Episode 9: Sacred Mountain Prayer Run

Holy Shiat! What a freagin race. I went into this past weekends race with the premise to “just relax and enjoy running”. No intent to compete. I had been feeling a little burned out over the past few weeks, training became work. Work became training to work. It was all getting jumbled together like a horrible fruit / veggie salad with some kinds of nasty yogurt dressing.

SideBar: What in the hell is the deal with Yogurt based salad dressings. Seriously people. Either have some yogurt or top your salad with dressing. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about eating clean. But some things just should not be combined. Like a chocolate shake and swordfish.

Where was I. Oh yeah. I had lost my passion for running. It seemed to be all business all the time. So after completely choking my 3 x 1 Mile interval debacle the previous week I told Coach Blue I wanted to just run the AZ 50by50MOVEment Project for fun. To get back to why I started to love that I hated loving running. He agreed. So we mellowed out the training the week of the race and agreed to just run.

So the week leading up to the Sacred Mountain Prayer 5k, I did some slow runs. Some stride work. I even tried a new technique (I came up with on my own) to only breath through my nose on my slow run days. My thinking was it would slow me down. And man oh man it worked. Most consistent paces I have run yet. But during this more mellow week something amazing happened.

SideBar: The week of the race I was a Full Time Single Dad with a 7 year on her first week of Summer Break. Mama had a conference in Phoenix and so training opportunities were coming at a premium.

So, one night I got my 1/2 pint settled and decided to run a small 1 mile loop near the house (several times). No time. No pace. Just run so I could try and remember why it was I loved running. Well all I can say is it worked. As I was running, I had made a commitment to remain present. Live in the NOW. I noticed the moon covered up by some broken clouds. I herd the cicada bugs singing loudly. Felt the warm breeze on my face. And then out of no where I just started crying. Literally weeping. Body chills all over. This amazing sense of being Present! I found it. I remember why I loved running.

Running is my time. My time to check in with myself. With my emotions. With my intentions. To identify my roadblocks. Develop empowerments to plow through those roadblocks when the pop up. To mediate. To pray. To think about all the things I am grateful for in my life. God. My amazing wife. My incredible kids. My coaching community. My health. My recovery. So so many things. Its just my time to reflect, project, and connect with myself and the universe.

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At the end of the day, I found my love for running again. I got through a week of full time dad, head coach, zoo keeper, and mentor. I wasn’t prepped for my race at all. Didn’t take into account the altitude. The hills (a straight climb from 7,000 to almost 8,000 ft for the first half the race). I had no idea how competitive this race was. There were Olympians and former Olympians in this race. This was an ultra competitive field. So of course what did I do. I got sucked up into the hype. I told myself I could finish in the top 50 and top 10 in my division. I could own this mountain. I could race with the best.

Long story short, I did just that. I place 31st overall and 2nd in my Division. It was a brutal race. One I am still recovering from 4 days later. But the best part for me, I loved running it. Loved the Burn. Loved the DOMS. Loved the competition. The struggle. I loved being WAY out of my comfort zone. And I just left it all out on the trail. Ok maybe not all of it. Had I known how close I was to placing first and breaking top 20, I would have pushed harder. There was plenty in the tank. But the reason I ran this race was to connect and be present, and that was exactly what I did. Now my sights are set on a much bigger (personal) goal – but you’ll have to keep tuning in to hear more about that. For now, I am just in love with the fact that once again I hate that I love to run.

Hey kinda a SideBar. We are launching a new Micro Brand called IAmLegitFit. It will be part of the CURO Coaching Solutions brands and I am super excited. It is all based on MOVEment and MINDFULness. No weights. No scales. No expensive gym memberships. No complicated macro nutrition break downs. Just you, a pair of running shoes, reasonable eating habits, and your willingness to get Uncomfortable. Really uncomfortable. If you are interested in being part of our Pilot Program email us at Thrive.CuroCoaching@gmail.com and we will schedule a FREE Consult. Have an amazing week!

JJ is Out!

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