Easy day on tap for today. Slept in a bit (all the way to 7:20 a.m. - WoooHoooo). Ate some breakfast, then hung out reading for a while. Out for an easy 20 minutes to tour the first mile or so of the course.
Mostly hanging out the rest of the day reading, watching some football and mostly staying off my feet. Will be going to lunch with my cousin Bo and his family. (Amazing how small our world is - come all the way to Austin for a race and am still able to hook up with family. And, if I had chosen to go to Houston for their half - would have been able to connect with my sister who is working in the area.)
Weather is looking like it could be mostly good. It's been warm and wet here for the last couple of days. Low 70's and humid. It was 69 and 95% when I ran at 10:00 a.m. But, the forecast calls for a cold front to come in late today - that will bring race time temps to perhaps high 30's or low 40's (people here are already freaking out about how cold they thing it will be). [I'd like it to be about 10 degrees warmer; but, I brought clothes to be prepared for most anything.] And, there's a forecast for a fairly healthy wind of 10 - 15 mph. But, it is predicted to be a tailwind - lets hope. Net downhill with a tailwind - what more can you ask for!!!!
Part of my day will also be about trying to focus on the task at hand and being prepared to race. Which is something that I haven't really done for more than 2 years. I think that the last race that I really focused on was the 2010 Bloomsday. It wasn't too long after that when I got my cardiomyopathy diagnosis and that kind of changed the ball game for a while. For quite a while, wasn't quite sure what it would mean to my ability to race.
On top of that, I had a couple of very busy years with coaching the Plains HS XC and track teams. And, at a couple of bigger events I was doing some race announcing. All combined, that took my focus away from my own competitions. I raced a bit; but, not much. In 2012 I only raced twice - Wulfman and Montana Cup. 2011 was pretty similar.
But, it's been a while since I laid out an extended training plan and focused on a particular race with a specific goal. Clearly the race is the 3M Half Marathon in Austin, TX and the goal (as I've posted about before) is to meet the guaranteed entry time for the ING New York City Marathon. That goal (for 50 - 54 age group) is 1:29:00 - 6:47/mile pace. With my cardiomyopathy and the meds that I'm on - that's kind of now on the edge of my range. So, things will need to be "on" for me to hit my mark.
Part of that is then going to have to be the component of mental focus. Quite frankly, I think that it's the toughest part of the sport. It's not easy to have the mental fortitude to keep pushing when the effort gets hard. To convince your body that it can, in fact, keep this pace. That you can get the next guy ahead of you. But, it's a key component of racing. And, it's been a long time since I've had to channel this mental energy. So, I've been working to get myself focused and ready to take on this task.
Some specific music and some quiet time and I'll do my best to put on this last finishing touch.
It's almost go time.
Until then, see you on the roads, tracks and trails
The Muddy Buzzard