In some ways it's a shame, instead of the process being the most interesting part the result becomes more interesting. Instead of seeing what is possible, it's simply seeing if it can be done 0.5% better/faster/more than before. In other ways it is inspiring. The mentality that says, 'just doing it, even doing it well, is not enough. I have to do my best.' It's a different level, and in a way brings it back around to the you against you because to get "the record" it's going to take the best you have, without yourself standing in the way.
I'm not sure what record you are striving for. I can tell you if it is a good one you will laugh in elation and cry when you struggle and the effort will be worth it. The results aren't always pretty, but the lessons we learn along the way are well worth the pain it takes to learn them.