Friday, June 10, 2011

Race Day Voodoo

I’m not a superstitious fella. I don’t believe in evil on Friday the 13th or fear black cats or walking under ladders. I definitely don’t believe that blowing out all of the candles on your birthday cake with the first puff will grant you your wish. Do I look like the richest person in the world, the sexiest, and holding dominion over all living creatures? (Well, one out of three ain’t bad though, amirite?) Birthday candles…birthday’s cruel tease. This year I’m going to wish to be a fairly normal – though heavily sarcastic - middle class white guy with too much personal debt just so ONE wish can come true.

There is a certain kind of voodoo I do believe in however: Race day voodoo. This doesn’t mean that I have little runner dolls made up and I callously stick pins in their feet while cackling maniacally. That would be stupid…and a complete waste of pins. The start line is so crowded you can just wander by and jab them into the hamstrings of the lead runners and no one knows from anything about where they came from or if they have tetanus. That’s much more mature than sitting in your car playing with dolls. But usually my race day voodoo is wholly self-contained. No chants, no amulets, no pin jabbing, no sacrifices of llamas (unless warranted…which is always). I have two little superstitions that I do. I don’t know why or how it started but I do them for every race.

1) My bib is pinned with only three pins: Two at the top and one at a bottom corner.

I don’t know why. Maybe it’s my Midwestern values. Why pin a bib with four pins when it really only requires three? Let’s not be wasteful. (I don’t want to hear from the Two Pin Mafia in the comments either. You guys are just being cocky.) It seems a bit pretentious to use ALL FOUR PINS for your bib. Who am I after all? Maybe Ryan Hall can use all four. Certainly Geoffrey Mutai gets four pins if he wants them. The rest of us, know your place, and use three. And for God’s sake, the toilet doesn’t need to flush all the time. “If it’s brown, flush it down. If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s nutty, leave it for others to marvel at.”

2) I invert my Garmin, wearing the face inward.

Again, I don’t know how this started but there I am strapping the ole Garmin on upside down. This one might have begun due to my own shameful vanity. The Garmin 205 face is so damn LARGE, like walking around with an iPad strapped to your wrist, that I started inverting it so that, from the outside, only the thin little wrist strap shows. And, like Pringles and shaving, once you start, you just can’t stop. I strap it on like this every time. If you look at my last post, you can see me pushing Stop on my inverted Garmin. Most folks just think I’m checking my pulse which makes me seem like some sort of super cool doctor so, really, it’s a double win.

I believe both of these superstitions have contributed to my race day successes. And, sure, it doesn’t hurt that some of my age group competition is lying in a medical tent with bloody pinhole marks dotting across their IT bands but that’s none of my business (anymore). Perhaps they should have had a horseshoe over their head?

Do you enjoy any race day superstitions? I assume everyone showers before running a marathon right?

Happy jabbing.
________________________________

PlanetGear.com sent me a Sigg water bottle to try out and "review". I don't want to forget about this since I promised that I would post something so....here goes:

How does one review a water bottle? It's a cool design: silver, metallic, looks like a giant suppository. It holds water well, no leaks. Water seems to stay cool for a satisfactorily amount of time. Basically, everything you could want in a water bottle outside of self refilling and long, gentle shoulder massages. Plus, it sure beats trying to walk around with water cupped in your hands for two hours!

PlanetGear.com would also like you to know that they are having a Father's Day sale on Gu and Ultimate Direction stuff.

Thank you for the water bottle...now go there and get your own. Oh, and be sure to drink your Ovaltine.

19 comments:

Jamoosh said...

I sometimes shower during a marathon.

And because you obivously care - word verification = miruche

The Sean said...

I use to have a superstition... I would run a marathon would my cupped hands full of water...

Thanks to Planet Gear I now have an alternative... I have been wrong, I can see that now.

Randy said...

I only have the boring standard race day prep.

1) Never eat or wear anything new

2) Never wear the race t-shirt until after the event is over.

3) Get in line for the port a john whether you have to go or not.

Ian said...

Timing chip or D-Tag is always on the right shoe. It's my stronger leg so it can better bear the added strain, plus my Garmin is on the left side of my body so it balances everthing out.

One Crazy Penguin said...

Psh. Only weird people have race day superstitions, weirdo.

The only superstition I have is wearing a race shirt before completing the race. I just can't do it.

Leauxra said...

I haven't been racing long enough to have a superstition, but I have noticed that I hate having my bib on my chest, and put it on my leg instead. I noticed that one corner on the bottom kept crinkling, and thought I might run with three pins from now on. Holy crap! It's good luck TOO?

Also, WTH, Sig? No shoulder massages? Color me disappointed.

Laura said...

I always put my contacts in right eye then left eye.
I always wear my Garmin on my left arm.
I also turn the light switch on/off 3 times and tap my foot 5 times before I leave for the race.
...is that weird?

Al's CL Reviews said...

I always wear my Garmin on the right arm and the Polar on the left arm.

And at least one beer must be consumed the day before.

Vava said...

You guys are all strange. But likely much faster than me, so what do I know.

Actively searching for a superstition...

Tawnee Madlen said...

haha nice review mike! You could try viewing that waterbottle by dropping it off of a mountain and seeing if it gets leaks...maybe it makes your water taste funny? or good? etc...

Thanks though for the shout out.

Ironman By Thirty said...

Pins? Who needs stinking pins? A race number belt is where it is at. I always crinkle up my number pre-race. It lays flatter than a crisp number.

I tried inverting my Garmin, but got horrible satellite reception at times - something to do with the position of the antenna I read.

Word verification: "playa" - don't hate the playa, hate the game.

Viper said...

I'm a three-pinner too. Otherwise, nothing too weird. Wake up early enough to eat and shit before leaving for the race. I don't worry too much about not trying new things on race day. I just try not to psyche myself out.

Thanks for putting the commercial after the post so I didn't have to read it. Cheers!

Elizabeth said...

well are we grouping superstitious behavior with OCD behavior before a race? If so, then I have too many to describe, and if I did describe them, I would have to describe them three times.

Irene said...

No real superstitions, but the thing about wearing a race t shirt before or at the race is something I just don't do. It's a fashion faux pas, unless you forget to pack your lucky race t-shirt. ;)

I do better at races where my race numbers are odd. That's not a superstition, but I've just noticed this happening more frequently.

Deb said...

Pins? I don't need no steenkin' pins. I run SO freaking fast that the wind blast just plasters that bib right to me. You should give it a try.

Drea said...

i crumple my race bib number up so that it is very "worn" looking. I paint my nails pink or purple or sparkles.

You should try the nail painting.

Anonymous said...

Oh my...so many.

Starting with a few mentioned here:timing chip on right shoe; no wearing the race shirt before the finish; no saying "Candyman" more than 4 times in front of the mirror.

Also, I HAVE to retie my shoes (double knots) right before the start and I never register with my full, legal name--only my professional name--which is not to be confused with my porn name. But often is...

Danielle in Iowa in Seattle said...

Two pins? Who are those people! The number goes all over the place!

Charlotte said...

Hahah - oh how I relate to this post! Me, ritualistic? Um, yes. Especially when it comes to races. First is the sports bra - I have to wear two (I'm sure you can relate to this problem) and the top one has to be my special "racer" bra.