My Mantra

What’s up party people? I know, I know… it’s taken me forever to write about my Route 66 Marathon experience. It’s been tough to wrap my head around everything going on post race- being with family, Thanksgiving, and work. But I’m here now! Let’s get into it…

Post Marine Corps Marathon

So after I came back from MCM, I took the following week off from lifting and running. Needed to hit the reset button for a minute and think about my race.

You see, Marathon is much more than just running; it’s a mental and spiritual test. In my past writings, I’ve said it is a ceremony- you’re sacrificing your mind, body, and spirit. For me, it’s a chance to share the road with thousands of runners, fans, and to be in prayer. During MCM, my parents kept reminding me through messages that I’m running for those that cannot run; what we’re doing (Running) is much bigger than ourselves. Maybe that’s a reason why less than 1% of the population can run 26.2 miles, we are a select few that can carry this kind of strength and spirit. Don’t get it twisted though, everyone has their own unique way of shining and not everyone can accomplish those achievements. Point here is that we all have an opportunity to do something special πŸ™πŸ½πŸ™πŸ½πŸ™πŸ½

MCM was the first time I’ve ran a marathon by myself. This race was different. It broke so many chains (mental stigmas) and it was a personal revelation of strength and spirit. The 8 months of preparation through sweat, gains, pain, standing up after being knocked down, and crossing the finish line was proof that I needed for myself.

After coming home and spending time with my kid crew, I made it a point to visit my bro George. He invested so many hours and energy to push me beyond my limits, he was one of my peoples that I had to bring the MCM medal ‘chip home to:

Following my week off, I came back to Hardbody Gym to readjust my body and work out any aliments. After some quick workouts, I was ready to take on Route 66 Marathon.

Route 66 Marathon

Leading up to Route 66, I did my usual routine; carbed up a couple days before, got hydrated, collected my gu gels/carb packs, collected running gear, attended the expo with my kid crew, and watched my OSU Cowboys beat West Virginia πŸŠπŸ”«πŸˆ

Morning of the run, I did it in typical Petey fashion, running late πŸ˜‚. Promptly showed up 15 mins before gun time LOL. Got to my corral and about froze my fingers off πŸ₯Ά

This felt different from MCM. Not only was I back at home running, but a lot of stigmas were gone. Instead of tracking my running time, I didn’t bring my Fitbit and did not turn on my running app. It was me, my jams (you can listen to my playlist here https://open.spotify.com/user/rastapetey/playlist/5BcSMjRJmix23EPDZe2bnX?si=m6gMtxLMRO6WdsmAASrW_Q), and the road. Let’s go. Two marathons in one month. Let’s be legendary…

All of the sudden, the race became fun. I was smiling a lot and laughing with other runners I met on the route. High-fived tons of people. Saw my buddy Sam at mile 15, gave a quick hug. Made sure to go beast mode in front of the camera (probably because Mo Bamba was playing in my ears)

At mile 14, I felt my energy drop. I quickly texted my running fam Vicki and asked her to meet me at mile 20 and bring a 5 Hour Extra Strength. Once I made it to TU, it was a breath of life to see her and her daughter waiting for me. It was a huge blessing to have them a part of my journey

After being reenergized, the remaining 6 miles were a blur. I went through the Center of the Universe Detour. As I turned to complete the last mile, my legs were trying to lock up and every piece of me wanted to walk. I had a quick flashback to last year and remembered that I beat myself up for not fully running the last mile. I yelled at myself “Leave it all out on the course!!!” Took a deep breath and powered through. Boom. 26.5 miles in 5 hours and 56 mins. New PR in the cold and windy weather. Legs cramped up, but never felt better…

New personal record. New appreciation for the Route 66 Marathon. And most importantly, gained new family and renewed sense of self. It was time to go home, warm up and celebrate with my folks at my sister’s house. And it was time to celebrate with my brother again:

When I started this marathon journey over a year ago, I was in a deep and dark depression. Anxiety was at an all time high. Now, I’m still fighting like hell, but it is love that pushes me through the storms; and it is because of love that I fight and move forward.

Route 66 Marathon 2017: fight for survival

Marine Corps Marathon 2018: breaking chains

Route 66 Marathon 2018: celebration

My Mantra

You heard me say “One Step, One Breath, One Mile at a Time.” I really didn’t understand the word play until after this last race. When you add up all the steps, breaths, and miles, you win your personal championships. Yea, its pretty awesome to get some pretty sick finisher medals, but my personal championships include sharing love with my folks, raising funds for Creek Nation scholarships, and being a leader and model for my kids.

Be sure to run your race One Step, One Breath, One Mile at a Time. Run with spirit and run with the Creator. Mvto! Thank you for following my journey and leaving me messages on my phone, Instagram (@djwicket), and on Facebook. Stay tuned to see what we do next! I’ll be sure to keep writing! Marathon 2018 Season is a wrap!

One love

-PJ

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Running with the Marines Pt 2 and More

What’s up party people? This is just a follow-up to my prior post and give some more shoutouts to my folks that have made this past marathon trip a huge success.

Going out to dc, I knew my crew would be limited and I would have to run alone. It was about 2 weeks before i learned about Motigo, an awesome smartphone app that lets people record cheers while you run during certain races. I needed every one of those voices and cheers. Big shoutouts to my parents, sister, niece, Florida Fobb family, Kellcee, Terra, and Jess; your cheers and prayers were huge, inspiring, and carried me through the marathon!

Lastly, big shoutout to the Marine Corps for running a great marathon! It was very inspiring to talk, shake hands, and take pictures with Marines. It was honor to run in this race. Further, with it being Veteran’s Day, big shoutout to all Veterans! Celebrate Veterans today and every day πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

My mission to dominate 2018 isn’t over though! This weekend, I ran a 5k to stay moving and workout my joints. But i also ran it because I got a request from my buddy to support her. It was great to get out in the cold and loosen up!

Up next… gonna double up the ante and the crazy this year… Route 66 Marathon! This race is extremely fun and I’m happy to be home. Can’t wait to try and improve my time from MCM. We have one more week!

Just a reminder: I am running charity! Raising funds for scholarships through the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Scholarship Foundation. Donations are tax deductible and can be submitted online! Check them out.

Remember my folks: keep running your race in love and with the Creator One Step, One Breath, One Mile at a Time.

One love

-PJ

Running With the Marines Pt. 1

What’s up party people? It has been a very long time since I last updated. My fault y’all! Lots of stuff going on in life and running. So, let’s get to it.

Over a week ago, I watched my Dad be inducted into the OSU Diversity Hall of Fame. He committed over 20 years to Native American student development, education, retention programs, community development, and graduation programs at OSU. OK St is a leader of Native graduates, retention rates, and enrollment rates in the country. Proud of my Old Man!

The very next day, I flew out to DC in prep for the Marine Corps Marathon. I’ll admit, being a parent and educator, sleep is a luxury. Life keeps happening, but i gave myself permission to set aside all issues and concerns to focus MCM weekend. Pretty sure I was sleeping with my mouth wide open and had an ugly face while on the airplane πŸ˜‚.

I stayed with a buddy of mine, Mellor, and his wonderful family. Very blessed that they opened their house to me during my stay there. I hope that I can reciprocate the same generosity and love they showed me in the near future.

The MCM Runner’s Expo was awesome! It was great to be around other dedicated and excited runners who were just as psyched as I was to run Sunday morning. Sat in during a presentation from the Wear Blue Mile organization and then explored the expo for a while.

Later in the day, I had a lunch and dinner get together with a few friends who helped me carb up on pizza and lasagna. I’m forever grateful for Kristie and Jamie; two students I worked with during my stay in StL and who have become awesome friends πŸ™πŸ½πŸ™πŸ½. Saturday evening wasn’t too bad either as OSU beat Texas. Go Pokes πŸŠπŸ”«

Race Day- I got up a bit later, but all my gear was ready to go and all I had to do was eat some oatmeal. Call it race jitters or whatever, but I only ate a quarter of my oatmeal when I saw it was time to leave. It was too late to jump on the Metro, so I hopped into an Uber and rode there. Ride was crazy expensive but worth it as I talked to other runners and their frustrations with the Metro that morning.

While checking into the Runner’s Village, I actually met some people from Oklahoma. Knowing folks were from home helped calm my nerves down. Plus, we met in the long porta potty lines, so we had a while to talk LOL.

By the time I did my biz, the race had already started. 30,000 runners were in line so I still had to wait to cross the start line. During that time, I shook hands and talked with Marines. They were awesome

Finally… crossed the starting line at 8:15 and we were off! Crowds were lined up and cheering us on. Marines were lined up giving us fist bumps and high fives. I knew it was going to be a good day.

It was a blur going through the initial stages of the race. I think i was just amazed to be back in DC and running the streets. And there was a lot of time to think as there were parts it was just us runners, the trees, and the pavement.

The Wear Blue Mile was special. It’s a part of the course where you run alongside pictures of fallen Marines that gave their lives during combat. Extremely humbling. During this part, I began thinking of my own folks. My Uncle Joe Halley, USMC Purple Heart Recipient in WW 2, and brother Hatak Yearby, USMC who was KIA in Iraq in 2006, came to mind during this mile. I began saying prayers for family as I knew at this point that my run was much bigger than a marathon. I was carrying my family and their warrior commitment.

Another time that was eye opening for me happened during the 21st Mile. I just Beat the Bridge and making my way back to Rosslyn. It was after I crossed the 21st Mile when Logic’s 1-800-273-8255 song came on. I immediately lost it and began crying. You see, during New Years, I was hospitalized. Life took me on a wicked ride and i was really scared. But 10 months later, I’m running in DC and running with the Marines.

I cried because I had made it through the storm; I cried because of my emotional and spiritual strength I’ve gained this year; I cried because I am finally rising out of the depths; i cried because i can carry 4 worlds on my shoulders (my kids); and, I cried because my life has been and is great.

There’s much more to this story, but I’ll end it here for now. In the meantime, stay tuned to this space for more MCM stories and see what is up next (hint: Route 66 Part 2).

Remember to keep running your own race One Step, One Breath, One Mile at a Time

One Love

-PJ

So… it’s been hard to write

What’s up party people? Approximately 3 weeks left to go leading up to the Marine Corps Marathon and I’m… caught up in all the feels right now. Let’s get into what’s been going on my way for the past few weeks…

Training has been steadily moving forward. Each time I went out, I was able to cut off time from the week before, with the exception of my last 15 miler. On my last 15 miler, I had made the great choice of going without GU gels (sarcasm) and packed only my water pack with a cliff bar. Needless to say, it was tough. On my last run, I was able to power through and managed to be 6 minutes off from my last time.

The mental game has taken some hits lately. Some folks have passed away and gone to be with our Creator in the better life. Humble reminder that life is precious and that we have to build upon what our folks left to us.

Additionally, both physically and mentally, it has been a struggle to run. My IT band on my left leg has been under stress lately. Lots of ice, foam rolling, and ibuprofen. Finally, I invested in a massage, but it seemed to only point out more knots and stressed out muscles. It was another reminder that I need to do constant maintenance on my body during training.

In addition, I’ve been psyching myself out on running. I follow lots of runners and weightlifters on Instagram. Most of the time, they inspire me to get up and hit the pavement. But here recently, I’ve spent too much time comparing myself to them- not fast enough, not slim enough, just… not enough, period.

So instead of running this past weekend, I decided to focus on myself: spiritually, physically, and mentally. On Saturday, I took my daughter to her first OK St football game and we had a blast! It was so awesome to see her get into the game and do the cheers with me when we scored. Even though we lost, it was so great to spend some father/daughter time. And yes, we got matching jackets for the game πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

After the OSU game, we went to a powwow in Muskogee for the Murrow Indian Children’s Home to meet up with my family. My dad and uncles were singing at the drum. I originally went there to spend a few minutes with family, but when you’re called upon to help sing, you gotta do it.

Singing at the drum and being around family brought up my spirit. I sat there and thought about the people I used to sing with that have passed away. Then i looked at my family and was immediately humbled. My folks followed this lifestyle and trusted me and others to carry it on. It was a reminder that our Native/tribal life is great and strong. The Creator gave us these Native ways to follow and carry with us on a daily basis. As one of my elders says, “It is good to be Indian.”

Which brings me back to why I run: Running Is Ceremony. You sacrifice physically, mentally, and emotionally your body during ceremony in order to be in prayer while in presence with the Creator. This is what I do during my run; I know there are people with heavy hearts for many reasons, people who cannot get up and move, and these are the folks I pray for during running.

I’ve been asked “why do you run?” It is easy to say that I’m running because I enjoy this life and I accomplish something not many people have done (marathons). But I also run because I inherited a heart from my parents to serve the people; not only do I run in prayer for others, but I use my running to raise funds for higher education scholarships at the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

Going back to my mental struggle with comparing myself to other runners… you know what? I’m a runner. I’m not skinny, i was never a long distance runner until last year, I don’t run a 9 minute mile, and I might not have top of the line running gear. And it’s ok! But I own my run, I beat up my body in training to be better, I run for purpose, i have determination, and I run for something that is greater than medals- the Creator’s love, my everlasting crown.

All in all, it was a good time for me to hit the reset button and recenter myself. Lots of positives, laughs, good feelings, family, and prayers were shared. Will it effect my training regiment? Who knows. But I do know that I still have time to put in work and be ready. And, still, it was important to get my mental game back on track.

Before I go, I gotta do shoutouts! Shoutout to my family- my kid crew, parents, sisters, extended fam- for rejuvenating my spirit this past weekend. Shoutout to my buddy Cecilia for many laughs and conversations. Shoutout to my bro George and AD, my family at Team Hardbody Gym. Shoutout to my bro Brain and sis Kellcee for always checking in on me. And Shoutout to you for following me during this journey!

Let’s go get these miles. Run your race One Step, One Breath, One Mile at a Time.

One Love

-Petey

And still I rise…

What’s up party people? This is Petey coming to you live! Let’s catch up on my workouts.

So my bro 5000/trainer George has been putting me through the gauntlet of workouts that focus on my core and lower body strength. Workouts include super sets that build up my endurance and strength. Results are coming soon!

Running is slowly coming back to form. 5k and speed work is increasingly better. Time is dropping. My focus now is on the long runs. 11 weeks to go, let’s get this…

Anyone who has followed my journey, or watched others’ marathon journeys, know that marathon training is a huge mental game. Being able to focus for 26.2 miles is no joke. In the beginning, mental fatigue is real and can impact your performance/training. Finding ways to stay motivated and keep going forward is hard, but it’s about the journey.

The other night, I watched The Roast of Bruce Willis. Comedians and actors hammered him with jokes and it was pretty hilarious. But it was what Bruce said at the end of the Roast that got me. He talked about stuff he’s gone through as a person and said “I survived… because I’m Bruce f’n Willis”.

I survived. Wow, awesome, it’s amazing where you find inspiration. I started to look at my own journey: everyday Fatherly duties, keeping my kid crew going when I didn’t have the energy and drive, waking up at 4 am to run and lift, put in 8 hrs of work, dealing with loneliness, cooking, cleaning, taking the kids fishing, taking them to powwows, ceremonies, church, and community events, taking the battle straight to my struggles with depression and anxiety, and still finding the will to run the Route 66 Marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon.

I’m surviving because i battle everyday. I survive because of the love around me. I survive because folks believed in me. I survive because I’m Petey f’n Coser πŸ€™πŸ½. And still I rise…

My message to folks at this point in training: enjoy the journey, accept and learn from the set-backs and life’s cheap shots, accept the love and support others show you, and put love into your strength and endurance training. Love will take care of you. So hold your head high and your everlasting crown will not slip β€οΈπŸ€ŸπŸ½πŸ‘‘.

Ok. Think I’ve watched enough inspirational and Rocky videos on YouTube πŸ˜‚. Time to put some more miles in, slang some weights around, and leave sweat pools. Y’all be cool. And remember to run your race One Step, One Breath, One Mile at a Time!

One love

-Petey

Yikes

What’s up party people? My fault y’all, need to stay on top of my writing game.

Speaking of getting back on my game, it has been miserable to run outside. 90’s plus degrees and mad humidity levels leave me breathing like crazy and fatigued.

Workouts have been great. Extreme core and lower body workouts have been paying off as my running posture and endurance performance during weightlifting have improved. Both Coaches George and Patrick have challenged me to take extra steps to greatness and I’m slowly building strength to take those steps.

The workouts were tested at the Firecracker 5k. Man, I’m not back to where I was before- running 5k’s in 30ish minutes or anything like that. Lots of work left to do. The point of me going out to run was to get out and be among other runners that were out to have fun like me. And I needed to get outta da house and away from watching Jersey Shore Vacation πŸ˜‚

The run was something needed to reenergize myself. Being among other excited runners and a fun atmosphere was something I enjoyed. Even met some new Native runners in the Tulsa area! But it was also good to get away from the gym and workouts.

Meanwhile, my diet… that will be a story for next time.

Shoutouts: wanna give a special shoutout to a few people that help me keep going through laughs and everyday texts. Shoutout to my brother The Brain, always keepin it real and hilarious. Shoutout to Kellcee, glad you’re feeling better! And shoutout to Cecilia, ride or die!

Til next time my folks, keep running your race One Step, One Breath, One Mile at a Time

One Love

-PJ

Geronimo Ridin On A Buffalo

What’s up party people? I know, it’s been a while since I last posted. Here we go…

Training has been going HAM. New movements and lifts have been really challenging my athleticism but the results have been much better. Coach Lopez is training my mind, body, and soul non-stop. But it has been great to be a part of his squad. The 5k’s in my regiment have been a bit easier to run and weight has been climbing down. Not at the level of where i want to be, but definitely a lot closer than where I was about 2 months ago.

Even though it is 5 months away, I make sure to wear my Marine Corps Marathon hat. Helps remind me of what I’m training for and keeps the sweat from raining on others lol.

If you are still looking for a playlist to get focused workouts, check out my sick playlist here and push it to the limit!

On another note, Father’s Day is coming up this weekend. It will be a tough weekend for me this year because of reasons I’ve explained before in prior posts, but this is my story. There are times where I feel like I’m not deserving to be a father for one reason or another. But a simple hug or an evening of playing video games reminds me that I have to keep pushing forward and evolving to be a better person for my family.

I’ve taken on my father role since day one of my family and tried to be the lead example. Do I fall as a father? Sure. There are many things that I’m not proud of and i have many difficult days of battling depression. With the recent suicide of Anthony Bourdain, life is difficult and precious. I’ve taken a second look at how i battle with depression and anxiety on a daily basis. It is exhausting and it does create a feeling of not being good enough in all aspects of my life, even being a father.

But growing stronger as a person, having love in your heart, best friends that never give up on you, and never stop pushing forward are keys to resiliency, something I try to show my family. And having mental barriers is something not to be ashamed of, but rather something to strengthen like we do our muscles and body. I’m weak now, but soon I will have the strength of 10,000 men. And I will run another marathon πŸƒπŸ½β€β™‚οΈπŸƒπŸ½β€β™‚οΈπŸƒπŸ½β€β™‚οΈ

Of course, I have been taught by my dad. There are not enough words to say my appreciation, but love you Dad! Happy Father’s Day! Go Pokes!

Ok my folks. Time to get back on my hustle game. Y’all be cool and stay cool. Run your race One Step, One Breath, One Mile at a Time.

Onelove

-PJ

5 Months Countdown

What’s up party people? Checking in one time about my progression.

Coach Lopez is no joke. The lower body thrash sessions have been straight gnarly. My legs are still sore and I look like a new runner when I take off on the trail πŸ˜‚.

But it’s all good because it was lunges, squats, box squats, leg press, extensions, and single leg squats madness. This week was bit of a set back because I had to downshift on weight during the workout. Does it mean I’m weaker? Not necessarily. The goal of these thrash sessions has been to build up endurance, having strength for 26.2 miles and then some more. And I didn’t throw up this time 🀣

On another note, I took a look at the calendar and realized that Marine Corps Marathon is about 5 months away. Wicked! This time around, I want to set some real goals. With Route 66, I just wanted to survive lol. After going through my journey, I could’ve done a lot better with my marathon time. Not sure what the goals are yet, but stay tuned to this space.

Alright y’all, I’ll check in later with more updates. Y’all be cool. Run your race One Step, One Breath, One Mile at a Time ✌🏽

One Love

-PJ

Losing Weight… or My Lunch

What’s up party people? PJ checking in one time with you!

Man, Coach Lopez has been putting me through the grind y’all. A healthy mix of squats, hack squats, leg presses, band squats, lunges, and leg extensions really test my gangsta.

So at yesterday’s workout, I thought I was prepped and ready to go. Problem was that I didn’t fuel myself properly and had a stomach full of preworkout just sitting on top of all the water I drank earlier. On top of that, Coach Lopez said that we were gonna have fun. Uh-oh…

The beginning of the workout went well; slangin weights and putting in the grind. I can tell I’m losing weight and gaining muscle as my movement has been a lot better. Busted out 275 lbs on squats easily. Well, the fun started during circuit training. I immediately felt queasy in my stomach after round 1 and barely made it through round 2. If you can’t tell where this is going, yes i did make a bathroom visit and yacked. And for those who know me, yes, it was melodramatic. Blegh. I’ll learn someday, but I really have to get on my diet game ASAP hustle.

Well, after visiting the porcelain god, I powered through and completed my workout. Straight gnarkill 🀟🏽. Guess if you’re not puking, you’re not trying LOL

Right now, I’m planning to do some 5k’s and keep moving. Gonna run with the Native community this weekend at the Day Ohn Day 5k. I would try the 10k but man, I haven’t gotten used to this Oklahoma humidity yet. Gotta downshift for a moment.

Aiite my folks, write more later. Be sure to stay safe this holiday weekend! More to come, stay tuned to this space… and as always, run your race One Step One Breath One Mile at a Time

One love

-PJ

Work Hard, Play Less… Time to Invest

What’s up party people?! It’s been a while since I last wrote, so let’s get into it…

In order to get ready for Marine Corps Marathon, I figured that I would have to change up my approach to get back into the game. When I look back on my recent workouts, I could not say I’ve put in quality work like I did going into Route 66 Marathon. Unfortunately, I do not have my brother Rojer close by as he’s doing his hustle as a father of 2, being a husband, and a student. So it was back to the drawing board…

The cool part is that at my gym, there was a trainer I made a connection with while on my run. Enter in Coach Lopez, a trainer with a freakish body of nature and cool personality that will inspire anyone under his direction. Just in the short time that he’s put me through work, I can feel an immediate difference in my running and endurance. I can’t wait to Run with the Marines and crush the course

Speaking of work, it seems like that’s all I do; it’s all I know how to do. Some might say that’s all I had to do because for a very long time, all of my paycheck would pay for my family’s food, shelter, and clothes. I wanted to take family vacations, buy nice things like fancy rings, or find other ways to express my love for family. But it was borderline impossible.

However, I have reminders to slow down and invest in myself. What does self-investment mean? What would make me happy… run a marathon, check… get below 200 lbs, check… raise funds for a scholarship, check…

if you have followed my journey, you know that I went through post-Marathon blues. I stopped eating correctly and working out as if that was it, no more. Even though I had plans to get back into my regiment, it took forever due my mental game not being on track. Once I got back into the gym and on my regiment, I was bummed out from the very get-go because I didn’t have quality running results. Instead of having fun and making gains on the regiment, going to the gym and working out became more busy work.

After running my 10K a few weeks ago, it sent a shock through my system. I knew it was time for a change and begin investing in myself. After some personal budgeting and visiting with Coach Lopez, I knew this was a step to take due to everything falling into place at the right time. And after these initial workouts, I am having fun again and looking to build upon my performance from Route 66 Marathon. This is gonna be good, so stay tuned to this space!

Shoutouts: shoutouts to my peoples that have been my strength during this time. Thank you for listening to my repetitiveness and letting me pester you on a constant basis. It really means a lot to have folks like you a part of me. I hope to make you proud! Also, big shoutout to my sister Ash, she’s graduating with her PhD y’all!

Remember to run your race One Step, One Breath, One Mile at a time…

One love

-Petey