I finished. This past Sunday I participated in my second half-marathon. A few days before, family and friends asked, “Are you ready?” It was difficult to answer this question because in all honesty I really never know whether I am ready to run 13.1 miles.

The first few miles are always inspiring. I always notice who runs with me. There were women in pink and yellow tutus, hula skirts, and ones who ran in honor of a loved one. Some ran with their kids, while others sported various shirts reflecting the charities that were dear to them. One man wore a Happy Birthday hat, the number 57 proudly screaming alongside the rim.  Running doesn’t discriminate. It appeals to the young and old, the physically fit and disabled, and all shapes and sizes.

As I hit the ten mile mark, my legs ached and the bottom of my feet began to burn. On the right, I noticed the mountains of Papago park. The curved and red formations were extraordinary, but my feet wobbled as I felt the incline under my feet. At that point, I wanted to stop. But I didn’t. I kept moving forward.

That’s what it is all about. Every single time when I run, I feel it. This need to keep moving forward because it is the best way to celebrate life. To embrace breath and acknowledge the ability to run. It’s that simple.

I run because I can.