A great race is a mixed blessing for me. The motivational benefit, the emotional high, and all the other intangible positives from a great race are an incredible reward for all the hard work done leading up to the race.
Unfortunately, there is a dark side to all those positive benefits – it’s easy for your expectations to get out of control. It’s subtle and insidious. Suddenly rather than simply focusing on the training and working towards the enjoyment of the experience and the journey with the goal of simply doing your best, you find yourself looking to the next race with expectations of X, Y, and Z – your focus begins to shift away from the journey and towards the destination. It becomes easy to ignore or forget about the daily details or the requirements to actually meet those expectations.
That’s where I’m at right now – struggling to return to the balance I had earlier this year with regard to expecations. It was a silent sublte shift after IMWI. Things started with me simply doing my best every day and having a simply enjoying the work and looking forward to the opportunity to see how I did at IMWI – with the preference of having a great day. That great day showed up, and showed me that I really need to work on my bike. Before I knew it, I’ve fallen from the enjoyment of the journey to expecting that come October 8, 2011 – I will ride 5 hours (or faster).
It’s not fair to place such a burden on my shoulders about a single day that is almost a year away. I have so many things to experience (good and bad) over the next 11 months, that any expectation or goal that I have about that day today – may turn out to be entirely unrealistic or entirely to easy when that day finally arrives.
It’s time to step back mentally and refocus. Lighten myself of the burden of expectations, focus on doing my best today, and what needs to happen today to make sure I can do my best tomorrow. Before I know if I’ll be focusing on what I need to do today, to make sure I can do my best tomorrow, October 8, 2011.