and dear to me completed. I was highly impressed because, to me it was a fast pace for the distance. So, this morning, just to see where I am in comparison, I went to a track to attempt to match the effort.

Now, here are a couple caveats that should be noted (I was cheating a bit):

        *  I was running on a level track with no traffic in 72 degree weather, no wind, light humidity, beautiful morning, and I was well rested.
        * Stats were recorded in the evening on country roads (probably not too level) 80 something degrees and humid, at the end of a long day.

So life is not fair. I had expected to either match or, at least, come pretty close considering I haven't been running as much as I would have liked (but I could make excuses all day why). I wasn't even in the vicinity of the numbers when all was said and done. Much slower. Over all pace poor and, I will admit it, I could not even run a complete mile without walking.

This saddened me. I had expected to run not much slower than I had on my last timed 1.5 mile run in October. I was about 5 minutes slower. I know I have only recently started running/walking again (haven't run much at all since November), I am not as young as I used to be, and I "have a medical condition," but it was just a mile and a half! I completed a marathon last year in October! A mile and a half is nothing.

Expectations are a trap. They can lead to disappointment, or motivate us to change to meet them. It is all in how we ourselves deal with things. I am disappointed in the results, but I have formulated a plan to improve my performance and set a goal to attempt to remeasure in 2 weeks after work in that direction.

Will I be able to get (in 2 weeks) to a point I would love to be: my Army basic training 2-mile run time of 10:32, or my current job academy final physical fitness test 1.5 miles in 10:25? Pretty sure in 2 weeks that won't happen, but I would like to consistently complete the distance without walking. Then to work on speed/pace.

I plan on running with this individual soon. I don't want to make her slow her pace for me, and I would prefer not to be embarrassed by my lack luster performance. But in the long run, I will just be glad to be sharing a run with her for the first time. It will make my heart smile no matter how I do.

I need to be diligent and patient, enjoying life day by day. Making whatever furtive movements in the direction I want to go, I must wait for the results.

Psalm 62:5 (KJV)

"My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him."


  1. Ha. As i told you, i always have a much better one mile time...i am not as fast as that time indicated. Oh, and it was 90* with 55% humidity.
    And we shall run and it will be fun...none of that competitive nonsense and also NO TALKING ...AE was riding her bike with me last night and i finally had to tell :-)

  2. Sassoon I was a little off in the details. It only makes it worse for me. I promise not to talk. :)

    1. Sassoon? Darn auto correct. "So I was a little..."

  3. So very, very true. Sometimes unrealistic expectations have how things should be can paralyze us from doing anything, which is somehow even worse than trying and failing. And, btw, the fact that you could *ever* run 2 miles in 10.5 minutes is impressive as heck to me!

    1. It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.
      Theodore Roosevelt