setting expectations and rolling with change

It’s been an interesting two weeks.  Last week I completed my first ‘race’ since the bike accident, and felt good about how I did.  We have a new president, and there’s an abundance of hope about what he may accomplish.  And my company announced a significant round of layoffs two days ago.  Several friends are now unemployed, although I know them to be smart, highly capable individuals.  This latter thing has dominated many work conversations these past few days.  The uncertainty of 1400 current layoffs , and 3600 heads yet to be reduced really stinks.

Early this morning I went out on what was intended to be a 15 miler.  I ran with some of the Eastside Runners, who had charted a course called "Best of Seattle", summing to about 13-14 miles.  The course was pretty nice.  We ran down the Burke-Gilman Trail, crossing over the University Bridge to circle Lake Union’s south side.  Then we circled back over the Fremont Bridge and caught the west side of Green Lake before returning to our starting point (Burgermaster in U Village) via Ravenna Park.  Very nice run, with great company.

I felt fatigue early on, and found the group’s pace to be a big faster than I’d have liked.  I’m sure my friends noticed that I was much quieter than usual, owing to this.  Still, when I reached the end of the 13.5 mile run, I very nearly went back out to do another 1-2 miles, because hey – that was the plan, right?

My good friend Landy recommended that I call it a good run, and stop.  Judging by how difficult the final two miles of the run were, I opted to take his advice, and go in and enjoy breakfast.

The thing I’m wrestling with now is setting reasonable expectation of myself.  I’ve experienced an incredible recovery so far.  The fact that I’m able to run about 35 miles per week, and do half marathon distance is amazing.  I could continue to press on with distance, or perhaps the thing to do is spend time training myself to go a bit faster, and to build some strength (doing weight workouts).  The latter plan sounds sensible, but requires patience, which has not been my forte during recovery.

I’ve plotted a training ramp which definitely gets me into marathon range by early June.  It also puts me within spitting distance by early April.  If everything went perfectly (and I went out and did the additional miles today), then I could potentially run 26.2 in early April.  It’s a stretch, but I’ve done harder things.  Is it wise?  I don’t know.  This is exactly what I’m going to wrestle with in the coming days.

Part of my dilemma is feeling "the sooner, the better" with everything.  I’ve gotten new religion about seizing opportunity and living to the fullest as a result of what’s happened.  This can cut both ways.  I may end up completing a marathon in April, or I may injure myself trying.  And even if I do complete the distance, will I feel good about it?  Lots to think about.

A side note about our new president.  I really like what I’ve heard him say.  I agree with much of it.  Yet I’m completely flummoxed by the tendency of people to lionize the guy.  He’s very smart, has demonstrated good judgment, and speaks with an intelligence and eloquence that I’ve sorely missed these past eight years.  However many Obama supporters seem to forget that Mr. Obama is a politician – one who ascended through the Chicago political machine nonetheless.  I wonder if people are setting themselves up for disappointment by placing him on a figurative pedestal.

He could be a great president, but it’s a bit early to tell.

Again with the expectations, right?


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