In which I didn't run a half marathon

When the gun went off on Capitol street, I curled knees to chest on someone else's sofa. I stared sideways at the screen as thousands poured out onto DC streets to run the race for which I'd trained three months and traveled three hundred miles.

All week long I'd worried, ever since Caed spent the night next to the toilet. But I'd begun to believe in the power of Purell after the days added up and the meals stayed down.

I had hurried my family into the car and out of town, so we could pick up my bib in plenty of time. I'd put the finishing touches on my two-hour playlist and packed my favorite dry-wick tee.

I had dismissed the queasiness as nerves and the fatigue as stress.
And then, hours before the race, that ugly virus threw a sucker punch. I laid awake the rest of the night wearing disappointment like a black eye.

But it was just a race.

And it was just a virus.

I started counting the ways it could be worse and stopped counting somewhere around a dozen.

I didn't write down any new reasons to give thanks, but I thought them (and then forgot them), and then thought them again. I'm sure there were plenty of duplicates in that batch. It's all a bit of a fog.

But let me tell you, it's a charmed life I lead if March's biggest disappointment was that I didn't get to run 13.1 miles through the chilly streets of DC.

Every day, every mile, every breath, every minute, every step--these are gifts, not guarantees. As tempting as it is to don a sense of entitlement every morning, to wake up expecting best laid plans to stay exactly where I put them the night before, I know this is the ugly outfit of an ingrate. And I refuse to wear it.

My race t-shirt, on the other hand, for the half marathon I didn't run? I am so wearing it.

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