Friday Five – Race Day Rituals

I was pretty excited about this week’s Friday Five!  I love to read about other people’s race day rituals and the stories behind them.  I can be a little superstitious and maybe some of my rituals are a little kookie but they are all things that I must do before I head out to the starting line of a race.

Race Day Ritual One

I have to lay out my whole race day outfit and take that all important “flat me” picture.  I love coordinating my outfit, which is always a Running Skirts brand skirt (the only one I’ll run in!), tank, and my Fellow Flower.  Sometimes, I choose my outfit around which flower I feel like wearing for a particular race.  Each flower has a special meaning!  Other times, I choose the flower based on what might look best with the whole outfit.  I make sure I have my Garmin, iPod shuffle, and Clif Shot Bloks. 2014-08-08 21.41.58

Race Day Ritual Two

When I pick up my race bib from packet pickup, I always try to make my lucky number, 13, with the numbers on my bib or I look for special numbers like previous dorm room numbers, birthdays, patterns with other friends’ bibs, etc.  I always feel like this gives me some good running mojo.  Like the bib above, the pattern is 4+4 equals 8, which is the middle number.  I always treat it like a fun game!  The other thing I’ve done is looked up numerology information about my bib numbers.  I look for positive things to draw inspiration from for that particular race.  The bib below is my favorite bib yet!!  Look at those 5’s! 555

Race Day Ritual Three

I usually try to eat the same pre-race meal that I had before some of my best races.  My most eaten meal is a steak burrito with rice and beans and plenty of chips and salsa.  For some reason, it is the perfect mix of protein and carbs and it sticks with me for race day.  It’s also the same meal I eat before my big long runs (18-20 milers) during marathon training.

Race Day Ritual Four

On the morning of the race, I have to wake up and take a shower.  It’s my time to wake up, get myself together, warm up just a bit and put my myself into the right mindset for the race.  It seems silly to do that when just an hour later, I’ll look a hot mess and all sweaty, but it’s part of the ritual for my morning.  I feel off if I don’t do it.  Mind you on any weekend long run, that is NEVER the case.   Maybe if there were photographers hanging out on the Greenway, I’d consider it.

Race Day Ritual Five

I always write an intention with Sharpie on my hand.  It’s usually a phrase or something that helps me through rough spots.  A visual reminder of why I’m running and what this race might mean to me.  My go-to phrase is “I Will Not Bow” from the Breaking Benjamin song.  The lyrics are just awesome and that is the song that I have to find on my iPod when I need a boost during a race.  I’ve listened to that song on repeat during many a race.  For the Richmond Marathon, I also added in a heart and MD (Maryland) to honor Nick’s grandad who at the time had passed away just before race day. 2013-11-16 06.42.28-2

What are your race day rituals and the stories behind them? 


Check out other awesome race day rituals over at Mar on the Run, You Signed Up For What?, or Eat, Pray, Run DC.

Happy Week!






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22 thoughts on “Friday Five – Race Day Rituals

  1. I love it– I do the “let me see how this number is meaningful” thing too! I’ve never even thought of showering on race morning (usually too busy running around)- maybe I’ll give it a whirl.

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