Over the past few weeks, I've had several "successful" runs. Successful being defined as no toe pain, and far enough distances to convince me I can handle a 10K.
Can I handle it physically? Yes.
Why is it harder mentally? I'm under-trained and out of peak running shape.
I need to mentally accept that this race will be far slower than any 10K race I've ever run before. That the pace will be slower than the pace I ran for the MCM marathon this time last year (that's 20 miles farther than the 10K, for those doing the math).
Mentally, this could be humbling...or it could be uplifting - as long as I focus on how grateful I am to be able to run the 10K and to finally be able to run without toe pain.
My race goal is maintaining a feeling of gratitude and accomplishment before, during, and after the race. Racing is always about mental toughness. This is just a different kind of mental toughness.