It was cold.
The high was in the forties and I wasn't ready to put on my shoes and make a go of 9 miles.
I had a cold...one of those phlegmy, snotty, feverish sort of chest colds that makes you want to curl up in a ball and feel sorry for yourself.
Except I'd been playing that card for the last three days...and so, it was time to suck it up.
I pulled out the winter apparel...ear band, gloves, capris and decided that I would give it my best.
At the beginning of my run, it hit me. I would dedicate segments of my run to friends/family members who are in need.
As the hills got steeper, the north wind became more biting, and the desire to throw in the towel grew greater, I would use these stories as beacons...a way to see my way through. And in some sort of masochistic way, I prayed that as my pain became more intense, theirs would lessen. Weird, I know.
My first three miles went to a dear friend...probably one of the strongest, most inspiring women I know. Mesmerized by her ability to keep it all together raising a brood of four boys while under duress and constant friction at home...she encourages that all things are possible if you believe, put a little elbow grease into it, and laugh with the world.
The next three miles went to a friend who shared coffee with me that morning...staring down an unknown path in her marriage and raising her daughter potentially on her own...I prayed that she would know she's not alone. Ever.
The last three miles went to another sweet, off-the-charts amazing friend whom I look up to on a daily basis. I prayed that she would know that she's an incredible mother, a dedicated wife, a ridiculously available friend, and an incredible nurse. And that someday, one day, all of the answers will fall into place.
But my last mile...well, that was mine. Because the last mile turned into an unexpected 10th mile. I prayed for grace, kindness, trust and a belief that all is well and that I am enough. Always.
It was quite the experience. Definitely much more than a run.