On the agenda Saturday....Possum Kingdom 55K! It's a brand new trail race NE of Dallas TX. It'll be my first warm weather run. Taking the whole stinkin' family...hubby, 3 kids, my dad, his wife and their beagle. This will encourage me to relax. Either that or I will be too exhausted to care about the race! Coming off Boston and preparing for priority races...uhh..Leadville 100, this is supposed to be a low priority (meaning don't RACE! race). That is the hard part for me. I am kinda full throttle. My training runs show it. I have a hard time not focusing on my watch. On my training runs, unless I make a concious effort, I will try to stay at the high end of my designated HR zones and the fastest pace of my speed intervals--if I can. If I don't, I often wonder if I put enough effort in. I've done better this year. My confidence in my ability and my training have helped, but I still feel somewhat compelled to push it. In my primitive thinking, I think "When I'm done with ___ training run or ___ race I want to be able to say I gave it my best all the way through". Unfortunately, I tend to equate "best" with "every ounce of effort you've got". Very myopic view. I'm learning that "giving it my best" doesn't mean "push as hard as you can on everything you do". Oh my, could this be true in life too? Ouch. Max effort isn't always smart and can be destructive to overall goals. I really don't like reading what I'm writing right now, because there are also things besides running I am realizing I need to apply this lesson to. Dammit. This awareness is good though and is creating good changes in me, as long as I'm willing to learn...I can be pretty damn stubborn. Yesterday's training run was tough mentally and made me a little more acutely aware of what I need to work on. I was to run my intervals at a "moderate pace"....by FEEL, not by HR, pace, speed zones, etc. During the intervals I would find "moderate", but knew I was pushing close to "hard". I didn't want to back off for fear of not going "moderate enough". What the hell is "moderate enough"? This awareness made me laugh a little and helped me realize I have more work to do in this area. So blah blah blah. This race this weekend will be interesting to see if I can relax and hold back a bit and STILL be very happy with the result. This will be tough. There are going to be some speedster girlies there and I will want to push hard to see if I can chase them. Can I learn the bigger lesson or will I revert?