The day before a meet has a unique feel. Dan felt his own mixture: Relief from running the hardest practices and nerves feeling the closeness of the starting line. But Dan was feeling something special. Something he hadn’t felt in some time. Peaceful. Restful and confident in his preparation, trusting the process determined by Willoughby and Gladwell. It felt good, as if he’d arrived home after years of wandering lost.

After a light jog with his 4x800m teammates Dan met with Bill to go over the strategic rationale for each race.

The day would begin with the 4 x 800m. Dan would anchor. Whether they were ahead or behind didn’t matter. Bill instructed Dan to get out the first 20m-30m and settle into a controlled rhythm. In the 800m it is a common foible to go out too fast, especially in relays where there is added excitement. Stay controlled. Run mindfully.

After the relay, Dan and the relay team were to do five minutes of easy jogging, Myrtl, and Lunge Warm Up half the typical distance.

Bill advised Dan to find a comfortable place to keep off his feet and wait for the 3,200m. A great time to catch up on reading for English class.

The Competition Warm Up routine precede the 3,200m. The goal for the race was to hit 73-75 pace, evaluate each lap and adjust, finish somewhere between 9:45-10:00. No need to be a hero at the end of the race. If challenged, change gears gradually on the last 400m.

After the 3,200m Myrtl leg swings, then 2x120m In-n-Outs, hitting 95% for the middle 40m, priming the legs for the pace of the 4x400m

Dan observed that this was a lot of warming up and cooling down, much more than he had ever done before in a meet situation. Bill acknowledge as much, explaining that this first race day was more than a racing day, but also a hard training day. Hard days hard, easy days easy. There would be two easy days coming up on Sunday and Monday.