I go to a chiropractor who is amazing, and also happens to be a runner. We had a discussion last week about compression socks. He does not see the need for them while I have been using them since I started running in 2009 (based on a runner's recommendation), so I can't imagine going without them. I typically only wear them during a race if it is a marathon, but will often wear recovery compression socks after half marathons. I just can't imagine not packing them for a race weekend.
One of my former running buddies told me that he never wears the race shirt during the race so that he doesn't jinx himself. I agreed with that and I also wanted to earn the shirt before I wore it. So at the big races with nice shirts like the Rock and Roll races, thousands of runners wear the race shirt, yet I never will.
I also try my hardest to not stop at the porta potties during a half marathon. I have only stopped during a race twice out of 23 half marathons, but each time it threw off my momentum and the remainder of the race just wasn't as smooth as it was before I stopped. As a result, I tend to eat and drink the same things the days leading to and the day of the race. I find what works and I tend not to stray from it because of both fear and superstition. I am not sure if all of this makes me crazy, or just a typical marathoner. Either way, I don't see it changing.
My 23rd half marathon was last weekend, the St. Louis Rock and Roll race. This is the 3rd year that this race has been part of the Rock and Roll series and the 3rd year I have participated in the half. As I was running Sunday I also realized that this was my 5th Rock and Roll race, the other two being Rock and Roll USA and Rock and Roll San Antonio. I like these races because they are just massive like Disney races. They bring in runners from all over whereas the other St. Louis races tend to pull primarily from the immediate metro area only. The course took us through many of the great St. Louis neighborhoods and there were always runners and spectators around me. This year's medal is probably my favorite Rock and Roll medal because of the cardinal. Although I always enjoy this race, I will most likely not run it again in 2014 unless I also end up running the Rock and Roll USA race so that I can get the extra medal for running two in one year. Materialistic? Maybe. But until you get one in your hand or around your neck at the finish line, you just won't understand.
The 2014 medal with the prominent cardinal.
The swag bag, probably the best in the business!