Focusing on Just One Goal
It's good to have a goal to keep you on track, but it's also important to realize your whole experience wasn't a waste if you don't achieve it — so consider setting up multiple goals. "There's the best case scenario where the weather's perfect, and everything goes right, and you feel great, and you run your best time," says Honerkamp. "But there are other times where, you know, it's hot — and you have to realize that running 3:12 on that day might be the same as breaking three hours, and you just have to accept it. Sometimes, with the adrenaline of the day, you can still hit your goal even if the conditions aren't perfect, but you have to be careful, because that's how you end up hurt." So by all means establish an A-goal and work toward it, but know that having to settle for your B-goal, or even your C-goal, which Honerkamp recommends setting at "just finishing," is still not the end of the world.