Running and racing quirks ( or “The more than 7 habits of highly effective Run Oregon Bloggers”)

Almost every runner has some personal running and racing quirks, small habits, rituals, or actions that help keep things orderly and organized. They may not be an absolute necessity, but they are things that become important and are noticeable if not observed. Here are some of ours: Joe: I don't have many, but the ones I do have I'm pretty strict about.

A few of Joe's many sets of safety pins.

Once several years ago, I went to a race and they ran out of safety pins. I found one pin in my car and ended up running the race with my number hanging at half mast from one corner. Ever since then, I keep pins in groups of four, one pin threaded through the small loops of the other three. I also alternate the thick and thin parts at the other end of the pins so they fit together snugly. Of course, I haven't been to a race since that didn't have pins, so now I have a drawer full of pins in sets of four.

Joe always keep the laces carefully tucked inside his shoes when not worn.

When I take my shoes off, I always store the loose laces inside the shoes. This keeps the laces out of the way and cuts down on tangling, but it also keeps them from picking up gunk from the soles. This also lets me use shoes as slippers for short trips outside, to take out the recycling for example.

Whenever I run, whether it’s a training run or a race, I always tuck in my shirt. I’ve gotten some ribbing over the years from devotees of the untucked look, but I like to avoid as much flapping apparel as possible, and I especially dislike a cold midriff in the event my shirt flies up in a strong gust of wind.

While I run a lot of 5Ks, 10Ks, and 15Ks on the road, I never abbreviate distances on the track. It’s always 3000 meters, 1500 meters, etc. That comes from Olympic tradition and formality, and it helps differentiate the two distinct running disciplines.

While I often run with turned up collars on my running jackets and vests to keep my neck warm, once I’m back inside I turn the collars back down. This is mostly because I’m not a fan of the turtleneck feeling of constriction around my throat, and I no longer need the extra warmth. But I also think it looks less dorky, at least indoors.

Teresa’s lucky Boston Marathon colored fingernails…

Teresa: I have all sorts of quirky behaviors and odd habits when it comes to running, but if I had to pick just one weird ritual, it would have to be my attempt at luck. Before every race I pick a lucky color of nail polish, sometimes I ask people for suggestions, other times I just go by my intuition. I definitely believe in karma, not so much in luck, but I don’t want to risk it. You’ll never see me with a crisp looking bib either. Years ago, my brother crinkled up his race bib before attaching it to his belt and he killed his triathlon despite some seriously challenging attempts from mother nature to get him to quit. So you’ll always see me sporting pretty nails and an unkempt race bib, always hopeful it will make me just a little bit faster.

… and toes!

Marilyn: Three words: ALL. THE. GLITTER.

Matt: The only semi-quirk I can think of is that I generally leave as soon as the race is over (unless there is beer).

Tina: When I run a marathon, I eat and do exactly the same things in the 36 hours prior to race time as i did the first time.Same exact runs, Pattric makes me banana bread for carb loading on Thursday. Same exact dinner Friday and Saturday and same exact breakfast day of.

Annette: Extra Spearmint gum. I always put a piece in my mouth once I’m in the starting chute. (One simply cannot run without gum!) 😉

2 pins only in my bib (top 2 holes.)

If it is a 1/2 marathon – stashed in pockets are: 2 gel packs, 1 extra piece of gum, and chapstick.

Geli: I get to a race at least one hour before the start. And I don’t eat anything for an hour before the start. And I always eat bread/bagel with almond butter and jam in the car on the drive to the race. And coffee. I have a special bag that I use for my race things. A friend gave it to me, and it has my name embroidered. I put all my gear in it the night before. And of course there are several 4-pin bundles of safety pins that live in that bag 🙂

Geli’s cool personalized race bag.

Jessica: Running means I have a runny nose and watery eyes. I mean really, my body goes into “you’re sick and crying! Don’t run!” Mode.

Brian: I won’t eat anything two hours before a race. I really like listening to dance music on the way to races, or 80’s rock.

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