Today’s guest is someone that is relatively new to the sport, but has already accomplished a lot and is just getting started!
As a part of the 2021 MS Run the US relay team, he logged 167 miles over 6 days while raising over $15k to help fight the disease that he’s been living with for almost a decade.
I am looking forward to going a few easy miles with Rich Stein today.
Done Making Excuses
Rich Stein grew up playing multiple sports and living an active lifestyle.
While on a trip to Disney in January of 2020, Rich saw a picture of himself and didn’t recognize the person he had become.
Over a 6 year period, he had 3 knee surgeries and used those as excuses as to why he hadn’t made an effort to get in shape.
That trip was the turning point for Rich when he decided that he needed to make a change.
Rich knew that he would be more successful if he made small manageable changes rather than overhaul his entire life.
First, he began by cutting out alcohol and soda completely from his diet.
Next, he limited the amount of fast food he ate each week.
Shortly after he began to make these lifestyle changes, the pandemic began and that’s when his running journey began.
Becoming A Runner
When the pandemic first began most businesses were closed, including gyms.
Rich wanted to continue making progress with his health and fitness.
His options were limited, so he chose running.
In the beginning, he ran 1 to 1.5 miles every other day and found that he enjoyed it.
Rich is an avid reader and wanted to read everything he could about the sport.
The book, “Born To Run,” by Christopher McDougall changed the way he viewed running.
His eyes were opened to the various possibilities and different directions he could go with the sport.
Rich had an injury that made him contemplate quitting running, but news about a friend from his High School track team passing away was all he needed to lace up and get out.
Rich has been living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) for almost a decade.
One morning almost 10 years ago, he woke up only to find he was completely blind in his right eye.
He immediately went to the ER where he received an unsatisfactory diagnosis.
Rich followed up the ER visit with two eye doctors and an MRI to confirm their suspicions which were MS.
It took more than 9 months after his diagnosis before his vision began to return.
Rich now has 90% of his vision back.
For the first few years, he struggled with fatigue as one of his main symptoms that were difficult to control.
His symptoms have remained mostly under control for the last year and a half.
MS Run The US
After being diagnosed with MS, Rich stumbled across MS Run the US on social media.
MS Run the US is a relay team where each runner is responsible for completing 167 miles in 6 days which breaks down to a marathon a day.
There was no question in his mind that he wanted to apply and be a part of the relay team.
He was selected for the 2021 team and immediately focused on training.
The organization provides a training plan along with a coach to each runner.
His training went smoothly and long hours on his feet working in retail only helped to prepare his body for what lay ahead.
The day before the challenge Rich was full of adrenaline, but not nervous.
Once In A Lifetime Experience
The weather was cooler than Rich expected for an early August day which wasn’t helpful for slowing him down on the first day.
Day 2 ended with his right Achilles being swollen and painful.
Rich attributes the injury to a hillier route than he had trained on in the months leading up to the race.
Days 3 and 4 were the worst in terms of his body adjusting to the constant mileage.
Once day 5 hit, Rich was in a groove and could see the end in sight.
The overall experience was one of the coolest things Rich has ever done.
Along with his personal accomplishment, he also raised over $15k for MS.
Continuing To Push His Limits
Following the completion of MS Run the US, Rich is looking ahead at what’s next.
He won’t have to look too far, because he is signed up to run his first 100-mile race in December of this year.
Successfully completing MS Run the US has given Rich extra confidence leading up to his race.
Diet has played a huge role in Rich’s ability to be able to complete these challenges.
Since being diagnosed with MS, Rich has fully transitioned to a plant-based diet.
He has experienced the positive effects of eliminating meat, both in his training and his MS symptoms.
The benefits speak for themselves and Rich can’t fathom going back to his former lifestyle.
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Stay connected to Rich Stein by following him on Instagram.
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