Edited to add that I've linked up with the Tuesdays on the Run link up hosted by My No-Guilt Life, MCM Mama Runs and Run the Great Wide Somewhere. Thanks for reading!
Paint my toes. It's always a good idea to trim your toenails the night before your race. Even though your shoes should be large enough that your toes don't hit the top of your shoe, too-long toe nails can cause other troubles such as cutting the neighboring toe. I not only trim my nails but I paint them too. And I paint them red. A few years ago, I came across a number of articles describing research into what makes athletes successful. A lot of the research actually looked at the color red and when athletes wear red, they often win. Red is a color of dominance, after all. This may be the reason why I chose red as my company's color :) So while I may not outwardly wear red, I have it on my toes and it's a subtle reminder to myself that I will kick butt!
Wear my Go Meb shirt to bed. I got the above Go Meb shirt several years ago at the expo for the New York City Marathon. Sketchers, Meb's shoe sponsor, was handing them out and of course I needed one. Meb Keflezighi is one of best American distance runners in history. He won the silver medal at the 2004 Olympics (which was the best an American man had done in over 30 years), has won the New York City Marathon and most recently was the first American man to win the Boston Marathon in over 30 thirty years when he won last year. I think Meb's lucky number should be 30. Anyway, at first my Go Meb shirt was just another sleeping shirt since it's 1000 times too big. But over time it's become something that really inspires me. I wore it to sleep before a race that turned out to be a great one for me and it's been my pre-race lucky charm ever since. I don't know what I'll do when it's worn to threads.
|Image from imdb.com|
And when I'm racing out of town or don't have a way to watch my beloved 90210, social media fills the space nicely. Mainly I linger on Instagram. As you can imagine, most of the people in my feed are athletes of some sort and it's pretty motivating to scroll through everyone's pics of their runs, races, motivational quotes and more. There have been a few quotes that get stuck in my head and I can chant them to myself throughout the race. It helps tremendously so you Instausers, keep posting your inspirational stuff!
Visualization/Meditation. This is one ritual that can actually help your race. Visualization is something sports psychologists recommend to athletes regardless of their ability and competitiveness. Everyone can benefit from visualizing their performance. It helps get you into the right mindset and even prepare the brain for competition. This can ease nerves and when you "see" yourself succeeding, you get a boost in confidence. I will start the whole visualization process well in advance of the race so I can start mentally preparing for it. I picture myself getting things together the night before, going to bed, getting up, eating, getting to the race, warming up, running, etc. It helps me feel more at ease with everything because I can "see" that it all works out. Meditation just helps center my focus rather than get all worked up about ALL the things I need to do for the race. It helps me prioritize what needs to be attended to at that moment and not worry about what can't be attended to until later. I highly recommend it as a way to ease stress not only for races, but life.
Scream. You read that right. I scream as a way to relieve stress. I'm not talking scary screaming at the top of my lungs. I let out some yips and yells here and there as I'm making my way to the starting line. I try to be discreet about it when I'm by myself because I don't want to scare anyone :) But when I'm with friends, I can typically get them to join me in some way and I definitely hoot and holler with my running program participants before their races. If I can't scream, I'll disguise it as singing. I'll sing silly songs as a way to relieve stress. I feel like it really helps me relax and it's just become one of those rituals I have to do before that gun goes off.
What are some of the rituals you perform before a big event, running or otherwise? If you race, what are some of your pre-race rituals?