Today I was lucky enough to repeat this experience, only this time I was not afraid I couldn't finish--I was worried the run wasn't going to be long enough to get all 16 miles in that I needed to. Coach Brian, my coach from Team in Training, allowed me to tag along on his USA Fit (his new training support program) train run, and I was so happy for the repeat experience.
One of my favorite parts of this has absolutely nothing to do with getting fitter or with running--I just love taking a ride on the Coaster train with all the eager runners. I don't care how old I get, train rides are still a fun experience for me. It is also very exciting to ride with a group of people who were doing their longest miles ever like I had three years before. For any of you that are setting a goal of running longer miles in the new year, I really feel like joining a group like USA Fit makes you more accountable to doing the training. In addition, they do clinics in conjunction with their Saturday long runs that help you with nutrition, avoiding injury, pacing, etc. I honestly credit Coach Brian with giving me the foundation and knowledge I needed in order to be where I currently am in my fitness journey. In addition, when I told Brian that I was doing an Ironman in July, he never gave me the look (see blog from 6/23/12). He just looked proud of me and continues to tell me so every time I see him. (interested in getting coaching from Brain?--go to USA Fit Temecula)
The other thing that I feel I have improved on is my absolute need to make sure I am never alone. While I did have Joe and Steph on this run with me, we all have different run paces. So by the time I was at the halfway point, Joe was ahead of me and Steph was behind me--I was really all by myself for the last 8 miles. However, I did have the most amazing views to focus on for the entire run. My pictures don't even do justice to the absolutely picture perfect weather and skies we were all able to experience yesterday. It was slightly overcast at the beginning of the run, and by the end it was warm with light blue skies and patches of fluffy cloud formations. So what I was able to do today was be happy just enjoying the landscape instead of worrying about the fact that I had no one to talk to.
I have also improved my stamina over the last few years. I know that after my train run three years ago, I was pretty much crippled for the next week as my body recovered from the pounding it took on the pavement. This morning I woke up a little sore, but, and I know this is going to sound weird, after biking 49.5 miles from Yorba Linda to Huntington Beach and back, I am actually less sore than I was this morning. It is almost like the biking stretched out the muscles I stressed out yesterday. It was unimaginable to me three years ago that I would even be able to do almost 66 run/bike miles in two days, let alone not have to pay for it over the following week.
So as we approach the new year, I hope that my successes will help you see that if I can do this, honestly anyone can. Make 2013 the year that you stop making excuses for why you can't work on a healthier you. If you are fit, shoot for being even more so next year. If you have a long way to go, remember that all it takes is one step forward to start your journey. Remember that I am here for you--my wish is for everyone to attain the amazing health, confidence, and happiness that I have been experiencing.