Managing My Expectations

How do you handle expectations?

I don’t handle them well at all. I expect a lot out of myself. I get frustrated when I don’t lift well. I get frustrated when I don’t PR something. I get frustrated when something feels off. I get frustrated when I don’t meet my desired outcome. This isn’t just with CrossFit. This is just me. I expect a lot out of myself and normally that results in really good things.

First, I know this is totally normal. Most people get frustrated when they don’t do something well or achieve less than they aspired to in any given life situation. I actually think it is good to have feelings of annoyance or even a little anger as long as it doesn’t overwhelm or consume you. If you didn’t feel something, then you would not have the desire to be better.  You would be able to make excuses for yourself as to why you didn’t do well and wouldn’t think another second about it.

Today was Helen day. If you have been keeping up with my blog then you know about my constant battle to not suck at running. If I’m running a lot then I am great. If I’m not running much then it shows. What a concept!

Helen: 3 rounds 400 m run, 21 KB swings, 12 pull ups. Time: 9:03.

Initially looking at my time, I know it is a very good time. My PR is 8:57. How can I be that frustrated with a 9:03? Six seconds off my PR on a WOD that isn’t in my wheelhouse. Yes, I wanted to be faster. I wanted to be about thirty seconds faster. I didn’t feel awful. My lungs felt great. I did everything unbroken and fast. However, I felt heavy and slow running. My body just wouldn’t move as fast as I wanted it move. I moved steadily, just about fifteen seconds slower than anticipated on my last two 400’s. Boo.

What could I have done differently? Not much….besides run faster.

Now what? initially after the WOD I pouted to myself a little bit. I immediately thought I needed to get to a track tonight or maybe I would come back and give Helen another go later in the day to prove to myself I am faster than that.

Enter sanity.

Freaking out after a less than desired performance on a WOD does you no good. Re-doing the WOD immediately after or the same day does nothing but wear you down. What should I be doing? Look at what I know and learn from it. My running felt slow, my lungs felt good.

I’ve been doing some more distance running in the last few months, but I have neglected my sprinting. I was so focused on that two-mile trail run at GODAI that I kind of forgot about 400’s. My ability to breathe through a workout is great. I don’t lack lung capacity, but my legs have forgotten how to move quickly over and over again (400m and 200m repeats in WODs). I can pace out long distances much better now than I could a few months ago. My distance running is coming back. That is a good thing.

Instead of frustration, I will use this as a realization. Start speed work again! I am managing my expectations by learning from the outcome so next time I can achieve more. My Helen time will be under 8:30 soon. No doubt in my mind about that.


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