Episode 4-347 – Mike Croy and the One Breath

The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-347 – Mike Croy and the One Breath

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Link epi4347.mp3

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks – http://www.marathonbq.com/qualify-for-the-boston-marathon-in-14-weeks/

Hello my friends and welcome to episode 4-347 of the RunRunLive Podcast.  Today we are going to reconnect with our old friend Mike the DirtDawg who has been doing a lot of useful work around mindfulness in his life, with his students and in his community.  I chat with him about some practical ways we can use mindfulness in our lives and some basic, easy ways to implement it.

In section one I’m going to zoom in on how meditation or mindfulness can help amateur athletes.  In section two I’m going to do a quick summary of how a 30 day project works and how you can use it to get some traction in your life.

Because, as I write this I’m wrapping up my latest 30 day plan.  I tend to try to do a bunch of things in parallel when I do 30 day projects.  This one I was trying to get up early, clean up my nutrition, avoid alcohol and work on my next book project.

It went very well, except for the last couple days where I was on vacation – that always causes some hiccups in the process.  But I managed to keep the damage minimal while not being bad company.  Up until that point though I had lost a bunch of weight and had mat all my goals and felt fantastic.

I didn’t get as much work done on my book project as I would have liked, but all in all it was a good month for me.

I was particularly pleased with this because I took a 2 week break from running at the same time I took on the 30-day project. I kicked off the project on the 1st of August the day after my trail marathon.  The Achilles was hurting so coach gave me a week off.  After a week I ran once and felt awful.  I ended up walking back from that run.  That run was day 7 or 8 of the 30 day project, and as I will explain, that is when the project sucks the most.  I was in a bad place with no energy.

My runs have been awful all summer.  I just felt sick, had no energy and was hating my runs.  I got them done but it was a struggle.  That’s one of the reasons I decided to put my foot down and use a 30-day project to clean up.  I decided to clean up my nutrition and with Rachel’s help rebuild my healthy biome.

After the day-7 run debacle Coach smelled over-training and gave me another week off.  Not off, but off from running.  That’s when I started to turn the corner.  About 14 days in he finally gave me the green light and told me do an easy 1:15 run.

At this point I was lighter, healthier and well rested. I decided to go out at night after work. The night was cool, around 60, and the humidity had let up. I left everything at home and just wore a pair of racing shorts.  No phone, no bottle, no shirt – just my Garmin and the heart strap.

And – Oh my god! I felt weightless.  I couldn’t control myself and was literally flying.  I didn’t even start to feel any tiredness until the last long climb up to my house.  Coach was a bit peeved when I posted my ‘easy’ run and it turned out to be a 8+ mile marathon pace tempo run. But really, sometimes you just can’t help yourself.

The other thing I’m noticing is that my HR is staying down.  It’s behaving nicely and just the way I would expect it to.

My Achilles is still a little sore but I’m working it.  My runs since then have been fairly fabulous.   Plus, since I’m getting up early anyhow I can knock them out in the morning without much suffering.  It’s all good.  The wave is cresting again.

I’m going to see if I can keep the nutrition going until October.  In 30 days I got down to 175 pounds which is very light for me.  I think with a little focus I could get under 170 and I haven’t been there, ever.  I’m curious to see what that would do for my racing.

park-rainBy the way, when I say ‘Clean Nutrition’ I mean eating 98% healthy, whole food, nothing packaged, lots of fruit and veg and nuts.  An occasional hit of fish or meat if I feel like I’m not getting enough calories.  I’ve cut out fried food, bread, most dairy and as much sugar as I can find on the food labels – although sometimes the bastards sneak some by me.

When I set up the project with Rachel I told her my focus was not to lose weight but to get healthy.  But, as usual, once you focus on eating clean and healthy, the weight just comes off naturally.  It’s not due to a lack of calories per se, just a different mix.  Remember, the first two weeks of this I wasn’t even running.

There are a couple things I’m doing slightly different this time around.  First, I’m trying to get enough healthy fats.  I include olive oil in my salads and other meals as a condiment, and I mix a spoonful of coconut oil into my oatmeal in the morning – because apparently coconut oil is the new superfood.

Second, we’ve been experimenting with lots of probiotic foods like KimChi, Sauerkraut, pickles, organic honey and homemade fermented beet juice.  This time of year I’m getting fresh chard and cukes from my garden too and they come with some helpful organisms riding along from the great outdoors.  You can get useful critters from any of the fresh from field produce available this time of year.

Check your labels to find certified organic or live culture foods.  To be clear, I don’t mean the well-known yoghurts and other probiotic labeled dairy products which, in my humble opinion, are just another packaged food ploy to stuff more dairy and sugar down your throat.

I don’t know if it is good or bad but my innards are a lot happier now after a month or so of working the probiotic, healthy food plan into my life.  It’s amazing how large a change you can make in a short amount of time with a little focus.

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sevenevesLast week I uploaded two, count ‘em, two, book reviews.  One for the Neal Stephenson SevenEves scifi tome and another for Moonwalking with Einstein, a treatise on memory techniques.

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I was reading the New York Times in the airport on my way back from vacation.  There was an article in there about Lucy, the famous Australopithecine.  They found Lucy’s fossilized bones in Kenya in 1974 and it really kicked off the study and understanding of all the different branches of the hominid family tree since.

Lucy was a small, juvenile, female Australopithecine that lived in the forested grasslands of Africa a few million years ago.  They weren’t humans in the sense that we think of Homo sapiens – the thinking ape.  They were a side branch or transitional form of hominid that seems to have been moving out of the trees to walk upright on the ground.

According to the news, it seems Lucy’s 2M+ year-old fossilized bones were making a tour of the US.  Some scientists took the opportunity to create a thorough CAT scan of them.  In this way they could get detailed digital images that they could analyze without having to have the bones themselves.

One of the things that they discovered is a number of compression fractures.  These are the type of fractures you get when you hit something hard, like in car accident or a fall from a great height.  They postulate that poor little Lucy met her demise by falling out of a tall tree.

I question these conclusions.  I don’t think anything so mundane happened.  I see the forensic evidence and I think Lucy was definitely into extreme sports.  She was probably wing-suit flying off the ridge from mount Kilimanjaro or paragliding over the volcanoes.  Maybe she was caught in a sudden gust of wind or was rattled by an ill-timed tremor from imbibing too much Red Bull.  Without fully developed opposable thumbs she couldn’t hang on and she crashed.

I’m no scientist but I have watched many episodes of CSI Las Vegas and that’s where the data leads me.  It was like an Australopithecine version of Point Break.  They had some mad-dog skills and liked to live on the edge those Australopithecines.  Live fast, die young, leave a fossilized pile of bone fragments – that was their motto.

On with the show.

Section one –

buddha-chiMeditation and mindfulness in Sport –http://www.runrunlive.com/meditation-in-sport

Voices of reason – the conversation

Mike Croy – “DirtDawg50k”

www.root2shine.com

Mike Croy serves as a high school principal for special education students who have been diagnosed with severe emotional impairments. His area of expertise lies in working with at risk students and families for the past 20 years.  Mike is driven to serve by his belief that we are all works in progress and the key is to keep moving forward.

Mike began teaching yoga and mindfulness/meditation classes to his students as a result of him obtaining his 200 RYT (Yoga Teacher Training) and has since started to offer it to staff and adults to help others find the space to be mindful and breathe in a hyper connected world.  He is also a 24x marathoner and has completed several ultramarathons including the Burning River 100.

Contact information: mike@root2shine.com

website: www.root2shine.com

Root 2 Shine: http://root2shine.libsyn.com/

RSS FEED: http://root2shine.libsyn.com/rss

Dirt Dawg’s Rambling Diatribe: http://dirtdawg.podbean.com/

RSS FEED:  http://dirtdawg.podbean.com/feed/

Section two

song-of-the-larkAnatomy of a 30-day project – http://runrunlive.com/anatomy-of-a-30-day-wellness-project

Outro

Well my friends you have mindfully sat and watched your body’s breath through the end of episode 4-347 of the RunRunLive Podcast.

Ohmm…

Ohmm Padni ma…

Yeah.  Rock solid.  Good job.

I’m rolling off the long weekend and heading down to Atlanta to work.  I was out in Chicgao on holidays for a long weekend.  In my career I’ve been there many times but it was fun to go as a tourist.  I got up every morning and went out to run around the lakefront and Grant Park.  Two out of Three days it poured on me in the morning.  But that was ok.  I just took my shirt off and enjoyed myself.

ferrisI did a 2:20 long run Sunday morning and the path was packed with Chicago Marathon aspirants and club runners.  The triathletes were swimming their workouts in the lake. It just so happened that the Chicago Triathlon was also going on over at Grant Park.  There was a constant stream of bicycles on Lakeshore drive the whole time I was out.

We took the architecture tour up the river one night, went to Second City another night and then caught a Cubs game another night.  We walked through the Chicago Institute of Art one day as well.  Like I said it poured rain, but only while I was out running.

I’ll share one image with you.  Monday morning I was running a fartlek run. I got up a 6:00 AM local time, ran down the river trail, crossed over on the Lakeshore Drive bridge, ran out to the end of Navy pier and circled around to head north on the lakeshore path.

chi1It was early, overcast and humid.  It hadn’t started to rain yet.  The lake was calm and the triathletes were cruising in the shallows parallel to the shore making little wave here and there. There are some sections of beach and sections of concrete along here as the path winds along the coves and points.

I passed the remnants of a beach volleyball tournament that was being disassembled.  Not too many runners were out yet.  Bicyclists were making their way inbound to the city.  Early morning maintenance crews were picking up trash and readying the day’s projects.

At one point as I ran along the cement wall I could look down and see into the water of Lake Michigan.  It was clear enough for me to see the sandy bottom and I had to stop because there was a 3-5 pound bass going about its business there immune to my strivings.

A few minutes later as I pushed north, throwing in occasional 2 minute surges, the heavens opened up with a warm downpour.  This broke the humidity and washed the sweat from my body.  My shoes squished along as I weaved around the deeper puddles.  Another good morning run in the windy city.

“Life Moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop to look around once in a while you could miss it.” Ferris

cubs

Next up for me is the Wapack Trail race 18 miler.  I’m just going to try to have fun and enjoy myself.  If I can get in under 4 hours and not hurt myself that will be great! After that I have that Spartan race the next weekend.  I’m going to take Teresa up with me and spend the night.  My Beast race is on Saturday and she’s going to do the sprint version on Sunday.

Coach wanted me to skip it and focus on the Portland Marathon in October.  If I stay on my nutrition plan and manage to squeeze some training in and stay healthy I could do well out there.  I’m not worried about it though.  I think my days of overwrought expectations are over!

Speaking of overwrought expectations, on one of the planes on the way to Chicago a lady next to me was reading “Fast Girl” – Suzy Favor-Hamilton’s book.  I asked if it was any good and she said she was done with it and gave it to me.  I took it and read it over the next couple days.  I’ll see if I can’t write up a full review but I’m still processing it.

Suzy was a contemporary of mine.  We’re about the same age. I remember her on the cover of that running magazine back in the 1990’s.  She was fast and pretty and the media loved her.  She made 3 Olympic teams in the 1500 but mentally imploded in all of them.

fastgirlIt turns out she’s bipolar and has been struggling with mental illness her whole life. The final manifestation of that mental illness was her becoming a high-paid escort in Las Vegas.  Apparently she brought the same enthusiasm to that as she brought to everything else – but that’s a symptom of being bipolar.

I follow Suzy on Facebook and she is a genuinely likable person.  I’m still processing her story because there is so much intertwined here with the competition, the mental illness and yes, the sex.  It’s a complicated mess for her and her family.  I’m glad that these types of illnesses have less of a stigma now than they did, but it’s still a complicated mess.

It makes you wonder, when your mind is capable of such deception and complexity in the extreme, how much of what’s going on in your head is real and how much any of it actually matters?

The human mind is a complex and sometimes deceptive intelligence.  We should all be careful to remember that.

I’ll leave you to think on that.  As you ping pong around on the inside of your overly complicated homo sapiens skull bone – how much does any of that noise matter?

Everyone thinks they are the center of the universe.  We worry about what other’s think. We worry about being good enough, rich enough, smart enough, strong enough – we create, or allow that complex human brain to create stories and chaos.  You don’t have to create that chaos.  All that noise is inside your own head and you and I, if we want to we can quiet it.

Maybe you think you’re alone in the world with your deamons.  But you’re not. We’re in this together my friend.

Quiet your mind.  Get some help if you need to.  You’re not alone.  You’ve got us.

And I’ll see you out there.

 

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks – http://www.marathonbq.com/qualify-for-the-boston-marathon-in-14-weeks/

Http://www.marathonbq.com

http://runrunlive.com/my-books

2 Comments

  • Duane Hespell

    Reply Reply September 7, 2016

    Another great release, Chris. Your content continues to be of substantial value. Inspiring. I usually just wait for your next episode to upload to iTunes, but seem to be missing some of your extra submissions, like these book reviews and such. I have to find a way to make checking the website more of a habit.

    I’m only training for a half marathon now this fall but hope to build more challenges into my schedule for next year. Hmmm…maybe join you for the Groton marathon? 🙂

    Duane

  • cyktrussell

    Reply Reply September 16, 2016

    The other content is part of the members feed. Right now you have to get the mp3’s out of the blog posts in the member’s area but I’m working on a separate feed.
    Thanks for the complimentary comments.
    Cheers,
    C-,

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