I joined the Endurance Base Camp in July because I had signed up to run the Bourbon Relay Race in October and didn’t want to let my team down. I hadn’t been running very long (only since January) and I was slow. Knowing others on my team were much more qualified and would be quite fast, I knew I needed to do something. I decided to join Gary’s group with my friend Alice.
Training during the summer was complicated. It was hot and I was out of town a lot. It was hard finding a good time to run and somewhere to run when out of town. However, one of the best parts about being in the group was having my schedule delivered to me every morning via email. It made everything so much easier; checking it became a part of my morning routine. Logging my runs into the Training Peaks website also held me accountable and kept me going in the summer heat. As the summer stretched on, I began to notice a difference in my runs- I was faster and I was enjoying it! I also really enjoyed getting together with everyone on Thursday nights and Sunday mornings.
Fast forward to the Bourbon Relay Race, I was very nervous and still slightly unsure of myself (I hadn’t raced all summer). All of my nerves quickly dissolved once the race began. I couldn’t believe how fast I could run and no one on my team could believe I had only been running for as long as I had. My best leg was the night run (a start time of 3am is probably a good motivator!). I made it up hills; I have never seen hills that big! It was such a wonderful experience and I owe a lot of that to the Endurance Base Camp. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done and one of the best things I have ever done!
Two weeks later I ran the Iron Horse Half Marathon. It was my second half-marathon, having run my first in April. Even though I wasn’t feeling great that day, I finished at my goal time and 8 minutes faster than my first half marathon. One of the best things about having done the training program was seeing so many familiar faces during the race. It was also great having practiced with water, GU, and pace time. I felt prepared physically and mentally. I knew I could finish even when everything inside of me was saying otherwise.
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