Way to go overcoming the mental blocks and turning something that seemed negative into a positive!
Wow, impressive race, and also impressive mental strength - that is always the hardest part, to figure out how to have enjoy the day and remove the pressure. Bravo!
I know the feeling! Somehow the first time you do something it's enjoyable and then the second time you feel the pressure. So glad you were able to get out and enjoy it. It sounds like a beautiful race as well!
I love the mental picture of that pep talk. Way to go! ;-)
Good report - its hard to keep the same number of races when your times get slower no matter what you try. So congratulations on learning and adapting early to this issue.