Managing my own expectations……..
This year I committed myself to doing the London Triathlon again; it’s been 4 years since the last time I competed and a lot has happened in that time. I like to think that I’m a logical and realistic person, but when it comes to physical achievements my competitive brain very much dominates my practical brain. In my mind, I think I should be on par with the performance and times that I achieved in 2012, but I also know that my life and not to mention my fitness is in a very different place to what it was 4 years ago and therefore achieving these goals is probably unrealistic. If I was talking to a client, we would be looking to manage realistic expectation and would set some achievable goals………so as I ploughed up and down the swimming pool this morning (trying not to look at the clock and think about how fast I wasn’t swimming), I had this exact coaching conversation with myself and agreed that I need to manage my expectations, be happy with what I achieve and enjoy the journey I will take to get there.
When I signed up for the London Triathlon at the start of the year, I cast my mind back to my training in 2012 and I’ll be honest, it lacked structure and I think I got by with a base level of fitness and complacency. I was working at a gym, I had access to a swimming pool and I cycled to work (20 miles a day) 3 days a week; that alone was enough to prepare me. However, since then I’ve put my body through a different degree of stress. The combination of fertility treatment, pregnancy, more fertility treatment and a miscarriage has not only been a huge physical and emotional rollercoaster, the demands of having a baby (who is now a toddler) doesn’t allow the freedom to train and recover like I used to. Whilst she brings endless joy and laughter to my life, she doesn’t care if I want to veg out on the sofa after a long training ride or possibly sleep in till 8am on a weekend. I thought I knew what it meant to be tired when I exercised to my hearts content 4 years ago, however months of sleep deprivation and weekends that are full on from the moment you wake up till the bedtime hour take their toll on the adrenals and your slightly drained resilience doesn’t allow you to bounce back with quite the same blissful complacency.
So whilst I’ve not totally given up on my goal to be within competing distance of 4 years ago, I’ve decided to cut myself some slack, be realistic and use this triathlon as my first one back. I’m following a beginners 12 week training programme to help give me some focus and whilst I may not be riding, swimming or running with the same ease and confidence that I once did; the ability to reflect on the last 4 years gives me a sense of perspective. I’m thankful for this slightly jaded body of mine, grateful to my endlessly supportive family and appreciative of my competitive and determined nature that has got me this far…………..
See you at the start line on 7th August 🙂