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You Can Go the Distance – A Book Review

I have been a passive runner for the past several years. I participated in a number of 5k and 10k runs and completed 2 half marathons. In early 2012 I began training for the real deal. I used the suggested plan from one of the pros; Hal Higdon. I kept up with the program for the most part, but like usual I felt most runs to be arduous and never really hit my zone on every run. Yes, I did make it all the way up to 17 miles for my long run on one occasion; the only time I truly knew that I hit the runner’s zone and was able to run effortlessly for about 6 or 8 miles. Unfortunately I began having some hip problems and had to back off the full, but was able to complete my second half marathon.

In March 2013 I was again gearing up to start running again when I took a spill on the Rocky Mountain slopes and snapped my ACL, tore both inside and outside MCLs and damaged my meniscus. After a 2 month wait for surgery, 5 months of recovery I was finally feeling like I could run again.

I started running on the treadmill at my doctor’s suggestion to minimize the risk of a twist or fall. I took it slow and worked my way up to a mile and a half. Not anywhere near what I had been doing, but I felt I was making progress. Then something changed. I began to feel pain in my knee and progressively began to decline in my distance until I finally gave up and stopped.

I never ever would have thought I would have said, “I miss running,” but I do. I was bummed that I appeared to be headed towards a life on a stationary or road bike as my means of cardio and recreational sport. That is until on Twitter I read a few posts by Bruce Van Horn (@BruceVH).

Bruce is the author of You Can Go the Distance. He offered a free copy of the book and I took the bait. I knew that I wanted to get back to running but the truth is I had a big mental hurdle to get over. You Can Go the Distance is an amazingly insightful book about the mind and body of a runner. What we think, what we dwell on, what we need to be thinking or not thinking, what we need to feed ourselves with, what we should wear and who we should look to for support.

After just the first few chapters I knew that this was the book that was going to put me back in my shoes and on the treadmill to running. The most important and probably the least paid attention to part about running are the things we tell ourselves. “I haven’t,” “I couldn’t,” “I’m too fat, slow, old…” blah, blah blah. Bruce covers them all. The inspiration in this book isn’t about can’t, but about can, did and done.

Several inspiring stories will help you reconsider your abilities to run a marathon. It has for me. I have started my training routine again and will be running a half marathon in October 2014, with a goal of a full marathon in 2015! Coming back from ACL surgery was a battle I did not look forward to, but running a marathon is one I now look forward to with anticipation because I know, You Can Go the Distance and so can I.

Check out the book here.