relief or anticipation
Do you look forward to a big race, or the break afterwards?
I had a debrief conversation with one of my sprinters recently, long after the dust had settled from a tough national titles campaign.
One of the things that came out of it was a key element of mental preparation. When you're thinking about race day, and it's a major race day (nationals, states, grand final etc) - how do you look forward to it? Do you think "here's my chance to do my absolute best,to put into practice all the things I've trained", or "I'll be so glad when this is over so I can have a break"?
The answer to that is important. I think, putting it in that context, that the answer that will lead to your best performance is obvious.