The thing I liked about Hal was that I really trusted him. If he said it was a rest day, I believed him. If he said I had to drag my ass out into the arctic winds and haul it around the park for seventeen miles, well, that was what I had to do, whether or not I felt like it.
I really felt that Hal wanted me to succeed and knew how to make me a better runner. Hal had given a lot of thought to things, and he'd tested his theories. Hal's program was foolproof. It took all the guesswork out of it.
Hal seemed like such a nice guy, too.
Best still, all I needed was Hal. After that, it was all up to me. I didn't need anyone else's help.
My brother and his wife, knowing of my devotion to Hal, showed up to cheer me on at the Paris marathon with a sign that said, "HAL HIGDON IS PROUD."
I wrote to Hal after that race to tell him that his program had worked and to thank him. He sent me a really sweet note back. He really was proud.
I miss Hal.