It was time to recommit to running. I knew that in the back of my head, but the thought wouldn't leave me after I had dinner with Kim, a friend from grammar school last week.
She is a runner. She hasn't always been, but in a few weeks she will cross the finish line of the Chicago Marathon and wherever I am on 10.10.10, I will be cheering her on.
She dedicates her training runs to people who inspire her, support her or who need prayers. She posts those dedications on Facebook and many days, I've teared up to read them. Some days, they call to me as I lace up my own shoes or gut out just one more block.
Listening to her talk about the stories behind each dedication, hearing her words in person rather than seeing them on my screen, made me long for the focus and intensity I had last February when I thought I'd be running in an event of my own.
An injury prevented that. I kept on running but without the same warrior spirit I somehow dug out during hour-long treadmill runs in the dead of winter. I worked out with a trainer all summer, and seeing muscles in my arms appear and in my abs tighten was hard, good work. But it wasn't the release, it wasn't just me, it wasn't the same.
I'm not ready for a marathon like Kim. I am ready for more, though. So when I saw that Kim registered for a 15K a few weeks after she'll finish the 26.2, I felt called to give it a try, too.
I signed up. The most miles I've ever logged is five and that was a challenge and months ago. My body's used to 2-1/2 or 3, so I will be training steadily over the next two months to get to my own finish line.
I'm a little nervous. I'm very excited. I can't wait to say that, sure, I can run 10 miles. Perhaps I will also dedicate my workouts until then, including the inspiring lady who will be running with me. I will start with my friends who push me to go further than I think I can just by forging their own way.
But the day I stand at the start of that 15K, you know that run is going to be all mine.