One of the nice things about this latest goal has been the opportunity to share the experience of training and evaluating the experience with a core group of running friends, both real and virtual.
My real-life training partners faithfully got together to do the day-in, day-out work that is necessary. One group would meet twice a week at a hilly trail in the wee hours of the morning and attempted to conquer hill after hill at the Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve. With some other friends, we'd drive to destination trails throughout the bay area and try not to get lost as we explored the wooded, hilly paths.
My virtual friends on DailyMile and Twitter were also a huge source of encouragement and advice. I gained ideas, inspiration and motivation hearing about their runs and cross training, often hoping just to get a fraction of the speed many of them had.
THANKS to ALL of you. You know who you are, and I couldn't have done it without you.