I write and say this to myself over and over again, but it’s always worth repeating: we cannot obsess over work that is slightly imperfect. While it is nice to think of alternate scenarios or instances where we should have improved, the reality is that learning is the process of transforming those things that I’ve done wrong to things I’ll do right the next time. It’s never fun in the moment, no, but in the long run you’ll be able to solidify the lesson.
As a runner, I’m expected to give myself goals. It’s the thing that runners do. We set goals, train hard to get enough fitness to achieve them (usually in the form of some sort of race time), and then we evaluate and set new ones. This cycle is familiar to anyone who is a runner.