It would be fair to say that I set expectations for my performance on the high side within my ability. This morning I learned that I have no problem increasing my expectations when my ability is greater than I had expected. As most Wednesday mornings start, I met my training partner at the gym to swim this morning. We have set Wednesday swims aside to cover a main set of 1,900 meters in an endurance workout to get comfortable with the distance for the half iron swim. The workout today was a total of 2,500 meters and the main set was made up of 19 x 100 meter repeats with 20 seconds rest. We first did this workout on July 4th and it was a challenge. I lost all steam half way through and swam my 100’s between 2:05 to 2:20. Two weeks later I did the same workout after implementing the Total Immersion method to my stroke and swam the 19 x 100’s between 2:01 to 2:05. I was very happy with my progress. This morning, before I even got to the pool, I had set the expectation to swim between 2:01 to 2:04. I swam the first 100 and came in at 1:57 – I had 20 seconds recovery to giggle with joy. The next was 1:58, third was 1:59, fourth 1:58 – I quickly adjusted my expectations and was not happy when I touched in at 2:00. Wait, I started the workout wanting 2:01 to 2:04 – I should be thrilled with 2:00. In the end I did all 19 between 1:57 and 2:03. Only two were 2:03 and I really was disappointed with those sets. How quickly my expectations increased.
This afternoon I headed out for a 15 mile ride. Since I am racing on Sunday I am taking it easy with a modified taper. After the thrilling ride on Monday, I wanted to ride well even though I was riding alone. And in the hills in my neighborhood. Today was the third time I road this course I mapped out and turned at the 7.5 mile mark. Usually I go on for 10 to make it 20 miles. Perviously this summer I road it in 15.1 miles per hour and 15.3 miles per hour. Today – 16.0 miles per hour. Same hills, stronger legs, and stronger mind. I expected more of myself after seeing what I am able to do and I delivered.
My experiences today are teaching me to reach for greater expectations. Set the bar a bit higher, if I reach it quickly then raise it. It I get close but not there, keep pressing on. Complacency is a dangerous thing, and not just in training. I am learning to enjoy to daily advances, however great or small. Celebrate the moment, but not rest on my laurels. There is always room for improvement – as an athlete, friend, family member, employee, citizen. Time to have Great Expectations.