When I was in high school and running cross country, I had this coach, Mr. McPhetres. He was probably one of the most encouraging people I have ever met. And corny. He used to shout to us as we'd run around the course, "Cross Country isn't a sport, it is a TEST!!!" We were a small team of about 5 girls and 8 boys and easily the most under-supported sport at the school. Mr. PcPhetres didn't care- he would badger the school about giving the team extra money to rent a bus to drive us to this 3 miles long uphill run in a town 25 minutes away, every single Tuesday (I dreaded these days). He would make us sing songs while we would run, shouting out verses louder than all of us, cut out inspirational quotes and stick them on our lockers. He didn't care that we were a bunch of athletic misfits, or what no one else in the school gave a shit about the cross country team- he believed in us.
I get now how rare that is.
I still remember a quote that he left on my locker during my senior year season. It is pretty fitting for where I am now in my life and I think I am going to use it to fuel me a bit further. Can't stop running now. I'm not just talking about my half training.