Focus/being in the zone is definitely important. To me, that's not what this blog post and what I was following up with were about. To me, it's about how seriously you take the race. Of course we take racing seriously. However, wasting energy getting yourself in the zone 1-2 hours before the gun goes off is just going to result in wasted energy and probably losing that focus by race time. Also, there's taking a race seriously and getting yourself so psyched that you psych yourself out.
To use myself as an example, I had a particularly bad string of races when I was in college. At that time, I was convinced I had to be 100% serious. I'd arrive at a track meet, with my race not scheduled until near the end of the meet at least a few hours later, already going over my race strategy and psyching myself up. By warmup time, I'd be so psyched out I'd be uncontrollably shaking as I was lacing my spikes up. I finally broke that by bringing my headset with to track meets. I'd zone out until about 10 minutes before warmup time. I'd be in my own little world, maybe cheering teammates but not thinking about my race at all. With 10 minutes to go, I'd go through my race plan while getting ready to warm up. By the end of my warmup, I was fully focused on the task at hand without being nervous, without being anxious. I'd be ready to execute the plan but also ready to have fun while doing so.