Thursday, April 3, 2014

Expecting Perfection

I haven't always had this problem of being the extreme perfectionist that I am today.  However, I have always had issues with wanting most things that I do to be "perfect", especially with sports.

With swimming I was not always the most gracious "loser". I don't mean not winning the race, I mean not winning against myself. I had high expectations and if I didn't meet them when I thought I should, I did not handle it well.

Sometimes, the same can be said with triathlon. I have learned to accept that not every race is going to be a PR and that not every training swim, ride or run is going to go as planned. However, I still hold on to that hope that everything is going to be "perfect".

When I say perfect, I don't necessarily mean that everything is going to be the fastest or farthest that I can possibly go. In my mind before I set out to do a training swim, ride or run I have somewhat of a plan for how I would like it to go, and when it doesn't go that way I feel defeated. I know I shouldn't, not everything goes according to plan but that's the perfectionist in me.

I don't "wing it" often, I function better following a training plan and I set high goals and expectations for myself. Is that the right way to go about things? Maybe, maybe not. It does allow for some frustration and disappointment and I need to learn to get better at handling it. 

Running, other than a few times, has been hard for me lately. My long runs have not been going well, overall, and when I finish the run I feel disappointed. Disappointed in myself and my abilities. I feel like I should be doing better than I am and even when other people tell me I am doing fine, I don't believe them.

I need to remember that I can't expect "perfect" but that I can expect my best. My best may not be the fastest, it may just be what I can give that day. Some days that's 5 miles at 8:32 pace and other days that's 11 miles at 9:30 pace with the last 2-3 miles feeling like a major struggle.

So, from now on I am going to try to be happy with my best. Whatever that is. As long as I feel like I didn't have anything more to give (or that I accomplished whatever type of workout that I had to do that day), then I succeeded.


  1. That's a good mindset, although a difficult one to achieve sometimes. Running is so hot and cold. As long as you're giving it your best most of the time, I think it's a win.

  2. Triathlon attracts type-A people, so it makes perfect sense to struggling with perfection and feeling inadequate. Trust me, I'm right there with you! When my workouts don't go as planned, I remind myself it's a journey--and to focus on the big picture, big goals, etc.

  3. I go through this all the time! When my workouts feel 'off' I feel like it wasn't even worth trying in the first place. I hate it when your mind really wants to do something (like go for a lovely run outside) and your body has something different in mind (feeling pain or feeling sluggish).. I guess we all go through this as triathletes:)

  4. I was such a headcase swimmer which I think is why I hated meets and still hate competing. It's so hard to stay positive all of the time about things, but you are a pretty awesome motivation and role model athlete. Love your drive and ability to take the less than perfect runs/workouts and use them for motivation.

  5. I think this is all normal. And I have to remind myself the same stuff, especially with running. I think running has a far wider guage of "I feel great!" to "I feel like ass!" when it comes to each individual run. Swimming and cycling are a lot easier to have better workouts with, IMO. Running is so much more mental AND you are carrying your own body vs the use of a machine & boyancy in water. It's great to remind yourself this stuff after every run. A wise man once said, "Man, running is hard." lol

  6. I get it and have definitely been there. But you're right- do your best and be happy with that- it will make life much more enjoyable if you're not so hard on yourself! You will have good runs and bad runs/swims/races, that's life. Just be extra grateful for those surprisingly awesome moments!

  7. You are AMAZING!! You give each workout your all. You don't stop until you're on empty. You daily inspire me. I love you dear friend. Don't ever feel disappointed in yourself because you never ever ever, even remotely disappoint me.