Everyone has that favorite article of clothing, food or thing they do before a race. To anyone else is may seem weird or unnecessary but to you, it needs to happen, be eaten or worn in order to feel your best when performing. Until recently I didn't think I had anything that set me apart from any other runner/triathlete. But then I thought to myself, runners and triathletes are of a whole other species and each one of them is unique. I mean have you ever listened to them talk? Geeesh!
Anywho, One of my favorite things to wear during a race are my steele wool socks. I have a few pairs but I have grown accustom to my bright orange ones. But I have also been known to wear mix matching ones, like a purple and a blue. A lot of people think running socks are unnecessary but I always have them for a race.
I have to have coffee every morning before a race. But then I also have to chug a huge glass of water. As you can imagine this cycle initiates the need to have to pee like 6 times before a race....it's obnoxious but I always do it.
I can't say I remember when I started doing this but it has become a tradition that at every race I run I have two french braids in my hair. The problem, when I first started doing this was that I always had to find someone who knew HOW to french braid. Then one summer I finally learned how to do it on myself and I no longer felt the anxiety of "How am I gonna get my hair did?!" I always admit though, the braids are never as tight or as neat as when one of my best friends does it for me. She has been braiding my hair since we were kids and she's proud that I learned to do it myself (because now she doesn't need to stay over with me every time just to do it in the morning!). But my left side always seems to have more hair/is thicker than my right.
Through racing I've learned a few hard lessons. The first being that it hurts really, really bad when you chafe. I've learned to wear my racing clothes during training runs so I can see what area of my body chafe the worst and apply more anti-chafe rub to them before I race. Because believe you me, try getting into a hot shower after a long run with chafe marks everywhere....talk about pain!
Carbo loading is crap. Oh and cheese, don't eat cheese the night before a race. Your body has a hard time digesting it so it leaves you more bloated than anything. So have the bowl of spaghetti, not the never ending one, but the regular one and skip the cheese on top.