Tuesday evening, when I was preparing for my long run the next morning, I began to search for my favorite socks. Ones that I like to wear for long runs, races or hard workouts. Socks that I am confident will not slide down or give me a blister. Socks that are comfortable and make me feel good. Socks that add a layer of confidence.
After finding said socks, which I placed above my dresser, next to my Garmin (already on) and gum (pack opened), I began to look for my tank top, one that I would wear during the same long run. A top that doesn’t chaff (for reasons I do not understand because it’s not an athletic top). A top that I’ve had great runs in before. A top that is clean.
Finding and putting on my top, I then went to my shorts drawer and found a pair of comfy athletic shorts, with a built in liner and string to cinch the waist so they don’t fall or ride. Shorts that are also clean and I find make me look like a runner.
After putting on these shorts, I filled up my bottle (practicing hydration today!) and put two gels in the pockets of my running coat and zipped them up. I placed these things on the chair near the door next to my hat and gloves.
I made sure my shoes were next to the dresser with my Garmin and I had a good hair tie near the sink that my cat will hopefully not find and steal.
Ok, breathe out anxiety, breathe in confidence. Tomorrow is gonna rock!
This seems like a lot of steps writing it down. I honestly go through this process once a week (for my long runs) and have it down to almost a science. I don’t do this in a particular order or freak out if my shorts aren’t washed, but having the “right” stuff makes a small difference that gives me some comfort before I wind down with food and blogs for the night.
This process, however easy it is, seems a bit ridiculous to me when I write it down. Who cares about the right socks or top? Isn’t running, in the purest sense about getting out there? Aren’t I losing enjoyment by adding all these specific requirements?
Maybe, but humor me a bit.
What I enjoy about having the right stuff is the peace of mind. I’ve had many running accidents simply because my hair tie broke or I chaffed so bad I cried the entire run. On easy days or little mileage days, the attire I wear has less of an impact because the point is to recover from a hard workout and repair my legs. I can stop more easily and fix my socks or shorts. My hair is short enough (sort of) so that I can run for a few miles without a hair band. My run will get done and it’s ok.
For long runs though, especially when I am focused on a workout, I am looking to decrease the amount of potential fails in any area other than speed or effort. A wardrobe or nutrition fail is detrimental to the harder part, the pace I am trying to hit. By having the appropriate attire and making sure I have all the gear the night before, I give myself the peace of mind that I can not worry about anything other than running effort.
A ritual, if you will, gives me peace of mind. I don’t think it’s obsessive or I’m losing the point of running with all the extras, I’m adding satisfaction and enjoyment.
I don’t get a blister from bad socks that compromises the run and the next day’s workout.
I don’t forget my nutrition so I potentially bonk or not recover as fast.
I wear clothes that I’ve had good workouts in to remind myself that I am a good runner and I can take down this workout too.
I find this ritual to be therapeutic and set myself up for success.
What do you think of pre run ritual So?
Do you have any good/weird ones?