Sunday, July 4, 2010

Socks, Kisses and Poo

Athletes of all sorts have things they do or say or wear that they consider "lucky."  While I am not a huge believer in the idea of pure luck, I do derive some comfort from a few of these things before certain races. These are the lucky socks, the three good luck kisses, and the beloved lucky poo (not necessarily in that order).

Jason gave me my lucky socks when we had just barely begun to date.  In fact, when he arrived at my door step to pick me up for the Rocket City Marathon packet pick-up we had only gone out for coffee.  After that coffee date, he had gone to New Orleans to help with the Katrina disaster relief and before he got back to Huntsville, I had gone to Orlando for work.  Coffee and phone conversations were all we had before it was time to run the Rocket City Marathon.

When Jason showed up at my house to take me to packet pick-up and then to a pre-race dinner, he handed me what would become my lucky socks.  These socks were white with what appeared to Jason when he bought them to be four-leaf clovers.  Upon closer inspection, he discovered they were not clovers, but green flowers.  It didn't matter, though.  I absolutely loved them.

I like to believe they were not only my good luck charm but his as well.  We both ran the Rocket City Marathon the next day.  I broke 5 hours for the first time, achieving a 25 minute personal record, and Jason broke 3 hours for the first time.  For almost every marathon since then (and I only say almost because I am not 100 % sure) I have worn those lucky socks.

The three good luck kisses originated from Jason as well.  These took place about 3 months after the lucky socks at the Cotton Row 10k.  We were lining up to start the race when Jason leaned in for a kiss.  When I realized what he was doing I said, "Jason!  The minister and his wife are right there!"  He, of course, grinned at me mischievously, said, "So?" and proceeded to lay three big ones on me right there in front of our young professionals minister, his wife, and over a thousand other runners (who probably had not even noticed).

Ever since then it has been, mandatory for me to receive my three good luck kisses before each and every race - from the 5k up to the marathon, and anything else I come up with to run.  And from time to time, as he walks up to the front of the pack after giving me my three kisses, I want to look around and say, "Yes, I am indeed with the cute, fast one there."

And finally, the lucky poo.  I do not believe I am alone when I say that before all big races (and even long training runs) I prefer...need...demand my lucky poo to occur.  I feel lighter on my feet and at ease in my mind if I approach that start line knowing my lucky poo has taken place.  I think, by now, I have trained myself in this art so well that even before I roust myself for those few sips of hotel coffee, I begin to feel that wonderful feeling, and I know that all will be well.  No matter what else may happen out there during those 26.2 miles, I have at least achieved my lucky poo.   I might even go so far as to say that this lucky charm is the most important - the one that actually affects the outcome of the race.   The other two, while special and important, simply warm my heart, encouraging me to push hard and reach for whatever goal I have set for that particular day.

So those are mine.  What about you?  What lucky charms do you incorporate into your own race experience?


  1. brian said if you were a greyhound, he'd bet on you! (somethin' about the one that poops on the way out is the one that you're supposed to bet on...) haha. i love reading about your runs... i mean the races! love you.

  2. Ha ha ha! Well, I'm so glad to have Brian's bet! But I sure hope to have that poo taken care of BEFORE I start the race. You nut!

  3. i don't have anything lucky with which i race. maybe because i don't race often enough?

    i always cut my hair and shave my legs the week of a race, but i think that's more habit and tradition than luck.

  4. Nothing? Not a thing? Man. I thought you'd have something unique and interesting. Maybe you could make up something? Or start something? ;)

  5. Ha! This made me laugh out loud. I have lucky earrings. It seems like every time I wear them, things go well. So I'm down with your lucky socks.

    And your lucky poo. That's just great. Lucky Poo.

    I'm still laughing.