Sunday, May 25, 2014

The FIRST Running Retreat May 2014

Greenville, South Carolina  home of cyclist George Hincapie, BMW North America, and Furman University, where doctors Pierce, Moss and Muir teach and preach running for life.  These men have perfected the ideal way to be faster on your feet as explained in their book,  Run Less Run Faster.  The book has sold well over 100,000 copies and a second edition was printed in 2011.  It's been my running bible and go-to book the past five years.  I use the track workouts and marathon training plans religiously.  

There is a small blurb in the book about the Furman FIRST Running Retreat that the authors host annually.  When I heard about the retreat, I knew I needed to go.  So off to Greenville, I went.  With two friends in tow.  And let me tell you, Greenville is amazing.  It's the type of place you want to raise a family.  It's straight out of a movie where kids climb trees and play in the river and maybe even find a dead body.  You did see Stand By Me, right? 

Football is King, even 
Over the next three days we met at mingled and picked the brains of these three amazing men:  Bill Pierce, the writer,  Scott Muir, the triathlete, and Ray Moss, the practical scientist.  We had three packed days of lectures, flexibility and strength skills, track workouts, cross training, trail running, gait analysis, nutrition analyzation, lactate threshold testing, delicious FOOD and friendly conversation.  And along the way, I gained new friendships with the other 13 participants from around the world.

The view from Paris Mountain.  We had dinner up here on our last night.

The gang, minus me.  
And what I learned during this long weekend, was that each of us had a passion for running that brought us to the retreat.  But our individual stories were unique and interesting and all our own.  In this solitary sport called running, we came together as strangers, but left as friends.  We all left Furman stronger mentally, physically and emotionally.  Our quest to be better was accomplished.

Driving down the mall of Furman University

Stretching our calves outside Bill's office 

An amazingly green and lush campus
Thank you for your Southern Hospitality Ray, Bill and Scott.  You retreat was an amazing experience. But thank you also to James, Alan, Robert, Brian, Steve, Luis, Luis, Paulina, Rose, Traci, Katharine and Signe.  The common bond of running brought us together.  But your individual stories of grit, determination and the desire to better yourselves unite us as friends for a lifetime.

I can't wait to return, Greenville.  See you VERY soon.
Que lindo es sonar despierto.
How lovely it is to dream while you are awake.

Dreams That Have Come True