Lesson 1: Know your limits
Lesson 2: Push those limits
Lesson 3: Know your course
Lesson 4: Push your limits on that course
Lesson 5: Do NOT compare said course with a previous, different course and do NOT use the previous, different course to challenge yourself on the current course
Lesson 6: If you do not use Lessons 1-5, you end up comparing apples and oranges and you have a greater potential of setting yourself up for failure
I almost did today, when I told my husband that I thought I might want to add some distance to my already planned 6.1 mile run. I had it in my head that I really wanted to run 8 miles again, especially since I am completely over the runner's crud I was fighting off. I realized after I got out there on my run, that the course I was on had a lot more hills that were quite steep and lengthy compared to the 8 mile course I ran two weeks ago. As it was, with my husband's gentle reminder that it would be best to not get ahead of myself and to not get greedy, I reined myself in and decided I would run my preset course. I ended up having a successful run and I am quite glad I did not go beyond my prescribed mileage as I am completely wiped out following that run.
A note to self, as well...remember this post when you think you are going to go out and blow your limits out of the water...it's about testing the limits, not debilitating those limits.