Clarified Expectations

Stretchy Strides

About a year ago, Chocolate and I had the following conversation:

Not even kidding, he walked up to me at school, dropped his glasses like this and says, “Heeeeyyyy ladies….” and walked away.

On The Way To School
Chocolate:  Mom, guess what?
Me:  No idea.  Spill it.
Chocolate:  I have 4 girlfriends.
Me:  [Leerily] Ohhhh really.
Chocolate:  Yep.  [He lists their names]
Me:  You know that you are far too young to have girlfriends, but if you do, you have to ask them first, you can’t just assume.

At the end of the day I picked him up and he sluggishly plopped into his seat.  “Mom,” he lamented, “I only have 2 girlfriends”.

Ahhh, behold the power of expectations.

It’s funny, I went into Sunday’s race with ZERO expectations.  My long hair don’t care attitude let me do something I don’t do very well – relax.  Since I have a slight  the innate and incessant tendency to be totally Type A – I usually go into every race with some sort of goal, a fixed mindset and put it all out there.

Even my bib was relaxed. I picked the name my niece and nephew call me. People probably thought I had the literacy of a kindergartner.

This time was different.  I still felt like throwing up when we pulled up to Long Beach, but I pinned on that bib number not really knowing what would/could happen.  What happened was super fabulous.

#RunChat  Around mile 4 I noticed I was pretty step by step with a guy and he was shooting to run a 1:45 so I decided to stick it out with him.  For about 4 miles we talked about goals, races, etc. until he realized his slump was more of a tank and he told me to take off, so I did.

I caught up with this lady for about a mile or so.

And then at mile 12 I stumbled upon a guy who was starting to walk.  I came up beside him and said, “You didn’t make it this far to walk, let’s go.  You’re going to beat me.”  We ran side by side until about 1/4 mile out.  I told him when we hit the last turn he had to run and sprint it out.  Sprint he did and we finished a few seconds apart (he won).

Course Support (Better than a good sports bra)  I was that obnoxious runner yelling at the crowd support.  I cheered super creative things like, “Yay course support!”.  And when people were standing Starbucks in hand around looking uber bored waiting for someone I would just yell “Yay coffee!” as I ran by.  Usually they laughed, perked up and then remembered it could be worse- they could be running – and started cheering other runners.

Julie & Heather had the bestest hostess table set up with quite the runner friendly spread!

Source I totally stole this from Heather, but she and Julie were out there hostessing with the mostessing. They were fab and I loved seeing them out there!

Skippy Jones  You know how the announcer at larger races stands reading everyone’s name?  Well when he got to mine I decided to start fist pumping and might have even done some awkward hop-skip thing.  So he kept egging me on, I bit and had the most super fun finish ever.  Take that awful finish pictures from last year!

Why?  Because I was having the most fun I’ve ever had racing…and probably a fabulous runner’s high.

Given I haven’t run more than 4 consecutive sub-8 minute miles in over 6 months, I’m surprised I didn’t wake up wanting to cut off my legs.  Monday morning I woke up a little tight, but did not feel post-race crappiness, and I honestly think it’s because I dove in sans expectations and just let my body relax and do it’s thing instead of fighting against itself.

This is a huge lesson for my Type A self.  Time to let go a bit.  That is, until I set my next goal, right?!

Tell me about one of your recent life “ah ha” moments (fitness or not).
Have you ever made a scene at the finish line?
What’s the best course support you’ve ever seen?


We’re Flexible!

That’s one way to see if your butt looks big.  How on earth does one do this?

4.1 Miles
30:25 minutes (short but progressive)
Secondary Speedy Strides

Back when I was a little butthead, my mother was nice crazy insane enough to to volunteer as a girl scout leader for my troop.  I can’t imagine wrangling the hormones of 12ish prepubescent, drama inducing 9 year-old girls.

One day out of frustration she and the other leader stood up, told everyone to be quiet and bend their backs forward and back and said, “We’re not going to complain because we’re (taking it up 3 octaves) FLEXIBLE!”

Given my nagging li’l injury and the recovery instructions I was given, I’ve been delaying the inevitable – unleashing my inner Goal Gumby to readjust my goals so I’m not driving myself to get hurt.  I’ve feel like I’ve been wandering aimlessly with my fitness just piecing things together and it sure ain’t working for this Striding Mom.

I’ve opted to take a fiscal year goal approach.  So from July 2012 – June 2012 the following are my goals:

  • Half a Month:  Starting in September I’m going to run a half marathon a month.  I’m just now able to start building on my 10 MPW mileage and by September should be able to give one a slow, steady go.  My goal is to mix it up – try some small local races, big ones, road, trail, etc.  I mapped it out yesterday morning and made my dream list of races, my quasi-dream list, and the budget appropriate ones.  I’ll share them soon!

    2011 Laguna Hills Half

  • Tri It Out:  Capitalize on the swimming & biking I’ve been doing to rehab my groin by doing a Tri.  Up on deck:  iTryathlon in Irvine on 7/2.

  • 2 Minutes of Torture: (2 minute plank)  I suck at  making ab work a priority, but I know it’s critical to my athletic performance so my goal is to shape up from my current 45 second plank (and that’s struggling…how sad) to 2 minutes.

  • 1:37 Half:  This will take some time to work up to.  With my injury and the 4 month hiatus from speed work when all is said and done, I’m guessing this will be a late spring 2013 feat.

    The babes sporting my PR – 1:41 at Surf City

  • Sub-20 5k:  I’m so close on this one and I know I can do it once I get to start doing speed work again.  It was my pipe dream goal last year and I missed it by 32 seconds.  Watch out 19, I’m onto you.

    After my 5k PR at Chapman 5k in 2011

    So there you have it.  My FY 2012-2013 goals.  Not uber ambitious, but just ambitious enough.  Between work, volunteering, the boys’ schedules, etc. I know that there are things I’d love to force my body to do, but I’ve got to be realistic.I also know that there’s a chance Boston will be in there (depending on how low they go with qualifying times) so I want to make sure I allow time to ENJOY that experience.