Sunday, August 18, 2013

Run Free

In April I was in Utah with the US Salomon team for a quick weekend of meetings, runs, and a chance to get to know one another. The motto for 2013 was "Run Free." Ashely Arnold, fellow Salomon teammate and recent Leadville 100 miler winner, interviewed me in July. My response to the question: Freedom is a big word for Salomon this year, what does that mean to you as a runner? was, That captures the amazing feeling on runs where you just feel incredible, happy, and free! (You can see the rest of the interview here).

I've changed my mind or at least modified it. Running free is about letting go of those mental limits, running without anxiety, fear, without doubt, and instead running with humility, humor, focus, and determination. I realized a few weeks ago that I needed to let go of my mental limits. And you know something, I ran faster. I showed up to a track workout and I was able to run some fast 200's in 31-33 seconds, which was easily 4-5 seconds faster than I had run them in the past. Then a few weeks later, I showed up to the same track with a stomach ache from nerves. As I warmed-up I could sense I was already worried about whether I would hit paces or not. A few deep breathes and then I hit my mile splits and 400 meter splits to a T or even faster (again faster than I had run them in the past). And just recently, I showed up to a trail race where I felt tired, gearless, and I ran minutes faster than the previous year. 

Our mind without a doubt effects our body (and unfortunately vice versa). So how can we learn to deal with it and use it to our benefit? Here are some tricks that I am finding work:

1. Accept that it will hurt
2. Stay in the moment (when ever I get anxious, I take 3 deep breaths)
3. Embrace good days and don't over think bad ones
4. Work on your weaknesses 
5. Remind yourself of your strengths 
6. Run with others

In the end pay attention to your body, if something really hurts, accept it and take care of it. And make sure that you're also taking care of your mind. Mental outlook not only changes your attitude it can also remove limitations and help you run free. 

More to come and I'd love to hear what allows all of you to get past mental barriers, so you're able to run free.  



Patrick McKenna said...

I have to work on this, but I know 1 and 6 on your list help for sure. I like to think/reflect about people who have helped me along the way in my life, that helps keep me moving too.

Andre Cruz said...

great point of view. tks for sharing.