I've taken my last run and my training is complete.
Since I'm pretty much always training for something, I've already decided what race will be next, but more on that next week.
Today, I'm thinking about Sunday, and I'm thinking about the past six months of running to prepare for this day.
I don't think it's dramatic to say that training for this race saved my sanity. I didn't realize or anticipate how hard our transition from Manhattan to the suburbs would be, and through the complications and the anxiety and the turmoil that comes with moving and owning a house, running was my constant.
Running was what I did when I didn't know what else to do. It was the thing I could do when I missed the city so much that it was hard to breathe. It was the thing I could do when I felt like our new house would never feel like home. It was the thing I could do when I needed to be reminded that I was still me, no matter where I was living.
Nothing ever seemed quite as bad, and I never felt quite as sad, when my running shoes were hitting the pavement in that familiar staccato rhythm. Running untangled the knots that seemed to be permanent fixtures in my stomach, and it transported me to another place. A happy place.
Tomorrow morning is the six month anniversary of our move. And as I board the plane that will take me to the race I will take a minute to give thanks.
To be grateful that our life in the city is no longer a painful memory, but something that I can look back on and smile. To be grateful that our house is now a home. To be grateful for the friends we have made and the neighborhood that we enjoy.
To be grateful for this sport that I love so fiercely, that gives me the clarity I need when I feel like I am floundering in darkness.
I am many things. I am a wife, a sister, a daughter and a friend. I am a lawyer and a writer. I am a homeowner and a brand new suburban resident. But even as I am all of these things, most of all I am a runner.
And this coming Sunday, as the sun rises over the city of Pittsburgh and the starting gun goes off, I will be running.