So I’ve officially been running shorter races for over a year, and lately I’ve noticed that I have certain “rituals” and strange things that I always do before, during, and after my races. I think that runners (and all athletes in general) are pretty serious about not messing up their routines, so I’m wondering if anyone else does this weird race stuff too?
Before a Race:
-I always wear mascara to a race, and no other makeup. I don’t think I can leave my house without mascara on, and I’m not even a hardcore makeup kind of girl!
-I always eat cinnamon oatmeal 2 hours before the start, and drink a glass of water. No other flavor will do.
-I try to get to every race an hour early, even if it’s cold. Then after packet pickup I sit in my warm car and do mindless Facebook and twitter browsing to calm my mind.
-The last thing I do before running is take off my wedding rings. I hate how they feel during a workout!
During a Race:
-I make myself space out if the running gets really tough. If I feel like giving up, I’ll just force myself to think about something totally non-running related. It works!
-At the end of the race (in the last mile or so) I look in front of me and see who I can pass. Sometimes I can’t catch up to them, but if I do it makes me feel good for being able to push hard at the end!
-I smile at race photographers when I run by. No matter how you feel at that moment, smiling instantly makes you feel better!
After a Race:
-I usually walk far away from the crowds so I can calm down and stop sweating. Then after finding Andrew, I’ll recap EVERYTHING that happened during the race, every little detail. He really must love me!
-About 5 minutes after the race ended, I’ll always look down at my Garmin and realize I never turned it off. Seriously, every time.
-Right after finishing I’ll eat a banana and a bagel, and drink 1 bottle of water. But on the way home I’ll always eat either a breakfast sandwich from Wawa, or pizza. Best food ever.
Unfortunately, there’s one other thing that I always seem to do after a race, no matter how good I did: I evaluate every little detail of the race and pick out moments where I could have gone faster or done something different. Why do we all do this? If you get a PR, or feel awesome after a race, we should focus on that and not think about the bad stuff. I found this article from Runner’s World that says that after finishing a race, we need to stay in the moment. There’s plenty of time to think about your race later, so when you cross that finish line don’t worry about any of that stuff and just feel awesome for getting to the finish! Such good advice!
So how about you: do you do any of the above stuff when you run a race? List the craziest stuff that you do before/during/after a race!