Yes, that title was something a friend actually said to me.
I’ve shared this story with a few of you all over the years, but for those who don’t know it, here’s the background.
In August of 2016, I was in Washington DC partly to see friends, and partly to go on my first 50k adventure. I was staying with a friend from college, and the day before the race we were chatting about life in general post college. We got on the subject of the impending 50k, and I mentioned that I was definitely nervous for it.
Yes, mostly because of the distance. But also because of the singlet I had chosen for the race. The last (and only other) time I had worn it for a race, I registered my slowest road Half ever. In fact, that’s still my slowest road Half. Slower than running the Brewers Mini injured. Slower than the Louisville Trail Half (also injured). The 2016 edition of the Rock N Sole Half Marathon wasn’t kind to me.
Actually. Almost all of my races in Milwaukee haven’t been kind to me. But that’s a post for another day.
Anyway. I mentioned that I was worried, because the last race I ran in that singlet was hot, humid, and went terribly. Note, that it was stupid hot in DC that weekend as well.
To which she asked if I was serious. Once I confirmed that, she told me it was “The stupidest F-ing thing” she had ever heard.
And I get it. To non-runners, this sounds completely crazy. But I think my running friends will know exactly what I’m talking about. Run a great race, and you will probably wear that outfit, or something resembling it, in future races. Run a bad race, and that outfit will be dead to you.
If you do some serious race picture stalking of me (please don’t); you would notice that there are a lot of similarities in my race day attire, especially in 2016. On that note, it should come as no surprise that at one time my 10k (twice), Half, 25k, and Full PRs were all in almost the exact same race day gear.
And this is totally the superstitious runner in me. But it’s definitely the visualization piece as well. For an important race, it’s a lot easier to see myself running the race in a singlet and shorts that I’m comfortable and have confidence in.
I know, I know. Saying I have confidence in a singlet sounds so stupid. But it is a mental boost. When I throw on the PRO Race Team singlet, throw on my Tifosi (product placement alert) sunglasses, and sing the National Anthem at the start, then I know its “Go Time.”
So for me, it’s that gear confidence and laying it all out before the race. Go through the morning routine, sing the Anthem, and go run.
What are some of your race day (or race week?) superstitions that some might consider crazy?