Some women have necklaces that they wear all the time. Thin chains wrap a close circle around their necks, carrying dainty pendants that can easily be tucked away. Sometimes they come in that well-known blue box, or else they're passed down through generations. Fancy jewelry that comes from a national chain isn't really my style, and although I have a couple of beloved necklaces that my grandmother used to wear, they're just not me either. Not as an everyday accessory.
But today I received a necklace in the mail from The Run Home that might be the one I put on each morning. It's a thin gunmetal chain with three small pendants: a solid pewter heart, a pewter running shoe, and a nickel silver pendant hand stamped with 13.1. As in 13.1 miles, a half-marathon, which I ran this weekend. My mom gave me this gift to celebrate the event. I didn't think of it as such a big deal because I had been training for it, I really believed I could do it, and when I crossed that finish line sooner than I had planned, I felt like I had a couple more miles in me. It was a goal I worked for, but not too hard, and I didn't suffer for it (I had forgotten my asthma inhaler at home, and I didn't need it at all during the race). But not everyone can run as far, and not everyone has a necklace with a running shoe and a race distance. And 4 days after that race, I'm itching for more - my special someone and I are already scheming to run the Hood to Coast relay in 2014. So I guess this makes me a runner. My young, lazy, asthmatic self would be so surprised to know that running has become a hobby, and my aging knees may be dismayed at this news, but they'll all have to get used to the fact that running will be a consistent part of my life. Right after the race, I thought that a full marathon was beyond my reach, but the idea is starting to settle into the crevices of my brain. There's just something about moving across the land by foot that makes sense, like a meditation in action. Allons-y.