Are you superstitious?
I don’t really like to think that I am, but then I find myself acting like someone who is more often than not. For example, I really don’t like to talk about snow days in advance. (Although last week it seemed so certain that I went ahead and breeched that code.) I also don’t like to wear clothes if something bad happened to me the last time I was wearing them. For example, in seventh grade I had an awful day where I ended up throwing up in the hallway (totally humiliating), and I never wore that shirt, jeans, or those shoes ever again.
I don’t know if it’s necessarily superstition, but I certainly do have my habits when it comes to races. For example…
- The night before a race I like to eat a pasta dish with a little marinara sauce (nothing greasy). I steer away from dairy or alcohol or anything too sweet.
- Before going to bed that night, I like to lay out all of my gear for the race. Clothes, food, bib, safety pins, shoes, socks, underwear… everything. Then, I will double-check… and triple-check… (This is partly because one time B and I were running a race together. We got all the way down to the Plaza before realizing that we’d forgotten our bibs and timing chips at home. It took us about half the time it normally does to get back home, grab them as quickly as possible, and high-tail it back to the race. Luckily, we made it without a second to spare!)
- I also double-check (and triple-check… and quadruple-check…) the starting time of the race. (There also happens to be a horror story of a time when B was running a 5K and we thought it started half an hour later than it actually did. Whoops!)
Then there’s the morning of the race.
- First, I like to eat a breakfast of PB2 on toast or an english muffin + a banana. It’s the perfect amount to tide me over yet not give me any stomach cramps.
- You can bet after my good luck with the Gobbler Grind half-marathon that I’ll be making pre-race Yoga a part of my game day routine.
- I’ve also gotten into the habit of using the bathroom an exorbitant number of times before a race. I drink plenty of water as I wake up and eat breakfast, then I go before I leave home… when I get to the race… and again as close to race time as possible. I’ve just had so many races now where I have to stop at a porta-potty, and I always wonder how much time I lost doing so. Not to mention that awful feeling of running on a full bladder.
During the race, I have quite a few routines, as well…
- I take my first chew at Mile 4, then every two miles after that (or every water station).
- I walk through aid stations (unless I’m near the end and really killin’ it) and drink water.
- I run the first half of the race at an easier pace, then speed it up on the second half.
- I either run with a friend or with a playlist (no audiobooks during races–too much distraction, so I can’t get into the story).
What are your race day routines?