Several people have asked me "how's the training going?" and as I have taken the day to recover from my longest run yet, I thought I would share with you how the training has been at the half-way point!

Before I talk about me, it is important to recognize all the people [you] who have chosen to support me in one way or another. I am grateful for those who have reconnected with me during this undertaking, providing words of wisdom and support. I am grateful for my work colleagues who have been patient and flexible with me as I sometimes "hobble" into the office later than usual. I am forever grateful and humble by those who contributed financially with some hefty numbers to this particular cause. All of your support provides me with a continued determination to continue training.

Generally, the training is going well. My pace group is very supportive and a great group of fellow runners. We are all very passionate about running and fundraising for this particular cause, and their continued strength and friendship really motivate me to keep going. My coach, Eve, is an amazing individual and continues to challenge us in our workouts [hint: hill training at miles 10-12!] while equally playing the role of cheerleader to keep our spirits up. In most cases she is telling us "you are going too fast...slow it down". Physical pain nags at me from time to time, but hasn't shattered my will to conquer this running milestone. I continue to keep my mantra "train smarter, not harder" at the forefront - especially when my 21 year old self sometimes gets the best of me.

My training group and I embarked on an 18 mile run this past weekend which was more of a mental/emotional challenge than physical [although I am icing my left knee today]. Before getting into too much detail, I have decided to share my training experience with a quick "Top Ten List of My Training Epiphanies":

10. San Francisco is truly one of the most amazing cities in which to train and run.

09. Hills - positioned at any point in the run - are not a runner's friend.

08. Although there are severe penalties for not cleaning up after your dog, it amazes me that police horse can relieve themselves anywhere - and often do.

07. Stepping in dog/horse poop can really ruin your run for the day.

06. 18 Mile Run = "You can eat whatever the heck you want."

05. On a sunny day with surfers all around you - I understand how the Great Highway got its name!

04. It is impossible to train for a marathon on your own - support is often found in the smallest of gestures.

03. Pain can be a powerful motivator.

02. Running down Sunset Boulevard is not as "glamorous" as it sounds.

01. Oftentimes, the hardest part of training is putting on your shoes and walking out the door. [from my sister Melissa]

Please know that I have already made my financial goal! Because of this, I have decided to pass on some of the support to my fellow LifeCycle riders and AIDS Walkers due to my good fortune and amazing supporters. Just about everyone I run into at the gym is training and fundraising for some worthy cause these days. It's really awesome to be a part of such a giving community.

WIth Warmest Regards,

- David