When it’s OK to Tweak Your Expectations

Running is so symbolic of life. You have to drive yourself to overcome the obstacles. You might feel that you can’t but then you find your inner strength, and realize you’re capable of much more than you thought. -Arthur Blank

If running has taught me anything it is the art of adaptation; art, because surely it’s something that you learn and develop over time with practice. Not everyone can flow with the tide and adjust themselves – their attitude and training – to effect the necessary changes that may be needed at the drop of a hat.

As a runner, this is precisely what you can be called to do even at the height of training. How well I know. Post 13.1 race last weekend, I made the decision to alter my pace and strategy for the Boston Marathon in about four weeks. I’ve convinced myself that it’s for my good; to ensure that I have a good race and finish strong. To this end, I’m looking at a 3:45:00 finish and will pace myself accordingly. Taking the course into consideration, it appears mainly downhill and flat and should require a steady medium pace until the hills roll in; this is where real effort and training will come into play.

More than anything, I aim to be careful of the mind game that plays out amidst the fervor of supporting crowds and other runners; the penchant I have for increasing speed when I feel strong and I’m surrounded by like-minded runners. This will present a very real challenge for a competitive runner as myself, as I will have to be careful to stick to a predetermined plan with the option to speed things up only in the final leg of the race. But we’re talking adaptability here and I’m holding myself to a high standard with nothing more or less than a personal desire for success as my motivation to follow through.

It never fails to move me how resilient and strong we can be. How often do we doubt ourselves and out abilities – we being our own worst critics – yet when placed in circumstances that require more than we seemingly have, we, more often than not, exceed our own expectations. I envision a time when belief in ourselves will propel even the believed weakest amongst us to soar to unimaginable heights; when the races we run will be those that we’ve only dreamed about. Truly, we are stronger than we think.

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Source: sandiegonewsroom.com

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