I’m excited. I had my first actual race of the season last Saturday and even though I was expecting a better time, I’m okay with a 19:38. Given the circumstances of racing in the heat, training hard, running 7.5 miles the day before, finding knots in my calves, etc. I’m totally okay with that time. It’s not a significant improvement from last year’s 20-something, but again that’s okay. At this point, I’m not worried about my times in any of my races between now and November. All I care about is my peak. I’ve been training hard all summer and this season so far and I know it’ll pay off in the end.
Why did I keep emphasizing the phrase “it’s okay”? It’s because it is okay. I’m in a totally different mindset this season (and a much healthier one at that). I’m not going to stress about every race and be sad at the end of each one. Last season, I had a terrible mindset. I set my goals too high and never saw the big picture and thus only set myself up for disappointment. So if you find yourself not hitting the times you want or being constantly frustrated with your training/races, take a step back and look at the big picture. Look at the circumstances in which you were training/racing in and keep your head up. Don’t stress yourself out because it’s not worth it and it’s totally unhealthy. Remember that running is supposed to be FUN. It’s hard, but it’s fun. It’s okay.