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By Jen Shotwell, PikesPeakSports.us Triple Crown Runners

In yoga class, lying on my back on the mat, eyes closed, concentrating on breathing and letting go of the stresses of the day.  My mind is resistant to settling down, I hear the teacher softly telling the class to “bring the puppy back to the paper”  as a metaphor for focusing the mind in a gentle but you’re in charge kind of way.  I smile to myself…this is the approach I need to get my running focus back in place.

Lets just say that my training plan for May did not turn out like I planned. Kind of felt like the wheels come off as far as my running schedule goes. The many pitfalls included the normal obstacles that frequent all our lives: travel, studying, work, illness, weather and more studying. I did enjoy a few quality runs but not the quantity that I feel I really needed to prepare for the Garden of the Gods 10-Mile Run, the first Race in the Triple Crown.

So the plan was to simply get up, get dressed and tie up the new running shoes and head outside for a "be in the moment" run for pure the joy of it, letting go of expectations and regrets.

What a beautiful morning for the Garden of the Gods race.  This was my first time running in this event and the Triple Crown series.  I had a few pre-race jitters as I wove my way through the hoards of runners warming up and waiting in the pit stop line.

In a quest to pick up my Pikes Peak Sports singlet  I must have passed by the PPS tent four times until I finally located my goal, it’s those pre-race nerves.  At the starting line I was feeling pretty good, glad to have my husband there and well wishes from a few friends.

My strategy was to run a consistent pace, be aware of my running form and hydrate at the water stops. I hoped to finish in 1:45-1:50, a total guestimate since this was my first time on this course.

What a beautiful venue, blue skies, red rocks and the opportunity to enjoy the morning with a few thousand of your friends; all with many reasons for being there but all with the same goal. That is my view from the middle of the pack which was a spectacular view. See you at the Summer Roundup…or Jack Quinns….or on any trail..

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