Tuesday, March 17, 2015

That voodoo that you do...

I've written before about my running superstitions...actually it was about a year ago at this time. You know, picking up pennies, not stepping on a crack, shirts that have bad juju...stuff like that. But MCM mama, Run the Great Wide Somewhere, and My No Guilt Life have a link up today with the topic of race day rituals. A little different twist on superstitions, what are some of the things that I do to get my head in the game for a race? Besides the usual race prep, like training, that is...

Tops on my list is minimizing any...um...accidents. I've talked a lot about my GI issues. This really stresses me out, more than any other part of racing. So I really watch what I eat the week before a race. That means no beef. Minimal roughage. Low fiber diet. For this week, I'm not so concerned with nutrition as much as preventing any race day problems. I'm always trying to minimize those portapotty stops and avoiding any incidents. Especially when there are no portapotties on the race course, like at my last race. I'm really glad I didn't know that in advance! You've seen that picture of the guy with diarrhea running down his legs, right? I don't want to be a meme. And I don't want to be the person at the finish line whom everyone is trying to avoid, saying "who smells?"

It would be hard to run with these on...
But speaking of food, it doesn't really seem to matter much what I eat the night before the race. I don't carb load anymore. That never did it for me. My last race, that epic half marathon I ran last Saturday, I had cheese pizza and 2 glasses of red wine for dinner. Slept like a baby too.


Race day breakfast is always the same. Coffee with chocolate soy milk, orange juice, vitamins, and cheerios. Why mess with success, I say....and it's all easy to digest.

My race outfit is planned the night before the race. This is after religiously checking at least 3-4 weather sites for the race day forecast. I go with the majority opinion of what the weather will be like. And sometimes it's still wrong. Anyways, I lay out my clothes and pin my bib to my shirt. And never, ever wear anything new to a race. Except for my last race. That green top was new. Oops! It was all about the green...

New top, black bottoms
You can't go wrong with black, and that's what I wear on the bottom. Always. My black bottoms are like a security blanket. Yep. I see women wearing pink, yellow, and (gasp!) white shorts, and I feel a tug of envy. I could never trust myself with light colored bottoms. Last year at my Florida sweatfest half marathon, I got stuck running behind a guy wearing white shorts. And no underwear. Did I mention sweat? I know what you're thinking. I only saw his behind. But it was like the sun. You know you're not supposed to stare at it, but you can't help it, right? Let's just say that clothing did not make the man...attractive to me at all. Ick. Hairy butt. Ok, I said it. Moving on.

Now, if he looked like this...there'd be no complaining.
For a few days before the race, I listen to my playlist in the car. Hearing the songs that are going to carry me down the course for 2-4+hours really seems to get me in the racing frame of mind. Sometimes I find myself driving as if I'm racing, weaving around cars and getting annoyed when people stop suddenly in front of me. Even though it's not intentional, it's all part of my race prep, I guess. Oh and that music on race day? It's like putting gas in the tank. I listen and I fly.

Of course, she's sitting on the wrong side of the car...
Ever since last year's Chicago marathon, I've carried this good luck charm in my pocket. My coach Becky gave this to me, and it seems to have magical powers. I've carried it to 3 races, and all 3 races were PRs for me. Coincidence? I think not. I don't know what she put into this rock. But don't let me ever leave it at home. I'm afraid of what could happen.


What race day rituals do you stick with time and time again? Do you have a good luck charm?Are you superstitious?

Be sure to head over to the link up blogs to see what everyone else has to say! Sharing is caring...

36 comments :

  1. I am not superstitious. You make your own luck. I WISH I thought of something as a lucky charm (power of positive thinking and all). I don't go crazy with carbo loading either -- too much is too much. Would you believe I've run 130+ races and never stopped at a porta potty? I've got the same pair of security blanket capris!!

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    1. Seriously jealous of that never stopping thing! If I don't stop at a race, I consider that a win!

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  2. I am that person who tries to wear different colored bottoms..lol. I only wear black when I absolutely have too! I love listening to my running playlist in the car too. I haven't changed my list in so long that I have now gotten to the point where when I hear a song, it immediately takes me back to a certain point in a race! Ahh the memories! -M

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    1. I have the same thing happen...a certain song comes on and it takes me back to that point in the race! For that reason, some songs never leave my playlist. Lots of good juju right there...

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  3. I'm too distressed by the 'hairy but' image dancing in my head to comment. Gross.

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    1. Imagine how I felt...hot, sweaty, nauseated, and I couldn't muster up the energy to pass him up. Ugh. The struggle was real...

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  4. I wore a believe shoe tag and got a PR on the last half. I think I should wear it more often.

    I wear skirts....always.

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    1. Maybe so...and I do like skirts too. They offer an extra layer of protection...

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  5. Wendy, I can NOT imagine wearing white shorts; I'm going to be on the look-out now for people wearing white shorts - hahaha!! I've seen some pretty light-colored ones, for sure, and I always think those folks are pretty brave. I'm with you...black is best! Speaking of which, I really need to check out my shorts for this weekend and make sure I'm good to go! I used to eat the same thing the night before races but then I had a time when I decided, at the last minute, to run a race and I'd just eaten pizza and almost a pint of ice cream and I had a great race - ha! I don't worry too much about it anymore, either. I think we're getting wiser in our years, Wendy. :) Thanks for a great post!

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    1. Either we're getting wiser or we've come to realize that it really isn't that big of a deal...pretty awesome either way!

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  6. If there was ever motivation to get faster, it would be just in case I find myself in a race behind someone with those white shorts....

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    1. I take it to mean that you don't wear white shorts? Whew. I knew I liked you!

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  7. Such a fun post! I had a pair of white shorts once. Got them on sale. Wore them just once or maybe twice on shorter runs and that's it. Wouldn't buy another pair. I listen to the same song at the beginning of all of my big races. It started by my hubby pulling the song up for me on his phone before my first marathon and ever since I have to listen to it before races that I'm running for time. It's amazing what the mind can do!

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  8. Oh my, white shorts and hairy butt...not a good combo on anyone! I try to remember to avoid certain foods the days before the race, especially spicy stuff, for the same reason! Tummy troubles are not fun and I've had a fear of becoming a meme on occasion too! Thanks for linking up with us!

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  9. Ha! Your story about the guy in the white shorts just made me laugh out loud at work. Okay, back to the grindstone...

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    1. It was a year ago and I'm still damaged goods...

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  10. Long run GI issues are definitely a big problem for me. My next half-marathon is in April, and I was going to try imodium for the first time on my last couple of long runs before race day to see if it helps. Have you ever tried that?

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    1. I have, a few times. The thing about Imodium, is it that it isn't foolproof. Works ok for anything higher up in the Gi tract, but not for....ahem...everything... Anyways, let me know how it works for you. I find that dietary changes are the best bet for me.

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  11. I like to wear patterned bottoms to camouflage the lumps and bumps and random sweaty bits. ;o) I eat the same thing every race morning but it has to be within an hour and a half or I start falling apart during the race.

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    1. Seriously, I have that same issue with fueling. I was nervous about this race because it would be 3 hours after breakfast. I decided to down a bottle of Tailwind in the hour before the race. BEST.DECISION.EVER. Not only was I fueled up, but I was hydrated. Even though it was cool, we had the wind at our backs the first half and I was sweating like a pig. I think the Tailwind really helped all around. I probably could have used an extra bottle. Love this stuff.

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  12. OMG I love this post (and I love your images!). I also have a tried and true race day breakfast. Coffee with a little milk, 1 slice of toast with peanut butter, and half a banana if I have enough time to digest that much. I'm also a little OCD about my warmup and get really agitated if packet pickup logistics don't leave enough time for warmup plus portapotty (or in a tri, I detest the time trial start swims where I can't get in the water the warm up with a few hundred yards of swimming).

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    1. It's a good thing I don't swim! That would make me crazy. Do you get tummy issues in the water? I could see how that could take care of a lot of issues for us runners...

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  13. White shorts?!? At a race? Where you'll likely sweat? What are those people thinking?

    Like you, I pretty much always wear blank on bottom. Definitely my running security blanket.

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    1. Yep. I don't get the whole white shorts thing. Even pink. Brave, I think...

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  14. Haha, you crack me up...wait til you read my Rock N Roll recap tomorrow....not going to give it away, but you'll see :) I'm also the same way about the bottoms...they have to be black. I want so bad to wear a fun color or pattern, but I just can't do it. No real rituals for me. I don't carb load either anymore. I do lay my clothes out the night before and eat an english muffin with almond butter for breakfast, but that's it!

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    1. I'm really looking forward to your recap! I love how you really got your mojo back!

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  15. I think I've worn something other than black bottoms twice to races. Other than that I keep the fun colors for yoga class! I can't imagine going to a race in white pants!

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    1. I think the patterned bottoms would work too. But white? Just say no!

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  16. Loved reading about your race rituals! Having the right breakfast pre-race is SO important. I usually don't have GI issues but I've been extra nervous lately about making sure my "system" is ready to go! LOL. Love your green outfit!

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    1. It's either/or with the GI tract, isn't it? LOL...

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  17. My morning is super important- maybe I am getting older and it takes longer to get going- I don't know but I need to be up no less than an hour and a half before I leave. I have to drink my warm lemon water, a big coffee, eat the banana for 5k, a banana and peanut butter toast if it is a 6K or longer. I need time for everything to settle so I need only do one quick pee before the race. I like having all my stuff laid out too. The night before, no wine and a did fine last weekend on nothing besides the McDonald's chicken sandwich I was lucky to find. It is all fun- I love reading what other runners do- funny :)

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    1. Isn't it the truth? I wonder if any of this really makes a difference. Mind over matter, I guess!

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