Thanks for the reports, Ryan.
That is a lot of competitive running that you've done and a nice sub-17 5K streak. Good luck with keeping it alive. I also appreciated the thoughts about how it is easy to lose objectivity when coaching yourself. I seriously considered getting a coach about a month ago, but decided that I hadn't made enough of an effort to coach myself and chose to put off the decision for a year.
I wonder if my attitude toward my early/mid-summer racing was more negative because of an especially good race in April. Though my times this summer were better than last year (except at one race where they reversed the course), after the April race, I expected more. I've never thought about how an especially good race might cloud one's perception of subsequent races. In the end, I think that it was a combination of an exceptionally good race and a series of slightly sub-par performances.
On the sub-17 topic, though I did not write any goals down this year, one goal that I thought of was to run more than one sub-17 race this year. I expected that it would come in the natural course of better fitness, but so far, I've only broken 17 at the Labor Day run — the same course where I did it last year. I have one more opportunity to run under 17 this weekend. The course is not as favorable as the Labor Day 5K where I ran the 16:27 earlier this month, but it should be doable. I expect that I will have to race aggressively from the start in order to have a chance. That's the formula that worked on Labor Day.