Living up to my expectations

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I’ve got a lot of thoughts swirling in my head, most of them pertain to the same thing, and the ones that don’t are not that important. Although in a manner of thinking a lot of them aren’t important in the grand scheme of things.

Quick update on training – things are going well. I’m not getting enough sleep lately – my average for the months of April (Post IM), and May are sitting significantly under 7 hours per night – hmmm I guess I need to work on that. I’ve had some good days and some bad days training – had a Zone 2 48 mile ride two weeks ago that I averaged 20.7 mph for on a windy day – my previous best for that route was just a touch over 20.0 (hauling ass – Zone 3/4), and my best solid Zone 2 time for the route was previously 19.3ish. Can you say holy cow? Other then that most been easy training – the only really hard session I’ve done is the Threshold test a few weeks ago. I’m planning/looking forward to stepping it up again next week to rebuild my base and see what I can do in Hawaii!

Back to my title though – Living up to my expectations – this has been something I’ve really been thinking a lot about recently. When I was young and foolish (I’m still young and foolish, just not as much!) I participated in athletics with rather large “delusions of grandeour” – convinced that I was going to be a stud, it was just a matter of time. I approach my first season of triathlon this way and had good results, but not great results. I spent a lot of the winter of 2005 reading, thinking and generally examining my motivations. I came back for the 2006 season not really worried about the result – at least not in the way I had previously. I was much more focused on enjoying the experience and the journey of transformation – the result was a 2006 season (and 2007 thus far) far beyond what I believed possible. At times completely stunning myself with the outcome.

Now I’ve had what I consider to be a breakout type race at Ironman Arizona – and I’m finding myself starting to toy with many of the same thoughts I used to struggle with. Some of the result of internal pressures of having to “up-the-ante”, some of it is external pressures by friends and training partners.

The personality those thoughts pull out of me scares me a bit. On a day to day basis I don’t feel like a different person then I was in 2005ish and earlier, but when I look at how I would handle situation – like a flat tire in a race – now as compared to then I’m a bit upset to think of how I would have reacted and the excuses I would have made about the event. Not only that, as a result of my race – I feel pressure (both internal and external) to better it, in the end that drive me to force the result and it won’t come.

The whole thing reminds me of Nynaeve from the Wheel of Time saga (An excellent, if not long winded fantasy saga by Robert Jordan. If you are into that type of book I highly recommend it). Nynaeve is a female channeler (wizardess), born with the potential to be one of the most powerful female channelers of all time, except she has a “block”. She can basically only use magic when she is fuming mad, because as it turns out, for females the ability to use magic is very dependent on your ability to go with the flow – and Nynaeve is a control freak. She struggles with this for several books, until she is about to drown, at this point she finally accepts the fact that she is about to die, and bam she’s instantly able to kick ass and take names. I got good at simply accepting what I was and wasn’t capable of and working from there, but suddenly I’m starting to go backwards.

Guess that means it’s time to take a step back and do some reading and thinking and generally just stop worrying about what it takes to go fast – and just be fast. Easier said then done.

Btw – on the plate for this weekend is the Triple-T – should be a blast! I’m taking my laptop with me so I’ll probably be able to post a couple updates over the weekend.