I guess the point I am trying to make here is there is always room for improvement and every race or every run you do is a chance for you to master your craft. Do not get discouraged if you don't get it right the first time. I have always believed when running a race, the best athlete will not always win but the person who has worked the hardest and the person who is willing lay it all out on the line that day will be the one to cross the finish first. So keep fine tuning your runs and then when you are ready to let it all out, do it. Even if it is for one race let go and take yourself to the point of no return and I guarantee you, you will walk away feeling like you did your best. You may not win the race but you will more than likely run your best time.
I am waiting for that moment hopefully in my next marathon. So yes, I can go out and try to run a 30 something five mile race or I can take those 5 miles as a stepping stone to reach my ultimate goal. I think I will take that 40:02 and hold my head high and know its just a small step towards the big picture.