My family went away this week. The girls are at music camp in Ontario and my wife Dawn is acting as their chaperone. They did this camp last year and I think it signals, to them in some way, the end of the summer music vacation. Although a bit complicated, we've worked out the travel logistics. I'll do the 5+ hour drive up to Timberman solo, they'll fly into Boston to meet me in New Hampshire for the race on Saturday, and we'll all drive home together with Vinny the violin and Arpeggio the cello. I'm glad they will be at the race cheering me on - it always makes it more special for me.
Unfortunately I don't make it as special for them as I typically go a little bit crazy before a major race. Taper time, in addition to a physical recovery time to minimize fatigue, gives my mind opportunity to wander and I normally latch on to some bit of minutia (that I can't change). As Dawn left, she jokingly asked me which insignificant item it would be this time. So, my mind is now in full taper mode and I'm wondering myself what it would be.
Could it be that my ploy of switching my race from fat guy (Clydesdale) to old guy (M 45-49) didn't result in the earlier wave assignment that I hoped. Clydesdale's are wave 15 (the last wave) and old guys are wave 14 (second to last) while "oldest" guys (>50) go off wave 2 - go figure. So, near by parking is expected to fill up by 5:30AM, transition closes at 7:00AM with the first wave in the drink, and my wave goes off at 8:05. I realize that someone has to go in the last waves and it is going to get hot on the run for us but I did get 5 minutes out of the ploy - better than nothing.
Weather is always a candidate for my psychosis. Although there is a heat wave in the northeast this week with expected highs today and tomorrow at the race site in the high 90s, the early forecast calls for the heat to break later on in the week. There is the probability of rain later in the week but race day looks like a high mid 70s with a chance of rain. All in all, not so bad.
Water temperature, or should I say more accurately the ability to wear a wetsuit, is always a concern of mine. I don't know if wetsuiting up is in jeopardy but recent water temperatures are reported as 74ish. Where that was measured and what will the heat wave do to the water temperature are unknown. More info will come as we get closer.
I've got my bike in the shop for the last bit of tender loving care including installing some new rubber on the wheels - I'm going with Conti Gatorskins for this race. I've decided to drop the aquarack for hydration as carrying the additional weight of the bottles can't help while going up the hills in this race (I've given up on the additional weight of the rock star but we'll pick that up after the race). I'll still have 2 bottles and will reload out on the course.
Nutrition will play a part but I'll go with PB&J before the race starts, have a few bars in my pocket and put 6-7 gels taped on the bike. Should be OK if all goes per plan.
The biggest key, I think, is sleep or lack of sleep. This is what I blame as most impactful on my Eagleman performance and something that I need to try to cure. Of course, this could be a symptom rather than a cause.
And finally, there is everything else. Will something new come to haunt me? I have to get my mind around the fact that it all won't matter if I follow the plan. So, if you see some old fat guy muttering "follow the plan, follow the plan, follow the plan" in New Hampshire this weekend, realize that's me and say hi!