Sometimes, when I'm working toward a goal, I get a little wrapped up in thinking about it and sometimes it can be all-consuming. When it comes to running, for me, I think that this is a bad thing. I'm not a professional runner. I'm not an especially fast or talented runner. Running is something that I do for fun. It makes me feel good, it makes me set goals, it makes me work hard, it helps me stay healthy. If it causes me stress? Well that's a bad thing.
So when I catch myself thinking too much about goals, races, and paces, I shut that down and remind myself - I am not a runner, I am a person who runs. Do I want to work hard and achieve PRs and do the best I can? Of course I do. But in the grand scheme of things, running is fun. I would rather finish slower and have fun, than finish just a few minutes faster and beat myself up for not being good enough. If it stops being fun, I should stop running. I'm hoping I never get there.