Life is Too $hort

What’s up party people?! Time for some updates, so let’s get to it…

Training

I’ve managed to get back into the gym. Immediately, I knew my legs were weak and needed attention. So for the first few weeks, I’m focusing on building my legs back. One critique I have from last marathon season was my leg strength, I didn’t keep it going the last couple months and it showed.

George has been awesome and welcomed me back into the gym squad. Strength gains usually take about 2 weeks for me and then shift into super sets with higher reps.

Running

Running has been on and off again. Had every intention to start and did make it outside a few times, but my mental game needs to be rebuilt. Been psyching myself out. There’s some hope though… stay tuned to the next update.

I do have some cool news- I’m happy to join Team Nuun and be a Nuun 2020 Ambassador! The triple crown is here…

Reflections

Like a lot of people, Kobe and Gia’s deaths hit hard. For me, it was pretty simple- Kobe died doing what he loved doing, being a father. He was going to his daughter’s basketball game, visiting other kids, and doing his dad duties. Gianna was doing her lifestyle as a basketball player. Both of them loved each other dearly.

As a father, I love my kids. Just like my mentors, I model my dad life to provide the world to them while teaching life lessons. It’s the best job and lifestyle I ever have.

Personally, with life events going on, it’s a great reminder to be a fierce friend while protecting your spirit and peace. Here’s what I mean… you can be yourself- loving, trusting, etc. But do all people deserve all for who you are? That’s a tough question I had to be reminded of and answer (shoutout to my buddy Hailey).

For me, the answer was to be selective. Might seem redundant because I share a lot on social media and here on this blog. However, what’s on my social outlets is only 5% of my story and daily life. And keep your spirit/peace/fire strong, you don’t have to share your truths to everyone, there’s levels to this. Just like Biggie and Jay said- bad boys move in silence.

Shoutouts

Since we have a snow day today, I had to get some thoughts out. In fact, it’s taken me a few times to write this. But shoutouts to my buddies Angela and Hailey, appreciate y’alls thoughts and time.

Remember- run your race One Step, One Breath, One Mile at a Time.

One love -PJ #girldad

Be Cool, Stay the Process

What’s up party people?! Hope everyone had a great set of holidays! Not too much has been going on lately, but here are some updates…

Training

In short, nonexistent. Just taking time away from running, lifting, and cross training. I did get out and run some in preparation for a NYE 5K. But, Daymn…. i can tell the holiday eating and not consistently training has slowed me down tremendously.

Races

In order to keep moving, I signed up for the Race into the New Year 5K. This race is pretty fun because you’re running next to the Arkansas River and the fireworks reflect off the water. It was one I used to do, but after 2016, I pulled back as there were too many stigmas attached to it.

However, I figured this was one races I could reclaim as my own. When I got out there, it felt comfortable to be among other runners just as psyched as I am to have fun running near midnight in the cold wind.

Once I got started, it was completely fun. Like every other race, it was my time. Saw the fireworks over the river, toast the volunteers at the halfway point, saw my sister Jess and my bro J-Knob, ran through the fireworks smoke, and posted a 31 minute run for the night. Concluded the night with some black eyed peas and cornbread the race committee provided to all the runners. It was a chill night…

There’s bit of a quiet time when a set of races coming in February that I’m taking a look at. There’s a cool one at the Tulsa Air and Space Museum… the 5K is on the runway! We’ll see tho…

Wellbeing

This time of the year is pretty tough. If you have followed my story before, you know I take the fight to my battles with depression and anxiety. It’s been one of those stigmas that I didn’t know I was fighting this whole time. But in 2017, after a set of heavy life changes, it really hit hard and knocked me down.

I’ve had some major wins. Running Marine Corps, NYC, and Route 66 Marathons; traveled and visited with close friends; taking running as a new lifestyle; meeting and creating new goals; and, renewal of spiritual commitment. These aspects of my life have given me a better grasp on my own self-mastery.

All of this doesn’t mean life won’t hit you with humbling experiences… it does πŸ˜‚. But like any other muscle in your physical body, your mental muscle needs training and practice. The ability to admit and own your actions, analyze yourself, and tons of other stuff keeps you humble.

The biggest and toughest part is self-love. It doesn’t mean being a narcissist. It does mean taking care of yourself and being confident in yourself. In return, you can permeate and radiate love to others and your surroundings.

I’ll admit… I have a bad habit of being my own worst critic and beat myself up all the time. When things happen, even if I’m not at fault, I tend to take it on and make it mine. Overthinking takes over and I occasionally become a recluse. This is my battle. No retreat, I’m taking this on πŸ’ͺ🏽πŸ’ͺ🏽πŸ’ͺ🏽

Things are looking way up though. It has taken this whole time to reflect and see what my journey has been like. New goals and opportunities are being created. Great relationships have been established. Traveled to new places. Running, lifting, diet, and cross training will resume. And it takes loving and caring family and friends to hold a mirror up to you and show your true self… folks that know your strengths, love, and accolades, and celebrate them with you. All of this has been my process and I’m staying the course.

It’s kinda like what Rocky Balboa says in his movies- it’s not about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. Same thing in running- you can get a road rash and cramps galore at mile 21, but it’s still up to you finish the race (see my post about this year’s Route 66).

Shoutouts

Shoutout to Ana, Cecilia, Kellcee, Liz, Victoria, and Brain (close your legs bro)… thank you for letting me a nuisance, vent frustrations, and holding my figurative mirror. I know it’s all love πŸ™πŸ½πŸ™πŸ½πŸ™πŸ½

So I wanna brag on a buddy of mine for a moment. Angela has been a good friend from our days at OSU and we’ve stayed in contact on and off all these years. Every time we visit, it’s always a great visit full of old and new stories, and tons of laughs. Just a couple of indigenous nerds putting in work for our Native communities because we love our people… πŸ™πŸ½πŸ¦…πŸ™πŸ½πŸ¦…πŸ™πŸ½πŸ¦…

Aiite my folks, I gotta hang it up here for the time being. Remember: run your own race One Step, One Breath, One Mile at a Time. More stuff soon, stay tuned to this space…

One love -Petey

It’s a Wrap

What’s up party people? I want to follow-up with my marathon season in review. This year’s season was surreal and I still can’t believe it happened. Guess I could say that about every season, but this one was pretty special. Let’s get into it…

Training

I took a different approach this year. At the beginning, I was mixing boxing, weighting lifting, and running. It was good to have a wide range of cross training. Bad part was that when I got to running, I was completely exhausted.

Even after pulled back and dropped weight training, I had hurt myself by never recovering through rest and sleep like I should have. Even as i focused on my running form, it became pretty tough in the later miles. Back to the drawing board on this part.

Having a mix of boxing and weight lifting did provide me an outlet to cardio and strength building. I didn’t have to pound the pavement as frequent. These aspects became important when I hurt my ankle.

Hurts and Injuries

Hurts: road rash from Route 66, cramps. Ya know, the usual wear and tear. These parts healed up pretty quickly, nothing too bad.

Injuries: turf toe/bunion and posterior tibial tendinitis. The turf toe/bunion is one nagging injury that aches a bunch this year. My running form took some hits because of the turf toe- my spacer slipped out of places and I collected some gnarly blisters on my feet. My shoes (Hoka Gaviotas…?) were great, but the threading gave me blisters. Maybe I’ll try wide fit shoes next time.

The posterior tibial tendinitis was pretty wicked. Weeks before NYC, it flared up and caused me to be sidelined for about two weeks. While I was able to get back on routine, I lost some time running.

NYC, My Heart

So, I’ve been to NYC before, but it was a 24 hr trip. Not too much I remember from that trip other than looking out the window and seeing the rows of huge buildings in the skyline.

So this timeοΏΌ, I tried to lock in and take in everything. Still, my schedule was pretty tough- flew in and ate with the Harlem Lacrosse organization on Friday, Saturday was the runner’s expo and rest (which I didn’t do), Sunday was race day, Monday was rest day and meet up with my buddy Mari, and Tuesday I flew home.

However, I was able to find peace and solace. When I was in my Lyft going to Queens, I bombarded Ana’s inbox full of questions. Made it pretty obvious I was a country mouse right off the back πŸ˜‚. She was incredibly patient and helpful. Once we were able to visit in-person, I was about to chill out and enjoy NYC.

You know, everyone finds special people in the most random places. I’ve bragged on her before, but she just recently celebrated a birthday so imma turn up a lil bit more again. Ana has a very calming and healing presence. Her sense of humor rivals mine, and y’all know how rugged I can get πŸ˜‚. Blessed that she was able to share her city with me for a few days πŸ™πŸ½πŸ™πŸ½πŸ™πŸ½

Any marathon runner will tell you that having support along the Route will boost your energy and drive. A buddy of mine from home is doing very impressive work while in law school at Columbia. Mari is an all-around bad ass intellect, huge advocate for tribal nations, and can clap back with the best of them. She can even throw down on some food πŸ˜‚. We had fun and filled up on soul food at Sylvia’s… oof. If your ever in Harlem, be sure to check it out.

Route 66 Marathon

I talked about this race just recently, but I can’t say enough about it. Running in my home city is always fun and the neighborhoods, Tulsa PD, and volunteers keep you amped up, especially in the later miles. With my brother Nick running alongside me, this years race was one of the best! I’ll have to find a way to keep up with him… πŸƒπŸ½β€β™‚οΈπŸƒπŸ½β€β™‚οΈπŸƒπŸ½β€β™‚οΈπŸƒπŸ½β€β™‚οΈ

It’s tough to be warrior status with a glittery background LOL. But we got it…

Post Marathon Season

Lessons learned from last year, I have to keep moving. I piled on a ton of weight due to holiday eating and marathon munchies. I still have the munchies, but I’ve made an effort to keep motivated and stay running. Having my kid crew run along with me was very awesome! Helped keep my fire strong. So far, we ran in the Turkey Trot and Rudolph Run.

This season, it really helps to have running family close by. I’m really appreciative for my Sister Victoria and her family. They’ve been hitting the pavement with us and it has made running in the cold pretty fun! Especially when we get to knock out some pancakes are race day 🀘🏽🀘🏽🀘🏽

2020 Race Schedule

This next year, I definitely want to do a spring time race. Thinking of going up north in Washington for a June race (Cecilia, what’s up?!) or Fargo, ND (Kellcee, what’s up?!). I have some buddies running OKC too, so that’s an option. Next fall, I’m already registered for Marine Corps Marathon so I have one ready to go.

Other races also include local community races and one that I always try to hit up- The Remember the Ten Run #loyalandtrue #gopokes This year, I’m planning a return to one of favorite 5k’s, the Race into the New Year (shoutout to my buddy Samantha). 2020 is gonn be litty son!

Can’t Knock the Hustle

I’ve been a Honey Stinger Ambassador for 2019 and was recently selected for 2020! It’s gonna be awesome. If you’re looking for a great product and gels/food that’s easy on the stomach, check out Honey Stinger. It’s my favorite marathon and preworkout gel!

Also, I’ve been selected for the 2020 Boco Gear Ambassador program! This company always has the flyest gear and their technical trucker hats are my favorites. More deets on this soon…

Mental Wealth and Wellbeing

This year’s struggles were more dealing with injuries and exhaustion. There were times that I felt like I wasn’t doing enough for my training and as a person. Even while in NYC hanging out, I felt like I had to keep going. Partially it was FOMO (fear of missing out). The other part was my struggle of being my own worst critic.

It’s something I’ve always had a hard time with- never being satisfied with my own work. Even as I work to see my successes and achievements, I have a bad habit at seeing it as- what could’ve I done better? Why didn’t I do this? What’s wrong with me?

Example: I did this after Route 66. While talking to Ana, I felt into this line of thinking. She simply replied- you do realize you ran 2 marathons in 3 weeks, right?! It’s amazing what that change of thought did for me (thank you Ana πŸ™πŸ½). One of my main goals for this next year is to change this thought process and be sure to focus on my successes for my own wellbeing and self-mastery.

There’s a ton more thoughts, but I’ll end it for now. Time to make dinner for the kids crew and enjoy a movie. Y’all stay warm, remove expectations and stay in the present. More stuff soon, stay tuned to this space.

One love -PJ

Oh… That Wall

What’s up party people? I know, I know… it’s been forever and it’s taken me a while to write my Route 66 Marathon experience out. But here’s a recap of the Route 66 Marathon…

Quick Context of How I Got Here

So, about this time last year, my brother Nick came over to visit and told me he wanted to run his first marathon. I was like- Great! Lemme know when and where I can meet you along the Route to bring you some carbs and stuff.

A couple days later, I get an email and my brother had paid for my registration 😳. So, I guess I was running Tulsa again LOL

Pre Race Days

I have a really bad habit of trying to do race day prep a day or two before marathon. I’ll get my ish together one of these days πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™‚οΈ

Visited the runner’s expo a couple times. Once with my kid crew and to pick up my bib. Of course, we can’t take any serious pictures …

I made to visit the runner’s expo for day 2 and link up with Nick and pick up my gels for the next day. By this time, the excitement and anxiety for marathon day had picked up. After carbing up, it was finally time to relax. 2 marathons in 3 weeks… time to put in work.

Race Day

Something felt off for this day. I was able to show up on time for marathon and relax for a few. Even then, things felt off. Let’s just say the course, one that I’ve ran a couple times before, was gonna flex on me.

Chilled out in the party corral with Nick and then it was our time to roll out…

My brother here is a supreme athlete, so he immediately shifted into beast mode and blasted out the gates. Meanwhile, my turtles pace… πŸ˜‚

The first 10 miles went really well. Cruising along at a comfortable, challenging pace. I was enjoying the crowds and being with other runners. And of course, I made sure to pose in front of the cameras…

There’s a tough hill going up to the Route 66 bridge. Nothing too concerning. It was cool tho to see all the other runners trucking along. Made sure to collect and give out some high fives. Now, coming back into downtown gets rugged too as hills pick up some more. Didn’t know this would be a precursor to future miles…

After the Crowd Left

Along the Route, there’s a split as half marathoners cruise to the finish line and us 26.2 crazies turn East to run the second loop. So I’m cruising along and then BAM!!! Tripped on some concrete and got some killer road rash on my left knee. Folks checked on me, but it wasn’t anything a few carbs couldn’t handle (didn’t realize that I coulda really hurt myself LOL).

Began running out of downtown and I saw some folks I recognized. Turned out to be my parents and little sister. I immediately lost it and started ugly crying as I hugged my parents and sister close.

For folks that are new to the marathon game, training and prepping for race day requires a lot of sacrifice and, at times, being away from your loved ones for long run days. And to see your loved ones cheering you while running, a flood of emotions come through. It’s actually a real beautiful thing to experience.

After seeing my folks, I cruised on through on the second loop. At this point of the marathon, it’s really only you, some runners, some neighborhood parties, and the water stop volunteers. Got to see my awesome buddy Sam and her kid crew at mile 15.

At mile 17, I was caught off guard by this person who stopped me. She said she was the runner police and wrote me a $75 ticket for being too sexy for my shorts πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

I still have the note somewhere πŸ˜‚

18-20

At this point, not much is happening. Volunteers and police were awesome at cheering you on and keeping you motivated to power through. Thinking about my seeing Mom really helped push me through these miles too.

Science says that your body breaks down at this point. I felt cramps trying to come up, but I was able to manage and cruise at an easy pace. It really helped to see my sister Early at mile 20 and she kept me going.

What wall?

I was still truckin at a good pace. Mile 21 coming up, awesome! Passed the TU performing arts center and BAM! Cramps galore. Legs and back locked up. Forced me to stop in my tracks for a long time. Every stretch I did felt like it made my body worse. Nothing was working. I thought this would be first ever DNF (did not finish).

After a while, cramps began to slow down and I started to fire up my legs again. I kept reminding myself- my kids are waiting for me at the detour, i gotta see them. And i pulled out my phone and saw messages from all my folks (shoutouts to Ana, Jess, MB, Kellcee, Jeri, Cecilia, and many more!)- i gotta keep going and not let them down. At this point, I ran for 30 seconds, walked for 30 seconds. I was able to kick back into a steady run once I got to Cherry Street.

Center of the Universe

Miles 21-25 were a blur. Made my way back to downtown and then I saw my son Gunter waiting for me at the Center detour. He kept telling me to stay strong and keep going. Love my kid crew…

*Quick note- the Center of the Universe detour is an addition to the Route 66 Marathon. If you take this detour, it adds .3 to your miles and you end up running 26.5. Hence the label “worlds shortest ultra”. Plus they have party waiting for you at the other end. It’s pretty cool!

Once I saw my kids at the detour, I did my circle and caught up with them for a picture…

Then it was time to power through the remaining mile. Knee was hurting, legs and back were extremely tight. My goal of trying to PR went out the window a long time ago. It was just a battle of finishing the race.

On the road to the finish line, I could hear the crowds. I’m there! BAM!!! Leg cramps told me “nah.” So there I am, two blocks away from the finish. Saw my brother’s wife and son at the corner. They came over and gave me hugs. His son was asking me questions, hopefully I was giving coherent answers. After the cramps subsided, I began running along and my nephew cheered me on. It was a huge booster to hear his voice. Here we go, all out sprint to the finish line…

Finished. Crossed the marathon line for the second time in three weeks. And got a killer pic out of it.

Lessons Learned

There were tons. And I plan to have a season recap. But a couple points- 1. Marathons are the same amount of miles, whether you’re running at a 5:30 pace or a 6:15 pace. It’s all about the journey. And 2- I was scratched up, cramped up, dehydrated from the warm afternoon, and I still found a way to finish. This wasn’t the race I wanted, but it was the race I was given and I crushed it.

Marathon Season Recap Soon!!!

I’ll have another post coming soon, especially future plans and everything else. But this was another special year of marathon running! Met some amazing people, reconnected with some folks, and established long lasting relationships. Stay tuned to this space, more to come soon!!!

One Love -Petey

β€œThis is the Warrior Part of Your Run”

What’s up party people?!

So, my training hasn’t been the same due to the obvious reason- running two marathons in a 3 week span. Really, it has been running to stay loose and moving, stretching, recuperating, and eating. Lots of eating. Dear lort… I’ve been eating like crazy since NYC. Lol… the marathon munchies are real…

After thinking about my trip to NYC and the days leading up to that weekend, I realized that I didn’t give myself a chance to rest and chill out. I was too used to being constantly on the go and putting out fires that I forgot one major key to marathon race day… rest and sleep. Too much overthinking and trying to do everything was too much on my physical and mental health. Note to self- be more mindful.

So, in preparation for Route 66, I’ve really worked on my mental game. Going to bed earlier, watching Creed 1 & 2, taking more breaks during the day, contributing back to the community, go on a sporadic trip, and celebrate being in the here-and-now. This past week, I read a children’s book about Jim Thorpe to my son’s class, sang some powwow jams with my bro’s for a Native Heritage month celebration, took my oldest son to an OSU basketball game for his birthday, chilled out with a few buddies of mine, and cooked a homemade dinner for my kid crew.

Do I slip back into overthinking? Of course. Anxiety sucks. But looking back just in the past few weeks, I’ve been able to flex my own mental muscle by thinking of accomplishments in addition to running NYC. Maneuvering around NYC by myself, getting resources out to my students, celebrating mentors’ accomplishments, and daily dad and house duties are just some of things I did before leaving.

Now… this might be something perceived as everyday stuff. But for someone working on their mental wealth (said that on purpose), being able to shift thinking and control attitude is monumental work. It takes a lot of practice and confidence to build up to this point. Mental wealth- permeating love and good energies to your surroundings- is (IMO) one of the main keys to self-mastery. It takes a lot of work, but it’s always One Step, One Breath, One Mile at a Time.

Which brings me back to preparing for this weekend’s race. I went back to my old messages when I ran Marine Corps Marathon last year and I came across a message my Dad left me at mile 25. He said “Go Petey, this is the warrior part of your run! Give it all you got!” I remember taking a couple deep breaths and turnt up the speed like Billy Mills when he won the gold medal in the 1964 Olympics. That last stretch is no joke as you gotta charge up the hill to the Iwo Jima Memorial for the finish line.

While running, I tend to get caught up asking myself too many questions- are my feet hitting right, are my legs outta wack, do I have to pee, etc etc etc. And these questions are good to ask, but that’s all I was focusing on. Even at a certain point in NYC while running by myself, I let go of my goals that I WANTED and centered myself into the moment. I ran the race I was given. And I was able to turn on my warrior mode and crush it.

Tonight, I caught myself asking so many questions and trying to solve every problem. But with help, I was able to step back and compartmentalize my thoughts. “You just ran a marathon”, “you’re running at home”, “this is your time, your city, and your streets for the day”. It helped to reset my thinking and come back to what’s about to happen this Sunday- I get to run with my brother Nick in his first marathon!

Long story, shortened

So, last year, Nick came over to watch OU/Alabama play on tv. He said he wanted to run a marathon. I was like- bro! Lemme know and I’ll come cheer you on the whole day! Uhhh… an email popped up a few days later and bro had paid for my registration LOL. Welp, guess I was running πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

This race will be our warrior run. We run in prayer, celebrate with fellow runners, run for people who cannot move and who are sick… this is our hustle, this is who we are. Time to collect these miles and medals.

Aiite my folks. Time to wrap it up. My heart is still in NYC, but I’m so glad to be running at home- Tulsa, aka T-Town, 9Run8. Ride with me…

One love -PJ

Empire State of Mind, Pt 2

What’s up party people?! Let’s pick up from last time…

”Twas the Night before the Race

So, after being in NYC for around 24 hours, it finally hit me… oh deuce, race day is here! Had to get my race day gear in order…

So, each element represents a part of me that I wanted to show in NYC. The OSU visor, for obvious reasons- Go Pokes; my sleeves from my favorite store- Tulsa Runner (off 96th and Riverside, check em out!!!); a “I Support Jenks PD” wristband- have some Officer friends that have really helped me out in tough times; my King beadwork from my sister Kellcee (it is her first beadwork she’s ever made, huge blessing to have it dedicated to me); a Protect Mauna Kea button from the Ntvs store (shoutout to our Native Hawaiian brothers and sisters out there); and, a Salish designed pair of shorts from Wasco Trade, LLC (my tribute to my close friend Cecilia- one love β€οΈπŸ™πŸ½).

Finally, it was game time. Just had to go to sleep with race jitters and Black-ish on tv.

Race Day

Even with the time change, I maybe got 4 hours of sleep. It’s the frickin New York City Marathon, who can sleep before this race?! Fast forward waking up at 4 am and jumping on the train to South Ferry Port, meeting other runners in zombie mode, and jumping on the ferry. If it wasn’t for my IG videos, I wouldn’t have known what was going on. It’s all good tho, Ana helped bring me back down to earth lol

It was one of many “really?” Faces she gave me πŸ˜‚. After reaching my runner’s village, it was just a matter of chillin out until it was time for our corral to kick off. I had zero service, so if I didn’t get your shoutout, there was no service!

Met folks from different cities and countries, it was just awesome. Even these ladies πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

And, of course, a quick flex pic while making my way to the starting line. Cvyekce Tos- I am Strong πŸ’ͺ🏽πŸ’ͺ🏽πŸ’ͺ🏽

Then it was time to represent, collect these miles and medals…

It was amazing to run. Tons of hip-hop blasting, crowds were crazy, and met some great people. Even slurped some oysters lol. When I got to the Bronx, I made sure to give it up to the folks around there and throw up the X πŸ™…πŸ½β€β™‚οΈ. Boogie Down Bronx, birthplace of hip-hop.

After a Ben-gay and Biofreeze stop, it was time to turn back into Manhattan. It was there that I got a breath of fresh air. My longtime buddy Mari was waiting to meet up with me. Can’t say enough of my appreciation for her, total all around badass person. She brought me the Muscogee Creek Nation flag so I can represent my tribal nation in the world’s biggest race. Creek Nation, Stand Up!!!

I think it’s safe to say that I was just taking it all in. New York City is an amazing place. Received tons of love and support from all 5 boroughs. Afterwards, it was time to celebrate and eat mass amounts of food. Mari was there to help me indulge…

It was an amazing race and trip. New York City is a whole other planet! Thank you NYC, I love you more and more everyday.

I cannot express enough appreciation for the Harlem Lacrosse organization. They gave me an opportunity to fundraise for their great programs and gave me the chance to run in the world’s greatest marathon. Please continue to donate to their organization here!!! I hope to work with them in the near future.

Alright folks, I’m sure there will be more stories coming soon, but the kids are bouncing around like puppies for dinner. And tomorrow is Veterans Day. Be sure to celebrate Veterans everyday.

Remember: run your race One Step, One Breath, One Mile at a Time. One love…

Cvyekce Tos -PJ

Empire State of Mind, Pt. 1

Yes yes y’all, and ya don’t stop… and to tha beat y’all, and ya don’t stop…

What’s up party people?! Welp, New York City Marathon has passed. Lots to catch up on, so let’s get to it…

Pre-race Days

So, the week leading up to marathon weekend was rough. Lots going on in office and making sure the kids were taken care of while I was gone. Life didn’t give me the space to really grasp onto what was about to happen- running in the world’s biggest marathon with 53,000 runners through the 5 boroughs of NYC. Even while packing for my trip, it didn’t feel real. Note to self: be sure to take time for myself.

New Yorrrrrkkkk

So, I gotta brag about someone. I know I did it on IG already, but I can’t express my appreciation enough and i think she deserves to be celebrated more! Ana has been one of my running buddies that has become a close friend. She’s always there to provide great perspectives, healing words, and hype up cheers anytime I hit the pavement. It was a huge blessing to meet and visit her in person while in NYC. Truth be told, she is one of my inspirations for running and one of my main reasons to pursue running NYC. Thank you for everything! I’m forever in debt to you πŸ™πŸ½πŸ™πŸ½πŸ™πŸ½

(She’s crushing the Philly/Rocky Half Marathon while I’m writing!!!)

If you’ve followed my journey, this opportunity wouldn’t have been possible without Harlem Lacrosse. After arriving on Friday, I went straight to the dinner being hosted for HL runners in Little Italy. It was great to visit Devin O’Brien, the Executive Director for Harlem Lax. They’re doing amazing work with inner city NYC youth and turning out amazing scholars/lacrosse players. The fundraising continues!!! Please donate to Harlem Lacrosse Crowd Rise here!!! All proceeds are going to the organization. #GrowTheGame #CreatorsGame

Saturday

I forgot that being in the city requires a ton of walking. Went to the runner’s expo and had a great time. Bib pick-up was easy and I made sure to take in everything. Signed a car, saw my name on the runner’s display, and took loads of pics πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Here are some scenes…

Go Pokes πŸŠπŸ”«πŸ€ 

After the expo, I made my way to Brooklyn to watch the OK St/TCU game at O’Keefe’s. It’s the OSU bar in NYC! Pretty awesome place with killer food. But ESPN’s gam feed wasn’t working (cmon man!). However, there was another surprise, I got to see my lacrosse bro Eric from our OSU lax days. Most random ish I’ve ever had LOL. While listening to Chuba Hubbard tear it up and rush for over 200 yards, we talked about our glory days of playing lacrosse in different places and our old teammates. It was great to chill with Eric, OSU won, and have some great momentum going into the race on Sunday.

Aiite folks, like your favorite tv-edited movie, I gotta end it here. Stay tuned for the next post as I’ll talk about race day and what’s next. As Ice Cube said- it ain’t over mf’s.

And to NYC… I love you before and I still love you. More soon, stay tuned to this space. One Breath, One Step, One Mile at a Time. Cvyekce Tos- I am Strong.

One Love -PJ

Why I Run

What’s up party people? Almost a week left til NYC!!! Lots going on since we last talked, so let’s get into it…

Training

My last couple training runs went well. I’m probably taking a good 15 miles set into NYC. I put new shoe sole inserts into my Hokas so they’re feeling much better. Probably something I should’ve done earlier, but my ankle is thanking me lol

Hurts

So, I’ve been nursing a posterior tibial tendinitis hurt on my left ankle. Had it checked on by my doctor and he said I was doing what I needed to do- ice, compression, etc. I also talked to one of my IG runner buddies who battled the same thing and she recommended I scale back on miles to focus on form running. Needless to say, all the maintenance has paid off. My bunion on the other hand, I need to get some KT tape for that nag (boo!)

Tapering

My regiment called for a few 3-4 milers. But I’ve noticed I’m extremely tired after work. It’s been repeated tons of times, but I paid attention to my body- scaled back my boxing classes and miles. For instance, instead of running for times and miles, I took a couple of my sons out and we ran at the Gathering Place just to have some fun.

Why I Run

So, I’ve talked about why I run in past posts, but I don’t think I’ve dedicated a post directly to it. With NYC Marathon around the corner, I always try to reflect on my inspirations that led me to running two years ago.

As a part of my profession identity, I’m an educator and I know the struggles of being a Native scholar in a heavily non-Native institution. That’s why I created the Everlasting Crown Scholarship through my tribe’s Scholarship Foundation.

Another reason I run is for my wellbeing, specifically for my mental wealth. A couple years ago, I faced a big life change that knocked me down and kept me down for a long time. Anxiety and depression were at an all time high. I fought, still fighting, like hell and began winning the small battles. Family and friends spent hours and resources on my wellbeing. I’m a lot better than I was before, and one thing I continue to do is evolve and move forward.

NYC will be special, not only because it’s an opportunity to run in the world’s biggest race, but the charity I’m fundraising for (Harlem Lacrosse! Donate Here!!!) teaches inner-city NYC youth about the sport of lacrosse and have produced awesome student-athletes that become college scholars. Check out their YouTube video!

Love is the key here. And it’s something I’ve carried with me all my life and that was taught by my parents. It is who I am as a Native person. Love for my kids, family, friends, students, lacrosse, and running. It’s time to take on the Big Apple and run the streets of NYC. Time to be legendary. Cvyekce Tos- I am Strong πŸ’ͺ🏽πŸ’ͺ🏽πŸ’ͺ🏽

Shoutouts

Big shoutouts to my folks that have donated to my CrowdRise. Be sure to donate, one more week left!!! Special shoutouts to folks that need a prayer for healing and peace.

More to come, stay tuned to this space.

One love -PJ

Turnt Up Ready to Go

What’s up party people?! My fault for not keeping up with the blog as much, but here are some updates…

Embrace the Suck

So September was a tough month. Kids are in full swing being in school, temperatures were still hot, and fatigue sat in real quick. Running and workouts were harder than expected. Here are some of the runs…

During the month, runner’s knee crept in and hurt pretty bad (more in the Hurts section). My CreekFit coach recommended taking a week away from boxing and running. Needless to say, it was tough chillin at the office and at home knowing I needed to get miles in. But it was hurt long term, or hang out and ice/heat/stretch out.

I kept thinking of my running and foot strikes. Sometimes it’s good to go back to the basics, so I began watching The Run Experience and some IG runner coaches (@runrx this coach has some amazing videos!!!). Figured out that I have a tendency to bend my upper body forward and put too much strain on my back and hips. This also causes me to reach with steps instead of naturally running forward.

It’s a healthy reminder that your running form should always be your first focus (not PR’s and speed, those will come as you evolve!) and it’s always good to go back to the basics of running form.

After my week of frustrating rest, I tested out my wheels and the rest is what I needed.

It was pretty frustrated that my running had not changed after the rest. Still turtle’s pace and my legs were still working out some nags. But there were a few things I was also not paying attention: rest and eating.

Feed the Petey

So… I also had to reset my eating and sleeping. My diet and food choices were not necessarily the problem; it was just getting me to eat period. It started with bringing a bread loaf and pb/j to the office. And Bam! It worked like gangbusters…

Sleep is bit of a luxury. Single father of four kids that have high energy and bounce like puppies when I get home, sleep can be challenging. But I just began wrapping up the day much sooner and laid in bed. Even if it took me forever to sleep, letting my body rest provided me to relax. Over and over, you’ll hear rest is best for your body to recover. Facts…

I was able to readjust my sleep/running/workout/eating schedules and it finally came through! Same time as last week’s run, but I added a mile and some change to my result.

Looking at my past long runs, I noticed a wall I keep hitting was at mile 12-13. So today, I got to this mileage and walked. While walking for five minutes, I got my jams in order, ate a Honey Stinger Waffle, drank some pickle juice and Powerade/water mix, and took off again. Mentally, I had to adjust my thinking from “man, f this wind” to “the wind is finally pushing forward” πŸ˜‚. Result was me powering through my last couple miles to put together my best run yet.

Hurts Updates

So, yea… runner’s knee sucks. On top of that, my left ankle was tweaking out due to my flat feet; turns out it was posterior tibial tendinitis. Lots of compressions, ice, Advil, hot showers, foam rolling, and stretching. Part of the strain was from my shoes. I took them into a store and I was immediately shown to a pair of new shoe πŸ˜‚. Problem was the treading on my old shoes was worn low and did not provide cushion. Probably should change out my inserts too (oops).

For right now, those areas are the main concern. Today’s long run went much better, but I left the course feeling like I could’ve done even better. Maintenance will be a focus this week.

Spiritual Rejuvenation

Just like I said, September was a tough month. It was still crazy hot, all of us were trying to get on the same schedule, and the injury bug kept creeping out. It’s pretty easy to get fatigued all away around. When I struggled with my depression and anxiety, it seemed like it was a never ending spiral downward. One social worker put it best- it’s like being an asthmatic, who lost his glasses in the middle of a hurricane.

Earlier, I mentioned how I shifted my thinking of running against the wind into running with the wind. I hope people understand that it takes a monumental effort after battles with depression and anxiety to finally have the ability and strength to adjust thinking and energy during a stressful situation. Especially with running marathons, it is too easy to slip into negative and pessimistic thinking.

I go back to the beginning of my running, parts of my mantra- the everlasting crown (God’s love). 1 Corinthians 9:27 says “I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.” Our own Native elders would mentor us in a way that not only taught us valuable traditional lessons, but challenge us in our thinking and helped develop us as intellectuals.

Personally, I’ve invested a ton of hours into my self-mastery. Journey isn’t done and we don’t stop evolving. But it’s a blueprint that I’ve come to realize in my own development as a father, professional, friend, family member, and athlete. And this blueprint reminds me of why I run- for love.

So with that, I took some time last weekend to spend it with my sister’s family. Her kids are a great set of folks; I love them like they’re my own. And I’ve watched and try to support them as often as I can. My nephew (second from the left) has taken on an important role with his family and it is great to see him and his siblings take on their mom’s and late father’s work.

Shoutouts

Speaking of rejuvenation, I got to see my long time buddy from undergrad, Angela. She’s ballin out and then some up in the Midwest! Also, big shoutout to my buddy Jami, Wado! Shoutout to my running sister Victoria; she was awesome enough to let a brotha use her Nathan hydration pack, which has been a huge savior!

Alright my folks… I know there’s a lot more to say, but I’ll end it there. And let’s hope I can post more often LOL. Be sure to hit the donation button on this link (https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/harlem-lacrosse-nyc-2019/petecoser) it’s for Harlem Lacrosse!!!

Run your race One Step, One Breath, One Mile at a Time. Cvyekce Tos “I am Strong!”

One Love

-Petey

But I’m A Champion, So I Turn Tragedy into Triumph

What’s up party people? Lots going on, my fault for not keeping up! Let’s get to it…

Training

So, I’ve pulled back on lifting weights. Not totally, but the regiment wasn’t paying off. Needed to readjust and focus on my mileage, especially with 9 weeks to go 😳.

Each time I’ve gone out this week, I try to focus on how my legs and feet are turning in and out while running (hurts Update shortly). Also, I’ve been focusing more on stride, lifting my legs, hitting the pavement on forefoot areas, and not reaching for strides. I think it’s been really helpful- been watching a lot of world class runners and the Run Experience videos on YouTube.

Boxing is still a part of my regiment. Perfect way to not only get rid of frustration from the day, but also to build arm, back, core, and shoulder strength. These parts are essential to your running!

Hurts Updates

The reason for the adjustments has been the hurts I’ve come into- abductor/adductor soreness, leg cramps, and (potentially) runners knee. Been loads of ice, compression, and ibuprofen. Not too worried about the nagging hurts, the adjustments have been pretty helpful. Which is good with the training window closing.

Diet

Still lots of tuna, grains, salad, etc. With my kid crew starting school, it has been a bit exhausting to cook up. Needless to say, my diet has taken a hit. There are always ways to get back on track. Stay tuned.

Reflections

If you have followed my journey, I’ve talked about mental health and self-mastery. Without a doubt, these are some of the biggest obstacles I’ve ever taken on. I’ve had to learn self-love is not being selfish. I mean, if I don’t have self-love, how can I permeate it out?

But recently, I’ve taken some hits. Challenges in my professional and personal worlds have chin-checked me a few times. It has caused me to view myself in a critical lens and, as a result, started comparing myself to others. It’s a slippery slope, and it’s something I’ve been working on to counter these racing thoughts.

Throughout my marathon journey, I’ve learned how to fight these stigmas- not good enough, not innovative, just not… enough. During these times, I’ve had to learn how to speak my truth and take a deep cleansing breath to the soul, and move forward. “I am the 1% of people that has ever ran a marathon.” “I’ve worked at a leading university and found major success.” “I am… me.”

It would be easy to run off and hide in the bushes, spiral downward. At one point, my battles with depression and anxiety did lead me to become a recluse. This is where self-mastery becomes important- going to church and/or ceremonies, singing with your family at the drum during a powwow, getting up at 5 am to get miles in before work, finding energy to play with the kids and their board or video games, spending countless hours with your inner circle and talk about everything, etc etc etc. All these instances were building strength. It might seem little, but when you add these elements together, it really builds you as a person. And to the people I’ve spent loads of time with, thank you to each of you πŸ™πŸ½πŸ™πŸ½πŸ™πŸ½

And it will be time to turn to those challenges and say, quoting Kanye West’s song- Through the Wire- “But I’m a champion, so I turned tragedy into triumph…”

Shoutouts

Very special shoutout to my homie Ana! Thank you tons for your endless support and encouragement- pilamaye πŸ™πŸ½. Shoutouts to my inner circle, you know who you are! Shoutouts to my family, always there with laughter and love. And shoutouts to you for following my journey! We’re not done yet, lots more miles and medals to get!

Aiite y’all. I gotta get some amount of rest and recuperation. Run your race- One Step, One Breath, One Mile at a Time. Yekce Toyis.

One Love

-Petey