Runner Moms Podcast | Episode 15

On Running with Your Spouse and Connecting with the Run

Dominique King from Lean in With the Kings joins episode 15 to share her running story. She offers a ton of useful advice including tips for running with your partner, advice for connecting with the run, insight on the benefits of moving meditation and so much more. 

Here are the highlights:

  • Dominique and her husband Ken now regularly run together. Their couple runs began after Ken asked to tag along on Dominique’s runs as a way to spend more time together in their hectic lives. She offers useful tips for running with your partner and how to recruit a non-running spouse to join the sport.
  • Safety is a top concern for female runners. Dominique runs primarily on isolated trails and has refined her strategy for running safely in remote areas. She offers actionable tips for staying safe, including the importance of letting someone know your running route.
  • In addition to Ken, Dominique’s top running companion is her dog Storm. She shares what it’s like to run with a canine companion and give advice for runners who may be thinking of finding a canine running companion.
  • Dominique views running as a form of moving meditation. She discusses the benefits of using running to achieve mental clarity and how she has learned to carry the clarity that she achieves while running into other areas of her life. During the discussion, she references Episode 11 of the Runner Moms Podcast featuring Zuisei Goddard.
  • Dominique ends her online posts with the tag line, Be Well. You are Worthy. She shares the meaning behind that phrase and also discusses her commitment to connecting with the run each time she hits the trails.

Connect with Dominique:

The Runner Moms Coffee Collection launched this week! The Coffee Collection is a celebration of our community and of your strength as a mom runner. The collection includes three unique roasts that were created in collaboration with a local roasterie that upholds the highest standards in coffee roasting and takes great care in where they source the beans for their roasts. 

The three roasts included in the Runner Moms collections are: 

Rise and Run: A light and warming roast to fuel your running journey. 
Sole Sisters: A smooth and inviting roast to enjoy with your best running friend. 
Strong as a Mother: A bold and complex roast. Just like you, momma. 

Shop now and read the full story behind our coffee collection, including sourcing details and producer stories on our website. A portion of all proceeds from the shop will be donated to provide shoes for youth in need.

Shop the Runner Moms Coffee Collection: https://runnermoms.com/shop/
Explore the Runner Moms recipes: https://runnermoms.com/recipes/

Episode Transcript:

Introduction:

Welcome to the Runner Moms Podcast where we help women embrace their inner strength, take time for themselves and lead healthier lives. So, settle in and soak up some inspiration. Then rise, lace up those running shoes and embrace your inner strength because, momma, you run this world.

Shayla:

Welcome to episode 15 of the Runner Moms podcast! I’m Shayla, your host and founder of the Runner Moms community and I’m thrilled that you’re joining me for today’s show.

I can’t wait to introduce you to today’s guest but, before that, I wanted to give you a heads up about something new that has been brewing around here for a while.

I’m so excited to announce that this past week, I officially launched the Runner Moms Coffee Collection! The Coffee Collection is a celebration of our community and of your strength as a mom runner. The collection includes three unique roasts that were created in collaboration with a local roasterie. This roasterie is near and dear to my heart, as the bulk of my entrepreneurial ideas and ventures have been launched from a table in their coffee shop, with a traditional cappuccino in hand. I wanted to work with them in launching the coffee collection because they have the highest standards in coffee roasting and take great care in where they source the beans for their roasts.

The three roasts included in the Runner Moms collections are:

Rise and Run, which is a light and warming roast to fuel your running journey. Sole sisters, a smooth and inviting roast to enjoy with your best running friend. And, Strong as a Mother, which is a bold and complex roast, just like you, momma.

I’ve posted the full story behind our coffee collection, including sourcing details and producer stories to our website’s shop if you want to check them out. It’s all over at runner moms dot com slash shop and I’ll include the link within the episode show notes. A portion of all proceeds from the shop will be donated to provide shoes for youth in need.

Now, on to today’s episode. Joining me today is Dominique King. You can find her online as Lean in with the Kings and I just love her online content so I wanted to bring her on the show to share all of her goodness with you. From tips for running with your partner to advice connecting with the run and insight on the benefits of moving meditation, Dominique is going to share so much wonderful content with us today.

So, with that, let’s welcome Dominique to the show.

Welcome to the Runner Moms podcast, Dominique! I’m really looking forward to our conversation, learning your backstory as a runner, talking through the tips that you have for running with a partner as well as all of the great stuff that we’re going to cover. But, to start, do you just want to give the Runner Moms community a little bit of background about yourself?

Domonique:

Yeah, absolutely. First, I would like to say, thank you so much, Shayla, for opening up your platform to me. This is such an exciting experience. To talk a little about myself. My name is Domonique King. I’m first of all an individual. I like to say that because, as a mother and wife, sometimes we throw those hats on first. I am a wife to an amazing man, Kenneth King. I have three wonderful children. I’m a forever student. That could be a podcast all in itself but I like to say that as well. For the last four years, I have been my daughter’s homeschool teacher.

We have three fur babies as well. One of which is more like my four-legged best friend and running companion. If you’ve seen me on any social media, you know Storm is not far behind. We have Lola who is in training. The smallest of the group is Rainbow Dash, but he really rules the roost around here. He’s the household cat. And, finally, I enjoy meditating and running. My preference is long distance trail running.

Shayla:

I love the pet names! They’re amazing, number one. And, circling back to talking about being a lifelong learner. That really excites me to hear that because I feel that I’m the same as well. There’s always something new to learn on any topic. So that’s pretty awesome. Well, let’s start the conversation, maybe let’s just start by exploring your back story as a runner. When did your journey with running begin?

Dominique:

With running, I’ve always been a runner. It has always been my form of exercise but I won’t say that it was always a healthy form of exercise for me. I think I fell into the group who, like most men and women, believe you’ll lose weight. So, that was kind of always my catalyst for running and I didn’t really have a change of mindset until around 2018 going into 2019 where I started understanding and falling in love with the run and taking different aspects from the mental approach that made me a better overall person. That’s really where I feel that my running actually began was in 2018.

Shayla:

You know, looking back in your earlier years as a runner, was there any underlying stress or anything happening in your life that may have been coming to the surface while running and thus impacting your enjoyment of running? Anything there that you want to explore?

Dominique:

The biggest thing for me when I was younger was running was a way for me to escape a lot of issues that were going on in my home life. When I was running, it was my way of controlling what was going on around me. That became my outlet for just getting away and getting out. It’s easy just to tell people, “Hey, I’m going for a run.” And they just accept that versus you talking about why you want to go for a run. Just saying, “I’m going for a run.” Usually was good enough.

Then, when I got older, I was pregnant with my first daughter and I gained a lot of weight, probably like 70 pounds and I really spiraled out of a good mental state about my weight because I had always been small. So that was a big trigger for me. So, I began running just trying to get off the weight. So, the more I ran and the more I saw results, I was like, ok, this is working for me. This is a good thing but then it transitioned over into something unhealthy when you start stepping on the scale every day and then determining how far or how long you run based upon what that morning weight is.

I would say in my earlier years, running was more so a way to have control over the things that I thought I was out of control with.

Shayla:

Yeah, that comes up in a lot of conversations that I have with other runner moms. It’s kind of the beginning story with a lot of runners, I have found. That was kind of my beginning story as well with running, but you said that things kind of changed in 2018 with your relationship with running. What was it about that time or what clicked in that year that kind of started the change for you with your relationship with running?

Dominique:

It’s not so much about the click with running. I was in, I wouldn’t call it, a lot of moms can understand this. You get to a place where you’re doing everything for your kids. You’re doing everything for your spouse. You’re doing everything for everyone else and you’re kind of left empty. Once I started getting out and running and actually making time just to get out to run to think, there was a shift that happened because I stopped worrying about the weight or what I look like. It became more about finding peace and balance and having that space to breathe.

Running became this transcending force that just allowed me to balance myself mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually. It didn’t take the place of therapy, but, in that moment in my life, running just really became this sacred space for me. I just fell in love with it.

Shayla:

Yeah, I can completely relate to that as well. I don’t know, just being a mom, it seems like, at least for me personally, I don’t know if this is the same for you, but the kids come to me primarily with all of their problems and their issues and their complaints. Of course I want to be the vessel for that stuff, but you need an outlet for just you to recharge, to reset. To just have that time for yourself and I completely relate to what you’re saying. Running has become that time for me as well.

Dominique:

Oh yeah! I always say this and I’ve mentioned it on some of my posts before is you’re owed a wellness clock. That wellness clock is yours to commit to and no matter what else is going on around you, you owe yourself to hit start on that button. However you choose to move. Whatever brings you that feeling of balance and wellness and peace. Your wellness clock is yours. You have to hit start on it. I know, as a mom, I used to spend time hiding in the bathroom just to eat my favorite snacks, so I know the feeling!

Shayla:

Been there! So, while running is a solo sport in that you get a personal medal for crossing the finish line, you have mentioned that you place a large emphasis also on recognizing your support system. So, who is that support system for you?

Dominique:

Definitely, hands down, my support system is my husband Ken. I just feel like, without him, I couldn’t do the type of running that I do. I spend a lot of time out in the wilderness, per se, and without him supporting me or really understanding what it means to me, I wouldn’t be able to do it or it would take a lot more of a balancing act to be able to get out there. So, yeah, definitely my husband, he’s my rock, my support system.

Shayla:

And I love following along on your couple run posts that you put out there with you and your husband Ken. How did you first start running together and what has your evolution as a running couple looked like from the beginning up until now?

Dominique:

I’m laughing because it brought back a memory of when Ken first started running and he absolutely, there’s no other way to say it, he hated it. When we first started out, Ken was a little bit on edge about asking to spend that time with me running because he understood how important running was for me. So, he didn’t want to impose on that time. But, it came out of the need for us to spend time together. Our lives are pretty hectic. My husband’s schedule can take him away from home for long hours, sometimes days.

Being able to find time to connect with each other is really important. So, when he asked if he could run with me, at first I was apprehensive. But then I thought, well hey, if I love the run then he’ll love the run and then he’ll run all of these crazy miles with me. Which, is not the case. But, he does enjoy getting out there and it just started from a need for us to just spend that time together and connect.

Shayla:

I love how you phrased it that, I mean, it’s just obvious that he has an understanding of what running is to you and how it’s that personal time for you and that he respects that. But, it’s also just very adorable that he wanted to have that connection with you. That he was willing to take up running just to have that connection with you and that extra time with you. That’s really cool. You don’t hear that with every relationship.

Dominique:

Yeah, you know, my husband, he’s a good guy. I was going to say he’s an interesting guy. But, he is an interesting guy. He has always been the type of person who, if he can understand it, if you can break down what something means to you or a goal that you have, he’ll be your biggest fan. That’s not just for me, that’s just his personality in general. But, I like to think I’m a little extra special because he decided to take on this endeavor. Now, he’s grown to appreciate it even more. Now, he’s getting ready to run his first 5k, so that’s a big deal.

Shayla:

Yeah, that’s amazing. So, how have you found your rhythm as a running couple? What do your runs typically look like? Do you stick together at the same pace? Do you split off and meet up together at the end? What does that all look like?

Dominique:

For Ken and I, we have completely different run styles. We have different paces. Sometimes we have different goals. Different enjoyment levels. We wear different attire. We’re just the two opposites out there hanging out together. But, some days we start at the same time and we finish at the same time. Some days, Ken knows when I want to let loose and I know when he wants me to leave him alone. So, on those days, I’ll take off and go do my thing and I’ll wait for him at the finish line or I’ll turn around and meet him where he is or we’ll run together. It just, it all depends on how we’re feeling and by measuring each other’s moods, we can determine what our run is going to look like. So, there is never one set way that we run. We really just feed off of each other and take it from there with patience.

Shayla:

So, what does running as a couple bring you that couldn’t come from a movie night or a dinner date or something like that?

Dominique:

One really valuable special thing that happens when we’re on a couple run is that I’ve learned to appreciate and he has learned to appreciate our rhythm. You can learn a lot about a person by how they run. You learn their breathing styles. You learn where they overcompensate at. You learn their feelings out there. You learn what drives them and we’ve been able to connect on such a deeper level because when we take what we see each other do on a run into our real life, it helps us to have better conversations with each other. It helps us to know, ok, I can tell by the way he’s running today, I can tell he’s a little bit off. So, maybe he’s tired. Maybe he needs a break today. Ken can tell when I have a lot of anxiety in my run because I may be striking that day and he’s like, ok, she has a lot of built up stuff going on right now so I just kind of need to hang back and let her be today.

So, we’ve learned each other on a deeper level than we could ever get from just sitting inside of a movie theatre or in a restaurant.

Shayla:

Yeah, I love that. My husband, we don’t run together regularly just because our littlest son is too young to leave at home along and so, but we have run a few races together and I just love those memories. They are becoming some of my best memories. Just the connection and then just feeling each other’s strength. It’s just, as you said, connection on a deeper different level.

Dominique:

And you know what, there’s nothing like having your partner boost you up on a run. There are some days where I don’t think I’m gonna do well or I don’t think I’m gonna perform the way that I want to and he’s right there telling me how awesome I am and that I got this and that I can do it. So, just having that extra push out there is, I’m biased because we do it, but I encourage couples to at least try to fit one couple run in here and there just to have those moments and build those memories.

Shayla:

Yeah, that’s fantastic. Do you have tips for listeners who want to recruit their partner to start running with them?

Dominique:

Yes, I do! I actually do because I did it all wrong in the beginning! So, my biggest thing first is to be patient. If you are the spouse that enjoys to run, don’t expect your spouse to enjoy it as much as you do. It’s a learned thing. You don’t just hop into it and have the best runs right away. So, just be patient with your spouse. Also, don’t hold each other to a pace. Like I said before, some days I run faster than Ken. Some days he keeps up with me. It just depends on how we’re feeling. So, it’s ok, that’s a big thing, it’s ok to finish or start at different times.

This is a big one – Do not tell your partner what they are doing wrong when they are starting out! They don’t want to hear it! It will discourage them. They won’t want to go with you. They will think you are bossy! So, you have to keep quiet. I know as a person who is a runner and I read all of the books about how to run properly. How to breathe properly. I just needed to be quiet and let him get his groove. Like that movie, The Emperor’s New Groove, I just had to let him find it.

Then, just be open to compromise. I love running hills. I’m a trail runner at heart. Ken is not running any hills with me unless he wants to and that’s very rare. So, just being up to run different terrains and compromise with each other is big. The last one is, have fun. Not every run should be serious. Some days we spend more time joking and laughing and messing around than we do running. But, it’s ours to make it what we want. So, yeah, just make sure you have fun out there.

Shayla:

Oh, those are fabulous tips, thank you for those. So, I notice that you also often run with your dog Storm. How long has she been your running companion?

Dominique:

In this life or a previous life? Because I feel like we’ve connected on others forms. But, right now I feel like she has been my running partner since early 2019.

Shayla:

Does she keep up pretty well with you?

Dominique:

Oh, she loves it! That is why she’s able to run with me. Storm is a natural runner. She wakes up every morning and she is ready to go. If I’m on a run and I’m not keeping the tempo, she’s the first one to give me the look like, ok girl, pick up the pace. We’ve got places to be. She’s just motivated. There’s nothing that I need to do to motivate her to run. She just gets out there and she loves it just as much as I do.

Shayla:

Do you have any tips for listeners who may be thinking of getting a canine running companion? Anything I particular that you’ve learned along the way?

Dominique:

Research. Know what kind of pet you’re getting and what they’re capable of doing. All dogs can run in some form or fashion but does that dog fit in with the type of running that you do. Then, my other biggest tip is making sure you get them checked out before you start. Just like before you start any kind of physical program, you want to have a physical and talk to your doctor. You want to do that with your dog. Have them checked out at the vet. Make sure they don’t have any hip or legs problems or anything that may hinder them.

Another big tip is, you have to be consistent. If you start a dog, your dog running, they need to know that this what we do. This is our routine and, for the most part, it’s not going to change. Dogs need consistency just like you or I.

Shayla:

Yeah, those are great tips as well. I’ve never personally, well, I’ve ran with our dog a few times and I should probably run with her more often. She’s a little overweight. So, she can’t keep up very well. So, we need to do some work there. My husband runs with her more often than I do.

Dominique:

Yeah, you know, having a dog as a partner out there helps on many different levels. You know, you have your four legged friend who keeps you motivated. They also keep you safe out there if you’re running trails. You know, it’s just like having your own personal best friend support system keeping you on your toes. So yeah, I think running with a dog is great.

Shayla:

That also brought to mind your recent YouTube video that you had posted the steps that you take to stay safe as a female runner. Safety is obviously a top topic in the women’s running community. If you don’t mind, maybe revisiting some of those tips for the runner moms community about your personal approach to staying safe while running? Especially when you’re out on those isolated trails.

Dominique:

One of my biggest things is someone needs to know where you’re going. As isolated as I look out there, someone knows where I am and those routes are planned out. I make sure that I have the regional park maps to refer to and I also use different running apps to make sure that I can connect to my husband so he knows exactly where I’m at. Also, is have a safety kit. A safety kit is fundamentally important to have out there and whatever you need to put in there to feel safe.

One of the things I carry is I have a taser. I also have an extra phone that I carry. I have things like wire cutters. You just have to have a safety kit that fits where you run and the type of running that you do and what you need to feel safe and comfortable handling. You don’t want to have anything in your safety kit that you’re going to be afraid to use in case of emergency.

Another big tip for being safe for me is also always being aware of my surroundings. So keeping my music off or keeping it at a low volume. That ways I can be constantly aware of what’s going on. Also having Storm. Storm is a great asset out there because she can pick up on things before I ever even see them or hear them.

Shayla:

Yeah, those are awesome tips. I am embarrassed to say this, but when I first started running I was, so, we live out in the country and I run mainly on gravel roads, and I told my husband exactly which route I was going to take. I kind of just let my feelings and everything kind of drive where I went each day. He would always kind of push me and make me pick a route and tell him where I was going. It finally clicked after a while. Oh, yeah, something can happen to me and he needs to know where I am.

Dominique:

We’re in the same boat! It took me a while. I used to just go on a trail and just check it out. Ken is the one who would remind me like, “Hey, someone needs to know where you are!”

Shayla:

Ok, ok. You’re right!

Dominique:

By nature I’m an adventurous person but I definitely have to play it safe especially in some of the areas that I go. So your husband is right.

Shayla:

Adventure with boundaries. I get it! My husband had bought me a can of mace. It was ridiculously large that I would put in my FlipBelt that I put it in. Then, just after a while in thinking through scenarios that would happen out there, if someone would come upon me, it would take a lot of work to get that mace out of my FlipBelt and actually use it which would probably be unrealistic. So, I ended up the Go Guarded. This is not an advertisement for Go Guarded in any way! It’s kind of a knife on one end and mace on the other and I just kind of hold that in my hand when I’m running now.

Dominique:

Yeah, so, as long as you feel comfortable with your equipment and that’s a big thing is testing your equipment. Making sure that it’s something that you can pull out and use. Or that it’s charged or that it works the way that you want it to work. You never want to be in a situation trying to read the instruction manual on anything!

Shayla:

Right. That’s not going to be practical in an emergency situation. Well, kind of turning back to your journey as a runner, looking at your life currently, what is your biggest struggle that you’re facing with running?

Dominique:

My biggest struggle would have to be patience. For me, it’s about understanding that every run can’t be your best run. You can’t have the best time. You can’t run the farthest every single time. It’s looking at my runs and taking it as growth instead of a hinderance. It’s big on accepting the lesson before attaching my run to the proverbial success or failure. So, yeah, my biggest thing is patience right now.

Shayla:

I love what you said about taking, when something doesn’t go as planned or as well as you had hoped, taking that as a learn instead of viewing it as a failure. I’m really embracing that right now as well.

Dominique:

Yeah, it’s all a stepping stone. If we get stuck on that one run. That one bad run or that one not so great, you know, we didn’t hit that distance, we’re hindering ourself instead of taking it as a moment to reflect and go, “Ok, well why didn’t I do it this way today? Was it my nutrition? Did I not get enough sleep? Is it just one of those days and then the next day going after it and being better prepared or having a better mindset about it?”

Shayla:

Yeah, that’s awesome. So, obviously this past year threw a big curveball to everyone with running goals and life goals in general, but hopefully as the world gets back on its feet and things start to resolve in the near future, looking to your future personally, what are your goals with running?

Dominique:

My goals with running this year is always to, first, run well. That doesn’t mean fast or it doesn’t mean the best. It just means to run in a way that is balancing for me. As far as goals like tangible, nice medals to get, I’m doing two half marathons, two marathons, and then my first ultra will be a 50k and then my last ultra of the year will be an 80k.

Shayla:

Oh my goodness, those are some awesome goals! I know that you said your trail running and ultra running are big interests of yours. What kind of sparked your interest in moving towards ultra running?

Dominique:

Well, first off, I did not think I fit in ultra running. I did not think that it was a place where I would feel welcomed or I would see much representation of me but covid really forced us to be more online which can be a good or a bad thing I guess. As I got on Instagram and I start seeing all of these amazing ultra runners that looked like me, I was like, “Oh, I can do this! I don’t have to just stay in this one box and I’m not the only person out here on this trail that looks like me. There is a plethora of people.” So it just inspired me to go for it and just realize that me going into this space, is I’m advocating for someone to look at it and go, “Oh, there’s someone that looks like me there. I can go do that too.” So, it’s really just seeing representation that sparked me to go, “Oh, I can really go for this.”

Shayla:

Oh, I love that. Yeah, and I’ve heard, I would love to get more into trail and hopefully eventually ultra running but I’m not there yet, but I’ve heard from other runner moms that the trail running community is just so welcoming and supportive. Have you found that?

Dominique:

Definitely. When I started trail running, I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t have the right shoes. I didn’t have the right clothes. My thighs kept getting chapped and I didn’t know what was going on. When I reached out to IG to different trail runners, the information that they were willing to give and just the outpour of help was awesome. I mean, in less than a month I would say of me really getting into trail running and talking to different runners, I was geared up with everything I needed and ready to go. I was able to focus on the run and not so much on what I didn’t have or what I wasn’t doing right because I just had this outpouring of support.

Shayla:

Oh, that’s amazing. Well yeah, and that just takes away the mental burden of getting out for a run and realizing you don’t have what you need or, like you said, just not having the gear that hinders your abilities. That’s really great to hear.

Dominique:

Yeah, you know, learning to have the water backpack was one of the biggest things. I was like, “What do you mean I can take my water and carry it on my back and not have to have these bottles hanging just holding this bottle the whole time.” So, it’s the small things and you don’t know about it until you really get out there and do it and you start talking to other people that have been doing it for a longer time than you. Just the amount of information that is available to you is awesome and the community will give you what you need if you’re willing to ask.

Shayla:

Well, yeah, just that one point alone of picking out a vest with water bottles in it. I’m sure there are a million varieties that you could choose between and just having that community to say, “Hey, what’s worked well for you.” Yeah, that’s awesome.

So, speaking of Instagram, I love following along on your Instagram posts. The moods of your videos and photos, they just seem so peaceful and calm. They just bring a bright spot to my day to be honest. So, those moods of your posts, is that how you feel while running? Or, put another way, what does running bring you at this stage of your life?

Dominique:

Peace and I’m so glad that’s what you get when you look at my posts because that’s really what it is. It’s peace. I want to present something that is authentic to who I am. So, when I get out there and I take those pictures, and I write those posts, that’s really what I’m feeling. That’s really the mood that I’m in. The experience that I have when I’m out there is one of just mental clarity and you had an amazing interview on your last podcast, I don’t want to mess up her name.

Shayla:

Oh, with Zuisei. Yeah.

Dominique:

And she was talking about understanding your why and your intention. That is so important. When I go out there and I run, my intention is to have peace. My intention and my why is to be balanced and really tap into that connection between me and the dirt and the earth and what I’m feeling. So, yeah, that’s just really what I’m trying to get across in my posts is that sense of peace. So, I’m overjoyed that’s what you see and you feel from it.

Shayla:

Yeah, your posts are some of my favorites. They’re so amazing. Well, do you have any tips for other mom runners who may not have yet found that peace or that calm mindset while running? Do you have any tips for them for accomplishing that?

Dominique:

One of the tips that I would say for mom runners is, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype. It’s easy to get lost in watching everybody else run and they’re doing these amazing things and they’re running these far distances at these great paces. It’s almost like an internal competition with yourself to which you’re never going to win because you’re never going to feel like you’re going to measure up to that.

I would just say, if you’re starting out, don’t fall into the hype. Get out there and do the pace that fits you and run for you. Don’t run for anyone else, for anything else. It needs to be for you. And if that’s a one mile run or a three mile run or a five mile run, etcetera, just make sure that it’s for you.

Shayla:

That’s great advice. Thank you. You also end each of your posts with the phrase: Be well. You are worthy. Can you tell the runner moms community what that phrase means to you?

Dominique:

Absolutely. It’s about intentionally showing up with a conscious decision to be unapologetic about having a balanced mental, physical, emotional and spiritual being. It is an understanding that you are worthy of having the balance you want in your life. So, as a mom, and I’ll say this for myself, as a mom, it’s easy to get caught up in becoming a martyr to everyone else in your life. You know, you take care of your spouse. You take care of your kids. You take care of the home and it’s easy to forget yourself. Be well, you are worthy is just about saying, “I am worthy enough to find the thing and do the thing that makes me feel good and well and whole inside.”

Shayla:

Yeah, that’s fantastic. Every time I read that line in your posts, I just pause and I take a deep breath and I’m like, “Yes. That’s awesome. I love it.” It’s a wonderful reminder. As we’re drawing to the end of the episode, is there a main takeaway or message from your journey that you’d like to leave with the Runner Moms community?

Dominique:

Just like life, the run is yours. You make it whatever you want it to be. You have to accept that some days are going to be harder. Some days are going to be longer, but, on the other end of that, you’re going to have some exciting memorable moments that make this great energy that you’ll be able to take into other aspects of your life. One of the biggest things that I always say is running will always tell you who you are.

You can’t hide from the run. You can’t lie to the run. It will always reveal who you are and where you can improve. So, make it yours.

If you are a runner just starting out, keep going. If you are a runner who has reached a plateau that we all reach, it’s normal. You’re going to get back into the swing of it. Just be patient with yourself. All in all, the run is an amazing mental place that I hope everyone gets a chance to enjoy.

Shayla:

Yeah, that’s really great advice, especially for the new runners out there. Kind of going back to our conversation about not viewing a run that didn’t go exactly as you had planned, not viewing it as a failure, but as a learn. As a new runner, it can be easy to fall into the mindset of, “Oh, this isn’t for me. I’m horrible at this.” And it can just slowly fall out of your life. So, I really like that advice of sticking with it and giving yourself grace and that line of thinking.

Dominique:

Yep. You said it perfectly. Giving yourself grace. We all need to do that more often.

Shayla:

Yes, absolutely. Especially moms. Holy cow.

Dominique:

You know, that’s the great thing with running and I think running is definitely a form of meditation. It’s moving meditation. So, when you’re in that mode and you learn to give yourself over to the run, you’re extending yourself a grace that you probably in your regular life are not doing. So, when you do that in the run, it sets you up for success in other parts of your life. Because you’re like, “Ok, if I can let it go out here, I can definitely let it go here.”

Shayla:

Yes. Yes. I totally agree with that. And, kind of going down that line of conversation about running meditation, I’ve found that my best mental clarity comes while running. Just the thought streams that can happen when you let your mind just settle and wonder where it wants to. When you turn off the music. When you turn off the distractions. It really is so insightful to see what your minds wants to bring up, if you let it.

Dominique:

Yes, and you said something so key. It’s turning off that music. It’s hard because we think, as runners sometimes we want that extra stimulation because we feel like it makes the run go by faster. It makes the run more bearable, but, turning off that music sometimes, and just listening to that inner voice, you will get so many answers to questions that are probably keeping you up at night. So, it is, and I don’t want to drag on, but, yes, that mental clarity and just turning off that music sometimes and just listening to self is a beautiful transaction.

Shayla:

Yes, totally. That is a fabulous takeaway. Thank you for that. If others would like to connect with you online Dominique, where should they go?

Dominique:

Well, you can find me on Instagram @LeanInWithTheKings. The same handle is for our Facebook page. I’m always open for questions or conversation. I have conversations daily with people and that’s the beautiful thing about Instagram. I am able to connect with so many people from so many different backgrounds. But, yeah, just on Instagram and Facebook and we have our YouTube page. We also have a blog which is Lean in with the Kings.

Shayla:

And I’ll be sure to link to everything within the show notes so that the Runner Moms community can connect with you. Well, keep up the great work and the great content. In my view, your content is what the world needs more of. So, thank you for putting it out there into the world.

Dominique:

Well, thank you and thank you for your content. I enjoy your posts as well. The recipes are a smash hit in our house.

Shayla:

Oh, awesome!

Dominique:

I definitely enjoy the podcast. I enjoy just what you’re doing for runners and for moms and the inspiring outlook that you’re giving and just that tangible real feel. Things can feel washed when you get in social media. So, being able to go to your page and it feels like, ok, this person is just like me. I can connect. It’s just an awesome feeling. So, thank you for your platform as well.

Shayla:

Gosh, thank you. I really appreciate that. Yeah, it’s always so good to hear that what you’re putting out there into the world is resonating with someone. I’m so happy to hear that someone is making the recipes and they’re turning out well!

Dominique:

They are! Ken is the cook around here, but I throw a couple of those recipes in there and I’m winning.

Shayla:

Oh, that’s awesome! Well, thank you again for joining me today, Dominique. This was such a fantastic conversation and it truly just filled my cup to the brim.

I hope you took away as much as I did from Dominique’s stories and advice. I loved her advice for making sure that we as moms are taking the time we need for ourselves to maintain mental clarity and her running goals for the coming year got me excited to refocus on what I hope to achieve over the coming months. Her motto, Be Well. You are Worthy. is also one that I am going to keep with me from now on as I think it holds a lot of power in reminding us of our value and of the importance of self-care.

That’s all for this episode. If you’re enjoying the show’s content, I’d greatly appreciate if you’d leave a review through your apple podcast player. It’s a quick way to let me know that the episode is of value to you, and it will also help other mom runners to find our content.

Until next time, happy running and happy momming!

And I’ll be sure to link to everything within the show notes so that the runner moms community can connect with you. Thank you again for joining me today, Dominique. This was such a fantastic conversation and it just filled my cup to the brim.

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