2. Beware of the power of your sub-conscious mind and any potential lurking evil within it that tries to sabotage your race.
One of the greatest marathoners in the world in the 1950s was American Buddy Edelen, who at the peak of his career held the world record. Edelen was a middle-distance man in his college years but set his sights on the marathon when he moved to England to be train upwards of 120+ miles per week while he worked as a school teacher. Edelen’s marathon debut was disastrous, however. Despite pitch-perfect preparation, Edelen inexeplicably decided to wolf down a can of sardines the morning of the race—-an act that could only be described as a weird experiment, considering it was something he reportedly had never done before either training or a race. The result? Severe stomach problems forced him to DNF. Per a little post-implosion (and explosion) analysis of the mystery as to why Edelen ate the sardines was that some internal fear-based demon motivated the dietary selection of small, oily fish.
In the 1999 Hawaii Ironman, Canadian Peter Reid—the night before bike check-in, was staring at his rig in a state of near hypnosis and decided—another inexplicable decision—to change the position of his saddle. A minor tweak but one that proved an utter shock to his body during the 112-mile wind-blasted bike ride. Reid finished second and after the race talked curiously about what prompted him to make such a weird, rookie mistake—actually changing a deeply dialed in bike position for a reason he couldn’t fathom when he talked about the after-math of his power-zapped day on the Queen K.
The lesson: Stay tuned to any/all actions you make in the final hours before the race. Watch out for the demons that aren’t thrilled about you spending the better part of your day in extremes.