Why am I still superstitious about races?
|A black cat walks into the Cubs dugout during a 1969 Cubs/Mets game.|
The feline was "bad luck" for the Cubs, as the Mets passed the Cubs to win the division and then the World Series.
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Some athletic superstitions get downright weird... For instance:
- Changing personal hygiene habits (including the playoff beard and between-inning tooth-brushing)
- Tapping, patting, or kissing the goalie
- Asking for a good, hard slap across the face
- The Sports Illustrated cover jinx or the "Madden curse" (Of course, this is a superstition most of us need not worry about..)
- Ritual dance
- Wearing red (or not wearing yellow)
- Banning peanuts at NASCAR events (Personal opinion: They should ban cigarettes too. My burned arm would have been thankful, but that's another story for another time...)
My biggest nagging superstition involves "bad runs." I suspect you know what I mean. "Bad runs" are those days when you have every intention of running your long run (10, 15, 25 miles, or whatever your training plan called for) but when you get out the door things just go wrong. Your legs feel like lead. Your stomach heaves. You get shooting pains in ____________ (insert body part here).
Over the years, I've resigned myself to the fact that bad runs happen. In fact, they happen every few months. But no one takes away my "runner card" for one bad day every now and again, so I don't worry about those days very much.
But in the weeks before I race, I start to
Because here's my superstition:
If I don't have a bad run before the race, my race is likely to be that bad run.So when I have a huge long-run fail, about 3 or 4 weeks before a race, I do a little cheer in my head: Crisis averted! (The more spectacular the fail, the better. If I have to do the quick-step home for a restroom emergency, I am convinced that my race will be flawless.)
I have no proof for this. No science to back it up.
Hell, it could easily just be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
But I'm glad my last long run was a sweaty slog-fest with some stomach issues. No matter how hot race-day is in 2 weeks, I'll be ready for it!
Are you superstitious?
If so, what's your lucky charm?