Has anyone every told you to not look back when you are racing? It takes a great deal of discipline to maintain your focus in a race without assessing who is coming from behind. This race tactic, which is incredibly valuable, can also be applied to your training and race goals. I sometimes make the mistake of comparing my current running self to who I was in my early 20’s. However, I will never be that person and quite frankly I don’t want to be her because she was an asshole. I may have been younger and fitter, but I appreciate all of the wisdom that I have acquired throughout the years and the stories that can be told from my experiences. I try to look back only to reflect on what I have learned in the process about who I am as an athlete and I encourage you to do the same. If you have had a structured training plan before, then I would benefit from knowing how your body responds to specific stimuli. If you have been racing for any length of time then I need to know what your personal bests are and how got you to those personal bests. Looking back for this information is beneficial, comparing a workout from one several years ago could be a positive or negative. I will need to know how you respond to this information because if your comparisons cause you to become self deprecating then I will avoid similar workouts. This holds true for selecting race schedules. Every athlete has a different emotional attachment to a race and I want your races to be a celebration of the hard work that you have put in. Despite the outcome, I want you to leave the event knowing that you gave it your best and that you feel good about yourself as a whole. I never want any athlete to measure their self-worth by a workout or a race. This is a dangerous slippery slope that can lead to low self-esteem and depressive feelings. Running is a choice and a lifestyle that should bring fulfillment, excitement, health and happiness. As soon as one of those things are compromised we need to readjust what we are doing.