I haven't talked about why I started to run again, not really. I jokingly (and on nights like tonight, not so jokingly) say that my goal for running is not to die.

No, I'm not trying to live longer, I'm trying to not die while running. So far, I have succeeded. But, really, every time is a new adventure. I'm, dare I say it, getting a bit into this. Oh, I don't like it much, and the first 2 intervals are very, very close to hell, but, slowly, I'm getting there. I only sort of hate it.

Every time I finish a run, I post that I didn't die on Facebook. Several friends, including blogger friends, tell me that they are proud of me, and believe you me, I'm thankful. I'm still very slow, very out of shape, and desperately worried I will be the last person to finish the 5K race in March.

But the dying thing.

I quit smoking, for good, 3 weeks after Anna died - that was June 1. I took up running 6 months after - the start of November. I won't lie. I sat in my back yard, a week or so after her death, and I realized:

Anna was 36. Just 36. I am 31. We were not so far apart in age. We shared a medical condition, and we were both obese. I sat in my back yard, and with my breath catching in my throat, I realized that we are very alike.

I quit smoking. I tell people a shortened version of the truth - I tell them that I realized that I was then 30, and if I didn't quit then, I would smoke for the rest of my life, and I didn't want to do that. Mostly, I quit smoking because Anna died.

I started running at the start of November, because I need to lose weight. I need weight bearing exercise that increases my heart rate. I can't pretend, I can ignore, I can't deny. I need to be more healthy.

Part of running the St. Patrick's day race is to give myself a goal. I'm a goal kind of person. I like goals, knowing where I want to end up. I suspect I'll run more in the summer.

But also, as I have been thinking for the last few weeks, Anna's baby was due in 15 days. Anna's baby that she tried to conceive for 3 years. I think for most people, Anna's death overshadowed the death of her child. I understand. But I didn't get to go to a birth, I went to a funeral instead.

So, I am running for me, because I'm older, because I need to make some changes. But March?

March is for my friend, and her child. March is for those who finished their race, before I ever began.