It seems everybody has an odd habit or some sort of ritual that they stick with in sports. I remember being little and going to Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh and watching the Pirates play the Cardinals. The most memorable part of that game was watching Ozzie do his flip over the foul line!
Of course, runners are no different. From “lucky” socks to starting on the “correct” foot, I have heard as many superstitions as I have known runners it seems.
One of my rituals is to always add a bit to the end of my training runs to “correct” for the distance I’m training. Since I’m currently training for a half marathon, all of my training runs have been “+0.1 miles” since the race is not 13 miles but 13.1. The extra distance is trivial for gaining speed or fitness, but it makes me feel better to get in that place mentally where I’m going the “extra distance”.
My other superstition is to always have a GU in my pocket for a trail run. Even if I just ate, or its a quick mile, I’m going to zip a GU in my shorts when I head out. When I first started training for the half marathon distance in 2012 I went out for a long run and bonked completely 6 miles away from my car. It was a long, looong walk to Rocket Hall that day.
What about you, internet? Do you have any running or racing rituals that you absolutely must keep?