I have come pretty far. 

Last week was a huge challenge for me. I ran 4 times for a total of 24.5 miles. I had a 6.5 mile run, 2 5 mile runs and an 8 mile run to close out the week. "Putting the miles in" was something I feared when I started this process 40 days ago. I had no idea how my body would respond to running that much. Getting myself prepared to run 13.1 miles by May 4th hasn't been easy. After my 8 mile run, Serena gave me an ankle rub and gasped at my toes. For the record my toes are already hideous. They look like an arthritic orangutan hand, but my toes were bleeding. I didn't even notice or feel any pain.

I have come pretty far.  

New cars have a computer program that tells you when your tires have low pressure and alert you that you need to stop and get some air. I feel like when I started running my inner computer was broken. The slightest bit of pain would set off alarms. SERVICE ENGINE SOON lights would flash if there was any discomfort. I wanted to stop immediately. I was totally disconnected from my body. As this journey has unfolded, I've learned the difference between pain and injury. For me, it's been all about pain and tuning into that pain and pushing my threshold further and further.

I have come pretty far.  

I am still nervous about little stuff that crops on long runs; soreness in my hip flexors, IT Band tightness, a calf strain, knee or ankle pain, but I am pretty confident now that I can run through it all. I am really tinkering and tailoring my body for running. There is so much help online. Type in whatever weakness you have and BOOM there are 10 videos showing you how to strengthen it. The friends I've made thru running have also been pivotal. Yesterday my friend Mike and I went to the gym for a true runners workout. He was injured training for the full marathon last year and learned several workouts to rehab each muscle critical to running to prevent injury. We did band work to strengthen our hip flexors and IT bands, squats and lunges for quads, hamstrings and glutes, toe raises for ankles and calves; all different exercises to help me run stronger. I have been foam rolling and stretching, doing core work for my lower back and stomach. Basically anything to get me ready for 13.1 miles. I am really taking these last few weeks seriously.

I have come pretty far. 

On Saturday we ran from the Waterfront to Kennywood and back on the Steel Valley Trail. The Great Allegheny Passage goes from the Waterfront to Maryland! Its a really nice trail through some tough neighborhoods. It goes through Homestead, Braddock, Dusquesne, McKeesport, Glassport and Clairton. These are not neighborhoods you would want to run through 10 or 15 years ago. Scratch that. If you were in those neighborhoods 10 or 15 years ago, you better run! We were on the way back on mile 6 or 7 and I was encouraging people coming the other way. I was telling people struggling to keep going! When I started I could barely do 3 miles. 

I have come pretty far. 

If you are reading this and you want to change your life, get up and do it tomorrow. Stop bullshitting yourself  or putting it off and do it. Buy some good running shoes, download the Hal Higdon program or look up some other program and do it. Call an old friend who you think might be willing to take a run with you. Hell, send me a message, I'll run with you! It's a really difficult road to start down, but you will be amazed at how quickly you pick up speed. Look at me. I started out hating running and now I am recruiting people to start running.

I have come pretty far.