He came to Mexico years ago, the story goes, and wandered deep down into the wild, impenetrable Barrancas del Cobre—the Copper Canyons—to live among the Tarahumara. Then, I check my watch. I slump down on a lumpy sofa. Then it hits me: I am hearing it. My eyes pop open, and I see a boney, blonde gringo in trail-wrecked Tevas and a floppy jungle hat bantering with the desk clerk.
I erupt from the sofa. He turns toward me. As we stoop through the doorway, we see an old woman with a wooden spoon. His name, he says, is Micah True though he would later tell me he was born Michael Randall Hickman and renamed himself for the Biblical denouncer of decadent living. He lives in a simple shack in the old mining town of Batopilas, close to the hidden canyon homes of his Tarahumara running buddies. He took off running, with no clue where the trail was taking him.
An hour or so later, he found a trail linking back to town, turning what should have been a relaxing soak into a half marathon. Not even the best Kenyans have figured out what the Tarahumara know, Caballo swears; the Kenyans may be faster over the short haul, but few runners can handle more miles, for more years, than the Tarahumara. In fact, Tarahumara runners have competed for Mexico in the Olympic Marathon twice in and and both times finished deep in the pack.
Afterwards, they complained that the race was too short. The Tarahumara, it seems, just farm and party and run for fun, all the while staying in remarkable condition. They stood around and chatted while Groom pumped the diastolic cuff. He also earned three advanced degrees. The harder the Tarahumara fought their way through the Rockies, Vigil marveled, the more rapturous they became. Glee and determination are usually antithetical emotions, yet the Tarahumara were brimming with both at once; it was as if running to the death made them feel more alive.
Heart disease, high blood pressure, and lethal cholesterol are virtually unknown among the Tarahumara, Vigil would later learn. So are crime, child abuse, and domestic violence. Seekers used to climb the Himalayas to discover the secret of a serene, hyper-healthy life; Vigil now realized it lay just south of the United States border. So after retiring in , Vigil and his wife sold their home in Colorado, intending to spend the next few years studying the Tarahumara.
But just before they were to leave, Vigil got a phone call. Actually several of them. A bunch of U. How could he say no? In , Micah True had his own encounter with the Tarahumara at Leadville. But instead of competing against them True already had run a few Leadvilles , he offered himself as a guide. But the tricky part, he learned, would be gaining access. Somewhere out here are the hidden canyon homes of the Tarahumara, though the Tarahumara might quibble with one detail.
That has always been their way. Fewer than 40, Tarahumara remain, from a population of 2 million a century ago. No wheeled vehicles can make it to the bottom of the Copper Canyons, and few choppers would try: The gorges are a twisting maze of swirling drafts and sheer rock walls, many plunging deeper than the Grand Canyon. For the past three years, Quimare has defeated all comers. We wandered like this for an hour, and then, as the sun set, we emerged from the woods to see three men silhouetted against the edge of a gigantic canyon.
We pulled up next to them, stopped, and got out. All three were dressed in homemade huaraches and one-piece tunics that hung short in the front and ing in a long, triangular tail behind. The greetings over, we all stood in silence for a while, gazing at the spectacular molten sunset receding from the far canyon wall. Unlike the others, he was dressed in work pants and Reebok sneakers. Silvino spat into the dust. He loogied again. However, Silvino perked up when he heard we were interested in meeting Arnulfo Quimare.
I am challenging myself to go from a casual runner to a serious runner this year. It really is inspiring to read that someone else, and at her age, has come so far in such a short time — I am super motivated by this mother runner. I take it she is not running Boston this year with her injury. Amazing to go from new runner to BQer. I am a huge fan of SUAR. I thought I was the only one with tummy troubles and running until I found her. Looks like I have a new running blog to follow! I wish some of you girls lived in Munich Germany. Thanks for sharing her. Loved her little video up now! I wish I had balls to scratch too.
SUAR is awesome! She never fails to make me laugh. She is real and hilarious. Great profile choice! What an inspiration! Absolutely hilarious as well. I laugh so much! I have a SUAR sticker on my car and when I requested it, got a very nice and encouraging e-mail from Beth, so she is the real deal. I just wish I lived closer and she could coach me! Honestly, I litearlly lose sleep over such things. This woman is really fantastic! I somehow stumbled upon SUAR a few months back. LOVE her blog! I loved that win over the Hokies. I already follow her! That had everything! A winner!
Great choice — I love reading Beth blog! Is there anyone better at blogging and running than Beth? LOL, Alecia!!! And thanks for allaying my concern about using that phrase on our site…. Quite possibly the funniest Follow This Mother I have read. Thank you for that! And, Beth, you are an inspriation!! Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Comment Name Email Website. Runner was sure ready to enjoy the cold, crisp, and sunny winter morning after having trained with my Fleet Feet Sacramento racing team and my awesome coach Robert Ressl-Moyer, winner of many 50K races and such a kind and generous soul.
Long distance races require preparation and support from our families and friends. As always, my sweet husband drove me to the start line. You already know this. After my husband dropped me off, I immediately scanned the shivering runners trying to find my friends. The ground was frozen, the grass covered in frost, the sky clear, and most runners bundled up in coats, hats, and gloves at the start line.
I knew that I would get warm quickly, but I also chose to wear cheap gloves that I was planning to dispose off later. I also got to chat with my Fleet Feet racing team mates Josh Fernandez, who is wicked fast , and Melissa Tafoya, who has just joined our team and who is also a boxer. I felt great to be in such wonderful company and promised myself to relish every moment of my second 50K race and to become one with nature, breathing in joy, exhaling any stress, doubts, or fears. I started strong, but not pushing it too hard knowing that I had 31 miles ahead.
The crisp winter air permeated my joyous being and gave me energy. The gloves kept my hands warm. I focused on my breathing, footing, stride, and the terrain, which on this course it is a constant up and down, making it hard to get into a rhythm. We also had a creek crossing. I got my right foot wet, while I climbed on the rocks, but I knew that I would dry quickly. During my first miles, I noticed the frost and the frozen ground that gave me a nice bounce, almost like doing a quick jump on a trampoline.
I started writing in my head, too, as I normally do when I run. However, in descending to Cronan Ranch, where the first aid station was, I was able to get moving and it felt great. I was knew there were a total of seven aid stations, so from now on, it was about reaching and counting the aid stations, where I would refuel with bananas, grapes, potato chips, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and water.
After the first aid station, I started my climbing and focused on taking small steps. I also remembered what my awesome coach Robert Ressl-Moyer told me on the phone the previous day. He always calls me before races to discuss strategy and to push me towards greatness. Try to run portions of big hills and only power hike a little to conserve energy. I soon arrived at the second aid station, where the signs made me smile. It is about being immersed into something grander than ourselves, which turns us into more humble and grounded human beings.
And, yes, I will admit that there is a little bit of craziness required for this equation of happiness to work. Around mile 12, my team mate Melissa and my trail friend Tracy caught up with me. Melissa and I started running together and kept each other company, which was the best part of the race. I knew my father was watching over me, sending me a team mate, which is why I never despaired at the distance. The half marathon point was getting near.
We could hear cheering and clapping. She took my video and pictures, as well as helped me out with the food and hydration. So grateful for my running friends. These trails reminded me of my training for the race and loved the rolling hills, even though we could not get into a rhythm. We still started to pass runners and focused on the trail, trying to avoid the many rocks, which I did remember from my training. This was the spot where I turned into a tea bag, immersing myself into nature the same way I did when I did my long training runs.
Melissa and I took turns to lead and stayed steady and strong. We talked, joked, and laughed. I told her that I knew that section of the trail very well and that we would get to New York Creek soon. We tried to get into a rhythm, but the rolling hills and rocky terrain made it a little challenging.
Nonetheless, we felt great and were grateful to run together. She also told me that I was giving her confidence with my positive attitude. We pushed each other on the trails; our running effort felt easier and much more pleasant than if we had each run on our own.
Team work at its best! Around mile 20, we started to pass a few runners. As opposed to my first 50K race that I ran with a lot of despair at the end two years ago, Salmon Falls 50K race made me feel calm, contained, and strong. I was telling Melissa about my improving as a runner and about my amazing coach Robert, when my cell phone rang. I told him that I only had seven miles to go and that I felt great. He told me to stay steady and finish strong.
He also told me that he won a 50K race in the Bay Area for which I congratulated him. Later on that evening when we attended the Sacramento Running Association Awards ceremony, he told me that he was very surprised I answered the phone.
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Running at a min to min pace due to all the hills and the terrain made it easy to talk. Besides I am known to talk even during a much faster pace, so I was glad to have a life line to my amazing coach during the race, which helped me stay motivated and determined. The sun felt warmer as it was past noon time, the trails replete with raw beauty, the hills ubiquitous, and the sweeping views of Folsom Lake magnificent. My body felt strong and my being anticipated the finish.
However, as I told Melissa, we needed to stay and run within each mile and not let our minds wander. We ran in the NOW, the only true constant on the trails.
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We had to keep our focus on every step we took, every rock, tree root, hill, you name it. We became the one with the trail and gave it the respect it needed, while also asserting ourselves with conviction, determination, and joy. I told Melissa that by now we could smell the blood, so to speak, and needed to push and finish strong. Melissa took the lead, getting into a much faster gear. The cheering got louder and louder.
I saw Terri and David who cheered on me with enthusiasm and joy. To my left, I heard my husband and then saw our sweet son Alex who started to run next to me on the outside of our enclosed finish line. Sophia was also cheering on me dressed in her black winter jacket, her pony tail swinging from left to right. I crossed the finish line with elation and tremendous gratitude.
My father was there in spirit. I cried with joy, as I received the beautiful medal made out of a light wood. I was not too hungry after the race, because I kept snacking and eating during the race, but was happy to get a Blue Ale and sit down a little. I was happy and amazed at my ability to run this 50K race and have a minute PR from my first Folsom Gold Rush 50K, which felt hard at the time.
Practice, training with my Fleet Feet Racing team, as well as having my own coach sure make a big difference. To many more running adventures with gratitude for a race well-done and for the company of my new friend Melissa. I finished Salmon Falls 50K strong, defeating Red Dragon trail and any other demons lurking out there. Running is also peeling off the layers of life one petal at a time to achieve the ultimate magic. I consider myself pretty fortunate to avoid injuries, as I do have a decent form and I am good about listening to my body if something hurts me during a run.
However, this year I got my first injury that sidelined me from running for almost two months after doing a tough track workout with my Fleet Feet Sacramento Racing team. We did mile repeats and I felt great during the workout. However, when I returned home, I was visibly limping, which is why my husband asked me if I got injured. I replied that I felt great during my track workout and that it is probably just temporary. I was wrong: I had peroneal tendonitis, which hurt my foot when I walked, so I had to take time off and heal using acupuncture and my new best friend the TENS machine, which is short for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.
I did different pool jogging intervals to keep my cardio fitness up and the tendon loved the gentleness of the water. Biking is extremely beneficial to keep your cardio level up, as well as one of the favorite with injured runners, but I have decided to continue biking as cross training when not injured.
Getting injured can help one put perspective on things, as well as become more adventurous in trying other athletic endeavors, such as a triathlon. After I healed from my injury, I gained a new perspective on things and learned to appreciate swimming and biking, which is why I have decided to do compete in my first triathlon on Sept. To my great delight, I finished third in my age group, doing very well in swimming, OK in biking, and outstanding in running.
It took me almost a month to regain my speed and confidence in my ability to run strong and continue to get PRs in all my half marathon races, my marathon, and my 10K. At first, I tried to stay away from track workouts, but I realized that I needed to continue my running journey with passion and confidence. Learning to respect my body and to strengthen it with key workouts and specific exercises to avoid future injuries. Learning to trust your body when running higher mileage weeks in preparation for a marathon.
Getting my own coach to prepare me to run my strongest marathon so far was the best decision I made, as Robert-Ressl Moyer, a top ultra runner and winner of many 50k races, taught me to trust my body when running between 50 to 70 miles a week.
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He helped me get my body stronger by having me do a few easy runs after every tough speed workout, which kept me healthy and uninjured through California International Marathon. With the help of my coach, I have learned to finish my races with negative splits, meaning running faster at the end.
The main workout to help me accomplish this were my weekly progressive runs for the first month I trained with him to get me to run faster on tired legs at the end of our workout. I succeeded to negative split the Urban Cow half marathon finishing with a 3-minute PR in with a pace, The Mandarin half marathon finishing in with a pace another mins PR only a month later after running Urban Cow half marathon, and the California International Marathon, where I had a 7-minute PR and qualified for Boston for the first time.
Dig deep literally means just that when you use your mental toughness during your training runs or races. Digging deep as a runner, or a human being on the quest of achieving a big goal means just that. As runners we have to find that inner fortitude to run strong through the pain when our bodies rebel against us. My revelation came during the middle miles of my fourth marathon that I ran on Dec. I was getting really tired and my gluteal muscles were sore and hurting.
I slowed down by 30 seconds from my goal marathon pace of and I was even thinking that marathons are not my cup of tea and why was I insisting on abusing my body like that. Sure enough after that my body stopped hurting, or was it my mind overwriting the body? I started to run at pace and felt rejuvenated and confident in my ability to finish strong. How do runners differ from bikers? Nevertheless, once we allow our brains to process and transcend physical pain, we become stronger and able to find faster gears that we did not know existed and were available to us.
The way I learned to access my faster gears was by finishing many key track workouts with a few meter repeats on tired legs. The first time I discovered that I could run super fast at the end of the workout on tired legs, I felt like a legit athlete. I was doing meters on track with my awesome team mates, when my body and legs rebelled and started to slow down. My next was stronger, and the last one was the strongest. I had to simply overwrite my brain that was giving wrong signals to my body. All of a sudden, I found renewed energy in my running and knew I could do it!
I felt in control of my body, thoughts, and managed to subdue the doubts that were creeping up like tiny spiders ready to weave their web of lies around my tired legs that were capable to give more that morning on track. Positive thoughts and reinforcement are an important tool for runners to have when needed. It is essential to visualize our goals and even more important to let our friends, our social network and media know about our goals, so that they can keep us accountable. Besides visualizing our goals, it really helps to repeat to yourself what you wish to get out of a race.
For instance, when I ran the MandaRun half marathon, I kept telling myself that I wanted to finish with a pace, since my pace during my Urban Cow half marathon was During the race, I felt great and the speed was effortless, but I kept pushing myself to run a little faster than to account for slowing down on a few hills. To my great surprise, I finished the half marathon in with a pace.
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I was elated and surprised that I finished third in my age group, as half marathons are harder to place. This was my first time finishing in the top three at a half marathon and felt that repeating the magic pace numbers worked well for me.
The brain and the body were focused on the same goal and worked as a team! To me running is the perfect harmony between body and mind. I have enjoyed doing trail runs for the change in scenery and for the divine beauty I see all around me. Just like we need to break up the monotony in running and run trails instead of road all the time, it is the same with life.
We need to find the divine in various activities, in the people we meet, and in the ordinary that we can easily transform into extraordinary. The divine is within each of us and once we learn how to access it, we will feel our hearts expand with love for others and ourselves. Even though we need to watch our feet and pay attention to each step we take on the trails, I always rejoice in connecting with God during my runs.
This year, I saw a cross in the sky right before Easter and I teared up thinking how much God loved us and how much I enjoyed discovering and talking to God during my runs through nature. Whenever I run, there is a calmness descending over me that transcends any worries, crazy thoughts, doubts, or fears. Moreover, running becomes my way of transcending time and space and propels me in the NOW. Running is controlling the shallow and deep breaths into a rhythmic breath, which I call the Zen of running, for it gives me inner peace, calmness, and composure to be the best human being possible.
I also feel serene when I enter the Zen realm and know that no matter how difficult or long the run is, I will end up overcoming pain and come out cleansed and elated. I am humbled to share what I have learned from running in and hope to hear your stories, too about your ultimate running experiences. Traveling to new places with my family means bonding, having fun, laughing, trying new foods, and exploring. We love to play sports, hike, visit museums and caves, and enjoy being together.
We have recently visited the Midwest and have enjoyed Chicago, the impressive, unforgettable, and most beautiful American city in my humble opinion, the sweeping and undulating corn fields of Illinois and Indiana, the magnificent lush forests, the balm weather, the history, and spending time with our friends. After having spent a week in Illinois, we headed to French Lick , Indiana, a quaint, small town with a population of around 1, I also wondered about the name and found out that this town used to be a French Trading Post built near a spring and salt lick.
Secrets of the Tarahumara
From the moment we drove into town, I noticed the winding paths. As always, my husband helped me plan and plot my run, so I had a route ready for the next day. On a crisp June morning with 55 degree temperatures, I took off for my long run that had to be at least 10 miles. I was soaking in the fresh air and was giddy with excitement. I was also thinking of my friends back home in Sacramento who had to put up with the degree sweltering weather. In less than a mile, I arrived in front of the French Lick Springs Hotel , which is on the United States National Register of Historic Places for its architecture and old charm in our modern world the hotel first opened in I loved the arched entry and the brick path.
As I ran on the brick path towards the hotel and the beautiful gardens, I learned that it was the original brick street installed when the hotel was built in Around mile 3 into my run, I ran into a local runner. I asked him how long the trail outside the West Baden Hotel was and he told me that the path ended right after the bridge.
I found out that he was a teacher, married with two small children, and that his wife was a nurse. We talked about Indiana and why he liked it. I also told him a little bit about California and our lives there. David was polite, kind, and a good running companion, which made my long run more enjoyable. No matter where I meet new runner friends, I feel so blessed to be part of a worldwide running community.
Our universal love of running does not need translating; it simply resurfaces like a well-balanced surf board above high and tall waves. After an enjoyable run, I said good-bye to David and thanked him for his company. Besides exercising, socializing, learning about the history of French Link and West Baden, I also gathered some fun trivia knowledge that I can share during my runs with my runner friends back home. In front of the French Link Hotel, there is a sign about the invention of the tomato juice.
In , French Lick Chef Louis Perrin ran out of oranges to squeeze for juice during the breakfast rush. With a group of Chicago businessmen waiting, Chef Perrin improvised and squeezed some tomatoes. The businessmen loved it and spread the word: tomato juice was great stuff. By the , tomato juice was promoted as a health drink.
West Baden Springs Hotel had four springs all known for their amazing healing properties. One of the springs was named Hygeia, based upon the goddess of health in Greek mythology. Instead, watch the sky, the swimming clouds, and the narrow paths that open up. After this exploration, pick yourself up and elevate your soul and mind with jumping joy. Yet, many times we need to run on our own for various reasons, such as time constraints, pace desired, coming back from an injury, and so forth. This time, I was ready for a selfie running video, as an idea came to my mind.
Ever since I got into running, I felt that I needed to test my body and lungs on my own first. Find a new running route and create as many different routes around your neighborhood to have choices and be excited to get out the door and start running. Solve whatever problems you are having during your solo runs and you will be amazed at your creativity and ease of finding the right answers and solutions.
We ran down the strip up to Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort and it was wonderful to chat with them and run together. We have stayed friends and are connected on Strava. I love writing little poems in my head, coming up with my own quotes, which makes my run quite exciting and interesting. Give yourself a weekly challenge , such as taking a beautiful pic of wild flowers, animals, taking a selfie jumping picture, etc. You can do the same challenge a few times that week and that will give you even more purpose and something to look forward to besides your tempo run, speed workout, or easy run that day.
And to find out how running with others will make you a stronger and happier runner, stay tuned for my next blog. Last year while training for California International marathon, my third marathon since I started running, I had the pleasure and honor to meet these four amazing women Charlyn, Barbara, Carolyn, and Linda all in their 70s — so driven, radiant, humble, and truly inspiring.
I even used her story on my mom to get her moving, which worked. Charlyn Frazier started to run in February at the age of 66 after joining a local gym. Luckily, her trainer at the gym suggested that she kicked up the cardio and try running. Her breakthrough in running came in January when she decided to join Fleet Feet Fit program. She remembers walking from the mile mark of the American River Trail to the Fish Hatchery as part of a weight loss contest with Weight Watchers to lose pounds and get healthier.
After running her first 10K in 58 minutes, Barbara was hooked by the joy of running. Carolyn Slavich was 62 when she started running. Carolyn completed her first CIM at 70 in Linda had a husky-shepherd dog Nikki who loved running around Fresh Pond in Cambridge. Linda has been running for more than 40 years. That year Dustin Hoffmann was in the movie Tootsie. He ran in that race in drag and was just ahead of Linda. Besides these wonderful and dedicated women athletes, I also had the honor to meet and interview David Ghent, who competes and wins in the Senior Games in the age group, which used to be Senior Olympics.
He won three gold medals and has competed ever since. When it comes to running and exercising to stay healthy and happy, running can be a great outlet. After all, life is rarely a sprint; it is a marathon, so why not run your first marathon at any age and find more inspiration from others who have done it and have transformed their lives, one step and mile at a time.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog, and if you have your own amazing stories to share, please comment here. I pay more attention to details, I am more creative, and I love to see nature, animals, plants, trees, and new places and cities in motion. During that trip, I thought to myself that every city should have a running tour, as it is so much easier than creating our own tours when traveling to new places, although it feels great to be explorers.
They also offer personalized tours at any distance for individuals or groups. Last month, our family traveled to Las Vegas. When it comes to running in the rain, there is no middle ground: runners either love it, or hate it! Yet, before leaving the house, I told myself that I needed to have fun with my mile run, so I composed another rap song just like other times when I ran in the rain.
Rain equates rap? You might ask. The tapping sound of rain inspires me to rap, for some odd reason. I rejoiced in nature and all the bursting blossoms on the trees that reminded me that winter is almost over and spring is inching forward. I loved this blooming tree so much that I came up with a little poem:. The wind and rain act like resistance bands, so running in the rain is fortifying for the body and mind.
Go out and run, bike, or walk! On the contrary, it will fortify them. When the legs get heavy, stop clenching your fists and teeth; instead, lighten up! Anytime I am tired, I love looking up at the sky. They glide effortlessly and float with grace. When you feel sluggish, look for someone slower than you to make you look better.
I remember being at the end of my run and getting into a desperation mode when I came across this steady and determined tortoise crossing the bike trail. I smiled big and understood that slow and steady is a good thing; yet, I still found enough strength to push a little faster and not listen to my tired body. Body aches all over, but you still need to get your easy run in, which is by no means easy.
www.hiphopenation.com/mu-plugins/anne/cag-traveling-dating.php The next day, I had to do a Fartlek run that started with a 2-mile warm-up. I felt the gluteal muscles halting my entire being and thought to myself that I could just skip this and wait till the next day to run. Yet, once I finished my first two miles and got into doing my Fartleks, I felt so much better and the speed agreed with me. Moral of the story: find that sweet spot to push past pain and a tired body. Knee pain is making you wince and stop more often than you want. My knees used to bother me until I started to run faster and changed my form and cadence. Relax the mind. Although this is only my second year as a runner, I ran 18 races ranging from 5Ks to 50K this year.
I PRd 16 of them and won 7 races in my age group. One reason I enjoy racing so much is because I am really good at relaxing my mind. I try to enjoy every minute, while I visualize myself running at a great pace propelled by all the racers around me. I can honestly say that I am not nervous when racing, whether I run a 5K or a marathon, which is why relaxing my mind with positive images and a good pep talk really works. Tell your brain stories. You might scratch your heads here, but the reality is that our brains will not distinguish between a true statement or a little white lie, which by the way you should not make a habit to use unless you need to make yourself believe in your ability to keep on running strong.
My brain will accept the story; my finish will be much stronger. Let the positive energy carry you over the mental threshold. My trick to increase and keep my positive energy consistent is simply to observe my breath, the sky, the trees, and anything else that will take my mind off any negative feelings or remarks.
Surround yourself with positive and vibrant people to boost your own mental strength. We runners underestimate the power of our own words and others, so in order to perform at the level we want, it is imperative to surround ourselves with the doers and believers instead of the naysayers. When our family and friends believe in us, our minds are like a well-prepared plot of land waiting to receive the seeds that will later will grow into healthy plants.
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Our minds are no different and need the same clearance and preparation. The power of distracting the mind and redirecting our thoughts. I can honestly say that all women who are mothers like myself will get this very easily. During long runs, I have learned to distract any negative objections my mind brings up, as well as redirect my thoughts to more positive images, such as celebrating at the finish line. Additionally, whenever necessary, I treat my mind the same way I used to treat our toddler kids by using the power of distraction.
Let imagination guide the mind. During my mile race before running CIM California International marathon , I used one of the signs someone made for us runners to fuel my imagination and to make me run at marathon pace the entire race.