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The iconic race I’ve been training for the past 6 months. Early morning runs ranging from 10 to 50 miles and yes, I ran 50 miles 4 weeks before my 100K. I felt dialed in as I saw a new self starting to emerge from the darkness. My confidence was high and I was enjoying life with running again. As we headed out to St. George Utah, I had mixed emotions starting to arise. When it comes to something you’ve been working so hard at, you just want things to be perfect. You try to control every situation, but in life you can’t control everything.

April 10th, 6:20 AM, my buddy Josh and I headed out for one crazy adventure. From the moment I left the start line, things didn’t click as they did in my training runs. My shoes felt uncomfortable which caused a numbing feeling on my medial side of my left foot. I pushed through to mile 5 where I was able to change my shoes out from my drop bag. Once the shoes were change, my feet felt much better and I was able to run without any pain. From mile 5 to 18 I was overthinking way too much. Many thoughts came across especially the topic of day “heat”. At mile 18, I ate, hydrated and headed down the Mesa into the valley, where heat would be my friend for the next 26 miles. Running with anxious thoughts, it became hard to stay present during this part of my run. I kept thinking, do I have enough water to last me till the next aid station? At mile 23 I made my first phone call to my wife Adriana to show her the beauty around me. At that moment, my heart suddenly appeared with gratitude and appreciation. The heat was no longer a topic I would focus on, but of course another wrench was thrown into my race, “nutrition”. Four days prior to my race, I made all my race food and put them in reusable baby food pouches. I trained with that food a couple weeks before the race and felt great about it.

From miles 18 to 27 I was dealing with heat and stomach issues. As I let go of one thing, the another thing on my mind will present itself. The biggest problem for me was I allowed it to consume me. I allowed it to ruin my day. I tried everything at the aid stations to help with the acid reflux feeling I was dealing with, but nothing would work. The only thing I could do was to push through the pain and make it out of the valley alive. Mile 38 is where I hit an all time low with the way I was feeling. Volunteers kept asking me if everything was alright and I said yes, but I really wasn’t feeling good. As I hydrated at mile 39, I felt decent enough to start jogging again. My buddy Josh was about 10 minutes ahead of me and he seemed to be in pretty good shape. He noticed things weren’t clicking for me from the start of the morning and he did as much as he could to keep me in a good head space. As I approached the crew station at mile 44, I told Adriana I had to call it quits. I couldn’t handle the feeling of acid reflux any longer and my body feeling dehydrated the entire day. I crossed the finish line with my head down, not feeling accomplished. All the hard work I put before the race seemed like a waste. So many emotions filled my body.

It took a hug from Adriana to change things around. She told me“ You just ran 44 miles in this heat, be proud of yourself”.

I was proud of myself now. Forty four miles of high’s and low’s, were all worth it as I look back at the memories spent with my friends and family. I learned a lot about myself as a runner, husband, coach and a spiritual practitioner. I tend to focus on the negatives in my life rather than the positives. I fear failing and that is what creates my anxiety. It’s time to shed my old self and show the world my new self. I want to be many things in this life time, but the only way to accomplish any of it is to not let the past hold me back. I’m going to show up as a new more confident runner, husband, coach and spiritual practitioner. Thank you Zion for the great lessons.

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