Wednesday, September 08, 2010


Back in November 2007, I ran in the Race for Grace 5K.

That race was special for me for at several reasons: (1) the Race for Grace serves as a fundraiser for the Church Health Center--a most worthy cause you can read about here; (2) it was my first race after many years of not running; and (3) the course wound through the neighborhood in which I lived for most of my childhood and teen years.

Now, I wasn't really "ready" to run that race; in fact, I did it in response to a request from my mom, a nurse who, at that time, volunteered regularly at the Church Health Center. Accepting her challenge, I experienced side stiches, shortness of breath--and the joy of crossing the finish line. I can really look back at that day as the one on which I started to become a runner.

If my recovery from achilles tendonitis goes as planned, I should be more than ready to run by the time the Race for Grace arrives this year.

But I'm not signing up for it. Instead, the 2010 Race for Grace may very well mark my wife's racing debut.

Unlike me in '07, Cindy wants to be extra prepared for her first race. By her reasoning, if she's able to run 4 miles on the treadmill (her "comfort zone"), she'll be able to handle 3.1 miles on the road. I think she's already more than ready for any 5K she'd choose, but I understand the need to feel psychologically as well as physically prepared.

I'm planning to cheer her on, hold a sign, play auxiliary percussion instruments, and generally make a fool of myself on her behalf. She'd do the same for me; heck, she's done so more than once. In fact, Cindy has been more supportive of--and patient with--me in my running obsession (er, endeavors) than I could reasonably expect someone to be. A closet full of stinky shoes (and shirts and shorts) and a husband who crawls out of bed in the morning dark time and again are only a couple of the inconveniences she endures patiently, calmly, sweetly.

She may officially run in that 5K for the first time in November. For me, though, Cindy has run, and won, the Race for Grace many, many times over.

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